Project Partsblaster!

Discussion in 'Other Cool Guitars' started by Sid Nitzerglobin, Apr 18, 2021.

  1. Sid Nitzerglobin

    Sid Nitzerglobin Country Gent

    Jun 8, 2015
    fROMOHIO
    I finally wound up deciding on a course of action for where to install the Fender CuNiFe pole WRHBs I ordered earlier in the week & just finished getting (hopefully) everything else I need for their soon to be home ordered.

    I'll start out w/ this unfinished, 3lb. 12oz., 3 piece black korina JM body from Warmoth:
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    I'm debating if I'll lightly dye it in brown first or do all the color w/ toner. I think I'll be shooting to take it towards a somewhat dark brown w/ enough red to complement the fretboard, but we'll see. Finish will be fairly thin lacquer w/ an as yet undetermined degree of gloss: I figure a glass finish would be great for clarity of the asymmetric grain that the body caught my eye w/in the first place, but I love the feel & glow of semi-gloss lacquer.

    Out of almost pure expediency I added one of their .09" thick matte black guards w/ no pickup routs since they don't allow for WRHB on their Jazzmaster bodies or guards for some reason... I don't particularly enjoy cutting pickup holes, but I figure I'll be able to put this together quicker in the end if I don't have to custom order a guard from some where else.

    JM necks that fit my preferred specs seem sort of scarce at the moment (along w/ JM bodies, JM parts, & complete JM guitars...) so I wound up taking a plunge on this US Fender replacement (stock photos I assume but I think I'd be pretty happy if it looked just like this):
    [​IMG]
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    It's 9.5" radius w/ 21 narrow tall frets & a "Mid '60s C Jazzmaster profile" & it comes w/ a slotted bone nut & vintage style Gotoh tuners installed. If I could have found an American Pro neck I'd have probably gone that route since I've liked them quite a bit when I've played them, but assuming it's well cured, the lacquer finish could be an upgrade for me & it looks like it should have just the right amount of vintage tint to me. I like the binding & vintage style tuners on this one too.

    It'll get an American Vintage tailpiece & arm w/ a black tip & a 9.5" radius StayTrem bridge w/ Fender thimbles.

    Pickups will be the aforementioned WRHBs. They seem like they were really going for a true reissue w/ these on paper & I'm excited to see how these compare to the others I've got. I hope they'll lean more toward super dynamic feel & somewhat lower output of the '78 I've got in the neck of the Booncaster but their published DCR & inductance numbers seem more on the hot side to me (?):
    https://shop.fender.com/en-US/parts/pickups-preamps/cunife-wide-range-humbucker/0992297002.html

    I'm planning to go w/ standard early '60s wiring w/ the likely addition of a DPDT mini-toggle blower switch located some where in the vicinity of the pots & jack:
    [​IMG]
    Not that it's likely necessary, but I'll probably use the set of brass shielding plates for the cavities I've had sitting around for a pretty long time w/ continuity leads to string ground & the shielding on the guard

    Seems like most of the bits will be here sometime this week aside from the body & guard. I'm hoping those will get here sometime in the next couple weeks so I can work on this while I'm off from the day job for 5 contiguous days the first week of May.

    I'll update as I make progress :) Thanks for taking a look!
     
  2. Stefan87

    Stefan87 Country Gent

    May 20, 2019
    Brisbane, Australia
    Nice, interested to see the final product.
     
    Sid Nitzerglobin likes this.
  3. Tony65x55

    Tony65x55 Gretschified

    Age:
    65
    Sep 23, 2011
    The 'Shwa, Ontario, Canada
    Very cool project Sid. I'm watching.

    Where did you get the CuNiFe humbuckers?
     
    Sid Nitzerglobin likes this.
  4. Sid Nitzerglobin

    Sid Nitzerglobin Country Gent

    Jun 8, 2015
    fROMOHIO
    Thanks, me too! ;)

    Thanks! I ordered them straight from Fender.
     
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  5. Merc

    Merc Country Gent

    May 6, 2017
    Florida
    Very cool Korina. I’m looking forward to seeing this one built. So I’m following too.
     
