Here’s an unusual guitar on the workbench.
It’s a Framus Fret Jet made in 1965.
I’ve not had the pleasure of seeing one of these before.
More Fret Jet and Framus info Here…
Generally, the guitar is in very good condition considering its age. The body work is quite good, all the pickups and electrics are in working order. However, the guitar is losing its logos and it’s in dire need of a re-fret.
Firstly the old logos are removed.
They are of a very fragile commodity made from a foil material. The logos have been laid directly onto the surface of the headstock varnish; this makes them very vulnerable to scrapes and knocks. As you can see from this photo, it appears they have fallen off at some point and have been reattached for many years with Sellotape.
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First Attempt: The logos are removed and the headstock veneer cleaned up and re-sprayed.
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Optimistically the logos are cleaned up, reattached and sprayed over. This does not work out too well as the old logos bulge-up in places and will not lay flat upon the surface; this idea is abandoned.
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The Next Attempt: New logos are made up using the decalcomania method.
The old designs are photographed and sent off to The Decal Shop who reproduce the designs as decals. These match the existing logos exactly.
The headstock is cleaned up, the decals are attached and sprayed over.
The end result is very successful as the logos are now beneath the surface of the lacquer and eliminates any future damage possibilities.
The fingerboard is re-fretted.
The Fret Jet has a bolt-on neck this makes the re-fret an easier affair.
It sets up beautifully and plays like a dream.
This is Duncan he’s owned this guitar for over 30 years and is very happy about its restoration.
A few days after this blog was published I had an email from Duncan
Thanks, this is a really nice blog – I’ll send the link to Dr Hoyer at the Framus Museum if that’s ok – he was keen to see the finished article.
I’ve nothing to add except with the cleaned up electrics the guitar sounds better than ever – not one dry joint or scratchy pot. Sonically it’s a cross between a Casino and a Gretsch but with some deep rhythm tones I haven’t heard anywhere else – wonderful.
All the best.
A few days later I received a further email and attachment
A very nice note back from Christian Hoyer at the Framus Museum – you’re clearly in his good books!
I am so glad to hear back from you. More so, as the restoration went so perfectly well, and you are finally reunited with your Framus Fret Jet of 1965.
I am really happy about the restoration job and read the interesting account on it by your luthier. Congratulations to him!
There are many people out there who don´t care that much for vintage guitars and over-restore or mis-restore old beauties as we say in German, I don´t know the proper word in English, sorry!
Thanks to him also the electronics were saved! It´s really great that the pickups have been cleaned – many people just replace them. This isn´t the proper way as you also were able to find out by just cleaning them!!
Thank you so much for this update! I wish you a lot of pleasure with your Fret Jet in the years to come!
… and I hope to meet you at some point over here in the Framus Museum!
All the best,
Dr. Christian Hoyer
Framus Museum und Framus Archiv