Stuff you learn doing (attempting) custom guitars.

We all need a man-cave. Some folks are into cars. Some, bikes. Some others like to tinker with R/C stuff. Me, I’m into guitars. As a guitar player I’m not that great but I guess I love the shapes, colors and of course sounds of especially classic fender designs.

Recently I thought I’d have a go at customizing and modifying a Fender Jazzmaster out of cheaper parts to come up with a replica of an American Vintage ’65  Jazzmaster…which looks like this:

am vint jazzy

Now to get the real thing, you’re looking at about $4000.00. But I thought I could grab a cheapie ‘made in Indonesia’ (squire) version and swap out various bits and pieces whilst painting the neck.

How hard could it be right?

It seems the answer is: more than you think.

Now before any guitarists out there go “How dare you pass off a Squire as a Fender!” Chill out. I’m just dipping my toe in the water of custom mods and I don’t want to muck around with my gorgeous American Tele or Strat. I’m not going to try and sell it anyway.

But it’s been a month of work now and 2 weeks ago, as you can see from the title pic, everything was flying, working out great. With the fender decal not even dry yet, it looked like this.

jazzy try 1

This is how it looks another fortnight later:

jazzy fail

Yeah that’s right, I had to sand everything back and start it all over again. Ugh….please don’t ask me to share the gory details of what happened. Let’s just say it’s hard to sand lacquer when the paint is essentially wet tar underneath.


I’m sure anyone out there knows the frustration of a D.I.Y. project that goes south on you. When it happens it’s so frustrating, so disheveling that you feel like the most useless person in the entire world. (Thank goodness I bought spare decals off Ebay.)

The thing is though, I could have had a near pro finished guitar headstock by now resplendent in Olympic white. But now, I wonder if it’ll be done before…the Olympic games.

So what stopped it working out all tickety boo?


Or should I say, my lack thereof.

Unfortunately, over my life the idea of patience has been similar to that of gardening. I don’t do it. Just,…it’s not me. But now I’m finding myself in a hobby that demands it. So here’s my options:

Option 1: Stuff this; I’m going to see if I can just buy one

Option 2: Start again and learn patience.


This reminds me a lot about life.

Have you noticed that we are unavoidably social creatures? We’ve found ourselves in this thing called life and we’ve found out that it’s going to require patience. Without patience, life tends to eat us for breakfast. ‘Fools rush in’ -and all that. But just like me and my project, we have a choice.

Some will and do seem to say, “stuff it, I’m just going to see if I can buy a life.” Buy relationships, buy intimacy, buy experiences and so on. But it you really want to live life, really live it, you’ve got to have patience.

But here’s the catch, patience is a fruit of the Holy Spirit.

That shouldn’t surprise us because the Spirit is teacher and counselor who tells us what we need to know, when we need to know it and when it is safe for us to know it:

John 16:12-14  12 “There is so much more I want to tell you, but you can’t bear it now.  13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future.  14 He will bring me glory by telling you whatever he receives from me.”

There’s only one way to see the fruit of the Holy Spirit in your life:

You have to start again. This time, you got to start with Jesus who sends the Spirit to us. You have to be start again, you’ve got to be born again.

In one sense we have to be born again,….again every day. You have to stop trying to be patient but rather think about how indescribably patient God is with you until the tears of gratitude well-up.

I never knew patience with others until I found myself alone, in tears crying out to Jesus.

Start again with Jesus and learn patience from his Spirit.

Bless ya:)

P.S. I have since begun to repaint and prep it for a new decal and so far-so good.


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