DIY Warmoth Jazzcaster HS in Daphne Blue

emptyminded42

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Hi all, starting a thread to share my in-progress Jazzcaster build. I'm using a Warmoth finished alder Jazzcaster body in Daphne Blue and having them rout the neck pickup to a humbucker (I already have 3-single coils on my Cyclone II so I wanted to try a Humbucker). The rest of the build is a mismash of Fender and StewMac stuff. The parts list and costs are below in case anyone's curious on what exactly I plan to use and how much I've spent (too much, frankly, but I wasn't confident in my ability to properly finish a body).

I ordered my body from Warmoth a few weeks ago and they're saying it'll be about 18-20 weeks to get it routed and finished but I've got everything that was sourced elsewhere already in hand. It's gonna be a long wait.

PartSourceCost
Warmoth Jazzcaster body, neck routed for humbucker, hardtail Tele bridge, finished in Gloss Daphne BlueWarmoth$ 400.00
Mighty Mite Telecaster neck, maple fingerboardBYOguitar$ 150.00
Gotoh standard Tele bridgeWarmoth$ 44.00
Tele Control PlateWarmoth$ 13.29
Fender F mounting plateeBay$ 11.47
FerrulesWarmoth$ 5.04
2x Flat top knobWarmoth$ 5.50
Fender strap lockeBay$ 11.83
String retainer, chrome set of 2Warmoth$ 4.00
A la carte electronicsVarious
subtotal: $64​
Vintage wire kit & capacitorsStewMac$13
Treble bleed kit w/ Orange Drop capsStewMac$13.19
2x 500k CTS solid shaft potsStewMac$17.38
470kOhm resistorStewMac$0.79
CRL 3-way pickup switchWarmoth$18.00
Tele black switch top hatWarmoth$1.50
Warmoth Jazzcaster HS pickguard, parchmentWarmoth$ 33.00
Golden Age Humbucker - zebra neckStewmac$ 52.35
Fender '62 bridge + pickup set (just using the pickup w/ the modern bridge so if ya need a '62 bridge hit me up)eBay$ 55.00
Hipshot 6-in line non-staggered locking tuners, chromeeBay$ 39.00

So there's my parts list - it's missing an input jack but I actually have a spare one laying around that I'm going to use. I also haven't figured out what, if any, finish I need to put on the maple neck - Mighty Mite says it's a super thin urethane coating but I really want a gloss finish on the fretboard. I might just do a few coats of wipe-on gloss poly on the front and the same but in matte on the back.

Some other stuff - I kludged together a "render" of what my Jazzcaster will look like:
Daphne Jazzcaster HS Parchment.jpg


I'm not 100% on the parchment pickguard - I want it to match the cream from the zebra humbucker but Warmoth makes it look like their Parchment is really dark - anyone got experience there? I'm also considering white pearl (which I have on my Cyclone and really like but was leaning to get something different) or BWB. Note that my maple neck is SUPER light - no amber at all, unlike the photo.

Finally, I had to root around the internet to find a wiring diagram for an HS tele which was surprisingly kinda hard to find. I did manage to find one from - so it should solve the problem where you want 250k for the single coil and 500k for the humbucker. I'm not doing any coil splitting or single-parallel wiring but I can always add that capability later. Here's the wiring diagram if anyone's looking for an HS Telecaster wiring schematic.

Tele HS Wiring Schematic.png


Well, that's all I've got for now. While I'm waiting for my body to arrive, I plan to finish (or not) the neck, install the tuning machines, and maybe wire up the control plate and pickguard so I'm ready to just assemble when the body arrives.

Thanks all!
 
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TheZ

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I think this is going to be an awesome build! One piece of advice just based on the few builds I've put together, if you're going to be waiting a while on that body, you may want to think about a different neck.

There's nothing wrong Mighty Mite necessarily, but the nut they come with is not great. And this is just me, but the black plastic around the truss rod access looks cheap like a Squier or MIM. You've got some really nice parts coming in so it would make sense to me to do the same with the neck. But totally up to you, I'm sure it'll turn out great.
 

emptyminded42

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I think this is going to be an awesome build! One piece of advice just based on the few builds I've put together, if you're going to be waiting a while on that body, you may want to think about a different neck.

