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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Not Sure if this is the right place to post this but here goes...

I've repaired and built guitars for a few years now. A dream I've had since I was about 15. I have a decent shop, and I been able to make some decent money on the side for the last year or so doing custom work. I specialize in doing really oddball projects. The stuff no one else will touch.

I was reading how some of you had problems with other luthiers and communication with them. I recall how some people mentioned a desire for things like a exotic wood on Jems etc... I'd love to take on new challenges.

I'd like to take a crack at making a body for one of you. I am a die hard Ibanez fan, and I know the quality that you all expect. I am not going to do this for hire. I think that a builder should prove themselves. I'd like a few of you to tell me what would be a good test. And I'll build it and post the pics,
and you guys can tell me what you think.

Here are a few things you should know first;

1. I don't use a CNC. I have access to one. But I don't use it for the building of the guitars. I do primarily all custom work by hand. I am a luthier not a programmer or machinist. I can respect the work programmers and machinists do to make bodies but I feel a guitar should be a reflection of a person. My customer. And that is not something that I can get from a machine. My views on CNC vs. actually hand made can be found elsewhere. This is not the post for it.

2. I cannot do a lions claw. That requires a CNC and well.. read #1.

3. I do not build my own necks. I get better results from buying them from reputable dealers.

4. I am looking to make a body blank at this time. I will make it to any specs. But I don't have specific Ibanez parts to outfit it with, except what I have around the house (I have 8 or so Ibanezes, 51 guitars total). But I will mfg. the body to accommodate any parts I can.

5. Thus far I have had no luck with swirls and my dog got really sick from drinking water I had sitting with Borax in it. :)

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Ok, so who wants to help me? What would be a good body to build.

Q1: Wood type?
Q2: 1 piece, 2 piece, 3 or more.
Q3: Trem route
Q4: Neck Joint Type
Q5: Top Route w/Pickguard ?
Top Route w/o Pickguard ?
Rear Route w/Pickguard ?
Rear Route w/o Pickguard ?
Q6: Route for what kind of pickups?
Q7: Pickup Config.
Q8: Binding?
Q9: Body corner Radius (1/8", 1/4", 3/8")
Q10: Back Contour
Q11: Arm Contour
Q12: Location of the jack
Q13: Neck plate or Ferrule
Q14: Switch locations
Q15: Veneer Top?
Q16: Color Top (Note: I can achieve incredibly vibrant colors)
Q17: Color Back
Q18: Other ?

Like I said this is just a "screwing around" test I'd like to try. If you want, post a picture of an existing guitar or a photoshop'ed one. I don't care. I am just looking for a challenge from customers who really know what they like.

Who knows if someone submits something really cool, and I make it and people like it maybe we can raffle it off and give all the money to jemsite.com or to a charity or something.

- Jim
Hetzer Guitars

P.S. I have already started on a heart guitar. I am having issues with the weight of the guitar (yes, I know it's primarily hollow) so please don't post that. :)
 

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I hope you do well, theres no shortage of people who want customs. Just remember
"Don't bite off more than you can chew"
and welcome
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the kind words. I've done some with the movie studios in the past and they can be pretty demanding. I enjoy working with people who really know what they want. Besides just making a body won't be too bad. I do it all the time. At least I hope it won't be too bad !

I can tell you that anytime I work on a new tool or process for manufacturing I always test on a Jem / RG style body, because it is the hardest to cut.

Who is Glen?

- Jim
 

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Who is Glen?

- Jim
Oh sorry, lol...Glen is the boss;)

http://www.jemsite.com/forums/member.php?u=3

Hmmmm.....another Jim...

One of us is going to have to start going by James:lol:

Seriously good luck Jim!!! As other folks have said, don't bite off more than you can chew. Start slowly, but if you can produce a good quality product (plus keep the customer service) Jemsite is a GREAT place for you to do some good business and make some cool friends at the same time, not to mention the plethora of knowledge, ideas, support and advice you'll receive;)
 

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I'm excited to see what you do.

I have a few questions about your questions:
Q9: Body corner Radius (1/8", 1/4", 3/8")
What exactly is this? I'm guessing it's how round (or in an RG's case, how not round) the body edges are. If that's what it is, what is the measurement for a normal RG/jem body?
 

