Jazzmaster Phase Two: pickguard wiring, bridge cups, tremolo install

Spent a fair amount of time on the Jazzmaster tonight and made some great progress.

I started out with attaching the wiring harness to the pickguard. One unexpected thing I ran into was that the pot shafts for the volume and tone controls were too thick for the pro-drilled pickguard holes. I used a rat tail file to open them up more and that seemed to work nicely. The pots also had pretty long shafts, so I added some extra washers on the inside to keep the knobs from sitting too high off the pickguard.


Similarly, the roller pot shafts for the neck pickup were too thick to fit through the mounting plate, so I used my dremel tool to open those up a little.


Once completed, I had to do some more tweaking, but it finally came out right.

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Next, I moved on to the bridge cups and tremolo. The bridge cups were too big for the pre-drilled holes in the body, so I had to drill them out a little more to allow the cups to fit. I was hesitant to do this, and of course the paint chipped around the drilling area, but it will all be covered by the pickguard when all is said and done. I also chiseled out a small channel for the grounding wire to be run under one of the bridge cups, where it will be soldered. I read that this is a better place to attach the grounding wire as it won’t be affected by the tremolo.

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Finally, I decided to install the tremolo before I packed it in for the night. I wasn’t quite sure how to position it within the routed area, to be honest. Ultimately, I settled for flush against the back edge, because I thought it would be mounted more true. Before drilling, I put the pickguard on and measured across to make sure the distances were equal as best as I could.

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I’m pretty happy with how things are looking so far. I really wanted to do more tonight, but ¬†was getting late, and I knew after I spent about a half hour trying to find a switch nut that I’d dropped, I should get to bed before I really screw something up. Tomorrow I should be able to move on to soldering the pickups and ground wire, and possibly attaching the neck, putting it all together, and starting to set it up. Yikes! This is going a lot faster than I’d expected.

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