Sunday, November 13, 2011

Hofner Colorama II restoration project (part 4) - stripping and scraping the paint off the body

In the continuing sage of our vintage Hofner Colorama II restoration project, today we will be stripping and scraping the paint off the guitar body itself.

If you’re already following the project, you’ll be well aware that we’ve already removed the neck. This is what we’re left with:

Stripping a vintage Hofner Colorama (by which I mean stripping it of its components, not the paint, though we’ll be doing that too) is extremely easy.

First we take out all the scratchplate/pickguard screws, allowing us to lift the whole thing out, including the output jack, in one go.

Next we remove the front vibrato/tremolo cover as follows (you should unscrew the tremolo arm before doing this – in this particular project, removing the arm was a bit of an adventure in itself and will be documented later, but usually you simply unscrew the little thumbwheel and the arm comes off easily):

Now the back vibrato cover:

The vibrato itself is secured with four screws in its corners, so we remove these too.

Once the screws have been removed, we simply lift the unit out, as follows:

Lastly we unscrew the strap buttons:

We are now left with the following.



A quick inspection reveals a number of issues that will need to be dealt with at a later date, namely a couple of screw holes that are too close to an edge and have started falling through, such as this at the front of the tremolo cavity:

And this at the lower side of the scratchplate:

There are also two broken screws that will need to be drilled out at a later date. One is in the top front corner of the scratchplate:

And the other is one of the rear vibrato cover screws (the bottom left hole in this photo):

We will deal with these (and other) issues in the next installment. In the meantime, let's scrape some paint off.

As with the guitar neck, we need to secure the body before we start scraping the paint off. In this case we have put one screw through one of the neck pocket holes and secured it to a piece of wood. At the other end of the guitar we have just used two sprung grips, as shown here. These provide more than enough grip, without damaging the guitar.

Then begins the slow process of scraping the paint off with a paint scraper.

About 60% done

And that’s the front finished:

Here we are about halfway through scraping the back of the guitar:

Almost there:

Several hours, band-aids, mosquito bites and swear words later, and we’ve finished scraping the paint off the guitar.

In all seriousness, that was about seven hours of work, and not a job I’m in a hurry to repeat. And did I mention the mosquitoes? (Don't feel sorry for her - that's MY blood.)

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