There's nothing wrong Mighty Mite necessarily, but the nut they come with is not great. And this is just me, but the black plastic around the truss rod access looks cheap like a Squier or MIM. You've got some really nice parts coming in so it would make sense to me to do the same with the neck. But totally up to you, I'm sure it'll turn out great.
Thanks for the input - I already have the MM neck in-hand but I suppose I could return it. I was hoping to keep the build to ~$600 but it's already basically $900 and I'm not sure I want to spend more on the neck. I might poke around, though, and see if I can find something else that's not too much more money.

Is there anything special about roasted necks/bodies other than their darker color? I'd prefer the color of the lighter non-roasted maple necks, personally. Poking around eBay, it looks like a genuine Fender '51 Tele neck in maple/maple with 21 narrow tall frets and fat U shape is $300, there's also another MIM maple/maple 22 fret neck with the Modern "C" shape, medium jumbo frets. I don't think I've ever played a fat U - I'm pretty sure my Cyclone II has a C shape neck with 22 medium jumbo frets. I'm wondering if I should stick with the neck size and shape I know I like or build the Jazzcaster with a different neck shape and frets to make them totally different guitars...

I also am not thrilled with the finish on the MM neck - it's a very thin matte urethane and I'm looking for a glossy fingerboard and the Fender necks are already gloss which would save me some time and hassle. I'm already $160 in to the MM so what's another $140 + tax and shipping 🤣
 
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TheZ

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I've never really understood the whole roasted thing but it does look nice, I suppose it could reduce weight too. A lot of folks like the AllParts fat neck which I believe comes with a gloss finish. You can also order a finished neck from Warmoth which would be my go-to but I happen to live pretty close to them.
 

emptyminded42

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I've never really understood the whole roasted thing but it does look nice, I suppose it could reduce weight too. A lot of folks like the AllParts fat neck which I believe comes with a gloss finish. You can also order a finished neck from Warmoth which would be my go-to but I happen to live pretty close to them.
I know Warmoth makes good stuff but I figure if I’m going to spend the $300 on a neck I might as well get a Fender branded neck, plus then I don’t have to wait around for it to be built and finished. The MM neck looks pretty good (to my inexperienced eye), I’d just like it to be gloss. I’ll probably sleep on it and see if I end up wanting to spend a bit more on the neck to get a legit Fender neck. If I go that route I think I’m going to do the ‘51 fat neck just to make sure this guitar plays and feels different than my existing one.

Really appreciate the thoughts and comments - I definitely have plenty of time to decide with the lead time on the finished body 😆
 

emptyminded42

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I finally got confirmation that the neck for my P-bass build has finally shipped so that rules out changing the Tele neck, bummer. I found that Fender is having a 30% off sale if you buy two and I decided if Stratosphere Parts didn't actually have the P-bass neck in stock I was going to return the MM to StewMac and buy two MIM Fender necks (one Tele, one P-Bass). It was going to be about $120 more for both but I really don't want to pay for and manage the return shipping on two necks, etc.

So I'm planning to lightly sand the MM Tele neck fretboard with 320 grit to scuff the surface and get rid of the "thin urethane coating". I'll finish with a can of Minwax aerosol gloss lacquer - as many coats as I need to get a gloss finish. Hopefully I can avoid touching the back completely since I like the satin finish on that side.

I also picked up a prewired PureTone output jack and Electrosocket mounting plate for $20 from Starr Guitar (based in TX) that should be a drop-in solution for the Jazzcaster since I totally spaced on getting a mounting plate.

