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Thread: Jazzmaster trem on a strat body?

  1. #1

    Jazzmaster trem on a strat body?

    Hello,

    I offer luthier services and I have a regular, always wanting some form of modification. Usually i can do them, but this one sounds crazy.

    On a squier strat body, he wants to replace the current bridge with a jazzmaster style, tremolo and all.

    Routing the spring cavity on the front sounds straight forward but my issue is with the actual bridge- it would need to be placed right where a hole is now. I could glue a block of wood in there, but I'd still be worried about the strength of it. I believe the strings would be pushing down on the bridge, through the body and threatening to push that block of wood out of the back as it has no support from the back.

    To solve this, I thought of extending the back routing further past the bridge and construct a T shape of wood to be glued in, the top of the T giving the bridge block more support.

    Thoughts? Advice? At the moment, I'm leaning away from this mod.

  2. #2
    GAStronomist Simon Barden's Avatar
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    It seems a weird idea, fitting a poorer trem on a guitar that wasn't designed for it just for the looks. There are some mods worth making on a low-cost guitar, but this certainly isn't one of them.

    Sounds like they want something akin to this: https://shop.fender.com/en-GB/electr...176730718.html

    You'd certainly want to fill in the existing trem cavities, and then rout out a new trem cavity on the top. You'd need to strip back the finish and redo it completely. It would be far easier to get a new hardtail body blank and modify that. Cheaper too. As it is, the mod will be far more expensive than the guitar. It would be far cheaper to buy a Squier Jag or Jazzmaster!

  3. #3
    GAStronomist Simon Barden's Avatar
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    I you did fill in the trem cavity, I'd use epoxy rather than Titebond, but yes, a T-shaped block fitting in from the top would be a good idea. You'd want to rout out/enlarge the cavity slightly anyway just to clear off any paint from the sides of the cavity and get them properly flush, so you have a good wood to wood bond, not wood to paint.

  4. #4
    Hi Simon,

    It is a bit of an odd idea, especially considering he has just ordered a jaguar... but hey, I get paid

    If I do it, that's how I'll do it (extra routing, epoxy and re paint) but I'm not sure he'll want to repaint. He says he likes the rough and damaged look so having exposed wood like this may be down his alley.

    One thing i must find out is why he wants it. Is it Aesthetics? Preference? There may be another solution to his problem, so i'll chat with him.

  5. #5
    Mentor McCreed's Avatar
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    I started to reply to this before dinner but didn't get to finish in time for first response. However Simon has said pretty much what I was thinking.

    Your customer must not be worried too about money. IMO the mod will cost as much or more as the guitar. I'm not casting aspersions though, as I have way over-capitalised on numerous guitars! The one difference there is I can do all my own work.

    I also do set-ups, repairs and mods for paying customers, and I have actually talked people out of doing things they thought they wanted just because it was economically ridiculous. Sure, I could take their money, but I guess I've never been a great businessman in that sense .

    As for the blocking the vibrato route, I built a hardtail strat out of a body routed for a vibrato 2 years ago. I did as you & Simon have talked about except my blocking was an "L" shape as I wanted the entire back cavity filled and finished over.
    That said, I used hardwood blocks and epoxy and I wouldn't think twice about hitting it with a router or worried about strength. It is solid as a rock.
    Making the world a better place; one guitar at a time...

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