Hofner parts
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parts for Hofner guitars, custom scratch plates, treble booster

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Arch top bridge fitting guide

To fit a bridge to an arch top/jazz guitar you will need :
  • Felt pen
  • Coarse sandpaper
  • Fine sandpaper
  • Blue tack
  • Something to support the guitar’s neck (block of polystyrene with hollow is good, if all else fails a pillow or cushion)
  • An old towel to protect guitar’s finish
  • A flat surface to work on big enough to lay guitar down on with neck supported (work bench or kitchen surface or table)
  • Piece of A4 paper
  • Set of small files

Clear work area and lay old towel down, with neck support ready, lay guitar on top. Ensure that the guitar is stable and not ‘wobbly’ It might be advisable if the back is very arched to put second towel down one side to stop any wobble
Remove strings
Mark position of and then remove old bridge.
Blue tack a sheet of A4 paper over the area to protect the finish, put coarse sandpaper into the position where bridge will sit and hold down firmly
Cover underside of bridge with felt tip. Then hold bridge in perfectly vertical position or as close to as possible.
Rub base of bridge forward and back. This is to copy the contour of the body. By looking at the base of bridge you will see by the sanding marks & how much felt tip is left on base which will indicate any un-sanded area. When you are satisfied that the curve is right, offer it up to the guitar.
The exact position of the bridge is determined by taking a measurement from the centre of the zero fret or fingerboard side of the nut to the centre of the twelfth fret. Duplicate this measurement from centre of twelfth fret to centre of the bridge saddle or contact point, on the treble side. (e.g. fret wire insert).
Further compensation of intonation can be achieved by sliding the bridge back slightly to get correct intonation at twelfth fret due to the physics of the strings.
Height reduction may be required. This can be taken off the under side of the top of the bridge or the top of the lower part of the bridge (or both). In the low position you really want the strings almost touching the fingerboard and in the higher position to suit your your playing style. Adjust using the wheels.
The actual spacing for the strings, looking down, is usually spaced by eye. The easiest way is to evenly space top & bottom E stings across saddle or inserts, (you may have to move inserts). Mark positions with pencil and cut with appropriate file.
When filing angle the file at about 20 degrees towards the tailpiece, this is to stop the strings ‘fizzing’ or ‘sitaring’.
Don’t forget you don't have to cut the grooves in bridge that deep - just enough to hold the string.

We have replacement bridges to fit most archtops on our Hofner parts page.

If you have any doubts about any adjustments to your instrument then do seek professional advice.

Scratch Plate Fitting Guide

To fit scratch plate, push the pin, which is attached to the block, into the hole on the side of the neck. Position the scratch plate to make sure everything is in line, particularly making sure that the scratch plate edge is parallel to the first string.
Depending on how the pick guard sits, some adjustment or bending to the bracket may be required.
Do NOT bend bracket while attached to pick guard as this may cause damage.
To make the bracket more secure to the bracket holder some white tack (or similar) may be used.
Please note the fixing underneath the s/plate is for a bracket that is 1.5mm thick. please do NOT force.
To fit a pin at bridge end, insert pin into the bridge, but you must roughen areas to be glued with some sand paper first to key surfaces. If using a fast setting glue e.g. Superglue, be VERY careful NOT to get any on the scratch plate surface as it will ruin the surface finish and also you MUST do a dry run first. To clamp, use a clothes peg inside a polythene sandwich bag, (Super glue will not stick to polythene). If in doubt use slower setting glue.

To cut pick up apertures on your scratch plate first get a fine bladed fret or coping saw (with the teeth facing down).
Then make your card template (the more accurate you are here the better it will turn out).
Try not to cut your pick up holes too deep make sure that the edge of the s/plate runs parallel to the first string on your guitar. Sellotape/masking tape your pattern to the s/plate.
Then cut with the fret or coping saw only using downward cuts finish off with sandpaper.
Finally polish with fine sandpaper.
N.B. take care to support scratch plate when cutting, support in a cloth in a vice, as it will break if stressed. Take care not to scratch finish – especially around the logo!
For fitting of clear pick guards, screw bracket to body,
Push pin into hole on side of neck, Line up center of bracket with hole on pick guard make sure that edge of pick guard is parallel with first string,
Mark position on bracket, remove bracket & drill hole, carefully.
Fix with nut & bolt or screw, be careful not to split pick guard (do NOT over tighten).


Find the right scratch plate for your vintage Hofner here and scratch plates for all jazz and archtop guitars, Watkins Rapier and Eko Ranger batwing plus custom made pick guards and scratch plates here.

How to apply a water slide transfer


Soak in a saucer of luke warm water until transfer becomes ‘slidable’ off the backing paper
(Do not soak for too long, as glue will dissolve)
Put a smear of water on to where it is to be positioned
Put transfer in place and dab off excess water with tissue

Hofner transfers are available on our Hofner parts page.

 If you have any doubts about any adjustments to your instrument then do seek professional advice.

Fixing Noisy ‘Strat’ switches

Due to oxidisation in the air sometimes the contacts develop a film, so when you flick from one position to the other it can crackle and even cut out. It's quite possible the switch has lots of ‘gig’ life still in it. You could ‘pop’ it to your local guitar tech and have a new switch fitted, only to be in the same position in a few months down the line. Switch cleaner can be a bit hit and miss, so, take the advise of a professional repairer: Spray some switch cleaner onto the contacts, or if it is sealed, down the switch slot. Get hold of the switch tip with thumb and index finger and go from one end to the other quickly (about 10 – 15 times). This should do the trick, and even with no switch cleaner this often works. See? That’s twenty quid I just saved for you!!
Obviously don’t be too ham-fisted. I've done this many times and have never broken a switch, but remember if the switch breaks it was going to anyway and probably in the middle of a gig. This is also a fix for pots, where the wiper and the pad sometimes oxidise. Spraying with switch cleaner and rotating back and forth often does the trick again. There's another Tenner!



Measuring neck relief

Sit down with the guitar in playing position. Put the index finger of your left hand on the first fret then put the index finger of your right hand on the 15th fret. Stretch your left hand out and put the little finger over the 5th fret, push the string down on to the fret & notice how much distance or gap there is. This is using the string as a straight edge. It should, for a nice low action, be about 10 to 15 thousandths of an inch.
This measurement is the relief of the neck, and does vary. After all, some people like a low action and are not bothered by any buzzing or don't strum very hard; others may like no buzzing at all and this would vary according to personal taste. Basically, if you stick to this measurement as an average and adjust the action at the saddle end to suit, you won’t be far off the mark.

Adjusting the truss rod to increase or decrease neck relief

To adjust the truss rod. If you are looking at the truss rod and have the adjuster in place, turn clockwise to tighten. This is to crown the neck or straighten it. Anticlockwise to loosen or dip the neck. You should adjust the truss by no more than 1/8 th of a turn at a time. Just remember that when tightening the truss rod it can ‘creep’ slightly, so, what this means is that you might think that you have it in the right place and after playing it may straighten a bit more due to ‘creep’. ‘Creep’ can also happen due to temperature and vibration. (That’s another £10 I saved you!)

Using the right tools for the job can make all the difference. We have a quality Hofner truss rod wrench for sale on our Hofner Parts page.


If you have any doubts about any adjustments to your instrument then do seek professional advice.


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