That's it for now - I will update if/when I refinish the fretboard on the Might Mite. Can’t do much else but that and install tuners until Warmoth’s done painting the body because I ordered a bunch of stuff from them in the same order as the body 🤦‍♂️
 

Wheelhouse

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This just proves why I don't even want to total up what I'm spending. ;) Let's see, how many drill bits have I bought now? And a reamer, I never had that before... Do I count the bandsaw as part of my guitar project? LOL! o_O
 

emptyminded42

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This just proves why I don't even want to total up what I'm spending. ;) Let's see, how many drill bits have I bought now? And a reamer, I never had that before... Do I count the bandsaw as part of my guitar project? LOL! o_O
Haha, yeah… I wanted to see how it compares to getting an American-made Tele … right now it’s looking like I’m spending a little under $1k for this Jazzcaster HS vs. $1,500ish for an American Performer Tele HS (which only comes in sunburst and Olympic White - neither of those are up my alley).

So I consider it a win - I’m saving about $500 vs a new one and I’m getting it in an offset body I’m really excited about in the exact color I want. Plus the fun of assembling it myself.

But I’m sure I’m going to buy another hundred or so in supplies and tools before I’m done…
 

Steve Holt

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Haha, yeah… I wanted to see how it compares to getting an American-made Tele … right now it’s looking like I’m spending a little under $1k for this Jazzcaster HS vs. $1,500ish for an American Performer Tele HS (which only comes in sunburst and Olympic White - neither of those are up my alley).

So I consider it a win - I’m saving about $500 vs a new one and I’m getting it in an offset body I’m really excited about in the exact color I want. Plus the fun of assembling it myself.

But I’m sure I’m going to buy another hundred or so in supplies and tools before I’m done…

Probably won't help this time, but next time you're sourcing parts check out Philadelphia Luthier supplies for some of the components. The guitar I'm building now is going to have a lot of their parts. Things like control plates, neck plates, string trees...good pricing.

The funny thing is I order Gotoh tuners from stewmac and they come in a sealed pack pressed into a white cardboard box with no labeling. I ordered some Gotoh tuners from Phildadelphia Luthier and they came in a really nice branded Gotoh Box with two sets of bushings (both the good quality full shaft kind, and the odd little tapered ones) AND an installation tool - which was useless to me, but I was very intrigued to see that it was included.

They also have great deals on tools too.
 

emptyminded42

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I've never really understood the whole roasted thing but it does look nice, I suppose it could reduce weight too. A lot of folks like the AllParts fat neck which I believe comes with a gloss finish. You can also order a finished neck from Warmoth which would be my go-to but I happen to live pretty close to them.

Whelp, you're right about the MM neck. I just got the Allparts neck in for my P-bass build and holy crap is it so much better than the MM and it's already got a vintage gloss urethane finish so I don't have to do anything to it. The skunk stripe on the back of the MM neck isn't grain filled so it's rough and some of the frets are scuffed and various other little things - a big one being the thin matte finish (yuck!). I'm gonna return that Mighty Mite neck to StewMac and get a the Allparts TMF neck from Stratosphere. It's a vintage gloss urethane finish like the bass neck but it's got 21 vintage-size frets and it's .86" thick at the first fret which I think is a little thicker than my Cyclone neck but should still be similar enough that I'm pretty confident I will like it.
 

emptyminded42

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Probably won't help this time, but next time you're sourcing parts check out Philadelphia Luthier supplies for some of the components. The guitar I'm building now is going to have a lot of their parts. Things like control plates, neck plates, string trees...good pricing.

The funny thing is I order Gotoh tuners from stewmac and they come in a sealed pack pressed into a white cardboard box with no labeling. I ordered some Gotoh tuners from Phildadelphia Luthier and they came in a really nice branded Gotoh Box with two sets of bushings (both the good quality full shaft kind, and the odd little tapered ones) AND an installation tool - which was useless to me, but I was very intrigued to see that it was included.

They also have great deals on tools too.
Fortunately Warmoth has really good prices on the basics - definitely cheaper than StewMac and some basic things like control plate, knobs, pots, etc. are even cheaper than i can find on eBay. The seller guitaraudio where I got all my Fender stuff from for this build and my P-bass build has the best prices around (and 10% off if you buy 4 or more items which saved me a LOT), free shipping, and they all came brand new in original packaging. I picked up a set of Hipshot locking tuners from them and they came in a sealed original box. Really happy about it but I will check out that site for tools and basics when it's ready to order again. Thanks for the tip!
 

