I've begun the process of finishing and assembling a Stratocaster style guitar. Most of the parts have been purchased from Carvin, except for the pickups which are a matched set of Seymour Duncan "Vintage for Strat" flat SSL-2's. The body is swamp ash and I'm considering a finish which involves applying dark grain filler, sanding back, and staining blue prior to the sanding and clear coats. This should give it a "Blue Zebra" look because the grain will become even darker due to the grain filler, while the light areas remain blue due to the subsequent sanding and staining.
The following artist rendition of the final product was created using the virtual guitar application at the USA Custom Guitars web-site.
The parts list also includes a maple neck with a 12" radius ebony fretboard, locking Sperzel tuners,Wilkinson tremolo, white perloid pickguard, black pickup covers and knobs, strap locks, and chrome jack. I plan on a standard Strat wiring stetup.
Here is the body just after it arrived from Carvin:
One of the first challenges will be to drill the holes in the neck. Normally Carvin ships the neck with the holes pre-drilled when you buy a kit. But I originally ordered the neck for another guitar so it doesn't have the holes yet.
I'd like to point out the web sites that have proved helpful so far. The most important is ReRanch.com. This site not only sells products for finishing guitars, but has great 'how to' instructions and an excellent user forum. The free information section at Stewart MacDonald is also very good.
Check back every so often and follow my progress.