Matchstick guitar strikes the right chord

21 pictures

Luthier Dean Fraser with his matchstick 1954 Stratocaster tribute guitar

View gallery - 21 images

When I was younger and had a lot more time on my hands, I collected thousands of spent matches from friends and family, glued them together and formed such delights as a windmill, race car and thatched cottage with matchstick picket fence. Okay, not quite as impressive as a scale model of the International Space Station, but it kept me out of trouble. Mostly. Ex-military man and accomplished luthier Dean Fraser from Chorley in Lancashire, UK, has spent the last couple of years up to his ears in sticks and glue to create the stunning 1954 Fender Stratocaster tribute guitar you can see above.

The matchstick guitar project started around 18 years ago while Fraser was in the armed services, but he put it to one side as his career advanced. He was recently medically retired and took to making guitars for a living, selling one of his instruments to rapper B.o.B. And he also returned to the tribute Strat.

After fixing and gluing together some 40,000 matchsticks (though that's just an estimate) over the course of the epic build, he finished the guitar just last week and it's reported to have "bags of vintage tone."

The Strat-shaped body, bolt-on neck (yes, there's a metal truss rod inside) and fingerboard are fashioned from matchsticks. The intricately designed pickguard is a little chunkier than you'd usually find on a Fender guitar, due to it also being made from joined together wooden sticks. The three single coil pickups each get a stripy wooden enclosure, and there's a funky matchstick jack plate, too.

Hell, even the volume and tone knobs, and the cap of the pickup selector, get the matchstick treatment. Naturally, though, the hardware and electronics are not wooden.

Take a stroll through the gallery for a closer look at Fraser's masterful work.

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View gallery - 21 images

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