H44 Stratotone Copy - Projects - Audio Artillery

H44 Stratotone Copy

  1. Intro
  2. Design
  3. Bill of Materials
  4. Body Construction
  5. Crack Repair
  6. Tailpiece
  7. Pickguard, pickup, etc
  8. Bridge
  9. String Ground
  10. Final Pics

1: Intro

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.


 

2: Design

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.


(click for full size)


(click for full size)

I've included some 2D plans generated from my model in case anyone wants to make one of their own:


 

3: Bill of Materials

I will list the materials used in my build here in case someone wants to reproduce this.

Bill of Materials
MaterialQuantitySourceNotes
Wood for body1.75" x 11" x 40"A 2x12 will work in a pinch.
Fretboard (25.25" scale, 20 fret, 12" radius)1LMII
1/2" x 1/8" carbon fiber strip36"Dragon Plate
Allparts short trapeze tailpiece1Stew-MacRequired modification.
Tuners1Stew-Mac "Economy 3-on-a-plate"Required modification.
Bone nut blank1
Bone saddle blank1
Standard mono 1/4" jack1
250k pots (audio taper)2
Switchcraft Jaguar Switch1
.08" (2mm) thick pickguard material7" x 10"Stew-Mac
Krylon Metallic Copper spray paint1 can
Spray lacquer1 can
#4-40 x 1/2" pan head screw10
Repro cupcake knobs1 seteBay (Stew-Mac?)


 

4: Body Construction


(click for full size)


(click for full size)


(click for full size)

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.


(click for full size)


 

5: Crack Repair

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.


(click for full size)


 
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