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2x4 Art Deco Jazzmaster


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This is my first build and has been a project on and off the past year. It's been more of an experimentation of style and mechanics rather than a set plan. So lots of attempts at things and then redo, redo, redo, etc.

Artistically it evolved into something that, to me at least, brings the America of 1930's together. Earthy farmer worn to the raw bone dressed in the niceties of the gilded art-deco of 1930s refinement. Something akin to a Chicago barren that has achieved his version of the American dream.

For the pickups I decided to hide the Jazzmaster in the neck position and only have the Filtertron showing. I gave the Jazzmaster pickup adjustable pole pieces and move the TVJones Filtertron up a bit from the bridge. This was done to give the guitar a visual center of focus. 

The thumb wheels in the upper horn are micro pots to help save some weight. They control the volume in the neck pickup and tone for both pickups. The chick-head nobs control the volume of the Filtertron and are two blender channels. Thanks to those who came up with this suggestion on this page.

The pickup selector is hidden in the lower horn sound hole. This double pole switch selects which blender pot will be in use. As such the guitar switch does not have a middle position. When playing you are either in rhythm or lead mode. My concept for this was to prevent the player from accidentally switching to the wrong pickup setting. My hope was that this would make switching pickups fast and without the need to look down at the guitar.Photos.app.zip








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I don't know what a Chicago Barron is , but it could be a farmer who struck oil on his land and is really enjoying his new riches, as in new oil money, Beverly Hillbilly style. Is the gold on the back of the neck inlaid or decals?

I think it's a great first build.

How well does it play?


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The gold on the back of the neck is actually a stencil I made with frog tape and a laser cutter. Used spray paint on it and the pick-guard. Lots of poly on both to protect them.

Plays great. Meant to be my guitar so I did what ever was going to work best for me.. The neck was too thin so I added veneer to it (first picture with yellow cord.) Then reshaped it to match my Gretsch that I love. The E string on the high end is a little too close to the edge of the fretboard for my liking. I want to move the neck to the right/down a bit. Not sure how to do that and keep a flat surface in the neck pocket. Maybe the think to do is just shave it off the guitar neck heel. Then shim the left/top side of the guitar neck?

Last question. I decided to use linseed oil on the frets instead of lacquer. I like it this way in that it doesn't create a slick surface. On the lacquer surface my fingers would slide sideways pushing the notes out of tune. Kind of a fat guy on ice problem. The neck feels great now, but shows the dirt. Not a problem in that its my guitar and who cares.

But know of any way to keep it a light colored neck and not be slippery? Maybe poly or urethane would be better for me than lacquer? 

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