The FrankenStrat Build from Kit!!

“It’s Alive! It’s Alive”, Victor Frankenstein

These “strat” assembly kits can be purchased from They are available from $91 to $150. I purchased this kit for $99. (


There are some very good YouTube videos describing the quality of this kit in detail. It has many quality deficits:

  • The pickups have a low output.
  • The bridge/saddle is made of pot metal.
  • The tuning keys are low quality and have too much play.
  • The body routing and shaping is sloppy but functional.
  • The body is also made of extremely light wood. One of the YouTube videos compared the wood to balsa wood, not too far off.
  • The frets need to be filed on the edges and need to be hammered down to fix the gaps.
  • Frets also need to be filed to be uniform in height.
  • Truss rod adjustment needed, no big deal.

This is a good review of the kit:

Why then buy this kit?

This is a great learning tool and a fun project. I am primarily a player and would rely on others to install pickups and fret adjustments. The challenge is on! Can a reasonably good playing and sounding instrument be made from this mass produced kit of suspect quality? Stay Tuned!


  • Sand body and neck
    • I purposely did this on the cheap. I used Old English for color with boiled linseed oil. Once this was somewhat dry I sprayed a light coat of polyurethane. There are much better options to be sure but I like the result.
  • After the body and neck had dried to touch I joined the neck to the body with the screws and plate provided.
  • Once this step was completed I could pretty much assemble the parts that came with the guitar to test the quality of the kit as provided.
  • Once the neck was attached to the body, bridge/saddle and tuning keys were added and I was able attach the strings I was able to check the neck for a bow. It had a convex bow causing fret buzz at the fifth fret.
    • Using a straight edge level I was able to see the bow.
    • Loosening the truss rod fixed this problem.
  • Next the fret height needed to be leveled. Using the same straight edge level, I added double sided tape and stuck 250 grit sand paper to the bottom of the straight edge.
  • Using a black permanent marker I colored the top of the frets. The level and sand paper was moved GENTLY across the frets until the permanent ink disappeared.
  • After this step it was time to restring the guitar and do the set up.

Phase 1.


Phase 2.

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