H44 Stratotone Copy
- Bill of Materials
- Body Construction
- Crack Repair
- Pickguard, pickup, etc
- String Ground
- Final Pics
H44 Stratotones are expensive! Let's make one. I'm not going to detail the whole process -- plenty of material on how to build guitars out there -- but will touch on the more interesting aspects of building an H44.
I combined a variety of images I found in order to construct a 3D model using AutoDesk's free CAD tool, Fusion 360. The benefit of having a 3D model was it was easy to try different color options and I was able to cut the pickguard using a CNC machine instead of by hand.
I will list the materials used in my build here in case someone wants to reproduce this.
|Wood for body||1.75" x 11" x 40"||A 2x12 will work in a pinch.|
|Fretboard (25.25" scale, 20 fret, 12" radius)||1||LMII|
|1/2" x 1/8" carbon fiber strip||36"||Dragon Plate|
|Allparts short trapeze tailpiece||1||Stew-Mac||Required modification.|
|Tuners||1||Stew-Mac "Economy 3-on-a-plate"||Required modification.|
|Bone nut blank||1|
|Bone saddle blank||1|
|Standard mono 1/4" jack||1|
|250k pots (audio taper)||2|
|Switchcraft Jaguar Switch||1|
|.08" (2mm) thick pickguard material||7" x 10"||Stew-Mac|
|Krylon Metallic Copper spray paint||1 can|
|Spray lacquer||1 can|
|#4-40 x 1/2" pan head screw||10|
|Repro cupcake knobs||1 set||eBay (Stew-Mac?)|
I was a little nervous about a Douglas Fir neck so I reinforced it with carbon fiber strips. I've done some reading and apparently Doug Fir has a very high stiffness coefficient. It's stiffer than maple. So it would have been fine. The original H44's have no reinforcement as far as I know and are prone to twisting and bowing over the decades. This won't budge.
The nice thing about wet lumber is you don't have to cut it, it will split itself apart for you. You can see this big crack running the length of the body in the above photo. Here I stabilized it and later filled it with putty and painted over it. Like it never happened. I think I got pretty lucky it wasn't worse.