1963 Jazzmaster - from abused to player

Bringing your older offset back to life.
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yearofthezombie
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1963 Jazzmaster - from abused to player

Post by yearofthezombie » Mon Oct 13, 2014 4:51 pm

I bought the equivalent of a box of Jazzmaster parts based on a few blurry photos. I knew it was going to be a project as I could tell it was a terrible strip re-fin and it was missing some parts. What it DID have was a 1963 neck, a slightly earlier body, bridge pickup and miscellaneous wiring and hardware, including the the trem/tremarm 4 original tuners and most of the bridge. Major parts that were missing…Neck plate, Neck Pickup, pickup covers and original pick guard. When the box arrived, it was even more of a project than I imagined.
I think I'll let the pictures do the talking here….
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Soooo…. I'm not going to do a full restore of this like I thought I may do originally. The body is just too jacked up. At some point a ton of sanding was done, including extra contours. It may be a bit hard to tell from the last photo, but none of it was block sanded and the back is particularly bumpy and uneven. During the "extra contour abomination" they sanded in to control cavities in 3 spots and then filled them back in….
I'm ok with playing the body as is. It's lived a hard life and unfortunately has the scars to prove it, BUT i can't stand the shade of the stain, So I'm adding a bit more to take it from green to brown. Also in the boohoo department, It looks like this used to be blonde…
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The neck… I consulted a luthier friend and he felt as though he could save the fretboard, so i've handed it over to him to refret/rework.
Also, I've placed an order for some spitfire tort.
I'm excited about the direction this is headed. More photos soon!

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missionguitars
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Re: 1963 Jazzmaster - from abused to player

Post by missionguitars » Mon Oct 13, 2014 7:37 pm

I wouldn't write off the body, block sanding (almost) flat, then skim-coating some grain filler to raise the low points, sand flat again, SHOULD get you to a point where you could spray an opaque color on there. And I've seen worse necks...you should be ok with that...effervescence and all...

Looking forward to seeing what you do with it!

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Connorater
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Re: 1963 Jazzmaster - from abused to player

Post by Connorater » Mon Oct 13, 2014 9:15 pm

What happened to this thing? It makes the Crackwhore Jag look like prime real estate.

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Re: 1963 Jazzmaster - from abused to player

Post by mackerelmint » Mon Oct 13, 2014 9:23 pm

Wow, that neck looks like it had the original frets removed pretty brutally. Still, the bones all look viable, so this is gonna be a cool thread to watch. Best of luck to you, I can't wait to see it all spiffied up!
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Pacafeliz
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Re: 1963 Jazzmaster - from abused to player

Post by Pacafeliz » Tue Oct 14, 2014 6:53 am

oh man i'm LOVING it!!!
i love delay SO much ...that i procrastinate all the time.

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Re: 1963 Jazzmaster - from abused to player

Post by daCod » Tue Oct 14, 2014 7:26 am

missionguitars wrote:I wouldn't write off the body, block sanding (almost) flat, then skim-coating some grain filler to raise the low points, sand flat again, SHOULD get you to a point where you could spray an opaque color on there. And I've seen worse necks...you should be ok with that...effervescence and all...

Looking forward to seeing what you do with it!
totally agree ^ with a bit of block sanding and filler you could get this looking pretty ace. are you set on a transparent color or would a solid color suffice? if so you could block sand the body just a bit to REALLY show the low spots. take your time sanding out the lows and depending on how deep they are skim some filler to bring them up and block sand again. the added whack-o contours would have to stay, but maybe touch them up a bit more so they look a bit more factory than back-woods luthier.

quite anxious to see what unfolds.
your paranoia must be weapons-grade.
“I have terrible hearing trouble. I have unwittingly helped to invent and refine a type of music that makes its principal proponents deaf.” ~ PT

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Re: 1963 Jazzmaster - from abused to player

Post by fullerplast » Tue Oct 14, 2014 8:28 am

It looks like this used to be blonde…
Yep, being an ash body it was most certainly blonde. ONLY blondes got the ash body, it was a custom order. That's a rare find, at least as rare as almost any other custom color (which were all alder). If I were you, I'd do any and everything I could to save that body and go back to blonde with it.
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Re: 1963 Jazzmaster - from abused to player

Post by kosmonautmayhem » Tue Oct 14, 2014 8:31 am

fullerplast wrote:
It looks like this used to be blonde…
Yep, being an ash body it was most certainly blonde. ONLY blondes got the ash body, it was a custom order. That's a rare find, at least as rare as almost any other custom color (which were all alder). If I were you, I'd do any and everything I could to save that body and go back to blonde with it.
+1,000,000

:)

Blonde it up! That grain is amazing! Although it will take some careful reworking to get it right. I'll leave that advice to our woodworking and finish pros.

