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1964 Hagstrom II
Year: 1964
Brand: Hagstrom
Model: II
Class: Guitar
Scale: 24.75
Owner: Jeff Hewitt
Status: In Studio.




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I've wanted a Hagstrom since the first time I saw one.
So when I found this one on craigslist, It was perfect.

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It needed a complete restoration, but it was cheap enough.
Since I was going to refinish the guitar I could do any color. My favorite was the Hagstrom blue.
From the neck pocket it as evident that this guitar was coincidentally originally blue.

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The body was in rough condition, but intact.
The pick guard had been painted black, and had ben cut out for a after market Japanese neck pickup.

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The electronics were original, other than the neck pickup.
The original volume knob was even there.

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The tremvar vibrato was in rough condition.
The chrome plating was worn though, but it was complete even the vibrato arm.

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The neck would be the real work on this project.
The neck was spit the entire length, exposing the expander truss rod.

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Hagstrom had very thin necks and cracking isn't uncommon, but this was an extreme case.
The Hagstrom expander is a great truss rod system. So much so that Hagstrom originally offered a 10 yr guarantee against warping.

Even with the extent of the damage, this neck was still straight.
I decided to give repairing it. So I began with the gluing and clamping using the strongest glue I had.

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The headstock had began to crack, so it was easy enough to glue and clamp.

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After the glue had dried, the neck was sanded smooth.

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The body was sanded primed and prepped.
Due to the extent of the neck damage it would color coded to the guitar.

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I decided I could repair the neck pickup section of the pickguard. I used a product called plastic mend, it came out pretty good. I rebuilt the section, using the bridge pickup as a model.

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I modified a duo-sonic reissue neck pickup to mount in the neck position.

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Due to the body style and pickguard this was originally either a Futurama or a transition Hagstrom II.
Futurama decals are unheard of, so I decided it would be badged a Hagstrom II. Hagstrom headstock decals are hard to find.
Since I couldn't find one, I could make my own if I could find a high resolution image of the headstock decal.
While looking for a good image I came across a great image of the original "kings neck" sticker.
I went ahead and did the image work and printed a set, they came out prefect.


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While looking for the head stock logo, I came across a high res scan of the vintage Hagstrom name. Using this logo and some photoshop magic, I was able to make one.

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When I laquored the headstock, the color of the paint changed. This was no doubt due to age and type of laquor I ued, it had a yellow tint.
It came out looking very vintage. Since the majority of the guitar parts were "aged", I decided to laquor the whole guitar.
It really gave it a great vintage look. It' made the finish a perfect match to the vintage paint in the neck pocket.


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I continued the "aged" look with the pick guard, leaving some cracks and yellowing in sections.
The headstock decal worked out so well I decided to use the technique to restore the missing text and graphics on the control plate.
Again I removed some of the decal so it appears vintage.


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The original neck plate was missing.
This means really have no way to date this instrument other than by the style which places it 1963-64.
Hagstrom used a 3 hole neck plate so finding one would be difficult. Dad had some stainless the correct thickness, so we cut one out the proper shape. I drilled the then counter sunk the holes and polished the plate.

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Among the short list of missing parts was the string hold down and the bridge. I simply polished an aluminum rod I already had and cut it to size. A couple of well placed holes and the string tree looks great.

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Two of the six original tuners were missing, the rest were rusted solid, so I will be replacing them with an after market set. To preserve the style and look of the guitar I opted to use an old set of tuners from the parts bin. I decided to remove the back cover plates and leave them as open tuners. This way it would look more vintage and original.

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