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Cool stuff Hetzer!

my general opinion and ideas on what i like to see offered usually:

ALWAYS rear route, with or without pickguards, i hate having to take pickguard off to change pickups/electronics. to me it's a silly design, i will always prefer to buy rear routes(and i still love the look of a pickguard on a rear route)

lots of wood and top choices are great, learn to do spalted maple tops(they rock!) (a natural wood body(and if finished-no gloss) maybe with a few different coloured wood layers or spalted top gets my vote for the test body)

also personally i think being able to offer unfinished blanks is great whether you do finished options or not, there's lots of modders in the jem market..

i'm not a bookmatched flame veneer fan, i like natural body wood visuals/nice tops ala RGA121 etc and exotic stuff like spalted maple tops..

Q3: Trem route
be able to offer nice hardtails as well, with the pickguard shaped to match(i'd love to see that on your test, nobody really pulls that off with a matching pickguard that suits the shape often, or leave out the pickguard)
Q4: Neck Joint Type
Bolt on(easy to mod and swap necks and still sounds great) with AANJ. AANJs can be sanded down and curved way more than ibanez do to give a reeeally nice access, also a big cutaway curve on the back lower horn for extra access. both are great mods i've done to a guitar i'm currently working on.
Q6: Route for what kind of pickups?
dimarzio's- Hum+ single or none+ Hum.... usually

Q8: Binding?
can be really cool, not really necessary on a natural woody body tho...

contours-
crazy idea- Arched top Jem ala RGA....... :D
but..
here's some stuff i've done to mine that i like..
all rounded edges on back except inside horns(for comfort)
all cutaway contours can be a made a little deeper
i put an extra angled edge around the bottom edge corner around the guitar controls like on Maverick guitars(look em up :) )
and a mega curve cutaway on back of lower horn for access rocks!
Q12: Location of the jack
like jems but maybe a bit lower
Q13: Neck plate or Ferrule
Ferrules!!! with mega AANJ for sure!!

I'm sure whatever you decide to do will be kickass, good luck mate! :)
much respect for what you're doing! mods, customs and builds for the win!
 

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I have to agree with Ki, a carved, Spalted RGA style body would be astounding.
Also, as Ki said, not a veneer top, but a real slab of wood.

Welcome to the forum and good luck on the body.

Bamm
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Sorry it took me so long, just got back from vacation.

Ok KI, you win. I am going with your design. Give me a few days to
look into some things.

What pickups specifically? Some use rings some not. I googled the RGA one of you mentioned and that appears close to what you are wanting. Am I correct?

- Cosmo
 

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haha sweet, can't wait to see what you come up with :D

personally i hate pickup rings, i like how Jcustoms,RGAs and rear routed pickguard guitars don't use them. if it was me i'd probably keep this first one simple with maybe just 2 humbuckers

i'd love to see a monkey grip on it too :)

yeah the RGA is the wooody slight arched style i was referring to, that done ala jem with monkey grip and maybe spalted top and some extra curves/contours, would be spectacular!
 

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by the way, keep us updated on the progress if you can, i'd love to see how it goes :D

hell i might even make an offer on it if it happens to become my dream axe :p
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
i'd love to see a monkey grip on it too :)
Good thing you said it now, I am going to be cutting by this weekend.

For those curious, I always work with a full size template of the top and bottom, usually out of birch.
Luckily I have a few RG's laying around and I've cut a JEM style or few in my time. That is my test body shape
because I consider it to be the hardest body to cut. So whenever I work on a new tool, I always cut a JEM / RG first.
By now, I probably can cut a JEM style in my sleep.

- Cosmo
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I'll recompile tomorrow after noon. I can do it as an MPG @ work.

- Cosmo

BTW, I always wear really beggy clothes in the garage because it's hot. I look huge in that movie at least my wife thinks so. :)
 

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BTW, I always wear really beggy clothes in the garage because it's hot. I look huge in that movie at least my wife thinks so. :)
Lol....they don't care if you're 60 or 600 pounds, old, young, vulcan, draconian, hermaphrodite, from New Jersey, etc. :lol:

They want quality product (most importantly) but also good customer service such as responding to an inquiring email on a timely basis and ongoing updates on their order. It's a tough crowd here!! (understatement:lol:)

Again, and not to beat a dead horse, or be repeating myself and others over and over again and again :lol:

But I can't reiterate enough to make SURE you "Ease" into it slowly to get your feet wet so you can get a handle on things. The last thing you want right off the bat are delays/late orders, etc. But as brutal as these guys can be, if you can show you can produce a quality product with decent customer service & at least close to projected turnaround time they'll back ya till the end:) Warning ya though, if you can pull that off, you'd best expect and be prepared to hire some help because the orders will be coming in by the droves8O

For a good and organized business man, I am literally floored at the wealth of oppurtunity waiting to be had here on Jemsite!!!!!!! The sky is the limit ;)
 
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