Separate names with a comma.
Discussion in 'Other Guitars' started by Birddog144, Jan 24, 2016.
Awesome looking projects! WB!
Did a little work on Bernadette today. Routed the body for the pickup, the volume pot, and the output jack. Drilled channels for the wiring and grounding, installed the string ferrules, and wiring. I didn't have a long shaft pot for the volume, so it will have to wait for that.
That is a nice rustic piece of art, love it!
It's done enough to play (still need strap buttons) and all I can say is HOLY SHI'ITE!!
With a brass nut, brass bridge and saddles, low-resistance humbucker (8.3KΩ), and a light weight pine body, this guitar rivals single coils in terms of being bright and jangly, but it is also full and rich. It is like no other guitar in my extensive collection. This thing sounds amazing. With a lot of reverb and a hint of delay, you could do surf music with it. With a bit of overdrive, it's a blues monster. Crank up some gain and it will rock the house down. Metal?... Nah, not this bad boy.
So I've cleaned up the mess in my shop from the last creation and started looking at my inventory of parts...... I have three necks in stock; an all-maple Squier Telecaster Custom neck with tuners, a Squier Affinity Jazzmaster rosewood neck with tuners, and a brand-new all birdseye maple paddlehead neck. I looked through my files, and I have *.pdf files of all the Fender headstock shapes. Hmmmmm..... I fired-up the bandsaw and the oscillating sander, dug up an appropriate decal, found some Grover tuners in the parts bin and an appropriate sized bone nut and Voilà!! I now have a new Stratocaster neck. I found the pickguard and trem cover from that MIM Strat I converted to a Gilmour Tribute model, a steel block tremolo bridge and arm in my parts bin, an uninstalled set of pots and a 5-way switch, and of course, a spare recessed Gilmour switch and bracket.. I'm using no-load pots with smooth shafts so I dug up three knobs with setscrews.
I think I've found an appropriate body and I'll post photos and details when I pull the trigger on it.
I'm thinking of buying this paulownia body:
I'll make the final decision in a couple of days. Paulownia is super-light, but it's pretty soft too. Fender used it on some models a while back and called it Empress wood.
OK boys and girls, I pulled the trigger on that featherweight body this morning. This is going to be a spec build and will go up on the auction block when done. Since Ken is so far behind, I'm going to try a set of Bootstrap '54 Vintage Sparkle pickups in this one.
While I'm waiting for all the parts to show up, I pulled out that Affinity Jazzmaster neck. Since I can't seem to leave well enough alone, I decided to roll the fretboard edges. Then I decided to take some steel wool to the fret ends. Well, one thing led to another and pretty soon I had the nut out and was re-cutting the nut slot to 0.125" instead of the undersized Affinity nuts.
I made some tooling to hold a neck in my milling machine and I don't think anyone here has seen it. I originally built it to install LSR nuts, but it works for any Fender nut slot, provided you have the appropriate sized mill.
Obviously, the following photos are not of the JM neck, but the process is the same, and the new bone nut fits with the same precision.
So here's the Affinity Jazzmaster neck now. It has a really nice, really dark, pre-ban rosewood board. I didn't really care for the all-black headstock graphics of the Affinity Series, so I put my own decal on it. I've put "Fender" decals on Fender authorized necks and certain virgin no-name necks (provided they are of good quality like the birdseye one above) that I've reworked, but I will never put one on a Squier neck. That's just wrong in my book.
That's some pretty slick work there @Birddog144
The right tool for the right job! LSR roller nuts are great … nice choice.
Actually that was a customer's neck from his $1500 (retail, new) Double Cut Telecaster. Take a close look at the fret ends: I've seen better work on a Classic Vibe Strat. Somewhere on this forum there's a thread arguing why an MIA Fender is "better" than an Asian-made Squier. Go figure.....
Back to the Paulownia Strat...... The truss rod adjustment is at the heel of the neck I'm using, so I plan to make it accessible through the pickup cavity to avoid the hassle of removing the neck to make that adjustment. Since it will be necessary to remove the pickguard assembly to do this, I have installed gold-plated, polarized Sub-D connectors in the output and ground leads to make it easy to remove and replace the pickguard in order to facilitate super-convenient truss rod adjustments.
I have wired the bridge pickup to its own tone pot with a 0.033uF PIO tone cap with the neck and middle pickup sharing a tone pot with a 0.022uF PIO tone cap. Both tone pots are "No-Load" which effectively removes the tone caps from the circuit when dialed to "Maximum". This will add increased sparkle and chime. The Gilmour switch bracket eliminates the need for a ground wire connecting the volume pot to the first tone pot.
I had been communicating with a guy here in California that makes pine Jazzcaster bodies on his CNC machine. I originally wanted one he was making that would mate up with a Warmoth pickguard I have on hand from a prior build I did a few years back, but he changed the design such that it wouldn't work with my pickguard. Well, he contacted me last night and informed me of version 3.0 of his bodies that go back to the original configuration that will work with my pickguard, AND offered a body at 30% off his already reasonable price.
How could I refuse that deal? So in addition to a loaded neck and pickguard that will work, I have a no longer available custom-made stainless steel bridge with compensated brass saddles, a matching stainless steel control plate, an Electrosocket jack, a complete 4-way switching kit, and a pair of Marvel straplocks; all of which are brand new and still in their respective bags.
Now I abhor the practice of putting a Fender decal on a Squier neck, but if I personally re-work the neck to my standards, I have no such qualms about putting MY name on it.
So it looks like there will be back-to-back builds coming from Birddog's Custom Shop. Stay tuned......
Here's the Jazzcaster body. I may put a forearm cut on it to make it more comfortable to play. I'm going to do the same Shou Sugi Ban finish I did in that Telecaster several posts above.
I like how he started the holes for the string-thru body but left the final decision to the builder. Nice touch!
Well, the brown truck showed up with the Strat body. Jeeze, this thing is ridiculously light. I've played heavier air guitars.
I'm not 100% certain I'm going to use that black pickguard. The mailman is supposed to deliver a gold anodized one in a couple of hours....... I'll post a photo of that when it arrives and make the final decision then.
Great color, congrats.
Cherry burst with gold anodized, yum. Can't wait to see it.
Now I'm anxiously waiting for your mailman too!
Show me the GOLD!
I just checked my tracking number........ It might not arrive until tomorrow. The mailman us usually here by now so I'm getting impatient...