partsmaster makeover

Bringing your older offset back to life.
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level3
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partsmaster makeover

Post by level3 » Wed Aug 09, 2023 6:47 am

Hey folks, here’s a little show and tell starring my old partsmaster for those of you who are interested.

This is more of a makeover than a proper restoration, but who knows, maybe it will turn into a restoration some day…

So I bought my first and so far only Jazzmaster from a friend back in 2005. Although I was (still am) into Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr and particularly Wilco, I had not been actively looking for one, but when the opportunity came up I took it. Here’s what it looked like until recently:

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Unfortunately I don’t know much about its history incl. the pretty horrible refinish and how the different parts ended up being the same guitar. My friend had bought it as a ‘62 but did realize that neck was much younger. As he is left-handed, he had moved one of the strap pins to the neck plate (hence the extra hole in it). He also had the guitar signed by Robert Smith at some point. When I got it, the signature was barely visible and it soon disappeared completely.

Here’s what I’ve found out so far, based on the info found on these forums. Feel free to chime in if I’ve missed anything.
Body is from 1961, based on the body date, the serial number and the taller style thimbles.
The pickups have black bobbins and they could possibly be from around ‘61.
Neck is from 77 or 78. The bridge could also be from 77/78, based on the saddles (same threads on all of them) and the less rounded area where the bridge height is set.
Wiring and aluminum sheet are probably original, although the pots are from ‘72 and ‘78. I don’t know about the pots in the rhythm circuit, because I couldn’t remove the rollers. They seem to be stuck.
Knobs are no-spoke strat style knobs. No idea how old these are, but definitely not original.

So almost 18 years after the purchase I finally decided to have the body refinished, get a nicer pickguard and set everything up properly. The refinish and slight relicing was done by Mateusz Piotrowski in Toruń, Poland (restauracja-gitar.pl). He masked all cavities, so the body date and all other scribblings are preserved.

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Here’s a picture of my son, helping me put everything back together:

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The pickguard is a lavaguard, and I think it looks stunning.

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So here it is, back in its natural environment:

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I also bought a Halon bridge, and while I think it’s a great piece of kit and really well made, I ended up keeping the stock bridge, because it works fine. With an additional 0.5 degree shim (Tosicam branded, from amazon) everything just fell into place. It’s now practically impossible to get this thing to go out of tune. No rattling, no string slippage. If I ever find a ‘61 neck in good condition for a decent price, I might jump on it, but for now I’m super happy with how everything turned out.

Thanks!

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Biloxide
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Re: partsmaster makeover

Post by Biloxide » Fri Aug 18, 2023 12:01 pm

Pretty nice refin and much more elegant with this beautiful tortoise pickguard, i don't know anything of the exact color in the area of 61 and all the batch of production... :fp: ... but in the neck pocket there's a sort of burgundy or oxblood paint may be... great job in all bye!!!

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Chippertheripper
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Re: partsmaster makeover

Post by Chippertheripper » Fri Aug 18, 2023 1:14 pm

Yum!

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zhivago
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Re: partsmaster makeover

Post by zhivago » Sat Aug 19, 2023 2:59 am

Very, very cool...Black + tort always wins!! :-* 8)
Resident Spartan.

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Scout
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Re: partsmaster makeover

Post by Scout » Mon Aug 21, 2023 2:43 pm

Beauty, makes me really want to get a 3D tort for my black JM, right now it's pathetic.

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Embenny
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Re: partsmaster makeover

Post by Embenny » Mon Aug 21, 2023 2:50 pm

Looks great!

I'm working on a makeover of an old partsmaster, myself. Built it around the same time as yours.it
The artist formerly known as mbene085.

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level3
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Re: partsmaster makeover

Post by level3 » Tue Aug 22, 2023 11:25 am

Cool. Would love to see it!

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level3
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Re: partsmaster makeover

Post by level3 » Tue Aug 22, 2023 11:27 am

Biloxide wrote:
Fri Aug 18, 2023 12:01 pm
... but in the neck pocket there's a sort of burgundy or oxblood paint may be... great job in all bye!!!
Thank you!
I was wondering what the original finish might have been. Was thinking sunburst, but who knows.

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ohm-men
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Re: partsmaster makeover

Post by ohm-men » Wed Aug 23, 2023 11:26 pm

Super nice! I :-* black Jazzmasters!
Nice with the tort guard. Bet it plays as good as it looks!
Congrats on this nice makeover.

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Buddy Bing
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Re: partsmaster makeover

Post by Buddy Bing » Mon Sep 11, 2023 12:24 pm

I always feel like I'm curating with my old guitars. I really like the results you got. I feel like I'm gifting future generations when I go big, like you've done so ably here. Very nice!

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clintburgess
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Re: partsmaster makeover

Post by clintburgess » Tue Oct 24, 2023 2:03 pm

I'm in the zone on these vintage restorations. Such a fantastic final result here. I love hearing the bits and pieces of what these guitars are made of in their found state, and then seeing where they end up after some loving care and restoration to former glory. I'm also partial to a killer black offset. This reminds me of a '66 jaguar I had a dozen or so years ago. Black with tortoise is so classy. Excellent project here.

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CorporateDisguise
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Re: partsmaster makeover

Post by CorporateDisguise » Wed Nov 15, 2023 4:35 am

Beautiful! :-*

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level3
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Re: partsmaster makeover

Post by level3 » Thu Dec 28, 2023 6:23 am

Quick update:
This guitar now has 250k pots, a new rainbow colored strap I got for Christmas and - most importantly - a Mustang style bridge from a CV Jazzmaster. Despite the shim and the increased break angle, the low e-string wouldn't stay put on the stock bridge. This one is great. 30 euros well spent. :)

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MayTheFuzzBeWithYou
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Re: partsmaster makeover

Post by MayTheFuzzBeWithYou » Thu Dec 28, 2023 1:48 pm

Love it! Absolutely gorgeous! :-*

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level3
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Re: partsmaster makeover

Post by level3 » Fri Dec 29, 2023 5:36 am

Thank you!
Next chapter: new bone nut from the local luthier...

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