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80s Hondo Revival Flying V


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When my wife's sister's boy friend (I know that sounds like a meme, but he's a super cool guy) offered me this guitar body, I thought it would make a fun project --- a completely gutted Hondo Revival Flying V from (what I've read) the mid-80s. 

On an older Reverb.com ad (here, and then the same guitar again here), I read that these were built in Korea by Samick, and came with a pseudo Strat vibrato tremolo.  The hole in the body looks right although the mounting hole-pattern is different, being a four-hole pattern versus a six.

I wondered if anyone on Project Guitar had ever fooled with one of these Hondo Vs, and could say one way or another if a Strat tremolo system would fit (with filling and re-drilling the  mounting holes, of course).  It might sound crazy, but I had the idea to turn this into a completely badazz shredder, and am willing to throw some cash at it over time.  

I've no idea what I'll do pickup or tuner-wise yet, but I have come across this Strat replacement tremolo bridge by Babicz (no idea how to pronounce that, I just say bay-bitch) that I think would look killer on it, and restore it's vibrato abilities.  They're a bit pricy.   They do have some lower cost models than the one I linked to, but I like this one.  I just don't feel the standard Strat bridge would look awesome on this.

I mentioned it needs tuners and pickups.  If anyone is familiar with replacing these on this Hondo, I'd really appreciate a heads up on what to expect.  For instance, I restored an old 70s Ventura LP (law suit guitar) a couple years ago.  When I went to install the tuners I discovered the mounting hole pattern was completely different (vertical versus diagonal) and the holes for the peg were too small (drilled the head out to accommodate).  I doubt that would be an issue with this head as these holes look enormous to me.

I'd entertained the idea of putting a '58 style pick-guard on it, but haven't verified the dimensions of the pickups etc.  That might have to be a custom job.  Where I work we make lamacoid nameplates out of lasered plastic, so I could do something along those lines (I use AutoCAD and can make the drawing).  But I like the finished edge of a '58 reproduction guard, so it'd be nice if I could mod one to use on this.  Or just leave it off and forget it.

Any ideas or suggestions (except to forget it, because I'm going to definitely do something with this body) are welcome!

 

 

 

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The strange markings visible in that first image are where my wife's sister's bf (yes, that again) was planning on going at it with a file and a blow torch.  Those were his penciled cut marks.  I wiped them off (mostly).  I'd like to save as much of this killer patina as possible.

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20 minutes ago, ChrisLAdams said:

I'd like to save as much of this killer patina as possible.

My favourite colour description: Old ivory, or piss burnt (like used-to-be-white undies).

When I said this to a smart phone salesman he said he never can use the former again with a straight face.

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5 minutes ago, Bizman62 said:

My favourite colour description: Old ivory, or piss burnt (like used-to-be-white undies)

Speaking of this old mammoth tooth color, anyone know how 'doctor' touch-up paint to semi-match?  I've read of matching stains and resins, etc. I don't plan on fixing all the nicks and bumps, mostly where I have to do any carving, or any area (such as around the bridge) where the virgin white is in evidence.  As can see in this image, it has suffered some abuse.  I have one broken off tuner screw I'll have to get out and then fill. 

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Nail varnish is good for touch-ups. With some luck you can even find a matching colour! It seems that ivory beige really is a colour... You can mix them as well if you don't find the right shade.

If you want to match the less sunburned areas to the rest, using soda and white vinegar might help. Just might, but it's inexpensive to try.

We should be thankful that your mother-in-law's wannabe son-in-law didn't do the carving he planned. My eyes already hurt from looking at the pencil line.

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the official term is "smoker's tooth yellow"

wow, what a blast from the past.  hondo generally was plywood... and bolt neck... which makes me think this might be really early for them and it looks like solid wood?  pretty cool.  looks like a cut above typical hondo.

afa trem/tuners... looks like std strat but hard to say for sure on hole alignment.  sm w tuners.   gotoh has really good spec sheets and you might just be able to scale one up, print it out, and see if it aligns with the holes for bridge and/or tuners.  If you can open in gimp or photoshop... then measure the lines that are on the spec sheet (ie it might say 74mm and you scale up till the measurement = 74mm).  then print and overlay it on the holes.

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18 minutes ago, Bizman62 said:

We should be thankful that your mother-in-law's wannabe son-in-law didn't do the carving he planned. My eyes already hurt from looking at the pencil line.

Tell me about it.  I was so glad he had not proceeded with Operation Hacksaw.  As it is, that pencil is on there good.  I used a teflon based gun oil (hoping its slickiness would get that off) and it only removed maybe 85%-90% of it.  I'll have to tackle it again.  I also used an eraser,  followed by an electric eraser, to no avail.  Not sure what else to try.  In that one pic you can see that I did get most of it off. 

Thanks for the colour match tips!  I'll only attempt to touch-up the bright white areas that are exposed, if any.  For all I know, that bridge may drop right in and cover all that up nicely.  I'll have to do something when I work on the tuners, though.  I figure some filling and drilling are in order.  For sure on that one broken screw.  Not looking forward to that.

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What sort of pencil doesnt' come off with a good plastic eraser, especially from a relatively shiny surface like that? Anyhow, rubbing with a paste made of white vinegar and baking soda might take care of that too. Tooth paste can be used as well.

@mistermikev I'm not joking.

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14 minutes ago, mistermikev said:

the official term is "smoker's tooth yellow"

wow, what a blast from the past.  hondo generally was plywood... and bolt neck... which makes me think this might be really early for them and it looks like solid wood?  pretty cool.  looks like a cut above typical hondo.

afa trem/tuners... looks like std strat but hard to say for sure on hole alignment.  sm w tuners.   gotoh has really good spec sheets and you might just be able to scale one up, print it out, and see if it aligns with the holes for bridge and/or tuners.  If you can open in gimp or photoshop... then measure the lines that are on the spec sheet (ie it might say 74mm and you scale up till the measurement = 74mm).  then print and overlay it on the holes.

