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Old 01-05-2012, 07:58 AM   #1
Phoenix V
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My first ever guitar, doing a refurb. (Warning - picture heavy)

When I was 18 I bought my first guitar, a 1983 Hondo Deluxe Series 780. Cheap and cheerful for a poor student. Got it for about 250 bucks (I think. Don't remember. It was a long time ago). It's a solid guitar, fairly hefty weight.

This thing carried me through bedroom and teacher practice sessions, jams with friends and my first ever gig long before I got any upgrades. It was knocked about and certainly accumulated its fair share of mojo. It saw me through the infancy of palm muting, finger tapping and legatos. All the fun stuff for a newbie who wants to play meeeeeeetaaaaal!



Fast forward 20 odd years of complete neglect I decided to get it back into working and presentable order. It's in quite a state, but I've always liked the way it looks, especially that diamond refraction underlay. It screams 80's rock, colour and flash!

I want to keep the same basic look, but improve the pups and electrics

So, I pulled it to bits. It needs a bit of work.....



The body. Love that colour burst! Body needs a general rebuff and shine. It's covered in very fine swirl marks front and back:



Need to touch up and re-clear the laquer, re-sand and re-buff the hairline crack in the laquer...



Input jack plate needs 3 more screws...



Fix the body chips...



Copper shielding for the cavities and rewire the lot



Restore the PUP selector switch to its former glory since the top snapped off...



Replace the bridge plate and saddles. The saddles are a rusty, gummy mess. Not even going to try reconditioning them. Probably going to hit up StewMac for the bits.



Pickups are out. Not sure what humbuckers I want to replace these with yet. I always regarded this guitar as best for metal rythmn, fat palm mutes, strong power chords. Was considering high output PuPs like SD Invaders, but might sound too low end / muddy with such a heavy solid guitar. Need to think about this more. Any suggestions would be welcome!


Last edited by Phoenix V : 01-05-2012 at 08:02 AM.
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Old 01-05-2012, 08:00 AM   #2
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Control cavity. Needs complete rewire and new switch and pots. Shit wiring. Soldered joins with electrical tape. Multiple ground loops. Also want to line it with copper shielding...



Neck looks fairly straight. All the frets need recrowning though



Knocked out the nut. It came out pretty easily. The existing one, two of the slots are too low. Going to fashion a new one.





Pulled out all the tuners. Looking to replace these also. The high E tuner is quite loose, but still holds tune. Just the tuning peg tends to flop about



It's like rediscovering an old friend you lost contact with

Thanks for looking!

Last edited by Phoenix V : 01-05-2012 at 08:01 AM.
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Old 01-05-2012, 08:11 AM   #3
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Looks cool man What arrangement of pots are you gonna have? Master Vol and master Tone or independent Vols?
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Old 01-05-2012, 08:14 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paddy McK
Looks cool man What arrangement of pots are you gonna have? Master Vol and master Tone or independent Vols?


My initial thoughts were to keep it to the original config. Master volume and master tone.

Although making them independant volumes is tempting....very tempting....

It can easily accomodate another pot...or two...
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Old 01-05-2012, 08:14 AM   #5
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the frets also need a leveling job. not just a recrowning!! look at that fretwire man it is full of fretwear....
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Old 01-05-2012, 08:20 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PowerEngine
the frets also need a leveling job. not just a recrowning!! look at that fretwire man it is full of fretwear....


Yeah you're probably right. Had a good closer look at the frets, especially the first 5 or so at the nut end certainly need it.

Levelling the lot might be the way to go, if Im going to recrown them anyway
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Old 01-05-2012, 08:41 AM   #7
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I bet the manufacturer never thought it'd still be here 20 years later.
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Old 01-05-2012, 08:43 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phoenix V
My initial thoughts were to keep it to the original config. Master volume and master tone.

Although making them independant volumes is tempting....very tempting....

It can easily accomodate another pot...or two...

If you can get another vol in there it'd be well worth the effort, think of the killswitching are coil splits an option? When I did up my old Squier I put independent vols, master tone and coil splits in each vol pot. The versatility of that setup is pretty awesome
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Old 01-05-2012, 08:45 AM   #9
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My interest is peaked... and this thread is tagged!
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Old 01-05-2012, 11:23 PM   #10
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Good work. I bet you love it even more than ever!
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Old 01-06-2012, 01:06 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by infectednations
I bet the manufacturer never thought it'd still be here 20 years later.

