Completed Project - "Mastermind"

Talk about modding or building your own guitar from scratch.
Post Reply
User avatar
zachmercer
PAT PEND
PAT PEND
Posts: 13
Joined: Wed May 20, 2020 5:40 pm
Location: Sydney, Australia

Completed Project - "Mastermind"

Post by zachmercer » Sun Jul 26, 2020 8:36 pm

Hi Offsetters,

Just completed my first (of hopefully many to come) custom projects. I've named this project/model "Mastermind" - firstly "master" as I wanted to preserve its connection to the Jazzmaster, and secondly "mind", because as someone who suffers from bouts of depression needed a project like this to pull me out of a recent Blackdog hole. I've also branded this model under both my son's names (Zachary&Mercer), as a way of showing two boys under 12, that it's possible to create something special - and that not all pleasure is derived from buying something off a shelf.

I don't intend on keeping this guitar - nor any I make. I will though like to take it to a tech (in Sydney Australia if anyone has any recommendations) to learn a little what I did right, and what I can improve on for future builds.

Overview on the project:

Body - Basswood (Yeah I know). I was really limited in what I could get with respect to an unfinished body here in Oz especially with exchange rates at the time. If anyone knows a good business here in Oz that will take CAD files, I made some in Fusion360. Happy to share these files if wanted.

As you can see, I've done away with the top control switches per a "Professional" series setup, and as I couldn't source an anodised pickguard for this setup I had 4 of them custom laser cut in 1.8mm "Rose Gold" acrylic. Let me know if you'd like the design files for all 4 models. Vintage/AVRI, 3-Way top or bottom no Rhythm Circuit, etc.

Finish - DNA Candy Violet over Silver Metal Flake & Black Base Coat. Photo's don't do this finish justice. It really shimmers under the sunlight, and turns a dark purple in low light - due to it being a candy paint. Top coated with 4 layers of high gloss 2K Clear, and hand polished (as best I could as I don't have lots of tools). I did all the paint work with Aerosol cans - and in the future I will send this out to be done, as it took up basically 80% of the entire build - not to mention having to strip back to raw timber on one occasion when I had a chemical reaction under polished clear coat 10 days after finishing.

Neck - Strat Style maple neck with rosewood fingerboard. I did 4 layers of high gloss 2K clear to the entire maple neck and the rosewood has been done seperately in tung oil. The headstock has been finished in a slight metallic flake to allow the grain to show through. Decals designed in Illustrator then printed on no film decal paper - then buried under 3 more layers of clear. Wanted the decal to herald back to the 70's typography. This neck has been fitted with a Fender LSR (which works beautifully), and the tuners are the Deluxe Fender Locking tuners found on the Ultra series and they are really nice.

External Hardware - Everything is US of A Fender but the bridge. AVRI Tremolo and bar, US bridge posts, US pickguard and neck screws/plates everywhere and pickup shields, screws and knobs are all USA off-white parts. The bridge though is South Korean Fender - the mustang height adjustable thimble one - and it's actually rock solid (No mastery for my first build). Strap locks are Schaller's - the german one's not Fender rebadged.

Internals - All internal cavities (including the underside of the pick guard) have been copper conductive lined, and the control cavity and pick-up cavities have the original US brass plates installed. These have been fixed to the body with brass washers and screws, and earth has been drilled to/connected with the bridge post. Additional earth points have been installed for the future. (I don't know why I did this).

The pickups are a matching pair Lindy Fralin's. They are sitting on Fender US foam strips that have an additional layer of 6mm adhesive foam on top, to compensate for pickup routes that are too deep. To further aid pickup height adjustment flexibility, the pickup screws have small springs surrounding them to offer a small amount of resistence to downward pressure. These pickups sit as solid as a humbucker, and don't depress if a palm rests on them.

Electronics - I'm no electronics guy, so for this first build I had Toneman put together a setup for me. All wiring throughout is 22awg cloth pushback. All pots are Bourns 500K short shaft, toggel and jack are switchcraft (naturally), and it's got the Vintage Paper-In-Oil .033uf K42Y-2 Vintage Capacitor. All I can say is that this combo can be very bright when needed, and very creamy on the low end. A very thick sound, which I'm extremely happy with as I did want that traditional vintage sound.

One thing to note is that the Bourns pots are quite difficult to get into the control cavity, and if I use them again I'll have to compensate the cavity route to fit them. Are CTS pots smaller?

I hope you like the build, and please feel free to ask any questions. I have no doubt learned a few tricks (mostly finishing) that can be shared, and just as equally have learn't a huge amount from reading the forum. So what next?...... I was thinking about maybe doing something relic'd, or I had this idea of doing a jazzmaster like the paisley custom shop one, but with the demask design laser etched all over the body with some crazy EMG kit (sacrilege). Thoughts?

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

User avatar
Amon 7.L
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 574
Joined: Sun Aug 28, 2011 5:45 am

Re: Completed Project - "Mastermind"

Post by Amon 7.L » Mon Jul 27, 2020 2:47 am

Hi and welcome onboard :)

I love the incredible attention to details, you've managed to put together a stunner that oozes quality.

"jazzmaster like the paisley custom shop one, but with the demask design laser etched all over the body with some crazy EMG kit (sacrilege)".

This is exactly what I vouch for coming up next!!!
DEW IT :ph34r:

User avatar
bodhi
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 66
Joined: Mon May 20, 2019 12:47 pm

Re: Completed Project - "Mastermind"

Post by bodhi » Tue Aug 04, 2020 4:25 am

Very nice and clean result! 8) Wonder what it'd look like if the pickguard darkened a bit over time...
Jazzmaster project (got a body, placeholder neck, some pickups and ideas)
Tokai Telecaster Thinline with Creamery Pickups Filtertron and Tapped Tele
Blake Mills-inspired Strat project w/ Gold Foil and slide pickup

User avatar
andy_tchp
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 6315
Joined: Fri Apr 02, 2010 1:36 am
Location: Brisbane

Re: Completed Project - "Mastermind"

Post by andy_tchp » Tue Sep 15, 2020 5:51 pm

zachmercer wrote:
Sun Jul 26, 2020 8:36 pm
I did all the paint work with Aerosol cans

[...]

Image

Well that's just remarkable. Looks bloody fantastic mate, well done and welcome to the forum!
"I don't know why we asked him to join the band 'cause the rest of us don't like country music all that much; we just like Graham Lee."
David McComb, 1987.

User avatar
tribi9
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 9625
Joined: Thu Nov 29, 2007 11:38 am
Location: Canada Dry

Re: Completed Project - "Mastermind"

Post by tribi9 » Wed Sep 16, 2020 7:02 am

Great job with the paint. 8)

User avatar
blimpage
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 231
Joined: Tue Jul 11, 2017 3:43 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Completed Project - "Mastermind"

Post by blimpage » Wed Sep 16, 2020 4:07 pm

Looks beautiful, very nice work! I especially love the rose gold pickguard!

User avatar
algeriet
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 137
Joined: Tue Oct 11, 2016 4:29 am
Location: Berlin

Re: Completed Project - "Mastermind"

Post by algeriet » Sat Sep 19, 2020 1:10 am

Great job!

Post Reply