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Thread: First Build: JZ-1

  1. #1

    First Build: JZ-1

    Hi everyone!

    JZ-1 kit arrived in the mail a few days ago, finally got to open it today and can't wait to get started! I'm shooting for a a clean, factory looking build, nothing too fancy for my first kit. I've had a quick mock build and nothing seems to be missing, although the neck has quite a bit of lateral wiggle in the pocket that I'm not stoked about (not unfixable though!).

    I'll post some pics in the next few days, keep an eye out!

  2. #2
    Overlord of Music Andy40's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Welcome to the forum mate. looking forward to seeing some pics of this bad boy
    Build #1 - ST-1 - Completed
    Build #2 - LP-1SS - Completed
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    Build #6 - STA-1HT | Completed
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    Current Build #8 - JBA-4
    Build #9 - Semi-scratch build Tele x 2 - Completed
    Current Build #10 - PRS-1H
    Current Build #11 - AGJR-1 - Completed
    Current Build #12 - ATL-1SB
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    Current Build #14 - FBM-1

  3. #3
    Overlord of Music Fretworn's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Hornsby Area, Sydney, NSW
    Welcome Flying Kiwi

    First Act ME276 (resurrected curb-side find)
    Scratchie lapsteel
    Custom ST-1 12 String
    Scratch Lapsteel
    Meinl DIY Cajon
    Cigar Box lap steel

    Open D/Standard Double 6 twin neck

  4. #4
    GAStronomist FrankenWashie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Glebe, NSW
    Oh chur cuz! Welcome to the pbg whanau!
    FrankenLab Guitar Experiments
    Making the simple complicated since 2016!

  5. #5

  6. #6
    Hello everyone! Apologies for the radio silence over the last few weeks. I've actually gone right through and pretty much finished the project Here are the photos and a walk-through of the process anyhow.

    First off, a mock build with components loosely put and place and delicately laid out so as not to scratch the dining table. The scale length looked good (which is fortunate because re-drilling the bridge holes would have been a bit out of my depth). As I said in the first post, the neck was a bit loose in its slot. but after some wiggling I managed to find an orientation that left both E-strings fairly parallel.

    Over to my grandpa's workshop to borrow his coping-saw and cut out the head-stock! I downloaded a Jazzmaster template and copied it fairly accurately onto the wood, but cut a bit too close to the lines with the saw and after sanding ended up with a more rounded shape (which I actually quite like anyhow). In the left of the photo are my work gloves, which I put between the vice and my neck to prevent any damage

  7. #7
    Onto the painting! This was a learning process for me, and if I do end up building another guitar I will definitely be doing some things a bit differently...
    Firstly, I don't know that I'd recommend anyone copying my high-tech painting rig:

    This was borne out of a lack of clamps and suitable scrap wood. It wasn't the worst in that it allowed me to apply coats to the entire body at once, but was a bit of a pain in that it would swing around. I ended up borrowing a clamp from my grandpa

    I opted to apply paint and finish by hand rather than spraying - I wanted a slightly creamier version of Olympic White and couldn't quite find the right shade in any spray cans. I bought two enamel-based paints and thinned them out with a bit of water (about a paint-water ratio of 70:30) and rubbed them on with a clean cotton rag. I did around 6 coats, allowing 12 hours to dry and a light sand with 800 grit in between.

    I made things slightly harder for myself by deciding that I wanted a retro painted head-stock, as well as a racing stripe on the body (which should increase my playing speed by 25%). I didn't mask either perfectly and had to go back and do several rounds of touch-ups. Close up it's still a bit rough on some of the edges, but from the distance most people will be seeing it, it looks good.

  8. #8
    For the finish, I rubbed on 5-6 coats of Tru Oil with a cotton rag and sanded with 1200 grit or polished with 0000 steel wool between coats (sorry, I forgot to take photos!). This stuff stinks to high hell and has a slightly yellowish tinge, which can look quite ugly if its builds up in any spots. That being said, it's a really nice finish with a good shine and has the advantage of not needing to be sprayed on.

  9. #9
    I check to see the curvature of the neck with my professional Stew Mac Luthier's Neck Tool (read: meter rule with slots filed out) and saw that it was a bit convex. Easily fixed with a quarter turn to loosen the truss rod.

  10. #10
    I need to confess at this point that I have made a bit of a dog's breakfast with the wiring and plan on redoing it when the shops open again tomorrow and I can buy supplies.

    The main issue is a constant buzzing that disappears when I touch the wires (or the bridge) - this would be a grounding issue right? The volume pot does something a bit odd as well: when at 10 the signal is quite clear (albeit a bit quieter than I would've expected), but as I turn it down to 0 the background buzz gets louder (peaking at about 5) and drops afterwards. Have I damaged with excess heat when soldering?

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