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  • 6 months later...

I just want to post my dose of reality in what it takes to build a guitar, and what it costs....you can get the price, at cheapest, in the ballpark of a JAg-Stang on e-bay.


Building one using Warmoth parts would be the most expensive route if you were to build a Jag-Stang.  Warmoth parts, while excellent quality, do tend to be on the higher priced end of things.  You could easily be past $400 with just the neck and body.

If I were to build a Jag-Stang, this is the route I'd go, of course, you need some experience and skill at Luthiery in some spots (especially the neck) to save money


NECK: I would probably go to E-bay and find a 24" Scale 22 Fret neck that's parted off of another guitar most likely, or a Chinese rip-off neck I could easily modify to taste or tweak to perfection with a little TLC, fret leveling, and nut adjustment.  I would not want to go any further than $100 on a neck, so this would be the most difficult part of building the guitar.  Then I'd have to get the neck in, and wait till I finished building the body.


BODY: The body I would build myself with a tracing of my Jag-Stang (or if I did not have one for the sake of this, one I got from someone else).  Then I would get my hands on some inexpensive scrap wood, like PIne, or buy some Basswood, and make a body blank (which would be at least 3 pieces of wood in the available sizes).  The wood would have to be planed flat, glued together with Titebond II wood glue overnight at the very least, then I would need to take a template, rout the neck pocket, then use a bandsaw to cut out the guitar body shape.


After the body is cut out, rout it for electronics, round over the corners with a roundover bit and a router, then sand progressively up to about 400 grit until smooth, and rout for the tremolo.  This can be VERY tricky as the Jag-Stang is not a symettrical shape by ANY means of the imagination.  It'd be very easy to get the bridge off-center, or the neck off-centered, and the like.


After all that is done, then It's time to paint the body - this runs about $25-50 depending on how professional you want the paint to look

1.) FIll in any dents, holes, knots, or other imperfections with wood filler

2.) Sand body up to roughly 800 grit, preferably using an electric sander or it will take quite some time and elbow grease

4.) Spray on a coat of primer, don't completely cover, do this slowly

5.) Wait 15-30 minutes, apply more primer

6.) wait 15-30 minutes, apply more primer

7.) Let dry for a day or two

8.) Get your color coat, I use Krylon paint from Fred Meyer, they actually have one that is VERY close to the Sonic Blue used on Jag-Stangs, might have to go somewhere like Lowes or Michaels for something that matches Fiesta red - apply the first coat, do not completely cover the primer, just spray it on lightly, the more and lighter the coats, the better the finish

9.) Wait about 15-30 minutes, spray on a 2nd coat

10) wait about 15-30 minutes, spray on a 3rd coat

11) let dry for a few days or more

12) wet sand up to 800-1000 grit, using decent lighting to bounce off the finish and find imperfections that need sanded out

13) add some more coats

14) wet sand again, this time 1000-2000 girt, getting rid of any imperfections if any left (go back to 12 if they are bad)

15) sand up to 1000 grit again, spray with clearcoat, not a full coat

16) wait 15-30 minutes, spray another coat

17) same as above again (duh)

18) let body dry for several days, maybe even a week

19) wet sand up to about 2000 grit

20) use gradually finer buffing compounds and an automotive buffing pad to polish the body up to showroom shine, be very careful not to buff too much and through the paint


Okay, now you have a Jag-Stang body and neck for roughly $150.00 and a heaping TON of hard work


Now it's time to buy the parts to populate said body

Mustang Tremolo & Bridge = $60.00

Tuning Machines = $25-70

Pickguard = about $30

Pickups = Probably about $180 total for a Fender Texas Special and Seymour Duncan J.B. Jr. to have what Kurt had

Switches = $10.00

Pots = $5.00

Jack = $1.95 from Radio Shack

Control Plate = $15.00

Knobs = $15.00 for a set of Jazz Bass knobs at the local guitar shop

String Trees = $1.95

Wire = $7.00 a roll

String Guide = $1.50


Total spent now roughly $445.00, not including Shipping & Handling for parts ordered over the internet, not including gasoline, not including compensation for lack of sleep from working on the guitar between working hours, nor the time spent waiting on all the finishing steps to cure/dry/be ready to be sanded/polished.


Then there's the hours of debugging your wiring to find out some tiny sliver of copper found it's way from the hot lead to the ground causing a short, or debating who's wiring diagram is "correct" (the one with the coil tap on the humbucker, or the one with the phase reversal on the humbucker?), setting up the neck to be optimal, which includes putting strings on, checking settings, taking strings off, turning screws and nuts, taking a sanding block to the neck to level and recrown the frets if they need it, then putting strings back on, setting action, setting intonation, then finding you need to set the vibrato further back to make the whammy bar stay in tune if you want that, so there's adjusting the 2 adjustment springs as well.  Once all is done, you can be proud, you just built a Jag-Stang for almost $500......about the price of an E-bay purchase....only to come to find that Fender has just released a pretty accurate to the Japanese original Squier version for $300 someday in the future


I know this is long, but it let's you know what is involved.  Finishing is the least favorite part of mine, especially since I had to do it by hand so many times....just sitting there, rubbing that body with overpriced beach flooring pasted to construction paper until your arms hurt..

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