Well Hondo was an American guitar company aimed at a target market for entry level and budding musicians and students.

Most of Hondo's manufacturing from the mid 70s until the mid 90's was done out of Korea and Japan.

Hondo the brand no longer exists I believe. So this guitar has outlasted the actual company LOL

Quote:
Originally Posted by RebuildIt
Good work. I bet you love it even more than ever!

We all remember our first love, don't we?

Going to strip out the remaining electronics today and then I'm off to get some touch up black and clear coat to fix the cracks and dings in the body. Will provide it some TLC over the weekend.
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Old 06-08-2012, 06:51 AM   #12
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Apologies,

I've been extremely slow at this given working full time, having to do priority jobs around the house on weekends and drinking / jamming in what little free time I have left

But here are some progress shots. I'm totally committed to finishing this, but it's just going to take a while!

First, managed to fill in the hairline cracks. Used isocyanate or 'super' glue through a syringe and needles to get precise fill lines. Used lots of fan ventilation. One to not breathe the stuff in, two to not let the vapours hang around the body of the guitar because they can 'whiten' smudges and finger prints in the immediate vicinity which then dry as glue and is a bugger to get off especially when you want to keep the finish uniform. Sanded this back flat then tried as best I could to colour match the black (not easy, black isn't always black!) then clear coat, sand flat and re-buff. It's come up ok. Needs more to the bottom right of the body where a slight line where the crack was is still noticeable and a full buff across the whole body, but happy with the progress so far compared to the before shots (above) which were clearly a mess.

Second, managed to fill (two part fibreglass epoxy), mould, sand back, black and clear coat the chips which went right down through to the wood. This took a lot longer as there was lots more sanding involved to get the countour of the edge the same as the rest. Came up ok.


Third, went and got myself a 4 metre roll of copper conductive tape.


Filled in the pickup cavities....


and the control cavity....


and the control cavity backing plate and made sure the tape was self conductive on the adhesive side.


This is important. If any of you are considering doing this yourself, make sure you get copper conductive tape that is conductive on both sides, else youll be soldering every copper tape overlap to make sure the whole shield is conductive. Double sided conductive tape saves a lot of time
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Last edited by Phoenix V : 06-08-2012 at 06:53 AM.
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Old 06-08-2012, 06:51 AM   #13
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Also got myself 2 metres of shielded hookup wire for when I'm ready to solder the electronics. Not planning to use any of the original cables.




The SD Invaders arrived! Still using the original Hondo PUP surrounds, which are a good fit. Putting these aside for now as there still a bit of body work left and lots more bits ordered that aren't here yet.





Stuff still to come over the next few weeks that's been ordered.

New set of bridge saddles with bridge plate (black)
New strap lock nuts (black)
New set of tuners (direct replacement, black, what else)
New set of 500k pots
Momentary on push button kill switch (new mod)
New 3 position selector switch, black body and tip
New set of speed knobs, black base, clear see through
New nut, uncut (going to cut the grooves myself)
New set of 22 jumbo frets (decided to just replace the lot)

More to come....
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Last edited by Phoenix V : 06-17-2012 at 04:54 AM.
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Old 06-17-2012, 04:54 AM   #14
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UPDATE:

Got some more parts 2 days ago in the post. So this weekend I did a bit more:

Installed the new bridge. Made sure the ground wire was making good contact before final fitoff....


Then got started on the rest of the electronics.

Out with the old....


In with the new!






Fitoff of the body accessories...






Then got started on the headstock.

Popped out all the string guides and machine head collars and gave the headstock a quick buff....


next update I hope to start the re-fretting and re-nut

Thanks for looking

To be continued.....
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Last edited by Phoenix V : 06-17-2012 at 08:11 AM.
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Old 06-17-2012, 05:37 AM   #15
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dude this is some sweet work, you should be proud. restoring this beauty to her former glory.
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Old 06-17-2012, 12:22 PM   #16
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That is hawt. Now I have a few questions. How is that cable supposed to work? I always use plain strand-core wire... And where did you get those knobs? My buddy has them on his EVH inspired Strat copy
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Old 06-17-2012, 06:38 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Viban
dude this is some sweet work, you should be proud. restoring this beauty to her former glory.