Steve Holt

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Warmoth is a dirty word around my house. 😂

Just kidding - but I try to do as little business with them as possible. If they have something I can't find anywhere else at all, then I'll make a purchase. But then I have to figure out how to make a $25 minimum order - or I can't even order it.
 

emptyminded42

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Warmoth is a dirty word around my house. 😂

Just kidding - but I try to do as little business with them as possible. If they have something I can't find anywhere else at all, then I'll make a purchase. But then I have to figure out how to make a $25 minimum order - or I can't even order it.

Any particular reason why? Can you elaborate in a PM?
 

TheZ

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Whelp, you're right about the MM neck. I just got the Allparts neck in for my P-bass build and holy crap is it so much better than the MM and it's already got a vintage gloss urethane finish so I don't have to do anything to it. The skunk stripe on the back of the MM neck isn't grain filled so it's rough and some of the frets are scuffed and various other little things - a big one being the thin matte finish (yuck!). I'm gonna return that Mighty Mite neck to StewMac and get a the Allparts TMF neck from Stratosphere. It's a vintage gloss urethane finish like the bass neck but it's got 21 vintage-size frets and it's .86" thick at the first fret which I think is a little thicker than my Cyclone neck but should still be similar enough that I'm pretty confident I will like it.

Glad I could help!
 

emptyminded42

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The Mighty Mite went back to StewMac on Saturday and my Allparts TMF is inbound this week. I also ordered a couple sets of strings, a bridge, 3-way switch, and a black TUSQ XL nut. They should be in this week and I deleted those parts from the Warmoth order. I also changed from the modern 6-saddle bridge to a more traditional Tele bridge with brass saddles (and saved a few bucks doing it). I’m going to install that nut on my bass first and if that goes well I’ll install the Jazzcaster nut.

This parts order will give me all of the electronics so I can solder those up now while I wait for the finished body. Only things I’m sourcing from Warmoth now are the body, pickguard, ferrules, string retainer, and switch top hat, none of which I need before the body.

I’ll update with pics of the neck when it arrives, how the nut install goes, and the electronics.
 

Sax-son

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Warmoth is a dirty word around my house. 😂

Just kidding - but I try to do as little business with them as possible. If they have something I can't find anywhere else at all, then I'll make a purchase. But then I have to figure out how to make a $25 minimum order - or I can't even order it.
I too have my personal issues with them. However, everything I ever ordered from them turned out to be super so in the long run, they are still one of the best options. They can get a little pricy if you have them finish the product. For component fit, I still have not found anyone else that are as good. Definitely custom shop quality.
 

emptyminded42

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Weekend update: the AllParts TMF neck arrived and just like the P-bass neck, it’s a beauty. It has a nice vintage tint (more so than the bass neck) which I’m really happy about. One small problem: it has vintage sized tuner holes rather than the modern 10 mm standard. I bought modern sized Hipshot tuners so I’ve got to send those back. I ordered a set of Fender/Gotoh vintage locking tuners which should look just like the ones on my Cyclone and I’m really happy about that.

I’m confident the TUSQ nut will fit once I sand it a little bit which is a much better story than my bass…

I also spent some time Friday soldering up the control plate and overall, I’m happy. It’s been years since I soldered and I was never very skilled in the first place so I had a big learning curve. I used way too much solder to attach wire to the switch - so much that it wicked on the backsides and got into the contacts for the moving blade piece. What a PITA to fix - after probably an hour and a foot of solder wick I was able to clean it up enough to function. The rest of the soldering went smoothly and my multimeter says everything is connected as it should be. It’s ready for the pickups, output jack, and bridge grounds which I can’t do until the body arrives.

Lesson learned - if you keep adding solder to a joint, something is wrong. Stop and check your work frequently and a multimeter is a must have to make sure your connections are working. Harbor Freight has a super cheap one and it works well enough for me.

The only other things I can do on the Jazzcaster for now is installing the tuners and nut. I’ll update when I do that or maybe sooner if I remember to take pics of the control plate.
 




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