They Said It Couldn't Be Done, OR, Don't Call It A Comeback, It Never Left

Talk about modding or building your own guitar from scratch.
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They Said It Couldn't Be Done, OR, Don't Call It A Comeback, It Never Left

Post by Fender Addiction » Thu Jun 27, 2019 6:36 pm

A couple weeks ago I completed a Telecaster project, and have really been enjoying my guitar projects this year. I keep an eye on Reverb for "Luthier's Special" guitars, as well as FB Marketplace and Craigslist. A couple weeks ago a 2013 Fender Jazzmaster American Special shows up on Reverb, and the body was held together by the pickguard. Literally... I am not kidding. The neck, from the photos, showed no obvious damage.

The seller was a consignment person and he had no idea what had happened. After having successfully rescued a couple beat up guitars this year (a Strat and a Tele), I figured I was up to the challenge.

The seller took great photos, and I knew what I was in for. I have not completed the project but I am pretty far along. I am planning on using this thread to document my progress. So without further adieu, I give you the rescue attempt of the Jazzmaster.

Here are some shots from the Reverb ad:
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I took it apart, and put it in a box while I gathered my thoughts:
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Laid it out and then mostly sanded it, looking for any other cracks, not worried about edges at this point:
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Glue up... because I already had it on-hand, I chose not to use Titebond, and used Gorilla wood glue. The project I bought the glue for didn't require NEAR the gluing and I didn't know just how quick the set-up time was. This was almost a disaster:
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After sanding:
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I still have much prep to do. I mixed up some PC Woody wood epoxy for the largest voids on the front, will sand tomorrow and fill the voids on the back. After that I am going to use a more traditional wood filler followed up by a sanding sealer. I am more than sure this is overkill, but I don't want any grain showing through, and I have sanded all the way down to the wood.

More pics will be added to this thread as I make progress...

Steve
“Dewey Cox has to think about his whole life before he plays.” - Sam McPherson, Drummer for Dewey Cox

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Re: They Said It Couldn't Be Done, OR, Don't Call It A Comeback, It Never Left

Post by Fender Addiction » Thu Jun 27, 2019 6:38 pm

How did this end up in Questions and Comments??? I was (or at least THOUGHT I was) in the project forum

Can an admin assist me and move the to the appropriate location??

Steve
“Dewey Cox has to think about his whole life before he plays.” - Sam McPherson, Drummer for Dewey Cox

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Re: They Said It Couldn't Be Done, OR, Don't Call It A Comeback, It Never Left

Post by Danley » Thu Jun 27, 2019 7:19 pm

Wow - as a new owner of an American Special Jazzmaster that is really sad; these are great guitars. But looks like it will end well in your hands :-* (Love how paper-thin the section of the body beneath the pickups on these looks; they needed to go deeper than the Kola Borehole to mount the huge stacked humbuckers.)
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Re: They Said It Couldn't Be Done, OR, Don't Call It A Comeback, It Never Left

Post by Rgand » Thu Jun 27, 2019 8:15 pm

Nice salvage job so far. It must be rewarding to make progress like that.

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Re: They Said It Couldn't Be Done, OR, Don't Call It A Comeback, It Never Left

Post by Fender Addiction » Fri Jun 28, 2019 5:57 am

Danley wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 7:19 pm
Wow - as a new owner of an American Special Jazzmaster that is really sad; these are great guitars. But looks like it will end well in your hands :-* (Love how paper-thin the section of the body beneath the pickups on these looks; they needed to go deeper than the Kola Borehole to mount the huge stacked humbuckers.)
I noticed that! For stability, I ran a screw through the switch cavity. I'd say a quarter of an inch at the most at that point.
Rgand wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 8:15 pm
Nice salvage job so far. It must be rewarding to make progress like that.
Thanks! So far, it has been very rewarding. I had mentally prepared to ditch the body and either get one from The Stratosphere on Reverb or from Warmoth. Since the breaks were with the grain, I wanted to give salvaging it a try.
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Re: They Said It Couldn't Be Done, OR, Don't Call It A Comeback, It Never Left

Post by Fender Addiction » Fri Jun 28, 2019 7:08 am

Here are a couple mock-up/test fit photos... I did find two pieces that I glued in: one is between the bridge and tail piece, the other on the high E side of the neck pocket.

If I weren't dead-set on trying my my hand at applying a candy paint job, I could just put it together like this...

Photos:
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Re: They Said It Couldn't Be Done, OR, Don't Call It A Comeback, It Never Left

Post by Rgand » Fri Jun 28, 2019 7:44 am

Fender Addiction wrote:
Fri Jun 28, 2019 7:08 am
Here are a couple mock-up/test fit photos... I did find two pieces that I glued in: one is between the bridge and tail piece, the other on the high E side of the neck pocket.

If I weren't dead-set on trying my my hand at applying a candy paint job, I could just put it together like this...

Photos:
Image
Image
That will look great with a candy finish. It's a good one to practice on. Of course, that would look good with just a clear coat on it. Talk about relicing!

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Re: They Said It Couldn't Be Done, OR, Don't Call It A Comeback, It Never Left

Post by ChristheRat » Fri Jun 28, 2019 8:34 am

Just reread this post to see how old this guitar was cause the wood looks pretty good. How does a 2013 look like that haha! That thing was trashed. Nice work.
Things are more like they are now, then they ever have been.

