Dub's Wacky Project Guitars Thread--on indefinite hiatus



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Dub's Wacky Project Guitars Thread--on indefinite hiatus

Postby dubkitty » Wed Jun 05, 2013 3:10 am

i thought some of y'all might enjoy following the progress of not one but TWO projects involving guitars from East and West Germany respectively. The first is the Musima Deluxe 25V which i bought from OndrakGuy in the b/s/t, and the other is a Hopf Twisty which i'm going to marry to an early Hondo neck.

so, to the Musima, which i've had for a few weeks now but only got into working with seriously in the last few days. you've seen the photo of it in original condition as it came from Lithuania, where it first appears on the internet.

musimae.jpg
musimae.jpg (62.33 KiB) Viewed 5345 times


what isn't apparent in the photos is that the entire guitar appears to have been refinished after being stripped by some tovarisch with a wire brush and a rotary drill. this is particularly awful on the fretboard, where the chosen approach to getting rid of fretboard ruts was to scarify the surface as if it were the scourged body of Christ. seriously.

P6040280.JPG


i eventually wound up having to go at the fingerboard with a file at first to get rid of scalloping between the frets, and then sanding with successive grits of sandpaper from 220 up to 1500. the results are pretty decent, i think:

P6040281.JPG


P6040284.JPG


after i finish the fingerboard, it's on to sanding the neck.
Last edited by dubkitty on Sun Dec 13, 2020 11:41 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Dub's Wacky German Project Guitars Thread

Postby backwardsvoyager » Wed Jun 05, 2013 3:23 am

subscribed!
those are some fine looking guitars, looks like you did a great job on the fingerboard too
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Re: Dub's Wacky German Project Guitars Thread

Postby dubkitty » Wed Jun 05, 2013 3:28 am

and then there's the Hopf. i stalked the Twisty body on eBay for over a week and got it for $125:

hopf.jpg


detail.jpg


detail2.jpg


the finish on the back is kind of thrashed; i may overspray the back to keep the remaining original finish in place.

back.jpg


i found a Hondo neck from the 80s which is put together in 1mm maple laminates like the original Hopf necks, and a headstock that's close enough to the original if you squint.

neck.jpg


these should simply bolt together and with the Teisco/Hagstrom type bridge that's coming, make one whole guitar for less than $250 shipping excluded. the neck was, like, $35.
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Re: Dub's Wacky German Project Guitars Thread

Postby dubkitty » Wed Jun 05, 2013 3:32 am

STOP ME BEFORE I BUY THE DEFIL MELODIYA 2. IT'S GOT SPARKLES.
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Re: Dub's Wacky German Project Guitars Thread

Postby dubkitty » Sat Jun 08, 2013 3:46 am

update: the fingerboard on the Musima is pretty much done. i'm probably going to work on it a little more to try to flatten out the scallopy/worn bits, but it's close to as good as it's likely to get. the first two frets--the actual frets, not the fingerboard--have some fairly serious cowboy dents, but i'm going to wait until i string it up and test it to see if i have to do something with them.

so i started sanding down the back of the neck, which as one expects with a European bolt-neck from this era, is maple with a little flame on one side. once i got through the refinish, which was a thin varnish of some type--i'm voting for furniture varnish, since it was really soft compared to violin varnish--came another insight into the production processes at Musima/Markneukirchen. after sanding with 220 there is still black paint from the original finish visible, having soaked straight into the grain. no expense spent on a coat of sealer here! apparently the Warsaw Pact approach was to shoot lacquer straight onto wood that had been sanded with 220 grit, or 400 at BEST, as prep. at least the Musima is free of the USSR production habit of shooting thick coats of lacquer as a substitute for binding or filing the fret ends.

so once i get the back of the neck sanded to my satisfaction, which may or may not include going far enough to get the original paint out of the grain since i don't want to get into recontouring the neck, i need to break out the sanding block and get the front and back faces perfectly flat. once that's done, i'll probably send the neck to my guy in South Carolina who's going to make the new headstock facing. i have to decide how to finish the neck...i'm not nuts about tung oil, don't know if i can polish/sand violin varnish, and don't live in a place where i can spray paint.

