My number 1 started out as parts. While living in CA and working at a music shop, I got the itch to assemble a guitar. One of the guys I worked with at the shop, Rick Torres (no relation to Dan), had a Chandler Alder top-routed HSH Strat body and he sold it to me for $100. He then helped me acquire the rest of the parts.
- Warmoth Strat neck with boat contour, 6105 frets, maple fingerboard, compound 10"-16" radius. (This was pre Warmoth Pro contruction with the Gotoh side truss rod adjustment. At that time it was just called "Warmoth Construction").
- Gotoh vintage style Strat trem.
- Kluson tuners.
I had some pots lying around so I grabbed a 500k and set it aside. A 3-way blade switch I bought at the shop. Rick gave me a green switch tip and yellow "Tone" knob.
When the time came to decide on pickups, I was unsure. My buddy Johnny convinced me to get the Custom Custom for the bridge. Being tight on a budget, I put a Jackson JC90 that I had laying around in the neck for a while. Eventually, a Jazz neck would find its way there.
The pickguard was heavily EVH influenced. I got a sheet of tortoiseshell celluloid and cut a Frankenstein style guard myself. It was rough but it did the trick. The pickups ended up being mounted right to the body with the Custom Custom having a couple nuts under each tab to lift it up to the desirable height.
The body was finished in a couple of coats of clear polyurethane. The neck was at first finished in a couple coats of Watco Oil but a couple years ago I re-finished it with Minwax Poly Satin, wiped on with a soft cloth.
It has seen several pickguard and pickup changes since and the tuners were replaced a few years ago with another set of Klusons.
Final assembly took place in November 1993 at Rick’s house. He helped me mount the neck, mount the bridge, put the tuners on, and even cut the nut. I actually did most of the work, he just guided me through the process and showed me tips and such. The wiring I did myself.
Seymour Duncan Screamin' Demon (bridge and neck)
WD Music Matte Black Pickguard
Thanks, Rick and Johnny.