    Sid Nitzerglobin likes this.
  6. radd

    radd Country Gent

    Dec 27, 2017
    Santa Cruz
    Fun...

    Keep us posted
     
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  7. michelb

    michelb Synchromatic

    Age:
    30
    735
    Mar 27, 2020
    Belgium
    Is it "easy" with these guitars to adjust the trust rod? Not that it's something you need to do on a daily basis, but still.
    Looks like a nice project, keep us posted :D
     
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  8. Sid Nitzerglobin

    Sid Nitzerglobin Country Gent

    Jun 8, 2015
    fROMOHIO
    Thanks!
    Barring an access cutout in the end of the neck pocket & pickguard you take the neck off to make adjustments.

    Without that it not as convenient as the nut being at the headstock, but I don't find the vintage style setup to be too bad myself
     
    michelb likes this.
  9. Sid Nitzerglobin

    Sid Nitzerglobin Country Gent

    Jun 8, 2015
    fROMOHIO
    Started working on a template for the WRHB mounting holes in the guard:
    [​IMG]
    It seems weird that their footprint for the JM pickups is offset to the high side of the neck on the Warmoth guard template. I centered up the WRHB holes to what I'm expecting to be the center line of the neck on my edit but we'll see if the offset is needed. I can't think why it would be, it doesn't seem like they have the guard rotated in relation to the neck pocket.

    It seems kind of weird they don't include the guard screw or pot/switch/roller holes on their template either, but oh well...

    I think I'll go ahead w/ a layout of the wiring in DIYLC next.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2021
    Waxhead likes this.
  10. Sid Nitzerglobin

    Sid Nitzerglobin Country Gent

    Jun 8, 2015
    fROMOHIO
    Finished up a first draft of the wiring layout for this one:
    [​IMG]
    Rhythm circuit wiring is pretty convoluted... Hopefully I've got enough braided shielding wire & heat shrink tubing for the multiple long runs back & forth. I spent a few hours last night trying to come up w/ a simpler setup with the blower switch bypassing a whole lot of wire between the pickup leads & output jack instead of just the main controls & using the rhythm circuit controls as a set of individual volumes for the neck & bridge when engaged, but couldn't make it work w/ the DPDT slide switch.

    Also, the neck arrived a few minutes ago :) :
    [​IMG]
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    The pics have the tint looking a bit more yellow than my eyeballs do. It's got a very nice semi-gloss feel to the back of the neck w/o a trace of stickiness & I think the profile will work out nicely :D. The rosewood is a bit parched right out of the box but I think it'll wind up looking great when treated.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2021
    Archtops, Waxhead and Merc like this.
  11. Sid Nitzerglobin

    Sid Nitzerglobin Country Gent

    Jun 8, 2015
    fROMOHIO
    I did a bit more work on the guard template, comparing to vintage specs as well as my Lee Ranaldo Jazzblaster:
    [​IMG]
    It was useful to bring a scaled pic of the body (as well as the Decoboom vintage JM template) into the mix as it appears the guard itself is offset to the low side from the neck pocket.

    I also figured out that the Warmoth JM adds a fair amount to the distance between the bridge pickup & the bridge/saddles & I changed the bridge pickup positioning to match the .75" spacing from center of the bridge posts to the near edge of the pickup that my Lee Ranaldo has. Unfortunately Warmoth positions the low side rear corner guard screw hole in a kind of dumb place IMO (in addition to making some seemingly fairly arbitrary changes to shape & geometry in general), so I'm guessing I'll need to go full custom on the guard at some point if I'm to appease my OCD. I do appreciate not having to remove the bridge to pull the pickguard on their design functionally though.

    I received all of the hardware & wiring bits I still needed for this one this afternoon so now I'm down to waiting for the pickups, body, & guard.

