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Meet Boris, named after Boris Karloff, the original Frankenstein. Boris is a project guitar I just finished for a friend. It started life as a Harmony Sovereign H1204, late '60s era. It was given to me by another friend who had started the process of converting it to a resonator. The position he cut the hole made the distance from nut to bridge 27". That is baritone scale.
It was missing the fretboard, which was OK, because I had to make a new one anyway to accommodate the 27" scale. I also did some re-bracing, mounted the resonator cone, reset the neck, refinished it, and added the Frankenstein headstock image. The barrel-shaped tuner buttons are intended to simulate the bolt through Frankenstein's neck.
It was a lengthy and difficult project because the guitar carcass was in such bad shape, but it turned out pretty cool! It's strung with 13's, and tuned to C standard. Cool sounds and fun to play, and definitely one-of-a-kind!
I've built many guitars, but this is by far my favorite. My dad was a Harley-Davidson dealer prior to WWII. He never threw anything away, and after he passed I ended up with some of his old Harley stuff, including part of a wooden crate that a 1940 Harley was shipped in. I used part of the wood that had the original H-D stenciling, including my dad's name and address for the top of the guitar. Everything except tuners, bridge, and electrical components I made from scratch.
It is not only a tribute to my dad that I will cherish and hand down to future generations of Hoffmans, but it is a great playing and sounding guitar as well.
This 100 year old flat-back Brazilian Rosewood mandolin had all sorts of issues... cracked top, loose braces, binding missing, fretboard cracks, and the headstock. In the end she all came together beautifully and is now ready for another 100 years of love!
I will be adding new projects to this page. Check back often for exciting new content.
Clicking on the pictures enlarges them and displays clever captions. Some pictures are best viewed by turning your computer on its side or up-side-down.
A customer brought me this Cort bass that was very nice except it had a shattered headstock. Could it be salvaged? Fortunately all of the splinters were still there and I managed to get them back into the right spots.
Another interesting project... The owner of this gorgeous old 1967 Harmony Meteor had just won it on ebay, and wanted me to just check it over and give it a good set-up. All was well until I reached in to tweak the truss rod.... no nut! It had been broken off! Usually a broken truss rod is a death sentence, requiring removing the fretboard to replace or repair..... Fortunately I was able to drill a very small hole in the butt end of the neck and drive the rod out, repair, and replace it at minimal cost.
This was an interesting project... My customer bought this quite rare Fender HM Strat body cheap on Ebay, thinking he could pick up a regular strat neck for it, only to find out that this model used an odd scale length.... 25.15" vs the standard 25.5". Who makes a 25.15" scale neck? Well, apparently nobody, so he thought he had nothing but fire-wood until he ran across me. Yes, I can make any scale neck you want!
An old vintage Harmony archtop dumpster find, rescued!
How to do a fret job.