I've been digging through old pics and came across this JM project I did a while ago. One of my customer Steve who plays in a hardcore band asked one day if I could make him a "JazzBlaster" like Lee Ranaldo uses in Sonic Youth because he was going on a big tour soon and wanted a good guitar to use as a tour beast and since I hadn't made one at that stage I thought, yeah, why not ?
This, like all my project builds was done from Allparts body and neck as I still think their timber quality is unequaled in thew aftermarket bodies and necks I've seen. Their ash is exceptional and their rock maple is always nicely grained and great quality. Steve wanted a see through brown much like Ranaldos (and the MBV and Elvis Costello JM's)
After a quick sand it got a few light cots of acrylic and then a couple of coats of clear the body was ready to go. I've gone into paint types before in my blog so I won't bore you but suffice to say that I don't subscribe to "nitro sounds better" and acrylic is easier and safer to use. I don't pack on the paint unless a customer wants a glass finish but this was going to be a touring guitar so slight imperfections were just fine. The neck got a slight tint to take the edge off the white maple and then it was down to assembly.
I won't go into a step by step assembly on this blog but as some of you will know, this is about the easiest way to make your own guitar.Usually all the parts just fit together. We have Leo Fender to thank for that idea. Steve wanted a maple neck Jazzmaster with tune-o-matic bridge and in the end opted for Jazzmaster pickups rather than widerange humbuckers because I'd told him about some JM pickups I'd been working on that he liked the sound of.
The guitar came together quickly as these usually do unless you buy cheap parts from allover the place. In my opinion it's worth spending a little extra and getting good quality parts from the least number of reputable manufacturers as possible as the guitar will not only go together better but you will have a better guitar at the end. The market is flooded with cheap parts guitars and they are just that.
I think the whole project took about three weeks and Steve picked it up when the paint was still "soft" as they were heading out on tour. I told him to bring it back after the tour and I'd give it a once over to check it had settled in and was playing OK. He came back a few months later and said it was his favorite guitar. The best playing and sounding guitar he owned, and he doesn't have to worry about taking a vintage, prize piece on tour.