The Workbench

Hofner Electric 12 string project

1

I recently acquired this 60s Hofner electric 12 string project. It's just a body and a neck. Ready to finsh with some final sanding but needing the headstock holes drilled and then assembly and hardware.

Right now I'm looking for tuners.(Anyone have any open back tuners? The original had 12 single tuners)

I plan to make a bridge (or adapt one I have), find some tuners (to determine the holes I need) drill the holes do the final sanding and finish, likely blonde as it would be easy.

I will start with surface mount pickups though I could do floaters off the neck and pickguard too. The body is all laminate and a thinline body so leaving the top untouched isn't a huge worry. This will be a dedicated electric.

I was thinking of finishing with water based finish. Many builders use them on acoustic instruments successfully and though I like nitro finishes, I've done some successfully and much space, ventilation and protection is needed. It's evil stuff. and Covid makes using the space I normally would more awkward. Quietly with no fuss, with a brush and then final sanded and buffed would be fine.

2

i was considering a similar project using Framus parts from a couple of parts sites in the EU. give me some time to wake up and I'll look up the links. i'm sure that 6-on-a-strip 12-string tuners from this period are out there, but don't know about single-tuner sets.

3

Project Guitar Parts, mentioned in the other thread, is quite good. you have to burrow through the site like a desert owl, though.

guitarage.nl has obscure stuff; they're also on eBay; search "Hopf guitar parts "

the Warwick bass site has a fairly well-buried selection of what i believe are newly manufactured repros of a lot of vintage Framus parts, many of which being Schaller designs appeared on all kinds of German guitars of the early 60s. they stock those pesky cream-colored paddle knobs for the pickup and tone switches that are always cracked on vintage instruments.

i may be able to recover more information...i did a deep dive on parts sites this summer. hope this helps.

4

Thanks. I'll give that a look. Any of you builders out there see any reason why I shouldn't go with a water-based finish? (Other than tradition and personal preference)

5

I have this Hofner 12 string -- but what came from the factory with the brown sunburst finish. Ironically enough, many years ago I stripped mine down to the bare wood to refinish it, but then never actually completed much work on it -- and it's been sitting in its case for about 30 years now. If I were to guess, I would think that the back and sides of your husk are lightly to moderately flamed maple (as is mine) and would think that a nitrocellulose lacquer finish would really bring out the flame. As for tuners, I know the ones that came originally with this model and they might very well be hard to find. May I suggest you look at Grover mini closed back tuners or Schaller closed back tuners as both do not add excessive weight to the head stock, especially the Grovers. On one of my Hofner 490E (I have 6) slope shouldered dreadnaughts, one of the previous owners replaced the original open backed tuners with the Grovers and they look and work marvelously

6

Yeah. I'm not going to do a nitro finish. The facilities aren't available right now and frankly any finish will bring out flame if there is any. I didn't strip this one down. It doesn't even have holes in the headstock yet. It actually came with a dozen mini closed back tuners. My past experience with closed back tuners on a doubleneck, and a eastwood 12 electric is that you end up with an instrument that is uncomfortably weighted towards the headstock. Regarding open back tuners, I don't have to have the exact originals.

7

Yeah. I'm not going to do a nitro finish. The facilities aren't available right now and frankly any finish will bring out flame if there is any. I didn't strip this one down. It doesn't even have holes in the headstock yet. It actually came with a dozen mini closed back tuners. My past experience with closed back tuners on a doubleneck, and a eastwood 12 electric is that you end up with an instrument that is uncomfortably weighted towards the headstock. Regarding open back tuners, I don't have to have the exact originals.

– Toxophilite

Toxophilite I don't know what's available where you live, but when i lived in Los Angeles, I could easily find aerosol cans of nitrocellulose lacquer which, with the help of a tack cloth and superfine sandpaper (up to 1200) could look as professionally applied as can be

8

Hey thanks, I can get good quality aerosol cans of nitro from Mohawk here in Vancouver, Several dfifferent variations and colours, and I've used it to good effect finishing and repairing a few guitars (64 country club, 88 Yamaha Ae1200S, 64 Tennessean) However I don't want to use nitro, I don't have the space right now and it's too nasty and stinky. This is a laminate thin bodied hollow body not an uber fine solid wood acoustic so I'm not worried about not using nitro. Many builders of fine acoustics are turning to water based finishes and I'm very familiar with those finishes too. Thanks again.

9

This is the stuff I'll be using. probably put in on with a brush. I've had very good luck doing that with amp cabinets , bows(archery) and many other projects. I was a buffer at Larivee for a while many years ago so I developed the eye for checking out high end finishes. https://www.leevalley.com/e...


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