Or… I need an excuse to own another guitar 🙂
This body, also by guitarandbassbuild, was up for sale on eBay, at a lower price than advertised direct from G&B. For those who don’t know what guitars look like without their clothes on, or who don’t recognise the outline, it’s a Fender Jaguar shape. The Jaguar originally came into production in 1962, which means it’s precisely as old as I am. I’ve always loved the Jaguar for it’s unashamed 60’s styling, and fans of Johnny Marr will probably recognise his iconic, Olympic White Jaguar. My starting point for this build is an intention to follow that kind of styling – with a nitrocellulose paint finish, polished up to a shine. All the better to show off the chrome control plates and tremolo bridge.
Now I’m aware this is a pretty advanced build already, especially for one so inexperienced in the ways and means of Fender offsets. Nitro finishing is a fairly specialist concern as it is – and don’t even get me started on the electrics just yet. The thing is, the weather, at the moment, is super warm and dry – with a forecast of lots more for the coming months. Nitro spraying and curing is just so much easier in warm, dry surroundings. I aim to take advantage of the good weather to push a few painting projects on, in the workshop. I can get to grips with the electrics on the kitchen table – later on in the year, when the nights begin to draw in.
I’ve not sprayed a guitar before – but I did a reasonable bit of spray finishing when I used to run a motorbike. In fact, I learned a whole load of stuff off my good friend Tosh when I worked with him a while back. The place we worked, just happened to have a model building room down in the basement. This came fully fitted with a professional spray booth, linked to an industrial filtered extract system – nice setup. We pretty much took over the room for a while whilst he showed me how to properly prep and spray new parts for the bike. During lunch hours, over a good few months, I managed to learn how to completely strip and refinish a tank, seat surround, belly pan and mudguard. Cheers Tosh. All that will come in useful.
Here, in Garageland, I’ve built a small booth in the corner of the workshop. This is to keep paint and varnish and lacquer, all separate from the rest of the workshop. It’s also an attempt to keep as much dust and contamination out as possible. I’ve hooked up a small spray extract so that it’ll vent the fumes outside, and hopefully, it will be enough to help create a bit of an air current to “float” the paint onto the surface, and help mop up the overspray. Lighting is handled with fixtures placed outside of the booth, (you don’t want wiring or anything that might generate sparks inside – believe me), and there’s also natural light coming in from both sides. With any kind of fine finishing, it really helps to work into a light. It helps show up all the imperfections.
The Jaguar has a shorter neck and scale than usual Fender models. This reduces string tension, and has a lot to do with the twangy surf sound associated with the model. For that reason. I need to source a neck specifically for this project. I’ve gone with an Allparts Jaguar neck (type JGRO), which has a rosewood fingerboard. The neck is licensed by Fender – so the shape and scale length should be accurate. What do you know. It just happens to fit the G&B body like a dream.
First job is to mask off the fingerboard, and spray a couple of light coats of clear nitro over the back and sides of the neck. The maple is already well finished and super smooth – so no need for any prep other than a good wipe down with naptha to clean things off before spraying. Once the neck is finished, I’ll rub the clear coat down to a satin finish to make the neck feel even smoother.