meanwhile, the neck and bridge for the Hopf arrived. i don't know for sure if the Hondo neck is going to work...i had to estimate based on the Hondo's claim to Strat scale and the Hopf spec of 25.25". the bridge--a a simple Hagstrom/Teisco bar with a two-screw mount--is easily moved, so God willing it'll line up. the neck needs some attention--there are some sharp fret ends and crookedly-mounted dots in the fretboard that have to be fixed--but i'm letting it sit on the back burner until the Hopf body arrives, which could be any time from Wednesday to a week thereafter.

photos on all this tomorrow.
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Re: Dub's Wacky German Project Guitars Thread

Postby dubkitty » Sun Jun 09, 2013 11:36 pm

all righty, then. first, the fingerboard in its initial state of completion. some additional anal-retentive levelling may result, but not if i can avoid it. there's maple dust in the grain of the rosewood, which will wipe off.

P6080290.JPG
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Re: Dub's Wacky German Project Guitars Thread

Postby dubkitty » Sun Jun 09, 2013 11:40 pm

here you can see the cowboy dents in the first two frets. they're actually worse than they look here. i may do one of my ghetto fret-levelling jobs, which feature a sanding block and 800 grit sandpaper, but i don't want to fuck with it any more than necessary.

P6080291.JPG
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Re: Dub's Wacky German Project Guitars Thread

Postby dubkitty » Sun Jun 09, 2013 11:45 pm

it's been difficult to get rid of the fingerboard ruts in the cowboy positions without a certain unevenness. i don't want to go farther down than i have because the frets could figuratively end up standing on hedgerows. n.b. the difference in slickness and hue between the first two frets and the rest of the board is because those spaces had just been completed.

P6080297.JPG
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Re: Dub's Wacky German Project Guitars Thread

Postby dubkitty » Sun Jun 09, 2013 11:55 pm

here you can see the original lacquer as it soaked into the grain of the maple of the neck. i'm not going to keep sanding JUST to get it out since i plan on a dark finish, but i do need to fix up the contour on the back of the neck and this might eliminate most of the soaked-in color you see here. this was after preliminary sanding just to get through the old finish and see the condition of the wood under the wire-whisk gouges (yes, he used it EVERYWHERE). after contouring there are still speckles here and there.

P6080287.JPG


P6080288.JPG
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Re: Dub's Wacky German Project Guitars Thread

Postby dubkitty » Mon Jun 10, 2013 12:03 am

kind of looks like bread mold, doesn't it?

in our next episode/update: the initial sanding on the back of the neck is completed; i consider additional sanding to make the profile consistent in a couple of areas where the Sander From Hell made flat spots; and i remove the tuners and take the sanding block to the headstock to flatten out the faces.

and watch this space for project #3, coming to these pages soon. if all goes well it'll be a Musima carcass with 8k Hofner mini-hums from a 1968 Kapa. i'm still trying to decide whether to keep it as a hardtail or go goofy with a Teisco, a vibrola, or what. i'll do this one with rattle-can automotive lacquer in the darkest shade of teal i can find. buuuuuuuuut we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.

the Hopf body is now with Customs in New York City.
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Re: Dub's Wacky German Project Guitars Thread

Postby dubkitty » Mon Jun 10, 2013 5:53 pm

i made a Monday eBay lightning strike and got a 64 Hofner Galaxie neck for $150. major score given that the tuners go for $30-$60 EACH. this, of course, will go on the Hopf body. it's on now, bitchez :!!!:

hofner neck.jpg
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Re: Dub's Wacky German Project Guitars Thread

Postby kbit » Mon Jun 10, 2013 10:32 pm

Those inlays are neeeeat.
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Re: Dub's Wacky German Project Guitars Thread

Postby dubkitty » Tue Jun 11, 2013 12:35 am

yeah, i love the striped inlays a lot :)
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Re: Dub's Wacky German Project Guitars Thread

Postby dubkitty » Tue Jun 11, 2013 1:18 pm

Hopf body is here. seven days to deliver from Budapest to Chicago. i'm impressed. pix and spielage after i take a shower.
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Re: Dub's Wacky German Project Guitars Thread

Postby Chankgeez » Tue Jun 11, 2013 4:12 pm

dubkitty wrote:... pix and spielage after i take a shower.


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