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Tailpiece problem with 70's Hondo II (UPDATED)


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Refinished one lately, had no problems over last two months,

couple of days ago I tuned up and started playing. At this time I

noticed the tailpiece posts were leaning torward the neck at

about a 10 degree or so angle - you could see they were high

on the bout end of the git and low into the finish on the pickup

side of the post.


I de-tuned the git, unbolted the neck, and removed the neck,

strings, and tailpiece as one unit. I then was able to pull the

tailpiece posts out of the guitar with my fingers ONLY. Posts

were tight and required gentle tapping with hammer to fully seat

when installed. Whut the heck? First time this has happened.

Wood apparently too soft?


Just for experiment, I inserted cardboard shims that completly

encircled the mounting hole in git, then reinserted posts. Very tight fit.

Now my tuning is erratic, and posts now lean at only 3 - 5 degree

angle. (cardboard too soft to provide rock-solid anchor required

for accurate, stable tuning.)


At this point, I'm considering two options -

1. Glue hardwood dowels into existing hole, then re-drill, remount posts.

2. Use a product called QUIKSTEEL which dries extremely hard, insert

into hole about halfway up, then insert posts. The bottom of the posts

would sink into the Quiksteel, forcing the excess up and around the post

bushing, filling the "void" around bushing. When dried, there would be NO

slack allowing posts to "tilt" under the string tension.


Anyone run into this problem before?

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Is the bridge part of a vibrato system? On a Jaguar / Jazzmaster the bridge is loose and sits inside post holes. Why not put it back without the cardboard and let it sit at the ten degree angle it originally had? Did it intonate OK?


should have been specific - NOT part of a vibrato' date=' just a two-post

stand alone tailpiece. Yeah, intonated just fine, but the 10 degree

angle looked [b']bad[/b], plus, if it made it to 10, how long before 15, etc?

All my other gits, all stand alone tailpieces, sitck straight up, no lean

due to string tension. The lean indicates a problem!



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the 10 degree angle looked bad' date='

plus, if it made it to 10, how long before 15, etc?

All my other gits, all stand alone tailpieces, sitck straight up, no lean

due to string tension. The lean indicates a problem![/quote']


Hey, it's an older guitar. I guess that's to be expected - the older you get, the greater the downward tilt! [cool]

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Sorry, two mistakes, I thought you were talking about the bridge, and I didn't realise it was a LP style instrument for some reason. You should press out the bushings (find a longer bolt of the same diameter and thread pitch, and screw it through the bottom of each bushing to pop it up) and check out the strength of the wood underneath with a skewer or something. If it's soft from dry rot or something, there are liquid epoxies which can penetrate the wood and harden it up. Otherwise glue and dowel, then drill new holes, as Bender said. Or maybe it's time for a Bigsby!

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My most beloved, and trusted Blue Bomber's doin' the same thing, except with mine, the bridge is leaning back toward the tail. Doesn't affect intonation, and when I can actually have some money in my pocket, bring it down to Techster, and have him give it a gander, because I do find it rather disquieting.

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My one and only Gibson (ES137) had an awful lot of thread showing on both the bridge and stopbar - the original bridge studs were actually a sloppy fit in the top. I changed the whole setup to Tonepros, then found a couple of small nuts that allow me to lock the bridge posts down hard to the studs. That made the whole thing tighter and reduced/prevented movement of the bridge. The stopbar though was still way up to get the right string angle. In the end I screwed the stopbar down hard to the studs and did an up-and-over wrap of the strings - so the strings come of the bridge at the same angle, but the stopbar is down hard on the deck. Maybe the neck angle wasn't all it should be, but I didn't like the thought of the forces acting on the studs 24 hours a day.

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Oh' date=' I see your problem - Your tailpiece is attached to something we call a "Hondo II." You should remove and discard the "Hondo II" part from that tailpiece.[/quote']


Heh, heh, heh!!! The Hondo was a dirt-cheap snag off ebay to

use as a "platform" to hone my refinishing "skills"! After assembly

it really did play quite nicely. I saw after a few weeks and after comparing

with my other gits that the pups (from Epi LP Studio) sounded like mud and

would have to go - GFS, here I come! The "pinch harmonics/Grace notes"

were difficult to pull off, not consistent. But that's a different issue!


Bottom line - string tension is causing my tailpiece posts/bushings to pull

torward neck. Wood apparently just not stout enough to resist the force

exerted by strings - Hondo IIs from that era were made from Plywood

laminate rather than solid wood, which might explain problem.


The problem with the Dowel reglue and drill solution is that after re-drill, I'd

be left with about a .5mm wall if I used a dowel same size as original hole.

Not convinced that thin a wall would stand up to tension of strings. Don't want

to enlarge hole for bigger dowel, as that would Fubar my finish... WAIT! That

would be a "decorative wooden insert" on ebay!


The Quiksteel does stick to wood - I had to use it in the control cavity to build up

the wood BACK to the original level, as someone had "chiseled out" the cavity to

make regular length pot shafts work. When I replaced the pots after building up interior,

I had to use Long-Shaft pots due to thickness.


Already thought about "Efffff THIS" and pulling all parts off, but HATE to waste an

actually PLAYABLE guitar, not counting the manhours I put in redoing it. Sounds like

A QuikSteel kind of day.


Edit: Just tuned up again - Better than yesterday, not bad.

intonation is almost back on the money again. Guess my cardboard "shims"

have finally quit compressing. Still not too thrilled about the slight tilt...

