This project started as a solid but hideous Hohner Professional ST 59 strat copy. A straight, adjustable one-piece Canadian rock maple neck, minimal fret wear, and a solid maple body. The paint job and pickguard were truly awful.
Very flat fret radius at 20″. New Graph Tech nut. Frets leveled, crowned, and polished. The solid maple body now has a fresh look. New pickguard and pickups. New floating 2-point bridge. Set-up for new #10 strings, low action, and good intonation. It plays and sounds great.
This started as a discarded POS. My goal was to make it playable and presentable and learn a lot along the way about rebuilding guitars.
I refinished the neck and headstock leaving it to look a bit aged. The tuners were replaced and the nut upgraded to a real bone nut.
The frets were badly worn and should have been replaced. Instead, I wanted to work on the frets myself, so I leveled, crowned, and polished them. I oiled and rubbed out the fretboard to make it all look good.
The body and all the components needed a good cleaning and buffing. It has some nicks and scratches that help give it a cool patina. The tremolo claw was tight against the cavity so it needed to be reset and adjusted for the new #9 strings.
After setup, the neck was straight, the action low, and intonation good. It plays great with a fast satin-finish neck. Tremendous tone and sustain that is surprising. I reach for this guitar to play often over my more expensive guitar.
Although I learned what I wanted by working on the frets, the next time I will just re-fret a guitar this worn. And I will remember to polish the frets before I put the strings on! The headstock tuner holes are 9mm, so that limited the replacement tuner selection somewhat. If doing a project like this in the future I would ream the holes to 10mm and have more tuner choices to work with. This kind of project doesn’t need to be 100% vintage correct.
I decided to relic it a bit shown in the second photo. It really looks good. Now it needs to find a good home with the new string trees and aged tremolo bar installed.