Thanks. It's slowly taking shape and I'm really enjoying it. Just wish I had more time to do more, sooner.

Quote:
Originally Posted by IronMaiden76
That is hawt. Now I have a few questions. How is that cable supposed to work? I always use plain strand-core wire... And where did you get those knobs? My buddy has them on his EVH inspired Strat copy.


Sure. The centre conductor carries all your hot signals. Use it starting from your output jack, back through your switches and pots, etc all the way back to your pickups. Your pickup cables (usually) are already shielded so no need to use extra for those.

The outer braid is the ground wire. So instead of wiring say two hookup wires, one hot and one ground to say a pot, or your output jack, you just use shielded cable instead. The one cable already has the hot and ground wires already in it.

The speed knobs were just from a cheap ebay seller. Not going to post the link in case its interpreted as advertising, but If you do an ebay search for ' 4PCS Speed Control Knob For LP SG 335 Guitar W/ RED SKULL ' you will find multiple sources if you're interested in getting them, or something similar.
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Old 06-19-2012, 08:41 AM   #18
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The fret wires and tuners are due to arrive ready for the weekend so I did some prep work before they get here so I can just get right to it.

Started with filling in the old tuner screw holes with epoxy wood fill. Dries hard and can be re-drilled.



Then got to work on the frets. Yep, thats a man size nail clipper that I use as my fret puller. It has a flush flat jaw mouth and the fulcrum makes it easy to grab and lift the fret in one action with just strong thumb pressure. A bit of heat along the fret wire with the soldering iron and it comes out easy.



Did the lot. All came out without a lot of fuss and didn't splinter any of the wood, so pretty happy. Then cleaned out all the fret grooves ready for the weekend

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Last edited by Phoenix V : 06-19-2012 at 09:13 AM.
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Old 06-23-2012, 07:28 AM   #19
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FINAL UPDATE!!

Well the refurb has come to an end and I'm putting the guitar through its set up and paces. Its intonation adjustment was spot on. I feared that I had miscalced the exact location of the new bridge, but its spot on.

Here are the last few pics

I got the kill switch, tuners and fret wires over the week.

This is the kill switch I got. Low profile, black and slick to match the rest of the body theme. Its a momentary, normally open.


Then presoldered the terminals and mounted it to the body. Drilled a hole in the body midway between the vol and tone pots. Wired the switch directly across the output jack hot and ground. When you press it, it shorts the hot direct to ground and kills the sound.....completely......until you let go. Works like a charm!



Mounted the tuners.....


Pressed in and chamfered the new frets.....


Mounted the nut, without glue yet, until I was sure it ok. Installed the strings to test


And thats about the refurb bit done!!! Here are some guitar pron shots....






It holds tune quite well and the SD invaders sound wicked. I thought they would have a really dark tone, and they are the darkest pups I have on any of my guitars but still have ok mid definition. Overall they suit the body quite well.

The guitar on idle is as quiet as a church mouse from all the shielding and shielded cables. No buzz or static. Because its really quiet, holding a note sustains for ages and doesnt get buried in hum or noise. With overdrive the sustain surpassed my expectations for a bolt on neck. Pinch harmonics come through really clearly and hold quite well.

I still have a little bit of work to do in levelling the frets, but they are already just about there. The high end 3 or 4 frets need fine tuning and the nut still needs a little bit of contour shaving to get it just right. Adjusting the neck relief worked as normal. When I got to adjusting the action, man it gets low, really low. I love it. For a cheap guitar its come up pretty well. The action is very fast.

This will probably be my last post with build details and photos and now Im just going to go to the remaining setup and enjoy it! I'm not set up with a mic etc so I don't have any sound files, but if this changes in future I'll put some up.

If people have any queries as to how I did certain work etc etc, I'll keep an eye on this thread.

I promised myself not to let it get so frikken neglected again!

And sorry for all the photos, I get trigger happy sometimes!

Peace, and thanks for looking!!
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Last edited by Phoenix V : 06-23-2012 at 08:00 AM.
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Old 06-23-2012, 10:09 AM   #20
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That is pretty sweet. I like the using the shielded cable, pretty smart. I was confused because it looked like a co-axial satellite receiver cable.
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