Warmoth “N4” Part II

The Neck and body have arrived. ……it’s go time!

Warmoth always does a great job with the shipping & packing of their product. I very much appreciate that.

The body looks *great* in person, and is just what I was after. Warmoth installed the tremolo studs for a very reasonable price as well. I’m glad I added that option, as the “screw style” posts that come with the non-fine tuner floyd don’t hold up well.

The contours look and feel great, as one would expect with a strat.

The Trem Route

Clearly this guitar was routed for an Original Floyd Rose, and I’m really only interested in the non-fine tuner version of the bridge. I knew I’d be living with a larger route behind the bridge, but so what. I’m not  building this to be a work of art. I’m going after a rock  machine like Nuno’s real N4 is.

D’oh! In case anyone was wondering yes, the non-fine tuner floyd has a different base plate than the original floyd rose! This is something I was not aware of and find really annoying. It’s beyond me why they don’t use the same sharp edge on the NFT version. Luckily the bottom edge where the tremolo bar attaches fits perfectly into the route, and the posts are still in the same place. All that’s needed is the route will need widening a bit.

The Heel

I’m already compromising by not having a Stephens Extended Cutaway on this guitar, and the last thing I want to end up w/ is a large heel. I decided I probably wouldn’t be happy with the result if I didn’t add a lower contour and use shorter screws to attach the neck.

My Warmoth strat & tele guitars have the standard heel like this picture. It’s honestly not too bad to work around, but with this one, I’m not interested in working around anything from a playability perspective.
I measured the heel on my Tom Anderson Drop Top and will attempt to more or less recreate it’s contour.
Here’s a side view to see what I’m trying to accomplish.
It’s always the first few strokes with the rasp and files that make me nervous. I took my time and slowly created the desired angle.
This was the progress after spending an evening working on it. The heel turned out exactly like I wanted and I started to add a deeper route in the lower horn similar to the Guthrie Govan Charvel.
Here is the completed contour and lower horn route. Much better!
With the neck in place, you can really see how the contour will aide in upper fret access. Time well spent
Here’s a picture of the back of the Govan signature model, and you can clearly see the inspiration for the cut on the lower horn. It’s a beautiful design.
Mine didn’t end up quite as deep, but it’s functional and I started getting nervous taking it deeper. I’m happy with how it turned out.
This type of contour requires different length screws. Warmoth’s site makes a really big deal about not screwing through the fingerboard.

At this point in the build I couldn’t be happier with how this is coming together. More to come!


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