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Some heavy Squier Vintage Jaguar mods

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by jtrom, Sep 29, 2015.


  1. jtrom

    jtrom

    Nov 22, 2008
    Kelowna BC
    I bought a Squier Vintage Modified Jaguar bass on Craiglist last year for $75 CAD... a pretty good deal considering these things go for about $250 new.

    I have this terrible habit of wanting to modify my basses :whistle:... and out of no where I wanted to modify this bass real bad. Firstly, I wanted to address the heinous neck dive. Secondly, change the colour. Thirdly, try some different pickups. FOURTHLY... well you see where this is going haha ! :facepalm:

    So guess what I ended up doing?

    Taking a heat gun to the whole body (which turned out to kinda work... but kinda not) leaving some less than desirable body chips and that super lame grey crap that take forever to sand off. Then I ripped some old maple hardwood 1/4" for a new top ... yes that's right... I routed a 1/4" off the top and put a new top on... I glued it all up, routed out the existing neck and pickup grooves.... WHEW

    Then I realized that I was going to leave the top electronic channels unrouted and have the access on the back... whoops. looks like i'm making a pick guard!

    So, many lessons learned here... and one thing i know from all this... Agathis is about as sturdy as wet cardboard and pills like a ****when you sand it...:bored: there's a reason they have 1/8" thick finish!

    IMG_3314.JPG IMG_3315.JPG IMG_3318.JPG IMG_3351.JPG IMG_3353.JPG
    IMG_3350.JPG IMG_3358.JPG IMG_3359.JPG Viking pointing.
    IMG_3362.JPG


    :help: I have some questions for you all though. I still have some terrible neck dive that I would really like to address. Any suggestions? Also, I'm wanting put a really light white/tobacco transparent stain on it and put a picture of a viking on it. I was thinking about either doing a photo transfer with gel medium or pyrography... which would involve BURNING my bass :dead: ... but that's ok. As you can see by all the lame mistakes i've made already. this is going to be my "who gives a care rock-out hard bass"


    Any tips for 1) the neck dive and 2) putting a graphic on the instrument would be much appreciated! :):D:laugh:
     
    Barbaric.Eric likes this.
  2. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    1)Lighter tuners if you want a mod, better strap if you don't. Shave the headstock if your feeling crazy.

    2) Find a decal shop and have them print it as a decal, then just apply it and clear coat it. Bam, viking city.
     
    jtrom likes this.
  3. jtrom

    jtrom

    Nov 22, 2008
    Kelowna BC
    Ya I'm also thinking about putting some weights on the back strap...

    I have an artist friend who could do a good job on the picture... make it a kind of "artist series" of sorts.
     
    DiabolusInMusic likes this.
  4. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    No need to weight the strap, a good 4" extra wide strap with a good grip pad, leather straps are good for this, will actually do quite a bit in terms of neck dive. The weights would work but they are more extreme.
     
  5. jtrom

    jtrom

    Nov 22, 2008
    Kelowna BC
    So I haven't updated this for some time... I made a pick guard out of some old cabinet veneer... i think the stain should cover both the maple and it similarly...at this point i have prepped everything and wood burned my image onto the bass. I printed the image on a transparency and projected it onto the bass... then i sketched the image and burned it on. I think it turned out really well.

    i'm thinking of finishing it with a light stain and a few coasts of tru-oil... ordering some Bill Lawrence pups too :p


    IMG_3444.JPG IMG_3456.JPG IMG_3473.JPG
     
  6. This is pure nordic awesomeness!! Definitely post some shots of the finished bass! :)
     
    5string5fingers likes this.
  7. jtrom

    jtrom

    Nov 22, 2008
    Kelowna BC
    I'm going to be doing the same thing on the back as I did on the front. Route off a 1/4" and glue on a 1/4" of the same hardwood I put on the front. I realize that the finishing process will be made a lot easier if I'm finishing he same wood. I don't want there to be any variances in set time and I also want it to look as uniform as possible. So it will be an Agathis sandwich with Maple bread ;)

    That being said it won't be done for a while. aaaand my tru-oil is taking forever to order in :/
     
  8. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    You cannot buy/sell Tru-Oil in Canada, there is a good chance it was seized at the border. I use Tung oil but there are other alternatives.
     
  9. jtrom

    jtrom

    Nov 22, 2008
    Kelowna BC
    I ordered it from Home Hardware. It's on backorder.

    You may be thinking of denatured alcohol?
     
  10. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    No, Tru-Oil was banned in Canada and many other countries around the world a few years ago. I tried finding some last year and found out it was not for sale in Canada.

    A quick search shows it on Cabela's as well. They must have changed something within the product to conform to legal standards. If it was Cabela's I would just think they are using an American warehouse but I don't think Home Hardware is even outside of Canada.
     