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Re: They Said It Couldn't Be Done, OR, Don't Call It A Comeback, It Never Left

Post by Fender Addiction » Fri Jun 28, 2019 8:59 am

ChristheRat wrote:
Fri Jun 28, 2019 8:34 am
Just reread this post to see how old this guitar was cause the wood looks pretty good. How does a 2013 look like that haha! That thing was trashed. Nice work.
I really don't know how it got that way. It had to have been dropped in just the right way, or crushed under something. The neck has almost no damage at all. There is a small nick in the fretboard at the 20th fret on the low side and a couple of incidental scratches on the back of it. So, I am not sure what would cause damage ONLY to the body.

The seller on Reverb was a consignment shop, and the owner didn't tell him how it happened, just that he tried to fix it. On the front, you can see what looks like an attempt saw into the break, there's about a 1/16" to 1/8" groove on the surface. Luckily, he didn't take it any deeper than that. The grain all lined up nicely, and the glue bond should as strong as, if not stronger than, the original wood.

I was going to drill and insert dowels in strategic locations across the grain for extra stability, but, I have rough handled the body since the glue cured and it doesn't feel like I need to do anything else to it. I may still do that... it isn't like I am on a reality show with a fake deadline for completion.
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Re: They Said It Couldn't Be Done, OR, Don't Call It A Comeback, It Never Left

Post by ChristheRat » Fri Jun 28, 2019 12:04 pm

So lucky t was just the body. Curious how much did u buy it for? I would be scared. Also if you decide to do dowels would you have to tear it apart again?
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Re: They Said It Couldn't Be Done, OR, Don't Call It A Comeback, It Never Left

Post by Fender Addiction » Fri Jun 28, 2019 12:24 pm

ChristheRat wrote:
Fri Jun 28, 2019 12:04 pm
So lucky t was just the body. Curious how much did u buy it for? I would be scared. Also if you decide to do dowels would you have to tear it apart again?
The price was $400. I did some quick math... US Jazzmaster neck, US Jazzmaster stacked humbuckers, switch, pots, etc... I figured it was a fair price or close to it. I don't think I would have paid any more than that.

Regarding the dowels... I would either drill on a very shallow angle 30 degrees or less through the cracks or entirely side to side and use very long dowels.

Another thought I have is, if I need extra support in the body, I could route 5/16" or 1/2" just over 3/4" deep across the grain, glue in a dowel, fill with DR Woody's Wood Epoxy.

All of this would depend on whether or not I felt any flex in the body since gluing it up. So far, it has been very rigid, so I will probably not do anything like that.
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Re: They Said It Couldn't Be Done, OR, Don't Call It A Comeback, It Never Left

Post by s_mcsleazy » Fri Jun 28, 2019 12:28 pm

so i think i know what kinda accident this guitar had to get into this state.

the worst of the cracks appear to be at the bottom of the guitar. that would imply that was the point of impact. i'm guessing the guitar still had it's strap button on when it was smashed. i think it was definitely an onstage smashing with one hand on the top horn, one hand on the bottom and hitting it against the floor of the stage. there is little neck damage so it wasnt the "shovel smash" style and little damage elsewhere so it wouldnt have been the "axe" style.

just a theory though.
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Re: They Said It Couldn't Be Done, OR, Don't Call It A Comeback, It Never Left

Post by Fender Addiction » Fri Jun 28, 2019 1:02 pm

s_mcsleazy wrote:
Fri Jun 28, 2019 12:28 pm
so i think i know what kinda accident this guitar had to get into this state.

the worst of the cracks appear to be at the bottom of the guitar. that would imply that was the point of impact. i'm guessing the guitar still had it's strap button on when it was smashed. i think it was definitely an onstage smashing with one hand on the top horn, one hand on the bottom and hitting it against the floor of the stage. there is little neck damage so it wasnt the "shovel smash" style and little damage elsewhere so it wouldnt have been the "axe" style.

just a theory though.
Definitely the most logical scenario... an uncontrolled drop onto a hard surface would have caused some sort of bouncing which would have cause some type of damage to the neck or headstock somewhere!
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Re: They Said It Couldn't Be Done, OR, Don't Call It A Comeback, It Never Left

Post by s_mcsleazy » Fri Jun 28, 2019 1:04 pm

Fender Addiction wrote:
Fri Jun 28, 2019 1:02 pm
s_mcsleazy wrote:
Fri Jun 28, 2019 12:28 pm
so i think i know what kinda accident this guitar had to get into this state.

the worst of the cracks appear to be at the bottom of the guitar. that would imply that was the point of impact. i'm guessing the guitar still had it's strap button on when it was smashed. i think it was definitely an onstage smashing with one hand on the top horn, one hand on the bottom and hitting it against the floor of the stage. there is little neck damage so it wasnt the "shovel smash" style and little damage elsewhere so it wouldnt have been the "axe" style.

just a theory though.
Definitely the most logical scenario... an uncontrolled drop onto a hard surface would have caused some sort of bouncing which would have cause some type of damage to the neck or headstock somewhere!
CSI: Offset
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Re: They Said It Couldn't Be Done, OR, Don't Call It A Comeback, It Never Left

Post by Fender Addiction » Fri Jun 28, 2019 1:46 pm

s_mcsleazy wrote:
Fri Jun 28, 2019 1:04 pm
Fender Addiction wrote:
Fri Jun 28, 2019 1:02 pm
s_mcsleazy wrote:
Fri Jun 28, 2019 12:28 pm
so i think i know wh ... damage so it wasnt the "shovel smash" style and little damage elsewhere so it wouldnt have been the "axe" style.

just a theory though.
Definitely the most logical scenario... damage to the neck or headstock somewhere!
CSI: Offset
^^^ LOL :w00t: :w00t:
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