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.


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.


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.


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.


2009-04-17: The bridge is a hard to find item. I opted for a modern roller bridge replacement, I think the style really fits the instrument. The original bridge bushings had to be remove, this is easily accomplished with the proper size and thread bolt. The original brass bushings were fairly small in comparison to everything I've found on the market today. The bushing holes would needed to be drilled out. To avoid damaging the finished body I used my drill set on reverse. Since there were a holes already this is a great slow and steady way to make the holes larger. It worked great, the bushings mounted right up and the bridge works great.


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