How to Install Volume Control Knobs on a Strat Guitar

Written by wade shaddy
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How to Install Volume Control Knobs on a Strat Guitar
The Fender Strat is easy to work on. (neon electric guitar image by Peter Helin from

The Fender Strat guitar is one of the easiest guitars to work on for two reasons: Most Strats only have one volume control knob, and the whole pick guard assembly comes off, revealing all the wiring. Occasionally, if the Strat is old and hasn't been worked on for many years, volume control knobs can get stuck badly enough that they can't be removed by fingers alone. If this is the case, don't force it; use a spoon to remove the knob. Then you can get the potentiometer out, and the new volume control knob will install easily.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Soft cloth
  • Spoon
  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Soldering iron
  • Volume control potentiometer

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  1. 1

    Wrap a soft cloth around the volume control knob and gently pull up. If it won't come loose, use a spoon by hooking the end of the spoon under the knob. Gently rock the spoon up and down until the knob comes loose, and then pull it off. Use the same technique to remove the tone control knobs. Pull the end off the pickup selector switch.

  2. 2

    Remove the strings from the guitar. Remove all the Phillips head screws from the pick guard assembly. Gently lift the pick guard assembly straight up and turn it over on the guitar so that the pick guard assembly is upside down.

  3. 3

    Remove any screws holding the volume control to the pick guard from the back. Apply a hot soldering iron to the wires on the old volume control potentiometer. When the solder dissolves, lift the old volume control out.

  4. 4

    Slide the volume control knob's metal shaft through the same hole as the original shaft. Holding the volume control potentiometer with your left hand, reach around the other side of the pick guard and install the volume control knob by pushing it back onto the metal shaft. Put any screws that you took out of the original volume control back into the same holes and tighten the volume control to the back of the pick guard. Solder the wires back onto their respective posts. Put the knobs back on the tone control potentiometers. Put the pickup selector knob back on. Put the screws back in and tighten them down.

  5. 5

    Turn over the pick guard so it is facing up and put all the screws back on the pick guard. Put all the strings back on.

Tips and warnings

  • Check to see if your tone and volume controls dial numbers are aligned by turning the controls all the way counterclockwise. If they are not all aligned to zero, you can pop them off and put them back on coordinated with each other.

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