VENUSBLASTER

Earlier this Spring, Dino and I were both craving humbucker guitars, coincidentally. After some discussion, we agreed to each make a guitar by putting together our own kits. The only real “rule” was that both guitars would have two humbucker pickups.

This is my latest mock-up of the guitar that I have ordered most of the parts for and will be assembling.

venusblaster-comp14

Here’s an alternate that I am considering, with chrome pickups and white rings, instead of pearl pickups with chrome rings. Also, this is without the RHYTHM/TREBLE switch ring.

venusblaster-comp12

Here’s a mock-up of the back:

venus-back-comp1


Why a Jazzmaster?

My original idea was to build a PRS-style guitar, but I ended up deciding on a Jazzmaster body and neck. Dino sent me this link to a video of Lee Renaldo discussing what he called the “Jazzblaster”, which is essentially a Jazzmaster with Tele Deluxe pickups and simplified controls. This was what inspired me to change my mind about the PRS and go with a Jazzmaster design. Not because I’m a huge Renaldo fan, but because I like the spirit of the idea, and to me the Jazzmaster is the most evolved Fender guitar body aesthetically.

I had reservations about getting an offset guitar at first, but only because of the way I imagined it standing on the floor. Then I realized that the only thing that matters is how it hangs a person, not the the floor.


What’s with the “Venus” reference?

After an initial attraction to Lake Placid Blue, I eventually decided to go with the aquamarine dye finish and continue with a watery theme. This led to the purchase of a neck plate that was engraved with an image of the painting The Birth of Venus by Bouguereau. That became my design inspiration, hence the name “VENUSBLASTER”. The color palette that I worked with in my mind was pulled from this painting. I’ve got some abalone elements, but haven’t pulled the trigger on any mother-of-pearl ideas at this point.

640px-The_Birth_of_Venus_by_William-Adolphe_Bouguereau_(1879)

Here’s the plate…

Birth of Venus neck plate


**Update: 5/5/2015

I started assembling my electronics rig on an old cardboard box in preparation for wiring it up. This will be a relatively simple rig since everything will be in the control cavity. Two knobs, one switch, and an output jack.

venus-rig-start


**Update: 5/6/2015

I soldered up most of the connections today. I just have to attach the pickups now and choose a capacitor. The rig is ready to mount into the body cavity. That sounded dirty.

I used a combination of cloth-covered push-back wire between controls and modern coaxial wiring to the jack. The wires to the switch are just shrink-wrapped, but not shrunken yet. I probably should have used coaxial to the switch, but I plan on shielding the cavity walls, so hopefully I won’t have too much unwanted interference on those runs. I gave myself plenty of room to play between controls, since the exact relative positions are yet-to-be-determined.

The capacitor and resistor wired in parallel on the volume pot are a treble bleed circuit from stewmac, which is designed to keep the tone consistent at all volumes.

venus-wiring2


**Update: 6/25/2015

I received the body and neck from Warmoth and started assembly on the neck first, which involved drilling some holes for the tuner studs and applying the label. Here’s a picture of the neck in my garage on a vise getting sprayed with clear nitro. I could have done a better job placing the label, but I’m satisfied.

IMG_20150625_1854029_rewind

**Update: 6/27/2015

After letting the finish cure for a day and a half, I flat-sanded with 2×3″ pieces of wet sandpaper, starting with 1200 grit, then 1500, then 2000 grit. Then I applied some fine grit stewmac polishing compound, seen below. I followed that with some stewmac swirl remover. I buffed out both polishes with a piece of old t-shirt.

vb-polish-head

I’m pleased with the results.

vb-head-done2


 

15 thoughts on “VENUSBLASTER

  1. Because I know how much you like having extra stuff on your guitar, you should add a shell to the body that fits into the fan that the strings make. Like this:

    1. That’s pretty neato, but maybe too Jimmy Buffetesque. Food for thought though. I was thinking we should manufacture knobs that look like human nipples and make millions selling them. Yeah, right.

        1. No, I decided it wouldn’t work out. The transparency just doesn’t make sense over a blue guitar. All of the whites would be blues. I suppose I could try sticking it on there to see, but I’m sure I won’t like it.

          1. Ah, good call. Yeah probably wouldn’t have looked good over the blue crashing wood grain waves, but the idea was good. Looks pretty good on the classical.

  2. Nice! Looking good. Definitely feeling more real.

    By the way, I only kind of stumbled upon these updates because I uploaded an image and saw them in the media folder, then went looking. How come you didn’t make these updates as blog posts? So you could keep everything together?

    1. Thanks, yeah it was nice to actually DO something other than order stuff and wait. That didn’t take very long though, so now I’m putting together another stewmac order for more capacitors and tester parts.
      I was torn between posting or not. If I did I would probably just mention the updated page and put a pic. I guess I should probably break this into several pages or… I dunno.

  3. The neck looks awesome. Did you just do one spraying session of nitro? How many coats did you apply on it? I’ve been watching videos of people putting 3 thin coats on, then letting it dry, sanding, and then starting over with 3 more coats. Repeating this process until you can’t see the edges of the label anymore. Did you just do one thick coat of nitro and sand/polish? Your results look great, so I’m wondering if I need to do the multi-pass approach.

    1. I did about 4 or 5 thin coats over the label and let it cure overnight. Then I flat sanded with a block and 600 grit sandpaper. Then I applied 4 or 5 more thin coats of nitro and the label edges were gone. I noticed a blemish and some scratches so I did 4 or 5 more thin coats and sanded as described in the post. So, overall I put about 12 to 15 THIN coats. It’s important not to spray too much at once. Many thin coats is the way to go. I would never do one thick coat.

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