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About Garagetone

  • Birthday 01/01/1970

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  1. Demo here. I could have sat and strummed through a bunch of clean chords, but that's not what this guitar was made to do The guitar is running straight into my Boss BR1600, and out some computer speakers. I tried to record this using a Swollen Pickle into a mid-70's Musicmaster combo, but the camera just picked up a lot of noise. Yeah, I'm humming and whistling while I'm operating the br1600... I don't know why I did that, it just came out. Along with a brief complaint about the Jazzmaster bridge, which shifts all over the place while I'm playing. I needed to re-adjust the string height after every few minutes. Time for loc tite. anyways, you know I ramble... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nZL1LP6raUI http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nZL1LP6raUI http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nZL1LP6raUI http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nZL1LP6raUI http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nZL1LP6raUI http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nZL1LP6raUI http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nZL1LP6raUI http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nZL1LP6raUI
  2. Here are the stats all in one place (and prices I paid, if you care to know) 1 piece poplar body ($11, Ganahl Lumber) 25.5" scale Mighty Mite CBS neck, headstock trimmed to resemble a Jazzmaster neck ($94, eBay) AVRI Jazzmaster pickups (traded an alder mustang body for them, OSG member) Jazzmaster bridge ($15, OSG member) Allparts trem ($32, eBay) Parts drawer dwellers tuning machines (Does anyone EVER pay for these? I think they just appear where junk is cluttered) Mustang-like knobs ($2, Radioshack) Mustang control plate ($6, eBay) "premium" pots and switches from Dragonfire ($26, eBay) I plan to replace the trem with at least a CIJ, if not AVRI... And I have a set of Klusons I would have put on here, but they have plastic buttons that are too white next to the other accessories, and I'd have to plug then re-drill the holes (and I'm lazy), but it'll happen soon enough... I still want to take another stab at the pickguard, to fit a little nicer, but I honestly thought about leaving it pickguard-free for a while... I think I'll buy a Warmoth pickguard and see if they'll omit the pickup holes and switches, then cut them myself...
  3. Finished this beast. Well, enough to play it and have a laundry list of things I'd like to fix eventually... I had the pieces assebled for a few days, to keep my "shop" neater while I was waiting for the rest of my parts to show up. When I peeled off my rear-painted pickguard, the paint stuck to the body. Faaack... The body and pickguard had been sitting apart for 2 weeks drying and curing before I screwed them together, so I thought it wouldn't so that... Oh well. I didn't want to wait for the pickguard debacle to be solved, so I threw the guitar together like this, so I could get all the kinks with the setup ironed out before the final assembly. I've sold a few bodies where I forgot to drill a hole or two... I don't know why I skip that part so much; this is when I realized I needed to drill a hole from the pickup cavities to the control cavity Thanks to donations from this guy, all the wiring in this thing is super old, and cloth-wrapped. I had to sort through a lot of crusty wire to get to the good stuff. I also left the extra length on the pickup leads, as I don't ever know if they'll be transplanted to another project later on... I was going to malke a new guard, but ended up just repainting this one. It was 1/10 the amount of work, and is good enough for me. I don't even care that much that the pickguard doesn't fit the body perfectly; neither does Fender's Jag Stang... Here is the finished product. I'll take better pics soon, when it stops raining. I made a video, and am currently uploading it to youtube. I'll post the link as soon as it's done. Thanks!
  4. Oh... I'm gonna hold off on the good stuff until the project is finished Just keep watching the thread!
  5. Got a little bit of work done the past few days... Jig sawed the body. Then flush trimmed it to the router template. It worked well at first. I dropped it. At lest it hit the waste part of the blank. Then I ripped out a chunk of the side. This project taught me that not only will teak crack and split very easily, it will dull your tools, and create a gnarly mustard gas while you work with it. Teak is blackballed from my garage now. But the rest of the edges were perfect. So I had to amputate the screwed up edge with the table saw. and hit it with the jack plane a few times to make it level. I used some of the poplar I had trimmed off of the top of the waist and set it up to dry over night. The next day I trimmed the new edge with a jig saw and got at the body with a spindle sander. When the edges were all good and smooth I hit it with the roundover bit. All the cavities were hogged out with a forstner bit. I melted my bit on the teak. I hate that wood... Then they were cleaned up with the same router bit I used for the edges of the body, and my badass solid, sturdy templates... Everything is looking pretty clean now. I just need to contour the body and it'll be ready to go.
