This handmade Strat-style guitar is raising money for music venues at risk of closure

(Image credit: Ashley Cox)

The UK has been struggling through the continued closure of the £4.5bn live music industry, with campaigns like #LetTheMusicPlay being launched to help raise awareness and funds.

Now, UK-based luthier and musical tech engineer Ashley Cox has built a Strat-style electric guitar to be raffled off for the Music Venue Trust #saveourvenues campaign, supporting grassroots music venues struggling and at risk of permanent closure amid the coronavirus pandemic.

(Image credit: Ashley Cox)

The 25.5” scale length guitar features a two-piece ash body, maple neck with dual-action truss rod and a 22-fret ebony fingerboard with dot inlays.

According to Cox, “it’s using 1:15 ratio modern-style tuners with solid brass gears. I was initially going to use a kit to keep the price down, but wasn’t happy with the quality so I had new parts machined on a CNC machine before doing all the finishing and building work by hand. 

“The guitar was hand-sanded to 320-grit before Crimson Guitars penetrating oil was applied. I applied three thick coats, letting them soak until tacky and then wiped off the excess. Another 12 thin coats then followed to build up the finish, applied in fairly quick succession and buffed relentlessly.

“Fine grit sandpaper (1,200, 1,500, 2,000 and 2,500-grit) was used between the final few coats to smooth out the finish. I’ve used the Crimson oil on several projects and it’s a great way to achieve a natural finish.”

(Image credit: Ashley Cox)

Other features include a classic 6-saddle tremolo bridge with a screw-in trem bar and ceramic magnet single-coil pickups with closed chrome covers.

“I wanted to fit something extravagant but am operating on a musician’s budget,” Cox said. “The pot and switch configuration is standard for a Strat – two tone, one volume and a five-way selector.”

Tickets for the raffle are £5 (approx. $6.30) and can be purchased on Raffall.

For more information on the guitar, head to Ashley Cox

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Richard Bienstock

Rich is the co-author of the best-selling Nöthin' But a Good Time: The Uncensored History of the '80s Hard Rock Explosion. He is also a recording and performing musician, and a former editor of Guitar World magazine and executive editor of Guitar Aficionado magazine. He has authored several additional books, among them Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, the companion to the documentary of the same name.