Gutted Strat

I partially disassembled my Fender Stratocaster in order to widen the frame where the twin pivot tremblock sits. The idea was to give the tremolo more room, so it bends upwards by at least 2 semitones. I am pleased to say that the procedure worked out without butchering the instrument (although minor injuries to the color coating took place). However – I find 11 gauge strings not to sound right on a Stratocaster, not to mention the amount of strength that needs to go into bending strings. I’m gonna have to resort to 10 gauge again. Physical power can be obtained by exercise. But the sound isn’t right.