Darth Blackone’s Transformation

Hey guys.

After eight fantastic years in its original form, traveling the country with me time and time again, and being my main electric guitar for all this time (and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future,) my long serving black Fender Stratocaster, lovingly dubbed Darth Blackone, recently experienced its first major customization recently, and I have the photo log of the whole process.

Originally, it came with a white pickguard against its black body, a combination I’ve always liked.  Recently, after discovering how easy it was to do, I decided to swap it out for a black one which I had ordered.  This is similar to what David Gilmour did to his own black strat which is still his main guitar.  I like the new combination of all black, with the pickups and controls still white to maintain the balance.  Strangely, after merely swapping out a sheet of plastic for a different coloured one, I found that just doing that gave Darth Blackone a fresh new character, both in terms of feel and sound.  I can’t quite put my finger on it, but it’s rather invigorating.

Hope you enjoy my little photo log of the process.


Items necessary (L-R): new pickguard, computer with Youtube video showing me how to do this, wrench that’s the wrong size, semi-broken ruler for pickup height, screwdriver, cloths, pickup notes, string winder, Milton’s stapler.

3-ply SSS pickguard, ordered from AllParts.  I was originally just going to switch the pickguards with the one on my green strat copy, until I realized that the green one has an HSS style guard.  I remained undeterred.
Final photo taken of my Darth Blackone in her original form with strings on .
Strings, gone (I always replace all the strings when I do stuff like this.  I like them fresh anyways. )

Volume and tone knobs popped off and switch tip removed.  The pots and the switch were then removed, then it was on to unscrewing the pickguard for the last time.

Darth Blackone’s entrails.  The pickups were then carefully unscrewed from the pickguard.
The white pickguard, separated from whence it came (I still have it, it may very well return someday in one way or another.)

Blackone’s guts again.  Wondered what it would be like to just use it like this.

Middle pickup with cover removed.
Black guard installed.  Then just had to put the knobs back on (and take the layer of cellophane off the pickguard, which I forgot to do earlier.)
Crib notes regarding pickup heights.

Arise, Lord Blackone.

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