There was a custom guitar shop nearby where we spent a lot of time to learn about and select all the parts we needed, as there are the body, the neck, the pickups, the mechanics, electronics and such – and all of that on a student’s budget.
We picked a Squire one piece maple neck because it was cheaper than a Fender original. The body was cut, shaped and sanded but raw wood. My uncle worked in the wood business and gave the bodies the glossing finish. Awesome work.
The rest was putting all the parts together, trial and error, learn and change. A really great experience. I am still proud of this self-built Strat that served me well on stage and in studios.
My cousin, son of that uncle that helped us so much in 1985, became a great custom guitar builder himself. See yourself.
He overhauled my custom Strat in 2015.