Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Jag-Stang Available for Parts

Well, I screwed up.

I received the new tuning keys I ordered for my Jag-Stang and attempted to install them.

They didn't fit, which should have been my first indication that I needed to send them back immediately. The holes for the Kluson tuners were too small to accommodate the barrels of the new locking tuners.

But, I wasn't that smart. I tried to enlarge the holes. It didn't seem like it would be that difficult.

I was wrong.

So now I've got a Jag-Stang neck with screwed-up uneven holes for tuners. A luthier with a drill press could probably fix it, routing out the holes to accommodate some even thicker tuners, but it might be cheaper just to buy a new neck. The project is on hold.

Sometimes it is possible to over-estimate ones own abilities, decide what you already have is not good enough, and try to improve it. I'd encourage any aspiring guitarists to be careful not to fall into this trap! It is probably better in many cases to simply hunt for a better guitar, instead of trying to modify one you've already got.

Embarassment and frustration all around! But more importantly, I don't have an instrument I can use to trigger my guitar synth, until I get this fixed or replaced in one way or another. That's the real frustration.


kyle said...

how did you screw it up? I always just use a regular hand held drill and hold it flat....never screwed up once! are you shaky?

Paul R. Potts said...

Hi Kyle,

I don't think I am "shaky" -- I can solder electronics and do fine work -- but I apparently just over-estimated my woodworking skills. It probably didn't help that I had not done much of that kind of thing since high school shop class, and that I don't have a workbench or vise or really anything to help hold the piece steady.

In any case, I now have a new custom-made Warmoth neck with stainless frets -- but it does not precisely fit the neck pocket (there is a little gap on one side). I have a set of nice Gotoh vintage-style locking tuners waiting to get installed. I'll take it up to Elderly Instruments the next time I'm there, and they can make a shim for the neck pocket and glue it in, and drill the countersunk holes on their drill press, with their Stew-Mac jigs and what-not made just for the purpose. And it will be a nice guitar again.