  6. I read an interview with Billy where he mentioned that his first guitar was a Mustang. It's weird to actually see it though. I've seen Thurston Moore use a short scale guitar too, and on both of these TALL d00ds it looks weird. I read somewhere that Billy started the pumpkins with an idea to merge The Cure with early Black Sabbath... I don't know if I heard from a reliable source, but I've always thought it sounded like an accurate description... PS Billy corgan is my hero and I have lyrics from Luna tattooed accross my chest... Obsessed puts it lightly. I bought, sold, and traded so much gear trying to get my guitar to sound like Billy's... and how much does it suck tat Jessica Simpson dating him brings about so many negative comments about the d00d in all those tabloids? He's better-looking than the last guys she dated...
  7. The whole place had an unwelcoming vibe. I felt like I was trying to get in here: I can't wait til my badassness reaches neck-building levels...
  8. Growing up in Corona, I've always known of kids who had family working at the Fender factory. There was a little gangster I had some classes with in high school who always had Fender sweaters and 3-ring notebooks. Turned out his mom and 13 of his cousins worked there. From what I've gathered, they watch their employees like a hawk. They have barbed wire around the dumpsters, and I've also heard that they completely destroy their blems... But I cut a guys hair who's dad has been a custom builder for 30 years, and is supposed to be a big shot for Fender. Oh yeah, I don't know if I mentioned on this forum yet, that I'm a hair cutter. I meet a lot of cool people through doing that. I have a client who owns an autobody shop, and has offered to spray guitars for me (but I don't want to bug him). ps: http://www.myspace.com/andrewdoeshair
  9. Hey! Time for another lame thread by Garagetone. Somebody please just tell me to shut up when I've posted too much here... Anyways, I guess I'll start at the begining of the day, since I've been wanting to share with you guys the greatness that is living walking distance from the Fender Factory in Corona... I woke up with one plan today; build guitars. My Jazz Stang is 95% complete, and just needed some final touches. A basswood Jag Stang for a fellow member just needs the roundover bit and some contouring with a spokeshave. The second attempt at a laminated comp stripe was glued but not planed, and was in 2 pieces that needed joining... But it all suddenly felt like work. So I went out to run errands and get fresh air. I decided I'd get a closer look at the factory I've ignored my whole life (yeah, even though I've been playing guitar since I was 11). It always just seemed like it would be a giant tease to even know what happened in this personalized version of Wonka's factory... So I headed over there to see what I could see. The landscaping and architecture was designed to induce lust in guitarists. The closer you get to the custom shop, the more they lay it on. I'm sure this had plants growing in it during better times? Even the fence posts had chrome headstocks on top. These headstocks were like 12 feet high... Just before security yelled at me and sent me on my way, I saw a GIANT dumpster full of discarded cut blanks. I'll try to get the pic next time. I'm talking about like 1000 bodies... I assume they sell the scrap wood for whatever, mulch or something... So that's what it's like living in Corona. I'll take pics of the Fender museum next time. I think they have one of Kurts guitars in there... After I left the factory, I decided to go shoot the sh*t with other manly people at the lumber yard. When I was in there rifling through stacks of hardwood, I found a 2"x2"x8' length of teak in the midst of much meatier pieces. "How much for the splinter of teak?" I asked the one person I always go out of my way to deal with. He gives it to me for $5.00! I took it home and cut it into 2' lengths, and I gathered all the rest of my scrap pieces for a planer sesh... I didn't know what I was going to make at first, but at some point I remembered that I've been wanting a Duo Sonic, and happen to have a lot of parts toward one already... I had the most BEAUTIFUL pieces of scrap to carry such a name. Check out this Flamed basswood? I thought basswood was supposed to be ugly!? All your favorites are there, and besides the teak I just bought, they are all pieces of other guitars that are scattered throughout the US now (left to right) Mahogany, ash, basswood, walnut, poplar, and teak. Next they met some glue and clamps. Within the next week or so the blank will meet the planer again, then a plethora of other tools, before meeting these guys: To become something like THIS I'll keep you all updated, if you care. I'm probably going to post this exact thread on another forum or two; I don't know if that's a faux pas, as I'm still new to posting on forums at all.