  11. jtrom

    jtrom

    Nov 22, 2008
    Kelowna BC
    I mixed up my shellac and the tru-oil came in the mail the other day so i'll be sending some updates soon!
     
  12. covermego

    covermego Still here....... Supporting Member

    Sep 5, 2010
    Redding, CA
    We're wwwaaaaaaiiiiiittttttiiiiiinnnnnngggggggggggg !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  13. jtrom

    jtrom

    Nov 22, 2008
    Kelowna BC
    oookay,

    so here's my update:
    I mixed up the shellac to around a 1.5 pound cut and I brushed it on. The first coat went on really well. The 2nd coat however, had a lot of streaks in it, which i took out with some 320 grit sand paper. I did a 3rd coat and had a similar issue and again, 320 grit sand paper. the pictures below are after sanding the 3rd coat. It's difficult to see in the photos but the shellac gives it a nice warm colour. Not much more than the bare wood but enough to help the tru-oil bring out a little more contrast than on its own. I'm wishing I would have gone with a more "orange" shellac. I bought "extra blonde" and it's basically transparent. But it will due as a sealant.

    I'm excited for the tru-oil. I did some samples on a scrap piece and it looks pretty good.

    I can also see why it would be difficult to use shellac as a final finish. It looks awesome when done right, but it's very tough to put on more than 1 coat without having to sand... I suppose that's why people wax and buff. Anyway.

    In reality, other than the graphic, this bass is a bit of a hack job. Lots of errors on my part (not having some of the proper tools and proper patience contributed most of them) but in the end, it was a great first attempt at anything of this scale. The graphic looks good... but everything else doesn't haha.


    IMG_3514. IMG_3515. IMG_3516.
     
    yakmastermax and gfaulkner like this.
  14. jtrom

    jtrom

    Nov 22, 2008
    Kelowna BC
    there's a reason I haven't posted any pictures of the sides :bag:
     
  15. jtrom

    jtrom

    Nov 22, 2008
    Kelowna BC
    Here's where it's at now:

    I just have to put the bridge on and the pickups are in the mail (Bill Lawrence PJ set :woot:).
    I really like how the tru-oil finished it. It looks really nice despite the ultra lame job i did in some areas haha.

    Here's the good the bad and the ugly:

    IMG_3537. IMG_3538. IMG_3539. IMG_3540. IMG_3541. IMG_3542. IMG_3543. IMG_3544. IMG_3545. IMG_3550.
     
    SunnBass, covermego and Barbaric.Eric like this.
  16. covermego

    covermego Still here....... Supporting Member

    Sep 5, 2010
    Redding, CA
    Meanwhile in Kelowna, BC........ There is a Mad Nordic man doing woodwork in sub-zero weather.
    I am waiting for the Dragon Head to be mounted to the Prow.
    Seriously, what an awesome undertaking. Looks great and I applaud your efforts.
    Is there a Jaguar Bass club? Guess I better look that one up. If not, there should be.
     
    jtrom likes this.
  17. jtrom

    jtrom

    Nov 22, 2008
    Kelowna BC
    ya i hadn't thought about that. I should look it up.
     
  18. covermego

    covermego Still here....... Supporting Member

    Sep 5, 2010
    Redding, CA
    Looks like Squier Jag Clubs and Short Scale Clubs.
    My issue is I have a Squier SS Jag Bass AND a MIM Fender Standard Jag Bass that I'm busy "modifying"..... but nothing compared to your efforts.
    I just sent the pickguard to a guy that sells them for Vintage Modifieds, SS's and Modern Players. He will get the dimensions off the MIM and then I'll do the tedious task of deciding what pickguard to go with. Anyway, the headstock now matches the body and the neck is pearl block.....something that doesn't come stock on MIM's.
    I'd like to see a "Jag-Style Bass" club. Might as well invite all folks that have something looking similar.......whether it's Fender, Squier or another brand.
    DSCN5568.JPG DSCN5569.JPG
     
    SunnBass, jtrom and Barbaric.Eric like this.
  19. covermego

    covermego Still here....... Supporting Member

    Sep 5, 2010
    Redding, CA
    Well, I hope you're still working on your one-of-a-kind Jag Bass. I'd love to see the final product.
    Just finished mine a couple days ago. MIM Fender Jag body with a Pearl block Squier VM Jag neck. Aged Pearl pickguard from "twneagle" on ebay (the first MIM Jag pickguard he's sold - utilized my black pickguard and now he's tooled up to make any color for the MIM's!).
    I'm ready to do some work on my VM Jag Short-Scale now..........not sure what, yet...... IMG_4001.JPG
     
    SunnBass likes this.
  20. jtrom

    jtrom

    Nov 22, 2008
    Kelowna BC
    nice man. looks good!

    Ya i'm still waiting for the pickups to come in the mail :/ probably a delay from the holidays at the border or something... but i'll post when it's all said and done!
     

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