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  #081 The Pöhlert Jazz Guitar.

This is a very important Hofner and so I took a while to consider exactly the best strategy for its restoration.

For example,  it is a very attractive guitar but significantly it is incredibly rare and is historically important.    It has not been used much and it has not been abused either.     It has, however,  had an earlier neck joint repair and a little poor work to the cellulose.      So, with this guitar,  because it carries with it a lot of Hofner history,  I shall just restore it lightly,  leaving it as untouched as possible.    

My programme will be to rectify any past repairs,  remove the overspray,  refurbish where necessary then clean and polish it to its best advantage.    Finally I shall make sure it plays as well as it can.

  1.  On Arrival I photograph every detail.      It comes in useful later!

Generally the whole guitar is in very good condition.

  Only 6-8 of these were made.   Pickups work well but a little wear to the chrome.
  Square-cut cutaway.
  Classic headstock with bell flower motif.    Committee style Van Gent tuners missing their "teardrop" covers.     Notice that there is not a HOFNER logo.   Herr Pöhlert wanted this to be a Pöhlert guitar not a Hofner guitar!
  The old repair had been over-sprayed but the re-finish had reacted with the original cellulose!     It was worse than this but in this pic I have just started flatting down the finish to be able to inspect the old repair.     On investigation the repair is good and strong so I wont risk any further refinishing otherwise yet more new cellulose could cause rejection.    I shall simply polish it with Carnauba Wax.
  Rejection on the neck too.    I have removed most of the over-spray and polished with Carnauba Wax.        Much better now!
  A few deep marks but otherwise it is in very good condition.
  2.  Synopsis.
  I bought this guitar knowing it would need a little work.     I knew that a repair had been done to the neck by the previous owner.    It didn't look very pretty.   I also suspected that there had been some over-spraying around the neck joint.    I was not optimistic but the rarity of the guitar was my whole reason for buying it!

When I had it in my hands I was pleased to confirm that it had generally been well cared for over the years.    It played reasonably well, and had a really nice, mellow tone - full, rich and resonant!    I hadn't expected that.

So, it would all be a question of whether the past repairs had been done well.  

Once I started work on the Pöhlert,  it soon became clear that the repairs were better than I had thought.   The work to the neck (it appeared that the heel block had separated from the neck) was good and strong.    It had simply been refinished rather badly which initially had given the impression of a bad repair.

So, the Pöhlert was actually in pretty good shape.     The restoration would be more to do with rectifying past work,  restoring its good looks,  and making it play nicely!!   

  3.  Cleaning, dealing with neck issues and rejuvenating the finish.
  I always start with the neck.   I need to know that it will play nicely before I invest more time!
  The headstock is just superb.   Mother of Pearl inlaid into Holly (not plastic) but without the HOFNER logo.    The Holly is just fading to Silver - perfect!    Nothing to do here.
  50 years of "fingers n thumbs"   Cleaned and all the detail revealed.
  A little wear to some frets and fingerboard.   An easy, light, fret-dress and polish.
  Cleaned, sanded with 1200 then 1800 Dry,  and oiled.    Not quite dry yet in some of the pics!    In total it will get 4 or 5 dressings with Gibson "Luthier's Choice"  Fretboard Conditioner (the best).
  The whole Top was lightly sanded with 2000 Wet to remove the over-spray and all minor surface marks.
  Then hand burnished to a deep shine.      I still prefer to do this by hand.
  The guitar is now built-up and gets one final polish.    It deserves it!
  I am always happy to take extra time to get the fit of the Bridge perfect.    It makes so much difference to the clarity of the sound.   The same goes for the string height at the Nut (or the zero fret if its a Hofner).    These fits are critical for good tonal quality.
  Fortunately I had an original '64 acoustic pickguard in stock.   Lucky!
  The truss rod had not been used in years.    I made the vertical mark on the end of the rod with a CD marker.    I wanted to be sure that, when I turned the nut, the rod was not rotating too.    Fortunately it was fine but I lubricated it with 3in1 as a precaution for the future.
  4.   The Finished Guitar.

  Looking good but I was surprised at just how good the tone was.  Sweet, smooth,  rich and very jazzy.   Quite majestic
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