  10. I'd look at local lumber yards for the best deals. They sell alder and mahogany for carpenters to build into chairs and crap, but as far as I know it's no different than a "guitar blank." Actually, I bought a $50 alder blank on eBay, and it was hideous. There was bark on one side, and spliners all over it. As far as finding enough for a one piece body, just keep your eyes open for it. I go to the lumber yard about once a week, and my mindset is always "spend $50 on wood." And whether I get enough poplar and basswood to do 5 bodies, or enough walnut to do 1 body, I really just go with what my gut tells me will work. Otherwise, I'd look for old tables and shelves. I'm actually on an ongoing hunt for vintage tabletops, bar tops, shelves, signs, etc because I want to build a guitar with the OLDEST wood I can find... I have seen 400 year old barnwood selling on eBay for tons of money; I think it would be SOOOO effing rad to be like "yeah, this guitar is 400 years old..." or "This guitar was a bar top for 100 years, back east. Thomas Edison kicked a guys ass in this guitars presence..." But in any case, even if you hope to try for one piece bodies, it's an INVALUABLE skill to be able to prepare your stock and make your own blank... I started with a similar mindset to yours; I just wanted to buy good wood and only do the fun stuff. But when a rough cut board costs $16 and a surfaced and squared "blank" of the same material costs $60, it becomes fun to make a blank
  11. Did a lot of work today. Gonna try to spill it all out quickly, because wifey is sleeping next to me and I am about ready to join her... The first thing I got to today was the pickup/switch route template. I started by tracing a mustang pickguard (as far as I know it's almost identical to a Jag Stang, save for the bridge pickup) so I'd know where all the bits and pieces hang out. Then I traced my stewmac humbucker template over each pickup location, in both straight and angled positions, and with the edge lined up to the single coil, and also with the center lined up with the single coil's. After I had a plethora of possible pickup placements traced out, I drew a nice big open route to cover all of them. I made some pilot holes at the steeper corners of the template. This made the jig saw job infinitely faster and easier. I don't remember if I talked about my drill press yet, but it's by Central Machinery, and though I was lucky enough to get it on eBay for $19, I have seen identical models for under $100. I was going to go with a copy of the shape Warmoth uses, but I think it'll be nice to have people recognize a Jag Stang that Garagetone did.... I ended up making the deal between the pickup spaces at an angle, and I took the bridge pickup route back closer to the bridge, with a small protrusion to catch the screw from the middle of the rear part of the pickguard. I just got close enough to the neck pocket, as I knew I'd use a previous template with a top bearing bit to make it perfect... But I took a little more time and effort to keep the rest of the lines straight. After I cut the one, I used countersunk screws to double up the 1/2" MDF boards, and cut the lower piece by using the upper piece as a template. I set this thing aside while I got down to business with the blank. Well, after I traced it onto the blank, that is... I know my template has fat horns. I'm going to correct it on this body, later... I found it's easier to drill neck pocket holes FIRST. The blank is large and flat, and will sit on the drill press more easily than a wobbley body. I used a laser cut template for a Jazzmaster, lined up with the outline I made on this blank, to mark the holes. Double checked it with a neck plate before proceeding. Next, I cut the body out with my jig saw. I used a "progressor something" blade by Bosch (I forget the exact blade model, but PM me if it's important to you) and this basswood melted like a slow-cooked roast. I cut NEAR the line, and will later sand TO the line. Jig saw's blades can travel left and right, and make cuts that may screw your whole build up... So make sure you don't force it to take an angle that it doesn't want to, and make sure to stay near the line, not to or on the line... After the silhouette was cut, I used to jump straight to sanding the edges. Hold up. I USED to jump to securing the template to the body (using countersunk screws in the neck pocket and bridge pickup areas), then used my router to flush trim the edges to the template. I found though, that doing that can cause tear out (it is what it sounds like; your router bit tears out chunks of wood and makes little craters in the edge of your guitar. Unless you climb cut, but that takes practice and what not. I find it's easy to circumvent this step anyways.) This will also put a lot more wear on your $24.95 router bit... So what I'd rather do, is put the wear on a $1.05 sanding sleeve. But before I get at it with the spindle sander, I like to deal with the innards. This makes the piece easier to hold, which is great because I've had bodies launch out of my hand and onto the ground before... My first step is to use Forstner bits (I got a set of 8 from Harbor Freight for $10... I've seen the bit's go for $10 A PIECE elsewhere) in my drill press to hog out the cavities. I mark the side of the bit with blue masking tape so I know not to go too deep. Next I take that template I just made and secure it with clamps, positioned with the center line over the joint in the body blank. I used to take out ALL the wood with the router bit, but learned really quickly that it wears out expensive bits, burns wood, and creates a HUGE mess. Now that the forstners have hogged out most of the cavities, there is maybe 1/8" to 1/4" og material to be (easily) removed by the router bit. If you haven't done this before, maybe it'd be helpful for you to see exactly how this template set up works. I screwed up a body or 3 while learning this (trying to shim up 1/4" floppy templates because the cutting depth was too deep on the bit...). As long as the template doesn't move around, the cavity beneath will follow it's shape. You want your neck pocket to be 5/8" deep. The same idea works for the 1 1/4" deep control route. But after the route becomes deep enough, the bearing will ride a previous cut, and not the template. I tried to get tricky inside the pickup cavities. It's obviously freehanded (arrows signify forehead smack). At least it's INSIDE the guitar... Maybe I'll make unique templates for THIS, eventually. So that's what I did today (and made a bad ass router table for under $20). I also bought an HD camcorder that takes hi-res pics, so after this batch of photos, you'll be able to see the sawdust in the air, even
