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Squier Vintage Modified Jazzmaster Modifications, Pt 3: Shielding

In Part 3 of the Jazzmaster saga, I'm going to start Modification Two: shielding.

Original Jazzmasters, as well as the current US-made reissues, have an aluminum shield under the pickguard to help reduce hum.  Our Squier Vintage Modified ("VM" in current lingo) doesn't.  I could have purchased a factory shield and put it on, but in the interest of economics, I figured I'd just go with the homebrew method.

I masked the pickguard edges from the top and sprayed the bottom of the pickguard with 3M (I think it's 3M 44) adhesive.  (Edit: It's 3M 45 - good stuff).  Notice I did this over the Crawfish Adhesive Spraying Recepticle.

Then I sprayed a piece of aluminum foil and attached it to the pickguard.  The foil works well - maybe not quite as well as copper, but it's substantially cheaper.  It's great for flat surfaces such as this.

Then we just trim the edges when it's dry and we have a shielded pickguard!  I think the shielding can count as Mod Three.

Now I'm going to mount the original Squier wiring harness to the pickguard and test that it works.

One Four that I'm doing as part of the installation, is switching out the original rhythm circuit switch for a new one.  The new one is white.  It's also a better quality Switchcraft switch.

Remember when I said there were some little differences in mounting?  Here's one.  The mounting holes on the new switch (top one in the picture) are spaced a tad wider.  I just elongated the mounting holes in the pickguard a bit to adjust.

I also countersunk the screw holes - see the blue arrow.  The mounting screws are oval head and have a nice taper under the heads.  They'll sit nicely in the countersunk holes.  You can see I just did it manually with a countersink bit.  I could control the cut better that way than with a drill.

The green arrow points out an unexpected issue.

The hole spacing for the rhythm circuit bracket on the pickguard (and presumably a US model...) is wider than the Squire version.

So I just drilled new holes for the bracket to fit.

Rather than leave the holes I'm not using, I filled them with Insta Morph moldable plastic.  Then I put a bit of CA on the fill.  When it's dry, I'll level it and touch it up with some paint.

Everything's mounted now and it works as expected.

Now I'm starting Mod Five: tidying up the old wiring.

The red and grey wires in the picture are shielded cables for the pickup wiring to the volume and rhythm switch.  I pulled them out in this shot to show how unnecessarily long they are.  I cut them to a shorter length.  I also ungrounded one end of the shields in the process - as I mentioned in the last post, they were improperly grounded at both ends(!).

Here's Mod Six, also one of the Main Modifications: Curtis Novak pickups.  These have a great reputation.  I liked the sound clips on Curtis' site so I decided to put some in this guitar.

He recommended his standard Jazzmaster replacement for the neck and Jazzmaster Fat for the bridge.  Notice how two different folks signed the pickups!

All Posts on the Squier Vintage Modified Jazzmaster Modification Project:

Part One: Starting Disassembly
Part Two: Removing Factory Wiring
Part Three: Shielding (This page)
Part Four: Wiring Modifications and Curtis Novak Pickups
Part Five: Neck Inserts and Installing Mastery Bridge
Part Six: Buffalo Bone Nut and Final Setup
Part Seven: Modified VM Jazzmaster Visits the Garden
"Ching" Rhythm Circuit Revisited: 28 April 2014 


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