My Latest Modified Guitar

On a past post I wrote about building your own guitar and showed one of my builds, a Fernandes strat style guitar.

You can view that post here

I really liked that neck (which I happen to buy on Ebay) and went on a search to find another neck just like it.

Unfortunately, I could not find any data on serial number to build date for Fernandes guitars. So all I would have to go on would be pictures, as I would be buying on Ebay.

So at some point, I found a Fernandes strat style guitar with the same head-stock shape and decal.

The guitar went for what I considered a price that I would take a chance on, so I bought the guitar. It was painted blue and the finish was a metallic and was obviously a amateur paint job.

I bought this quite a few years ago and did the initial finish work at that time, I unfortunately don’t have any original pictures. But I can show the original color that is still present in the trem route.

So once again my first thought was to strip the guitar and refinish it. Once I started sanding, I found that the guitar was originally white in color. As I continued sanding the white finish with unfinished wood areas looked kind of good to me.

The neck turned out not to be the same size and pfofile as the neck I had purchased earlier. But with a little sanding, felt pretty good.

Fast forward a few years, and I found myself without a traditional 3 single coil Stratocaster and decided to go ahead and modify this Fernandes guitar to fill that void.

The first thing I did was to install a set of Fender USA pickups. The next thing I did was to take off the original tremolo and install a Wilkinson trem. I had never had a guitar with a two point tremolo, so I thought I’d give it a try. I filled the six screw holes from the old system with dowels, and after making some measurements, installed the bridge pivot inserts and installed the tremolo. You can see on the picture below the six filled holes under the front of the new bridge. I did have to customize the pick guard a bit to accommodate the size of the bridge.

This Wilkinson bridge had different saddles and saddle adjustments than I had used before. It is quite beefy.
As well as installing the Fender pups, I re wied the guitar so it uses a single volume and tone control. I used Dirk Wackers ’59’ Les Paul wiring schematic and added a switch to be able to add the front pickup with the bridge pickup.

As you can see the plastic is still on the pick guard. Speaking of the pick guard, I ordered it from someone on Reverb, and it was supposed to be fire engine red, but looks more orange to me. Oh well.

I dressed the frets a bit and adjusted the truss rod.

I like the two point tremolo. I set it up as a floating trem (up and down) and like the feel of it. The guitar resonates well while playing it unplugged. It weighs in at 8.2 pounds.

It plays well and sounds good. I would like to install some locking tuners and I’ll have to fidget with the pickup heights a bit but all in all, I’m pretty happy!

Author: Chad