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15 August 2010

80s Arbor Series Hohner Strat

I dug my first ever electric guitar out the other day - an all black 80s Arbor Series Hohner Strat. Everything had rusted. It didn't have strings. The knobs were broken off. It was in dire need of an overhaul.

I stripped it down which was no mean feat. Even the neck was coated in a sort of glue which had been painted black and covered in a thick lacquer.

Everything that could go wrong with this project has gone wrong. I wanted to do the body white to recreate the classic Curtis Mayfield look, but having got it there I didn't like the look of the dark fretboard against the white. I saw some pictures of a Shoreline gold strat and decided to go for that instead.

I screwed up the paint job. The gold has shown up all the little scratches and I got impatient and made it worse by adding a few noticeable fingerprints before it had properly hardened (fortunately, mainly on the back).

I bought all new replacement parts, which didn't quite fit. I thought I'd got it all measured out right and sorted, but having put it all together I've discovered that the new bridge is slightly out of line with the neck which means that the top string is too close to the edge, especially up the neck. Damn!

On the bright side, it sounds better than it ever did and plays like a dream. I really like the gold too; It gives it a nice vintage feel, fingerprints and all...


  1. That looks lovely, well done sir...

  2. Cheers. I'm really pleased with it. Still debating whether/when to fix the bridge. For now I'm enjoying playing it too much. I'll bring it along to Chris's and walk you through all the mistakes...