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My idea is to build a jazzmaster with 2 high output GFS PAT black pickups, a black pickguard, a chrome tremelo or a hardtail bridge, and a bolt on neck with a firebird style headstock. The finish will be either black or a sunburst.

Would this be an worthwhile idea or should I just stick with the les paul style body and mail my brain to the loony bin?

Edited by PunkRockerLuke
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To me, the whole point of building a custom guitar is to #1: build an instrument that fits your hands like gloves, and/or #2: to build something you can't find anywhere else.

If the guitar you imagine is the one you really want, who cares what anyone else thinks? There are certain paint & hardware color schemes that definitely go well together, but after that (body shape, headstock shape, pickups, whatever) its pretty much up to you.

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OK then!! Does anyone have or know where I can get a jazzmaster template???

[dude]

There's this search engine on the internet, it's called "Google". You can type in words like "jazzmaster template" and it will try to find websites where they have such things. I've heard its pretty good. I bet you'll find one. Maybe third from the top.

[/dude]

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Have a look here: [url=http://www.fender.com/support/diagrams/pdf_temp1/other/0100800A/0100800APg1.pdf

The drawing is in PDF format but can be easily converted to CAD format and scaled accordingly.

Keith

Edited by KeithHowell
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there is nothing about it that wont work so why the hell not!!

Although there are certain things that just don't "look right". The SG that Gibson is putting out right now with 3 singles, for example. Or of someone male a Les Paul with a Tele setup.

No, I'm not saying we can't do what we want. Guitar design is limited only by or imagination. Go for it. A jazzmaster with 2 HBs would be great. With the traditional number of knobs & switches on them, you could have it wired up just crazy and it's still look like it belonged.

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there is nothing about it that wont work so why the hell not!!

Oh really now? Coming from such an esteemed builder such as yourself, that answer is almost flippantly abrupt and meaningless in content. :D

Actually, there -are- important details that need to be addressed if you want a quality instrument as the end product of all your hard work and planning and not just some lame 'parts guitar'.

Namely, I think Jazzmasters were, for the most part, 'pancake' bodies (flat), and I'm going to guess around 1 1/2" thick?

Also, I believe the Firebird headstocks were NOT angled? (You spoke of adding a tremolo, I imagine you would like it to stay in tune?)

Whether I'm right or wrong makes no difference, it's YOU who need to be looking at all of these issues if you actually want to build this instrument.

ANYONE can come in here (and they do, all the time) and say 'hey fellas, I want to build xxx body with an xxx neck and xxx pickups and xxx bridge, will that be cool or what?

If you actually want a serious answer, then I take it you are actually serious about this design, which means you will research it out seriously and not wait for us to spoonfeed you all the answers to all the issues that you are going to run into with a design like this.

So, have you plotted all the parameters out?

I mean, you're asking us if it's a good idea...I would just turn around and ask YOU if it's a good idea, it's going to be your guitar, not mine. If you care about building a super-nice guitar (and I ALWAYS care that much), then where is your thinking, where are your plans, where are YOUR thoughts on all the issues to be dealt with?

You HAVE given it some thought before you popped in here asking us what we thought about it, haven't you?

Issues:

The presentation of the neck to the bridge

The final height the neck sits off the body

The final depth of your neck pocket.

The type of pickup installation used to make sure that whatever the final height your strings are, that your pickups will be properly adjustable up to that height.

Some woods work better for P-90's than others

Some woods work better with high output HB's than others

Some woods work better with bolt-on necks than others

Some bridges are better suited for HB's than other bridges (string spacing-wise)

There is a BOATLOAD of things that need to be considered if your serious about building this.

Make the pocket too deep, not much supporting wood underneath (especially for a tremolo)

Make the pocket too shallow, and the (standard) neck sits far too high off the body, and will look very cheap and amateurish like a lot of cheap old import guitars from the '60's looked (unless you like that look, then nevermind).

Make the pocket (or neck heel) angled, you can sit the neck deeper and it will look closer to 'normal' by the end.

This could give you a better break angle if you decided to use a TOM instead of the tremolo

Make the body thicker (1 3/4"), and it no longer looks or feels like a proper Jazzmaster (if they were indeed 1 1/2").

You need to be acutely aware of exactly what bridge you are going to use beforehand, it will be your deciding factor as to what you do with the neck/pocket, you can't just change your mind in midstream.

Up to you to figure out how you want to go about solving the problem, and what will be an acceptable looking guitar in the end to you, there are numerous ways to solve the issue, but it all depends on your decisions about body/neck/hardware.

