Jazzmaster: Starting the build

The build is underway.

I started by stripping the finish from the donor neck. It is a poly finish which many people find tough to take off. I scored the surface with 40 grit paper, gave it a generous coat of Nitromors left it 30 mins and then scraped. I keep repeating those steps until all of the finish has gone – around 4-5 applications did it for the neck.

I printed off the plans and transferred them to MDF (see part 1 here and part 2).

Here is the chunk of sapele I’ll be using. It measured around 1060x230x50mm (42″x9″2″).

The piece is much wider than I need so I trimmed a strip of around 45mm from one side. This leaves me with a nice long neck sized blank, perhaps even long enough for a through-neck bass (another project to add to the list). I cut the remaining section into two 21″ lengths and checked them against the plan

I used my poor man’s jointing technique again – shading the edge with pencil and then sanding with my plate glass block until the pencil had gone.

A good coverage of Titebond original on both jointing faces and clamp it all up.


I would normally clean off the excess glue but since the blank with be getting both faces planed it is not a problem in this instance. Tonight I’ll get the majority of the hardware ordered.

I’ve still not made a final decision on the pickups. I’ve emailed The Creamery to ask whether they can make a version of their Swing-O without the usual humbucker mounting lugs but have not heard back. I’ve contacted a couple of US outlets about whether they can supply a pair of Gretsch FilterTrons and all of them are out of stock and not expecting delivery until October. So unless I can find somebody who has just bought a set of TV Jones pickups and wants to off-load a pair of original Filtertrons I may need to rethink my plans.

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