    Edit: & ~15 minutes after I posted this I got ship notification from UPS on the body & guard w/ an ETA of next Tuesday :D
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2021
  12. Sid Nitzerglobin

    Sid Nitzerglobin Country Gent

    Jun 8, 2015
    fROMOHIO
    Fixed a mistake in my wiring layout (I had the input/output leads for the main vol/tone stack reversed :oops:) & tweaked a couple of other things for improved legibility:
    [​IMG]
    I think I'll find a suitable piece of cardboard to hold everything & go ahead & get started on the wiring over the weekend.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2021
    Merc likes this.
  13. hcsterg

    hcsterg Friend of Fred

    Feb 13, 2012
    France
    It looks like a fine project @Sid Nitzerglobin... :cool::cool::cool:

    I guess that you will leave that peculiar 2- tone Korina wood grain apparent under a transparent finish, right ? o_O

    A+!
     
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  14. Sid Nitzerglobin

    Sid Nitzerglobin Country Gent

    Jun 8, 2015
    fROMOHIO
    Thanks!

    Yeah, I'm planning to shoot for a somewhat dark brown transparent semi-gloss on the body. Sort of '70s Fender Mocha but slightly lighter & more transparent than where I landed w/ my Booncaster:
    [​IMG]
    The more I think about it the more I'm leaning toward dyeing the raw wood before I start w/ the lacquer in an effort to maintain as much transparency as I can. The brown toners I have on hand wind up getting sort of opaque the darker you go w/ them IME so far.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2021
    Waxhead, Merc, Stefan87 and 1 other person like this.
  15. Sid Nitzerglobin

    Sid Nitzerglobin Country Gent

    Jun 8, 2015
    fROMOHIO
    After a bit of discussion w/ my luthier friend last night I decided to order a few different cans of new brown toners so I've got some options to test out before I get started on finishing the actual body. Pickings seems pretty darn slim for anything promising that wouldn't have to ship across the Atlantic by boat, but I did manage to find a few lacquer toners from Mohawk to check out that should be here next Thursday. Hopefully I can locate some scraps or veneer of some wood species that will approximate the grain porousness & color of the korina locally (we were thinking some light basswood might be the best candidate if Rockler or Woodcraft happen to have any).

    The pickups were delivered today & I got everything mounted up to my cardboard guard stand in:
    [​IMG]
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    Seems like I've got a really good chance at everything fitting well once I cut the holes for the pickups & mini toggle in the guard from Warmoth & expand the pickup routs in the body per my plan :)

    Next up is wiring all this stuff up.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2021
    Ricochet, Merc and Stefan87 like this.
  16. Sid Nitzerglobin

    Sid Nitzerglobin Country Gent

    Jun 8, 2015
    fROMOHIO
    I wound up finishing the wiring of the guard today:
    [​IMG]
    Measured the DCR of the pickups before hooking them up:
    [​IMG]
    Bridge
    [​IMG]
    Neck

    I wound up audibling to a standard style vol/tone stack w/ 2 1M linear taper pots for the rhythm circuit, otherwise I stuck to my layout.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2021
  17. Sid Nitzerglobin

    Sid Nitzerglobin Country Gent

    Jun 8, 2015
    fROMOHIO
    The body has wound up needing a good bit of work to fit everything but I think I'm ~ 95% of the way to being ready to string this one up, set it up, tear it back down, finish the body, & put it back together:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2021
  18. Merc

    Merc Country Gent

    May 6, 2017
    Florida
    Wow, that feels like some fast work. It’s looking great mocked up in el’ natural. But I'm looking forward to seeing the finished body.
     
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  19. Stefan87

    Stefan87 Country Gent

    May 20, 2019
    Brisbane, Australia
    Great work Sid, I like the natural look actually, wiring looks very tidy.
     
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  20. Sid Nitzerglobin

    Sid Nitzerglobin Country Gent

    Jun 8, 2015
    fROMOHIO
    Thanks guys!

    Seeing pretty much the whole thing in person I am sorta torn about going much lighter on the toner & going for a "natural +", semi-caramel-ish kind of affair, but at the same time I think I'd really like the deep brown mocha if I can keep it transparent enough.

    My additional toner options came in yesterday so I cut up some sample strips from ash & maple I had on hand to do some experimentation w/ the toners before I get started spraying the body. I'm hoping to get started on that tonight after I get home from the shop if it's not too awfully late/I'm not too worn out. I'd really like to get the rest of necessary wood removal on the body finished, string it up & plug it in before I leave though...
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2021
    Merc likes this.
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