Which goes back to the old saying that you can't build a guitar until you have the parts FIRST.

And you can't buy the parts until you have a PLAN.

And you don't have a plan until you have done all the THINKING first, covering all the BASES.

:D

The building of a guitar involves constructing the instrument so that all the parts chosen all play very nicely together.

If you don't have research, a plan, and parts picked out first and are still 'just thinking about it', you can't build no steenkin' guitar.

You can talk about it, but you can't build one.

...at least not a high caliber one... :rolleyes

I guess what I'm trying to say is that really, you can build just about anything with any parts these days, there's very little you CAN'T do, but you can only see it thru if you take the time to think it out beforehand, you have to spend the time yourself plotting it out, you only get out of it what you put into it.

When I build a guitar, you would probably be amazed at how much time goes into THINKING everything out before I ever pick up a tool or a piece of wood, and you need to do the same, not just pop a thread up asking if it can be done, because really, almost anything CAN be done these days, it's a matter of YOU making it happen, which involves you sitting down, amassing all your ideas, thinking about how they will all interact, piece by piece, and maybe drawing it all out to formulate your own plan.

THEN, if you come to a stumbling block somewhere, maybe two pieces of hardware or a neck angle you can't figure out, then you start a thread and ask how to solve that problem.

That is how you make things -really- happen. B)

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When I build a guitar, you would probably be amazed at how much time goes into THINKING everything out before I ever pick up a tool or a piece of wood, and you need to do the same...That is how you make things -really- happen. :D

Word.

On my 8-stringer with the fanned frets, it took an entire Saturday to calculate all the X-Y coordinates of the fret ends, check my math, draw it up in CAD, print out the fret slot template, and measure the hell out of it to make sure it was accurate.

How long did it take me to actually cut the slots? Maybe 45 minutes.

How's the intonation? Wonderful... :D

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there is nothing about it that wont work so why the hell not!!

Oh really now? Coming from such an esteemed builder such as yourself, that answer is almost flippantly abrupt and meaningless in content. :D

happy new year Drak :D

If you actually want a serious answer, then I take it you are actually serious about this design, which means you will research it out seriously and not wait for us to spoonfeed you all the answers to all the issues that you are going to run into with a design like this.

So, have you plotted all the parameters out?

I mean, you're asking us if it's a good idea...I would just turn around and ask YOU if it's a good idea, it's going to be your guitar, not mine. If you care about building a super-nice guitar (and I ALWAYS care that much), then where is your thinking, where are your plans, where are YOUR thoughts on all the issues to be dealt with?

all good points. Its kind of the same reason i was abrupt - its not for me to tell these people that a design wont work or shouldnt be done... or even has to be done a certain way. I saw nothing that difficult or unusual in the design proposal. its a bolt on neck guitar with two humbuckers, possibly with a trem and a six a side headstock. fairly standard stuff, or am i missing something that makes this a more difficult proposition!!!

i assume Punkrockerluke is first going to decide how he wants to contruct it, do a hell of a lot of research into how to construct it, then maybe ask questions about specific ways to do specific tasks

maybe i would give more indepth answers to more specific problems, but i dont see any here.... yet!!

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happy new year Drak party.gif

Back atcha, hope you have a wonderful year! :D

its not for me to tell these people that a design wont work or shouldnt be done... or even has to be done a certain way. I saw nothing that difficult or unusual in the design proposal. its a bolt on neck guitar with two humbuckers, possibly with a trem and a six a side headstock. fairly standard stuff, or am i missing something that makes this a more difficult proposition!!!

I think you would be missing everything I just posted that would be important information for someone who gave no specific details, leading me to assume that they may very well not know any of those issues or the seriousness of them.

...If it's not for you to tell, an experienced builder who should know and understand all the issues, who then should respond?

Why bother to post a response at all then really, if you don't want or feel like taking the time to type out a proper response instructing someone as to how to go about a successful build then, was that not exactly what they were asking of us? :D

Maybe you are missing the point of looking at a situation from the OP's shoes, not your own.

If they knew the answer, I would assume they wouldn't bother asking the question in the first place?

When someone asks a question like this one, ...I take it as a serious question, and it deserves a serious reply if I have the information they asked for...as if they were actually going to DO it...do you assume something else?

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Well drak I have two things to say.

First good point. Second I should've mentioned I'd still use the original trem found on a jazzmaster.

I have the top half of my body already. It's pine. I'll probably get some alder for the bottom

Edited by PunkRockerLuke
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+1 on everything you said Drak.