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My most beloved' date=' and trusted Blue Bomber's doin' the same thing, except with mine, the bridge is leaning back toward the tail. Doesn't affect intonation, and when I can actually have some money in my pocket, bring it down to Techster, and have him give it a gander, because I do find it rather disquieting.[/quote']


I've never heard of the bridge pulling AWAY from the fretboard direction before.

How high/low do you have the tailpiece off the guitar body?

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Well, tuned up again, (good), rechecked intonation -

still off - will require resetting if I leave in current state,

so did the "Quiksteel" repair option.

Quiksteel is an epoxy putty that dries hard as rock, but CAN

be drilled, sanded, or painted. So, if I'm not thrilled with results

I CAN drill it out. I just mixed the 2-part putty in my hands, made

a ball, and dropped it into post bushing holes. Then used dowel

to press on ball and spread it across entire hole (it filled about 1/3

of the depth of the hole. Also spread thin film around inside walls of hole

just for that extra reinforcement

I then re-inserted post bushing with post

threaded into bushing, tapped in with hammer. The putty was forced

up inside the bushing to the bottom of the threaded post, and the remainder

went around the outside of the bushing inside the hole in the guitar.

Removed both threaded posts to look at results with flashlight. I now have

an epoxy "cup" that goes inside and outside the bushing. When dry (24hrs)

the bushing should NOT move again, regardless of string tension.

The bushings are now perfectly flat against the git body, and hopefully will stay

that way... Leaving neck off until putty cures so the bushings will have an

"air hole" to help the curing process. We shall see...

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Exellent bro'Farm !!

I've used "quicksteel" (by several different dealer names) on a lot of things, and really don't know why I thought it wouldn't adhere to wood........

After it's reassembled and had a few days to "test drive", let us know how it's working out.

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Follow-up commentary to tailpiece bushing "slop"

repair job:







End result, tailpiece bushings locked in place now, no movement at all.

Strange thing, I pulled the neck with strings and tailpiece as a single "unit"

at least 5 times, and after final reinstallation and settling in time, 3 retunes,

the intonation is STILL right on the money. I have not had to adjust bridge saddles

at all. Strange....


I did take the opportunity to replace the EPI open-coils that sounded like mud with

the set that came out of the HALO Invert project (both wound to 16.2K). NOW, these

unpotted, Chrome covered HB pups are producing the dreaded "Hum" that goes away

when I either touch the strings or the metal tip cover on the guitar cord.

Yes, I verified that all grounds were interconnected with a multi-meter. Interior of git

not shielded, but neither are my other gits, and I don't have this problem. Metered out

cord, point-to-point has continuity, does fine on other gits, so it's out as possible



I suppose at this point I am looking at either shielding guitar cavities or home wax-potting

these really Odd Halo pups? This guitar has been areal adventure....

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Hey Annymule, TP6 is about 1/8 inch above guitar body, posts haven't moved since I first noticed it...is it possible it's because of the arch in the top where these items are located? It doesn't affect intonation, it's spot on, and maybe the curve is lending the illusion that the bridge is leaning, and I just never noticed?

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I bet your laminated body is broken inside right where the posts set in. I had a Hondo II SG copy in 1983. It was plywood, but very nice plywood I might add. With a transparent red finish that allowed the Zebra lines on the sides of the body to stand out. It was quite gorgeous.

What struck me as terribly odd was the pickups. When I took them apart they were nothing more than a magnet stuck under the cover with a green tape for the neck and a red tape for the bridge. Very primitive.

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Hey Animal. First day I was able to get to the computer was yesterday.

Surgery last Monday. [cool]


Sounds like you've found the solution to the leaning tail piece. My suggestion would have been to use

Super Glue inside the hole and then insert the tail piece anchor. Keep it straight until the glue dries.

But it sounds like the epoxy worked. I might end up trying that myself soon.

I think Muzikron could be right about those pickups. If you are certain that all the individual pieces

are grounded, and all grounds are interconnected, then it could be a bad connection inside the pickup.

Of course shielding wouldn't hurt either.

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MATIAC - I noticed the lean when viewed from the side, it

was REALLY obvious it wasn't sticking straight up out of the guitar.


GAS - Agree with you on the broken laminated layer inside the

guitar, only explanation that made sense. I used the Quiksteel

to deliberately attempt to fill in any holes/gaps that the ol' eyeball

couldn't see. SEEMS to have worked.


GORD - I'll be double-checking all connections, but you made me think...

GAS - Your comment about "Primitive Pickups also made me think...


When I removed the pups from the HALO, I noticed that on the bottom

were 2 little NUTS threaded onto two screws that go thru the pickup. I

scratched my head, removed the nuts on one pup, and "POOF", the

cover came off. Inside I found ONE wound coil, and a same-sized

MAGNET sitting beside it. The magnet just pops on and off, held in place

by.........MAGNETISM? This now makes the HALO pups single-coil pickups?

NEVER have seen a "Humbucker" like that before. So, I just put the pup

back together like I found it... Single-coil pups are notorious for "HUM", yes?

I'll be taking the pup(s) apart again just to have another look-see. A single-coil

wound to 16.2K???


Anyone dealt with HB's like this before?

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I'm just bringing this one to the front again Animal.

I wanna know how the Quiksteel repair is holding out.



Still rock-solid. I just tuned up, then checked intonation -

still right on, no adjustments required, tailpiece posts still

straight up. I decided to try the Quiksteel initially to fill in

the jack hole on top of the Hondo (I moved it to the side

of the guitar). Actually good stuff, can be filed, drilled, sanded, painted.

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