Brian May Stratocaster Conversion Part 6: Assembly and Testing

With the copper shielding foil affixed to the underside of the pickguard, I attached the six Switchcraft 46200 series DPDT parallel slide switches with M2.5 stainless steel countersunk slotted machine screws with the inner mounting holes overlapped and secured with nyloc stainless steel nuts. I attached a pair of Bourns PDB181 series guitar potentiometers measuring 239 kOhm in preparation for wiring up. The pickups were secured with M3 stainless steel dome head bolts. To connect the components, I used a jumper wire kit which came from Maplin but is also available from Rapid Online:

I wired up the components in the same way as my 3/4 scale Red Special ensuring a good mechanical connection by wrapping the solid tinned single core around the connection lugs before soldering with a non-RoHS compliant high lead content solder. I used lengths of black, red and green 7/0.2 mm 26 SWG PTFE insulated equipment hookup wire for connections where some flexibility was required, including twisted pairs of ‘tails’ to temporarily connect the pickups.

The images in the gallery below show the guitar as it was at this point in the project (8-14 April 2018). The electronics were all connected and fully functional but the guitar required a full setup starting with adjustment of the tremolo to float parallel to the body when fitted with a set of Fender 250L strings (0.009 to 0.042 gauge, the same as Brian May’s preferred Optima Gold 2028BM set), setting the action height to that recommended by Fender and, crucially, the pickup heights relative to the fretted strings.

Next article:
Part 7: Mechanical Set-up
Previous article:
Part 5: Pickguard Shielding