I finished my second build in August, and I was already thinking about the third. As of yesterday, I finally pulled the trigger on my parts order. I've been working out problems that I WILL run into along the way. I'm still not ready to start the build, no time to dedicate to it, and all of my problems have not been worked out as of yet, but I'm close.

Once the parts O' plenty get here, I'll start working harder on my plan so when I have the time, I'll be ready.

Thinking about and working out the problems before hand makes it so much easier... and cheaper. It's always better to work out the problem before cutting wood. You can always cut or shave a bit more off, but it's hard as hell to put it back on!

Peace out, and have a great New Year. Stay sober

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ok, lets respond properly to the original post since drak is obviously not happy with my posts so far.

Would this be an worthwhile idea or should I just stick with the les paul style body and mail my brain to the loony bin?

yes, its a worth while idea. yes, it might actually be a guitar that appeals to my PERSONAL tastes.

yes it will work.... as long as you do the relevant research about each aspect of the design so as you are able to pull it off. I dont mind if you ask questions about each element but it would be helpfulll if you asked directed questions

personally i think draks first response borders on spoon feeding but if its helpfull to you it dont really matter. There are a lot of things that may seem obvious to anyone who hangs around these forums a lot but it is ok to assume you havnt read the stuff around here or used the search function... i suggest you do because there is a lot of usefull information that will help you.. and since you are basically building a fender style guitar there are loads of resources on the web that will help you. there are so many strat build tutorials out there i am sure you can use that information to get the guitar you want - after all its only a few details that are different and it is quite a standard idea you are going for

i must admit i am a bit fed up with drak saying things like

Coming from such an esteemed builder such as yourself

and

If it's not for you to tell, an experienced builder who should know and understand all the issues, who then should respond

its not quite as bad as the times he has spent insulting my spelling and grammer but i have always been completely honest about my skill level, i have never claimed to be an esteemed or experienced luthier... those are words drak says about me.... if he has problems of my work i invite him to openly criticise them in my threads rather than carry on with this stupid game, i must admit i have problems with my work and i think i am a bit **** but then my customers tell me i am being far too hard.... then they still pay me the money i ask and i still feel i am robbing them... and more importantly they still feel i am robbing them!!! (lol - thats what happens when i write posts at 5 am on new years day.. the last part of that sentence should read that they still think they are robbing me!!!)

it almost feels like drak is trying to start a game of chess on his own terms that he will obviously win. First he states that i am an esteemed builder then he jumps in with critiques of my advise. I think he he expects me to respond by saying how good i really am - thats not something i do... i just post what i build, which isnt always perfect and i have always been willing to admit that.

yes, i try to give advice

yes, i try to be helpfull

no, i dont claim to be an authority

no, i dont claim to know the best way of doing things

no, i dont claim to build perfect guitars

and i certainly dont try to impose my viewpoints on people that they wont suit

punkrockerluke - asked if it was a crazy idea he should abandon. my answer is no.. its actually a good idea. draks answer contained a lot more usefull info you should consider but personally i presumed you would have researched most of the things he mentioned anyway... you might not have but that would be your own personal folly...

he assumes there are certain parts of a jazzmaster and firebird design you dont know..... so lets give you a few helpfull points.

the body will be 1 3/4" thick - choose whatever wood you want but personally i would avoid mahogany and go for something like alder or basswood if you are going for high output pickups. You can read all about what woods will be usefull for high output pickups by using google or the search function on this site

A firebird by gibson has an angled 6 a side headstock... you can choose whether you want to do it angle or flat like a fender. Possibly easier to do the fender method but a spliced headstock isnt that hard if you want an angled one. if you go for a flat headstock, unless you use something like staggered sperzel machineheads you will need string trees

that brings us onto the trem, i try to avoid string trees at all costs because i see them as snagging points... when you use a trem all snagging points should be avoided. so if you are going for a trem personally i would be tempted to angle the headstock by at least 10 degrees or use stagggered locking tuners ( makes the nut more of a snagging poing but removes the string trees from the equation). if you have a jazzmaster trem already the importantt dimensions you need to help you are the bridge height.... draw it all out and plan accurately as drak suggests, the side view is possibly more important than the fornt view at this stage. when calculating the neck angle you work it out just as you would doing a strat clone (covered by many tutorials... and possibly not the point of this thread).. the jazzmaster bridge may require more of a neck angle, you work that out from all the accurate drawings you would do before hand whilst you have all the hardware available. You can either route a flat neck pocket cavity and put an angle on the base of the neck (and sides for a really tight fit), or you can make a neck pocket cavity with an angled base to fit the neck angle and make the neck to fit.... these decisions come down to you doing you research an deciding what method will work for you with the tools you have available

