Best place for parts in the UK

Soap Distant

The Big Kahuna (again!)
I'm going to replace the pots and switch in my Strat while I'm building my Telecaster kit that my wife bought me, and I've been looking on Allparts. The 250k CTS pots seem reasonable, but £22 seems a bit steep for a 5 way switch. Is that about right, and is Allparts about the best place to buy from over here?
I've often looked at Allparts but I'm not sure if I've ever bought anything from them because I find them expensive. Thomann delivers to many countries (including the UK, obviously) and is usually cheaper - they have several 5-way switches, including a Harley Benton one for about a fiver. Guitars and Woods (, or GNW) is in Portugal but they also deliver, and they have good prices on a range of things - they are more oriented towards luthiers' tools and woods, but they also do things like switches (have a look here). They are probably my favourite supplier in general, although I generally scout around a bit whenever I need to order things, depending on what's on my shopping list.
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SC Relics Guitars
Cheers lads. Incidentally, would you go for audio or linear taper pots?
I use CTS TVT 250k pots in my tele and strat builds. Again, Axecaster is your friend on this one. About £15-16 for the CRL 5 way switch and £7 for a pot. The only other switch I’d use is the Oak Grigsby one. I know we’ve done a lot of builds and all we use are the aforementioned parts.

I also use Axecaster because they’re UK based, Gavin is also a gentleman to deal with.

Allparts IS expensive, no justification for it at all.


Stop, don’t, come back.
allparts is expensive, but its a 15 min drive from here so very convenient

i tend to use axetec as my 1st source, then axecaster

the difference between CTS and Alpha pots exists, but its so marginal to be a rounding error for most mortals

Soap Distant

The Big Kahuna (again!)
...also...does anyone have any recommendations on places to source luthiery tools? All I need is a dual scale neck straight-edge, a crowning file, some nut files, and a fret levelling beam.

There are plenty of cheap ones on Amazon, but most look like junk, and the ones from most supply stores are ridiculous prices. I realise they these are aimed at professional luthiers or guitar techs, who need something which will last years, over hundreds of setups, but they're overkill for someone who just needs to set up a handful of guitars.
You can get all of those relatively cheaply from Guitars & Woods. They have different sizes and types, but here are some examples:

Straight edge 500mm (they also have 300mm and 700mm) - these are aluminium and quite soft; I much prefer the one I got from Crimson Guitars, which is steel and therefore much harder and more resilient, but it's also more expensive. Both also do notched straight edges which are, if anything, more helpful for setups. If you want fret templates, G&W also has loads of those in acrylic and aluminium - here is an example of one of the acrylic ones which are cheaper; I have most of the aluminium ones.

Crowning file: that's their cheapest one which I haven't tried; they have a few others (mainly from Hosco). I mostly use this one although it's not terribly comfortable to use because it doesn't have a proper handle (they didn't have the other ones when I bought mine).

Nut files: this is always an expensive item. I have a set of old Crimson ones which are rubbish (they have new ones now which look better but I haven't tried them); I might stick this set in with my next G&W order.

Fret levellers: what I linked is a set of three but they sell them individually. If you only go for one, I'd probably plump for the middle one.

I am generally quite, um, careful with money (not to say tight!) but I've definitely found that going for the cheapest tools is often a mistake. There's a bit of an art to knowing where the best level is on the price/quality scale; all of the items I've linked above are ones that I've bought or would be happy to buy.


Stop, don’t, come back.
@Soap Distant

@GloopyJon has forgotten more than i'll know, but...

Crimson make great tools, but tend to be pricey. their wood stains are amazing - Yandle sell on their Amazon shop

Guitars and Woods are pretty decent - the ship from Portugal; they sell through Amazon, but you have to pay shipping per item. on their website is a single cost per multiple items

comparison of 16" fret leveling beam

Crimson - £29.95
G&W - €19.99 (transparency - this is the one i own, its great)

if you are doing fret work, these next 2 things are amazing - i own both and use them constantly

G&W fret bevelling block

Crimson fret rubbers

regarding Amazon - you are right to be wary. however, i have the following and they work fine

Multi function spanner

Notched straight edge with fret rocker - the rocker is more important in someways than the straight edge; this one is no longer on sale, but there are others by Ammoon, etc

neck rest

sandpaper - local DIY store will have most what you need, but if you need superfine grit this pack is great

buffing tool with pads - fits your drill

Meguiar's Ultimate - use this with the buffing pads above on your guitar body, or with small pieces of rag to help polish frets

howard feed and wax - far and away the best cleaner conditioner for non-maple boards

super glue and activator - in case you have a small accident

a digital caliper - always useful

tape - lots and lots of tape

also - have a look at some clamps - a couple of qick release ones to hold the neck firm on your workstation if you don't have a vice to avoid slippage/ etc