I have a friend called Marco who lives in Madrid and keeps himself busy playing in various bands (Las Infantas, Les Cundas, etc….). He asked me a while ago if I could make him a Jaguar type of guitar and I said yes without a blink. I was sort of familiar with the guitar, I had tried a few and in general liked the offset design and the short (24″) scale. But I wasn’t aware of how the wiring should be done nor the problems the standard Jaguar bridge had. So off I went to make one of the most iconic guitars ever made. To start off I used alder for the body, but was a bit surprised at first about how big the body was.
After gluing the body it was time to route some holes into it, and I started with the control cavities and the neck pocket. It was first going to be a hard tail, so I didn’t route out the hole for the tremolo (I did it at a later stage)
When I had all the holes made, I turned to the contours, which I first cut roughly with the bandsaw and then continued with the router. Here I made a template exactly the size of the neck so I could get the router to follow the shape where the lower bout meets the neck.
At this stage the body starts to look kind of ready, but carving it is quite a tiring and time consuming stage (but it also happens to be one of my favourite). Here one can see how wide the body actually is. If it wouldn’t be for the upper horn it probably would be wider than it is long.
So at this point I usually like to use a dragon hand rasp. You can get rid of plenty of wood in a jiffy, particularly if you are using alder. And because of it’s narrowing half-round shape it can be used in so many places.
The body is nearly finished. I’ve rounded the edges with a 1/2″ round off bit, so it has a nice even radius all way around, exept for the neck pocket. Now it just needs to be sanded down really well and it’s ready for the first clear coats.
A quick check to see that everything fits as it should. The neck pocket is nice and tight and the centre line is straight from top to toe. The neck still needs everything done to it, fitting of the fretboard, carving of the profile, etc….
Here’s how it ended up with it’s tremolo and all. Marco wanted the colour to be an Olympic White with a tortoise pickguard, and I like to think I came pretty close. He also wanted an original wiring and Seymor Duncans Antiquity pickups, so I put those in as well. It also has a Mustang style bridge and a moose bone saddle.
I ended liking it so much that it was hard to send it to Spain, but I’m sure Marco will take good care of it.