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Re: 1963 Jazzmaster - from abused to player

Post by daCod » Tue Oct 14, 2014 8:43 am

kosmonautmayhem wrote:
fullerplast wrote:
It looks like this used to be blonde…
Yep, being an ash body it was most certainly blonde. ONLY blondes got the ash body, it was a custom order. That's a rare find, at least as rare as almost any other custom color (which were all alder). If I were you, I'd do any and everything I could to save that body and go back to blonde with it.
+1,000,000



Blonde it up! That grain is amazing! Although it will take some careful reworking to get it right. I'll leave that advice to our woodworking and finish pros.
after reading this i retract my previous comment and move to ^ all of this.
your paranoia must be weapons-grade.
“I have terrible hearing trouble. I have unwittingly helped to invent and refine a type of music that makes its principal proponents deaf.” ~ PT

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Re: 1963 Jazzmaster - from abused to player

Post by mgeek » Tue Oct 14, 2014 9:26 am

Ye Gods!

As the damage has already been done here, if this were mine I'd be tempted to rebuild the overcontoured edges with new wood, sand it flat before adding a 1/4 inch thick veneer, top and bottom before reshaping it to the original type of contouring and thickness.

A bit long winded perhaps but very achievable, but at least it'd resemble an untampered with JM at the end of it, and it's nothing TOO tricky to pull off in terms of woodworking.

Personally if I just finished that more or less as is, I'd always be looking out for a replacement, and what's left of this COULD be saved.

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yearofthezombie
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Re: 1963 Jazzmaster - from abused to player

Post by yearofthezombie » Thu Oct 16, 2014 1:40 pm

I got the neck back and the frets/fretboard look amazing! The stain really came together on the body as well. I haven't ruled out a full/partial restoration on the body, but for now I just stained over what was already there and buffed it out. Gonna assemble it and post some pics. I'm excited about where its heading!

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Re: 1963 Jazzmaster - from abused to player

Post by kosmonautmayhem » Thu Oct 16, 2014 1:51 pm

can't wait to see it!!!

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Re: 1963 Jazzmaster - from abused to player

Post by mcjt » Thu Oct 16, 2014 3:38 pm

the edges have really been hacked!
poor jazzmaster!
that would be a hell of a job to get it back to looking like 'not hacked.
the main thing is the neck- i'm glad it is turning out well.
good luck!

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Re: 1963 Jazzmaster - from abused to player

Post by mgeek » Fri Oct 17, 2014 1:46 pm

yearofthezombie wrote:I got the neck back and the frets/fretboard look amazing! The stain really came together on the body as well. I haven't ruled out a full/partial restoration on the body, but for now I just stained over what was already there and buffed it out. Gonna assemble it and post some pics. I'm excited about where its heading!

Cool-o! Looking forward to seeing a closeup of the fretboard!

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Re: 1963 Jazzmaster - from abused to player

Post by yearofthezombie » Fri Oct 17, 2014 3:51 pm

Well, I got the neck back and it feels and plays great. I couldn't wait to get the rest of the parts, so I put it back together with some parts I've harvested from a couple of other guitars... for now. I probably could have spent a bit more time buffing out the body, but who could wait?! Really though, it plays, feels and sounds great. I' will be replacing the pick guard with tort and the knobs with 63 appropriate ones, although I do like the look of the witch hats. I'd also like to get a staytrem bridge. I have the original bridge, but it's missing one saddle. While I may use that, I'd prefer the staytrem. I still am not giving up on the idea of bringing her back to blonde, but I'm going to play her as is for now. oh, btw, she weighed in at 7.2lbs, which is a great weight for me.

As I receive the replacement parts, I'll update the thread.

Here's some pics!

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