From The Jolly Contrarian
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You will need, from the top:


  • measuring calipers - digital.
  • Philips head screwdrivers - small and medium
  • Drill bits:
    • 7/64" for neck and bridge plate.
    • smaller for headstock (tuning machines and string tree)
    • medium for pickguard.
  • Soldering iron
    • Solder and flux



  • Neck (21 frets)
    • check width of peghead holes with calipers and be sure to choose tuning machines with bushings to match:
  • Vintage is [8.9]mm
  • modern is [10]mm.
  • String Tree = vintage is a round button;
  • Tuning machines - six in line
    • vintage - kluson style - have push in bushings of a narrower guage. You can buy wider bushings.
  • Waterslide decal


  • Body. check:
    • Neck pocket width/depth. Has to fit neck snugly. Note if loose and neck holes aren't drilled straight, strings will miss the fingerboard at the hupper registers
    • Routing: for single coils or humbuckers or both?
    • Width of jack output (fairly sure these are consistent).
    • Gauge of ferrule holes at back - vintage are slightly narrower
    • Drilling:
      • Is it a top loader or is it drilled straight through for strings loaded at back
      • if back-loading, check width of strong spacing (important because has to match up with bridge) - 54mm standard? is vintage wider?
  • Pickups: Check:
    • Single coil or humbucker?
    • number of windings.
    • pole pieces on bridge (Alnico 5) and does it have a brass baseplate (if not you will need to earth pickups)
    • cloth covered wire (preferable but slightly more fiddly to work with)
  • Pickguard