Jazzmaster fretboard markers and control cavity

The plan was to drill out the black plastic fretboard markers and replace them with some black pearl ones (pictured).

As soon as I drilled these out I could see this wasn’t going to work – the holes were 5mm deep and the little inlays were only 1mm thick. Time for a change of tack. I’m going to make markers from brass tube filled with a black epoxy putty called “Milliput” instead. The putty is on order but in the meantime I got started with fitting the sections of brass tube.

I drilled a 5.5mm deep hole in a piece of MDF and using a hacksaw cut the 6mm tube into small pieces.

I had also bought some 2.5mm brass tube too so that I could make matching side dots. I drilled out the old ones.

With a dab of superglue in each hole I pressed in the brass tubes.

After allowing it to dry I filed the tubes flush with the neck.

Once that was done I tackled the control cavity. I had marked the locations on the MDF template. I attached this to the body and with a 2mm drill, made a hole right through template and body.

I used a 19mm spade bit to cut the countersink for the knobs, and a 10mm bit for the selector switch.

Once those were marked I could tackle the control cavity from the back. I had made a cover a couple of days ago.

Using the techniques I discussed in detail previously I made a template for the cavity “ledge” and routed that.

I made a smaller template and then routed out the inner cavity.

To finish I check the cavity is deep enough to allow the components to reach through to the front.

And that is all the work I can do until the pickups arrive. Once I’ve got those in hand I’ll be able to rout their cavities, drill the cable runs, and then glue in the neck. Once the neck is in I can shape the heel and I’ll be on to sanding and finish.

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6 thoughts on “Jazzmaster fretboard markers and control cavity

  1. Hi Dave – the Jazzmaster is really coming along nicely! I thought your decision to use the brass tubes filled with black putty was especially creative. I’ll be anxious to see how the next step works out with filling the tubes and then smoothing everything down once it cures. I initially thought you might fill the tubes before you cut them, but what you chose may work easier. I keep watching every day to see your progress! 🙂

    David (guitorganist)

  2. Agreed. It is looking great.

    Maybe I didn’t notice it in past posts, but would you show the picture of your template marked for the control panel? Thanks!

    • It was fairly easy and I didn’t use the standard control placement. In that case I would have just transferred the marks through directly from the plan when it was stuck to the MDF for template making. In this case I decided that I wanted the volume knob exactly in line with the bridge saddles, about half way between the bridge and the edge of the body. I then drew a straight line at a random but pleasing angle from the volume across the body. I measured the distances to where I would place the tone and selector switch so that there was a consistent 30mm gap between each and drilled the holes there. I also placed the jack socket on this line. Not that it matters but there is a certain pleasing “directness” about having the signal chain in a straight line.

      When the weather clears I’ll dig the template out of the back of the shed, where it has been “filed away”, and take some pics.

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