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newb non player wants to build a "Jaz" guitar for Jaz sax playing son

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by bruceruth1988, Jan 25, 2021.

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  1. bruceruth1988

    bruceruth1988 TDPRI Member

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    Hi, I have been a woodworker my whole life but have never built a guitar nor do I play one or any other instrument for that matter. My son is a jaz saxophonist with a Masters in Saxophone performance and mentioned he might want a guitar so I want to build one for him. I have a CNC router to do most of the wood cutting on. I use Fusion360 for CAD and CAM.
    What I need from all of you is:
    Are their CNC plans for an electric Jaz guitar if there is such a thing?
    What hardware is needed? He mentioned Humbucker pickups.
    I seriously know nothing about this but I can surely follow plans and instructions. I don't want to build one from a kit.
    Any help you could provide would be deeply appreciated.
    Thanks
     
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  2. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    DXF files of a tele body and neck are in here:

    Schablonen und Zeichnungen - GitarreBassBau.de

    The body is '53bodymaster noflat by Edhawley

    the neck is neck50'sfinal also by Edhawley.


    You may want to check out his awesome thread

    '53 CNC build | Telecaster Guitar Forum (tdpri.com)

    The same drawing is available as a pdf in post 585 here:

    D-Size Tele Body Blueprint Files HERE | Page 30 | Telecaster Guitar Forum (tdpri.com)


    The body drawing can be used as is or you can remove elements and replace them if you like.


    These may help too.

    Let's make a body ! | Telecaster Guitar Forum (tdpri.com)

    Press a button and out pops a guitar build. | Telecaster Guitar Forum (tdpri.com)

    Using an X-Carve CNC router to make an electric guitar. | Telecaster Guitar Forum (tdpri.com)
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2021
  3. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Hmmm, I’ve built boats, houses, furniture, cabinets, jewelry, and a few electric guitars as well as doing lots of guitar and violin repair.

    For myself, something like a Jazz guitar I would screw up on the first try if I had not made some simpler guitars and parts and done repairs.

    Jazz can be played really well on a Tele, and a Tele is a great guitar to build as a first instrument build.

    Jazz guitar usually means hollow body archtop.
    Lotta stuff to screw up!
     
  4. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I’d use the search function and look for the epic thread called “what’s on your workbench today?”.
    Years of builds, repairs and mods by members, worth 1000 words!
     
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  5. crazydave911

    crazydave911 Doctor of Teleocity

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    Not sure you'll have a frame of reference but a Tele is normally a two pickup guitar, one towards the end of the neck and the other close to the bridge. For jazz I'd do a neck humbucker and regular Tele bridge, none too "hot" or powerful. A jazz player plays mostly on the neck pickup but you should do a balanced setup as if he trys both one won't overpower the other ;)

    Dave
     
  6. Jim_in_PA

    Jim_in_PA Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I agree with Dave...easier first project because the Telecaster type geometry has the neck and body coplanar and as he notes, using well chosen pickups will give that wonderful, warm "jazz" tone.
     
  7. Asmith

    Asmith Friend of Leo's

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    I'd probably talk with your son a little more before asking us for advice. I wonder what his idea of a jazz guitar is? Definitely worth finding that out before planning anything.

    A telecaster is as easy as they get for a first guitar build and they are great guitars for jazz. But they definitely aren't the first thing that pops into my head if I was to think about a jazz guitar. For that I would think of a deep bodied archtop guitar which would be extremely difficult to tackle for a first guitar build.

    L5CES-0617-Main2.jpg
     
  8. erix

    erix Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    I built a tele specifically for my jazzier side. The body is semi-hollow and open to where the bridge pickup goes.
    IMG_8469.JPG

    For a while I played it like that, no bridge pickup, just an SD Jazz humbucker in the neck. But it looked too weird so I put an SD Jerry Donahue pickup in there and the two play nice together. A couple of things that are musts on a jazzy box are flatwound strings (I have 10-48 set on there now) and a top loader bridge which gives a slightly lighter string tension.
     
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  9. Allan Allan

    Allan Allan Tele-Afflicted

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    This is fake. I'm surprised he didn't post a potato photo a piece of paper that says "Jaxz" and claim to be hanging out with Julian Lange with no other context.
     
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  10. strat a various

    strat a various Friend of Leo's

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    I see we're leaving out letters from words now. How quaint.
    OK, this is what I'd do:

    Find a used Chines or Korea ful hollowbod archto guita wit humbucke pickup. Pay aroun $300, it'l be worth it.

    Now yo hav a 3-D example of what you wan to build in yo hand. Yo can measure it, take it apart, use some of the parts (tailpiece, knobs, tuners), and have a great referenc point.

    Also, learn to spell Jazz.
     
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  11. DeepDangler

    DeepDangler Tele-Meister

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    I think making the body and routing it would be a fun project. I would recommend buying a guitar neck from Might Mite or another similar quality website. The neck of the guitar requires a lot of work and fine measurements to get just right and a bad neck will ruin the whole instrument.
     
  12. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

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    I first encountered Bruce at one of the lutherie forums and suggested he come over here. I think he is asking three separate questions

    - I want to build a guitar for my son, but I really don't know much about them
    - My son wants a jazz guitar (whatever that means)
    - I want to use my home CNC to built it

    I suggested that he get Melvyn Hiscock's book for a general idea of how to build an electric guitar

    We can argue all day what a jazz guitar is - my feeling is that you can play jazz on anything but there are certain guitars that are more commonly associated with this genre of music

    I thought some of you with CNC's can tell him how you use them in your guitar building.
     
