Hondo strat build

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by Neill Levine, Jan 23, 2012.

  1. Neill Levine

    Neill Levine Tele-Meister

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    Dec 16, 2004
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    Hi all,

    Not sure this is the right forum for this, but I guess it is strat related.

    I've realised recently that I have an old Hondo strat body from the 80's in the family garage doing an ornamental thing. It once got a very amateur EVH-type paint job (it was the 80's after all) Then my little brother took it apart to see what made it tick. It originally looked like this I think:

    [​IMG]

    I never really liked the guitar in my teens, and my memory of it is that it was heavy.

    I am now thinking of doing a strat build with it. Would the heaviness = good sustain you think?

    Is it worth doing? I have not done a build before - does it matter about it being a Hondo - e.g. shocking for some reason I cannot think of?

    Cheers,

    NL
     
  2. jukeboxhero00

    jukeboxhero00 NEW MEMBER!

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    Nov 8, 2014
    Location:
    Page, AZ
    Hello there,
    As your post is a bit dated I hope this is still of some help. Despite what some may say your Hondo is a solid axe. They have thier good aspects and bad though, as with any guitar. I have done many builds that started as Hondos, usually using an H-76 as a platform. Hondo's had a few differant eras and the shape and contour of the body and the headstock/labeling sort of tell you what you have.
    The main obstacle you will face in using a hondo as a platform is that parts made for a fender will not fit without some tweaking. All the Hondo specs are metric and Fender uses SAE measurments. For example, you will find that the Hondo neck pocket is a bit larger than a Fender, the saddle spacing is metric and fender saddles will not fit without being ground down. That said, the pickups in the early models (no bar magnent on the bottom, and the pickups is the later Tokai produced guitars were phenominal if you are into vintage low output. Great to the point where I would go through all the pain in the ass it is to convert everything else just to have those PUPS. Usually when you get the guitars the pots and selector switch are very scratchy and need cleaned with some contact cleaner and played a bit. I have found that occasionally the truss rods have had issues. *In the event that one has to replace a neck on a guitar for which necks are no longer manufactured* Here is what you need to do- get a neck for ebay or Warmoth or wherever. Get it all finished etc. Use household wax and wax the heck out of your neck heel.. Get a quick grip clamp and loosley clamp it into the pocket. String up a high and low E string so that you have two visual referrence lines to make sure she is on straight. Clamp it down tight, real tight. there will be a slight gap on the left side neck pocket. Obtain a syringe and an 16-18 gauge needle, fill with epoxy. carefully and slowly squeeze the epoxy in until it has approximatly filled the space. dont try to go all the way to the edge. Let it sit several days, use some professional wood putty to get a perfectly flush finish up against the neck. Let it sit another day then remove the neck.
    This should all be done before any refinishing of the body is done. Now sand, paint, finish, etc. If everything is done right these bodies have great sustyain and the pickups are wonderful for vintage tones and are actually a little hotter than most vintage PUPS which makes them quite versatile. Be aware, you cannot replace the 5 way with a Fender- again, they wont fit, the Hondo slot is too small.

    In answer to your question "is it worth it" I would have to say if you like the hondo for centimental reasons or something or have a thing for something that is quirky/differant, then yes. Would it be far less work and more cost effective to just buy a Fender body off of Ebay to do your build, absolutly.
     
  3. Neill Levine

    Neill Levine Tele-Meister

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    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2004
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    Hi there
    Thanks for your detailed reply to my post! I was considering the Hondo-build option when I originally posted on this because I have the body lying around my garage, and I thought I'd make use of it.
    Having put together a few teles though, I fully appreciate your comments on the measurements being different on the Hondo compared to what is standard. I'm now thinking it would be far easier (ie less aggravation) to get a pre-sprayed warmoth body, if I was to do a strat project. I think I'll just use the Hondo body as garage-decoration!
    Thanks again

    Neill
     
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