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  In the Workshop.
       
  Hofner :  New Custom Archtop.
   
  1.  A new Body - a new Neck!
     
 
  Hofner supplied a new German hand made archtop body and a new John Lennon neck.   Both are perfect  -  the body has the usual high quality, straight grain Spruce top with a gently flamed Maple back and sides.   The JL neck allows me to create a modern style, short scale guitar.
   
   
   
  2.  Modifying the neck and body.
   
   
 
  The 60's "Art Deco" headstock will will define the overall style of the finished guitar.  
   
 
  Frets are all good but will need a precise fret-dress later.
   
 
  The John Lennon neck is a little "chunky" for me.   I prefer a more slender profile.    It has the truss-rod adjustment at the heel.   I shall need a long truss-rod spanner for this guitar.
   
 
  Checked and all working fine.
   
 
  Re-profiled and ready for finished sanding.
   
 
  Sanded ready for spraying.
   
 
  I prefer to play small body jazz archtops these days  -  much more comfortable and balanced.
   
 
  Just a few minimal corrections to the arch contours.
   
   
  Trial fit  -  cant wait to see how it will look.  
  I want to use the same neck set, pickup height and bridge height as La Provençale.    The tailpiece is for a Jazzica but is too long so needs to be shortened to suit a 24.5"  scale.
 
  Nice heel joint.   I am pleased with this.
   
   
   
  3.  Thinking about the design and choosing all the right parts.
   
 

I have had it in mind to build this guitar for several years so there has been plenty of time to think it through,  get the design right, and source the parts.

It will be my final Hofner Custom archtop -  the guitar that Hofner never built  -  a smaller sister to The Jazz Café  (see #058).

The Shadow AZ pickup on The Jazz Café and on La Provençale are so good that I shall also use one on this guitar although I plan to fit an AZ 49,  the ring mounted version, coupled with a Schatten thumbwheel volume control hidden beneath the pickguard to match the Jazz Cafe!    These AZ pickups are so rich and mellow that I don't want t add a Tone control.   I prefer to let the pickup speak for itself and set up my Amp for any small tonal adjustments. 

The Art Deco logo on the headstock will be reflected in the design of a new, hand carved pickguard and tailpiece.   I have a choice of Rosewood with a strong straight dark grain which should look good with the fingerboard or I may select Ebony to match the pickup and headstock.    Perhaps I will make one of each and see how they look.

What I am aiming for with this guitar is a full voiced jazzy instrument without f-holes (to suppress any tendency to feedback - always a consideration with the small body hollow guitars).

   
       
   
  4.  Back from spraying and ready to build.
   
 
  Nice, new clean carpet for my newly sprayed guitar.   I specified a cellulose finish so I have to be careful now!
   
 
  It is always exciting to reach this stage  -  a brand new guitar ready to be built.    It was sprayed for me, very nicely,  by Martin Harrison of Hania Guitars.
       
       
   
  5.  Getting the playing dynamics right.    It's all about the Nut and the Bridge!
   
       
   
  6.  Making the hand-carved pickguard and tailpiece.
   
   
   
       
   
   
       
       
       
       
   
       
       
  Back to - In the Workshop