  13. strat a various

    strat a various Friend of Leo's

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    Has anyone thought about asking the son what kind of Jazz guitar he'd like to have?

    Is this some kind of surprise? Like in a sitcom?

    (I'd just ask the son.)
     
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  14. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Ahhhh, more background helps!

    Knowing this, the OPs question was (not surprisingly) answered aptly by @guitarbuilder in post #2!

    We all stumbled and hurt our knees on the "Jaz guitar" AKA "Jazz guitar".
    OP: If you walk into any music store and ask to see a "Jazz guitar", they will show you something like the L5 @Asmith posted a pic of.
    That's a Jazz guitar.

    Shift the words around and say something like "I'm an old woodworker whose son plays Jazz sax and I want to build him a guitar using my cool garage CNC but I know nothing about guitars"; well we would have gone a different route and not got mired in some swamp when you asked for directions to the desert!

    Now I suppose it's also possible that "kids today" remove the last Z from Jaz to indicate they aint their old gran-paw?
    So by that simple hip reference we should'a got your meaning?

    Allow that many of us are kinda old and maybe kinda grumpy and forgive our initial reactions!
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2021
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  15. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Here’s a couple of Tele style bodies in my parts pile that are maybe better directed toward being Jazz guitars.
    Both are chambered (hollowed with a router the capped) but the unfinished one is alder, and like a normal Fender Thinline, while the other is pine top over alder core with curly maple back, looks more Jazzy.

    9D88162B-AA4B-40FA-A402-271D5B6F70E7.jpeg FB449814-D420-4823-8C83-C6970AEDC744.jpeg
     
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  16. bruceruth1988

    bruceruth1988 TDPRI Member

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    OK I understand this will be a challenge. I have the same skill set as you except the instrument repair. I have built an 8 foot dingy, a 16 foot 3 piece kayak and the 20 ft center console I have been using for fishing for the last 20 years. I also do a bunch of intarsia and all kinds of cabinet work. The CNC router I will be using I designed and built from scratch and it has a 4 ft x 8 ft table.
    If I screw up all I loose is some wood, right? The electronics could be moved to a different build if I have to.
    So my question for you is can you detail where I might screw this up so I have a better chance of success?
    Thanks
     
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  17. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    If you can cnc...you probably won't screw up. A tele is a lot easier to build than the stuff you mentioned. Imagine a cutting board with holes and routs in it. You just need to decide what routs you want for the pickups you choose. Typical Tele bodies are 1-3/4" thick. A thinline is usually 1.5" thick body with a 1/4" top. You can make the top a bit thinner in the F hole area if you like on the inside for esthetics. I'd take the Tdowns drawing and manipulate it in your drawing program first. Create a solid model if you plan on doing 3d. A tele is easy enough to do 2.5 D though.


    I used to have a body modeling thread but the pictures are all photobucketed up. I should probably redo that.

    In the x carve thread I linked above you can see a thinline build. There are thinline drawings on the net.

    What's important here are the scale length you decide on and the bridge you decide on. If you plan on using a typical tele style vintage bridge, you should be ok with the hole placements on the tdowns drawing. Getting your parts assembled before you rout in a plus, but the tdowns drawing is good as is.


    If you use a tele vintage bridge, you'll want the neck rout .625 deep from the top of the body. The neck pickup is the same depth. The bridge pickup is around .850". The control cavity is 1.5" deep from the top of the body with a top on it. I wouldn't drill any screw holes until you fit your parts.




    I've found that it is easier to rout the roundover than to bother doing it in 3d. In fact I rarely use 3D on a body except for strat style arm and body contours, and making necks.


    tdowns.png
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2021
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  18. Lucius Paisley

    Lucius Paisley Tele-Holic

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    I hope he doesn't want a Gordon Gartrell.

    [​IMG]
     
  19. JL_LI

    JL_LI Friend of Leo's

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    Hi @bruceruth1988 . I admire you for even thinking about building a jazz guitar. I play some jazz and a lot of other styles. One thing I’ve found is that it’s not about the gear. Jazz is a collection of styles played on a variety of instruments. Jazz has its conventions but none are defined by a particular instrument design. Jazz is more about rhythm and melody sometimes making use of modes not common in other genres.

    I like my ‘69 Stratocaster for jazz. Position 4, the neck and middle pickup together gives me the sound of a traditional jazz guitar. The middle pickup alone gives me a little cut with an edge to the tone. I rewired my Strat to give me the neck and bridge together in position 2 for a glassy smooth sound. I wouldn’t trade it for a jazz box.

    Jazz can be played on most any guitar. There’s nothing important that differentiates a jazz saxophone from the one played in a marching band. A Stratocaster type may be a more manageable first build than a wide hollow body and with under wound single coil pickups, will make a wonderful jazz guitar.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2021
  20. Jim_in_PA

    Jim_in_PA Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    The challenge is the best part. But still, for the first build, especially if you want to leverage your CNC, do a Tele-type and kit it out for the desired tone. The hollow body type that's often associated with the Jazz genre will certainly provide the opportunity to make some parts with the CNC, but it's nature means the actual build is going to be traditional on the bench using bent pieces of wood for the sides, etc. It's going to be a long time before I personally attempt something like that (acoustic or hollow body electric) even with over two decades of woodworking experience...but I'm really eating up the CNC environment for those that I am building for sure!
     
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