I got ya on the scaling and GIMP.  I do that sort of thing a lot.  As long as I know one single measurement, I can scale it perfectly, then print to scale.  Good idea there!  That's kind of what I was planning if I end up having to make a custom designed pick-guard.  Really hoping I can just mod a '58 reproduction guard.

Interesting to hear your take on this piece (wood vs. plywood).  I've really no idea.  I'd read mid-80s, but who knows, might be earlier.  Or might just be from early in the batch.  Def. not a bolt on, tho.  If you check out one of those links I supplied in the initial post, there are some good shots of about everything but the front of the head and tuners.  Mine looks  identical to that guitar but for all the missing parts.

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28 minutes ago, Bizman62 said:

What sort of pencil doesnt' come off with a good plastic eraser, especially from a relatively shiny surface like that? Anyhow, rubbing with a paste made of white vinegar and baking soda might take care of that too. Tooth paste can be used as well.

@mistermikev I'm not joking.

Nuclear pencil apparently.  Seriously, I grabbed a std #2 pencil, and it would not touch it; it simply smeared all over and made a mess and left the original line still visible (weakened, but visible).  Grabbed an electric eraser I bought the wife, wouldn't remove it, simply smeared it all over.  Went at it with gun oil, and it started reducing it to almost 0%, but not  in all areas.  Some areas it didn't completely come off and is still visible.  

The polishing paste is a good idea.  I don't really want to lighten the yeller tooth look, though, so not sure about the baking soda.  A fine (0000) non-whitening polishing compound just might do the trick, though.  Good idea ;)

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Just now, ChrisLAdams said:

I don't really want to lighten the yeller tooth look, though, so not sure about the baking soda.

That's why I recommended tooth paste as well. It's an old fishermen's trick for lures with the thinnest gold/silver plating.

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9 minutes ago, Bizman62 said:

That's why I recommended tooth paste as well. It's an old fishermen's trick for lures with the thinnest gold/silver plating.

I've heard of using toothpaste as a lapping compound, so I can see how that might work in this case.  Another good idea. 

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hard to tell from any of those pics if it is plywood or not... you'd have look close at a sideview of the routes.

looks like orig tuners were those inexpensive fender type with the cap that has offset screws on either side... going to be tough to match those but you might look at 3x3 gotoh traditional as they may cover the holes (or not). 

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18 minutes ago, mistermikev said:

hard to tell from any of those pics if it is plywood or not... you'd have look close at a sideview of the routes.

looks like orig tuners were those inexpensive fender type with the cap that has offset screws on either side... going to be tough to match those but you might look at 3x3 gotoh traditional as they may cover the holes (or not). 

I'll take a closer look at the routes and see about the wood.  I've not got a good eye to tell what kind of wood if it's solid, but should be able to tell if it's plywood. 

Up till now, I've mainly focused on trying to decide on a bridge, and tuners.  I've plenty of parts to buy, obviously.  It only came with the toggle switch plate and 1 of 2 back plates.  

I put a set of those Gotoh Vintage tuners on the old Japanese LP copy I have.  Beautiful tuners.  I had to redrill the head for them because they original tuners were at an angle, and the Gotohs were not.

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44 minutes ago, ChrisLAdams said:

I'll take a closer look at the routes and see about the wood.  I've not got a good eye to tell what kind of wood if it's solid, but should be able to tell if it's plywood. 

Up till now, I've mainly focused on trying to decide on a bridge, and tuners.  I've plenty of parts to buy, obviously.  It only came with the toggle switch plate and 1 of 2 back plates.  

I put a set of those Gotoh Vintage tuners on the old Japanese LP copy I have.  Beautiful tuners.  I had to redrill the head for them because they original tuners were at an angle, and the Gotohs were not.

I'm a big fan of Gotoh.  Everything I have used of theirs just feels solid and performs well.  I like that they are so innovative and enjoy supporting them knowing that... auto locking vintage tuners, wheel lock vintage tuners, side adjust truss rods, height adjusting tuners, locking tremolo studs... the list goes on and on. 

also, meant to say... I vote to leave the finish on that as is.  IMO it's got a cool vibe going there... something you can't walk in and buy.  If you do anything... fill with clear epoxy or ca.  Other than that... I'd try to maintain that vibe as much as possible.

cheers

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9 hours ago, mistermikev said:

I vote to leave the finish on that as is.  IMO it's got a cool vibe going there... something you can't walk in and buy.  If you do anything... fill with clear epoxy or ca.

Good point. History is history etc. Leaving the less sunburned areas brighter is what I'd do as well, only cleaning the dirt and grime off. Buffed shit is still shit!

However, I would try to fill the dents and plug extra screw holes and apply some matching coloured nail varnish on top of the fixes to make it look maintained instead of abused. Also, extra holes may weaken the headstock so a stick glued in unused holes should bring back some of the original strength.

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I refretted an 80s hondo bass for a friend last year. It's not a bad instrument, solid body made up of 3 pieces of (i think) alder and 3 piece laminated maple neck, the middle piece was quarter sawn the other two were and the maple fretboard wasn't quarter sawn either. I sanded all the lacquer off the neck, installed jumbo stainless frets and finished it with danish oil for him. 

Based on the fact that it's a solid colour, I don't see why you couldn't put any trem on it, worst case scenario you glue in a filler block and reroute the trem cavity. But you probably wouldn't have to.

Edit: Just saw the pick of the headstock, if it was me, I would plug those tuner holes and move them in a bit, potentially reshape the headstock for a more reasonable string angle over the nut - That would improve tuning stability no end.

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