Drak is certainly not wrong in any of the advice he has given you. His responses to posts recently have been very helpfull....but i must admit a bit of dissapointment that he has decided to start up his old tricks again... he seems to be back to criticising everything said by people he disagrees with with... luckily in this case he followed it up with som extremely helpfull advice.

me and drak to not approach this business in the same way. I have made many imperfect guitars along the way and have come to an approach thats suits me for the time being, but i appreciate i still have a lot to learn... i havnt made an benedetto style archtop yet have i and untill i do, and i am happy with it i will not claim to be the authority on anything ... I am willing to admit that. That will be where you see the main difference between me and drak. not everything i build and finish is perfect because i am fully aware there are still people doing things better than me... I am aware that i am more critical than most of the people that approach me asking for guitars to be built... I even had a guitar collector around recently who used to run a music shop and curently is living in new york with over 150 guitars including a heavily modifeld 1953 LP that recently featured on the cover of a US guitar magazine as well as many pre 70's guitars. he came into full contact with my obsessive nature about my guitars but still felt the one guitar i would WOD could still be sold as it was a very nice piece of kit regardless of whether it had some cosmetic flaws... he was one of the people that didnt understand that i couldnt let it go because the imperfections would bug me... i still want to wod it - but i am aware i would WOD a lot of stuff it people didnt keep buying the buggers.

I suppose that is the only claim to expertise i could make in the way drak keeps implying i do... i get a few people a year at the moment that are serious enough about me that they want to pay for my guitars........ yeah, great stuff... i also gett a few people a week who thing they are going to get a cheap guitars and never follow through with the quote

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oh, luke... if you still want help with your school project just email the questions.... as i said., i dont consider myself a pro in the way the other 'esteemed' guitar builders i appreciate might.... thats always something i am quite open about... but it doesnt mean i aint willing to help!!!

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you would probably be amazed at how much time goes into THINKING everything out before I ever pick up a tool or a piece of wood

Took me 8 mos. just to decide what SHAPE to make my next guitar, the rest should / will / better :D fall into place. Gonna be a Jass Master-ish shape one-off in mahogany, holly and purple heart.

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I think he he expects me to respond by saying how good i really am

Not at all, this is real simple stuff.

If you're going to post, give good advice, and stay on topic.

Quick overview:

1) You start out by giving no real advice at all.

2) You corrupt the thread with a verbal onslaught of personal paranoia

Do you see any point where you might be able to:

1) Give freely of your experience with specific solid advice

2) Keep your personal issues under your own hat

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ok drak, i reckon i am going to avoid this kind of BS for 2008.... lifes just to short and it never really goes anywhere does it? So i will try to stay out of these things. cant promise i will manage it and i may get sucked back in...fully aware of how hypocritical that will be!!

you might be right, i suppose i do have some personal paranoia issues when it comes to my guitars... dont think thats a bad thing though

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Agreed. :D

You build beautiful guitars Wez and do some very nice work.

You like to build out of many of the same materials I myself love to work with, burls and spalt to name but two, and I voted for your burled guitar in the GOTM some time ago.

I would have said the same thing to any veteran builder no matter who posted it btw. :D

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I would have said the same thing to any veteran builder no matter who posted it btw. B)

Actually, I thought the real joke was that you typed out this huge long novel of a post in response to....punkrockerluke...have a look through his post history...he probably didn't read more than the first word or two... :D:D

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Last time I looked this is a forum....Anyone can answer the way they like,short of being totaly rude.The pro guitar builders I know ,really dislike someone wanting a custom guitar ,and then asking the builder what would you do?It's their guitar ,they should know what they want,and if something won't work ,the builder will let them know.Then make a comment as how to move forward.I know builders that have given someone their guitar back ,because they would not listen to reason.The builder would not put their name on it for any price.( really bad design kind of thing )

By the way Wes V I like your builds and your relaxed approch to your builds and advice,It's a take it or leave it world anyway.When Tom Anderson or Gene Baker come in here and give advice,I'll set up streight and read every word.

I break all the rules on building....I would not know how to do it any other way.I can not just build a clone,it's been done to death.

punkrockerluke,your idea will work ,you just have to be able to pull it off.If you understand the full concept of a full set up,you will be able to make it happen.Knowing what hardware your going to use is a big part of the final outcome.That and take your time don't rush it.