  12. Did a little more work on this guitar. This is my first attempt at a finish, so I don't expect it to be TOO sweet. Actually, I already see a lot of spots I assumed would sand out or hide behind the sealer/primer/paint/gloss but are just staring me in the face now... Oh well, I plan to smash this thing at the next chance I get to stand on stage... I bought some 1000 and 1200 grit sandpaper and wet sanded the finish a bit. The package said it was for final sanding clear coat to a glassy finish, but the best I could get was still foggy and matte. I ended up layering up a satin clear coat, because I figured it might make any imperfections stand out less. It only turned out okay. Meh. Moving on... I bought a Mighty Mite CBS neck, and decided to shape it more like a Jazzmaster. Busted out the ol' spindle sander and got down to business. Now I just can't decide to leave it natural, or paint it to match the body. what do you think? Next I need to decide whether I want to use a Jazzmaster bridge (JAZZstang) or a mustang bridge (JazzSTANG). It's such an easy swap, I'll probably try both when it's all done. what do you think about the two? For pickups, I have a pair of AVRI Jazzer pickups, and two different shades of pickup covers. I don't know which shade to use... Light (top) or dark (bottom)? Opinion? It's finally put-together enough to come INSIDE the house, with the others Sometimes I look around my spare room and can't believe I have so many STACKS of musical equipment and what not. Here are my last 3 Jazzy bodies (top to bottom) mahogany, alder, and poplar.
  13. I planed the blank down tonight. It was probably the least work for the biggest difference in this process... You basically feed the planer, then catch the stock, turn the handle 1/4 turn (or so), feed it again, and so on... It is always nice to watch the hills and valleys slowly disappear. You can sort of see the outline on some parts here... Now this is all important, and I learned it the hard way when I fed the cut silhouette of a mustang into this thing... All thickness planers have the tendency to create snipe; a ditch or bump near the end of the work piece. I thought I was getting it because I got an affordable planer, but I asked around and found out ALL planers can do it. There are tricks I've read about, like lifting the stock at an angle as it in-feeds and out-feeds, but in doing that I created a drastic bow in a test piece. The only 100% effective method I've found is to buy your stock a little long, and trim the snipe. On these 24" long boards, I can still fit the Jag Stang between the snipe... I also marked one edge of the boards, so I'd keep feeding the stock one way, because the snipe occurs further from the edge on one side than the other. This way there is more good space left in But snipe aside, look how clean my joint looks Because this wood is so lightweight, and the buyer is using a 25.5" scale neck, I am leaving the body a little thicker than a standard Jag Stang, so it won't be as neck-heavy. It was planed down to 1.7" More on this later! For now I am going to get to work on some more variations of my interchangeable pickup templates
  14. That's a good idea. Thanks! For this particular project, I didn't need a straight edge on the outsides of these boards; just as long as it could pass through my planer. ... ... If you're planning on building with pre-surfaced and squared wood, or with a "body blank" (I use quotes because I think the term is just added to lumber so the seller can make more money) then you can basically disregard the first post on this thread. But I personally feel like a badass when I turn such 'tarded lumber into a beautiful guitar To make the template I started with an image of a Jag Stang I had found with search engine on some website called "google." I opened it with photoshop, drew a thin line around the edge, and scaled it up using guides that were 2 3/16" apart, so the neck pocket was just that wide. After I printed the image in 4 pieces, and taped them together, I set my neck, control plate, and pickguard on the paper to see if they fit it properly (I should have stated at the beginning of this thread that it'd be a heck of a lot easier if you have a few parts first, to compare to the body). It all lined up, first try I then used the outline to cut the shape from 1/2" MDF. I stuck the outline on my wall for whatever reason. Then I traced said parts onto the MDF and drew a free-hand control cavity. I drilled a pilot hole and used a tiny jig saw blade to cut it out. I got a Bosch jig saw for $100 at Lowes. I didn't want to skimp on this ONE tool, because I use it to cut thick THICK hardwood, and I don't want it to crap out. The same model is $130 at Home Depot, and $140 at Ganahl Lumber. I recommend a jig saw over a band saw if you own a table saw already; a band saw can do a lot of the stuff a table saw does, and also a lot of the stuff a jig saw does. But if you have the space and money, I would get a table saw and a jig saw. So now I have a template for the body. The two countersunk holes are located in the neck pocket and bridge pickup, so the holes made by the screws won't end up on the finished body. Although, since I made this template I changed my methods and I don't use these holes after all. More details on that when I cut the body from the blank... I'll probably make the pickup and neck pocket templates after I cut and hog-out the body this weekend. Keep watching!
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