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While I would agree with most of that, the distinction I always try to make is that I post not only speaking to the OP, but also speaking to the many people who come in here and search for particular things later on down the road, maybe 2-4 years down the road.

In other words, I try to make my answers fit a broad barn 'hit' as well as the specific bullseye.

If you ever sit at the Index and watch how many guests float in here and use the search function, you might get a clue. There's more going on here than meets the eye, even if that eye is reading the main forums everyday.

This philosophy is exactly in line with the many 'stickies' I see on lots of other forums where they are trying their best to keep the informational threads 'bundled' nicely for future reference' sake by requesting that thread titles be kept very specific, it's for the same reason, they're trying to control or manipulate what happens today to be more presentable (= more helpful = more packagable) for the new guys coming in 2-3 years from now who will be asked to search first to find their answers.

How can a MOD or an Administrator point a newb to the SEARCH engine when they know their search database is full of personal diatribes and thread hijacks and full of other skullduggery...

I just try and keep it as clear and concise as I can for the same reason, not for my own sake so much.

It's mainly for Brians' and the MODS who have to clean it all up before it's presentable for searching status and the hungry newbs coming down the road.

Any forum's search database is a very important function, and it is grown by what we do here everyday, by Thread Titles, by how we ask questions, and how we answer them.

So I alter my answers in the exact same way, that the information I give to Luke, someone else doing a search a year from now will easily uncover a few facts that he/she would not have known to even ask yet, that is the beauty of forum searching, when you hit posts that not ony answer your question, but either answer or raise the next few that you didn't even know to ask yet.

I call that thinking ahead and have altered my posting style to include broad barn answers for the future newbs, but also answers specific questions raised by the OP, whether the OP acts on it or not, futute people reading it can and will act on it, and I may never know anything about it.

Posting this way, AFAIC, is as good as any donation, maybe better even. It's helping the future of PG by offering specific, better, more complete answers that are directly tied to the OP question.

So you are:

Offering much more specific answers (good for today and next year also)

By yourself sticking to the topic at hand and not letting the thread waunder or hijack, you are keeping the thread 'tidy'

for future generations (and believe me, they will come, and they will search)

You will find yourself typing out far more extensive answers and not judging how much time you should spend answering by how 'good' the OP is.

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While I would agree with most of that, the distinction I always try to make is that I post not only speaking to the OP, but also speaking to the many people who come in here and search for particular things later on down the road, maybe 2-4 years down the road.

In other words, I try to make my answers fit a broad barn 'hit' as well as the specific bullseye.

If you ever sit at the Index and watch how many guests float in here and use the search function, you might get a clue. There's more going on here than meets the eye, even if that eye is reading the main forums everyday.

This philosophy is exactly in line with the many 'stickies' I see on lots of other forums where they are trying their best to keep the informational threads 'bundled' nicely for future reference' sake by requesting that thread titles be kept very specific, it's for the same reason, they're trying to control or manipulate what happens today to be more presentable (= more helpful = more packagable) for the new guys coming in 2-3 years from now who will be asked to search first to find their answers.

How can a MOD or an Administrator point a newb to the SEARCH engine when they know their search database is full of personal diatribes and thread hijacks and full of other skullduggery...

I just try and keep it as clear and concise as I can for the same reason, not for my own sake so much.

It's mainly for Brians' and the MODS who have to clean it all up before it's presentable for searching status and the hungry newbs coming down the road.

Any forum's search database is a very important function, and it is grown by what we do here everyday, by Thread Titles, by how we ask questions, and how we answer them.

So I alter my answers in the exact same way, that the information I give to Luke, someone else doing a search a year from now will easily uncover a few facts that he/she would not have known to even ask yet, that is the beauty of forum searching, when you hit posts that not ony answer your question, but either answer or raise the next few that you didn't even know to ask yet.

I call that thinking ahead and have altered my posting style to include broad barn answers for the future newbs, but also answers specific questions raised by the OP, whether the OP acts on it or not, futute people reading it can and will act on it, and I may never know anything about it.

Posting this way, AFAIC, is as good as any donation, maybe better even. It's helping the future of PG by offering specific, better, more complete answers that are directly tied to the OP question.

So you are:

Offering much more specific answers (good for today and next year also)

By yourself sticking to the topic at hand and not letting the thread waunder or hijack, you are keeping the thread 'tidy'

for future generations (and believe me, they will come, and they will search)

You will find yourself typing out far more extensive answers and not judging how much time you should spend answering by how 'good' the OP is.

I agree with you on all points,how ever it will go down much better if you do not point anyone out personaly for not having your philosophy.

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