60's Klira refurbishment

Discussion in 'Other Guitars' started by Totally Squiered, Jun 19, 2017.

  1. Totally Squiered

    Totally Squiered Squier-Nut

    610
    Nov 21, 2012
    Berlin
    I'm starting a thread here to accompany this refurbishment project that I have just started. I plan to post updates as the project progresses. Here is the story so far:
    A while back, some of you may recall, I was asking about paint stripper which didn't damage plastic. Well, the reason was that I had bought a sad and neglected old 60s Klira. It is a German made beat-era guitar. They originally had a vinyl/tolex-style covering with a nice white binding. This one was originally in red. At some point, an owner had decided that he instead wanted a black guitar. So he liberally covered the guitar in black paint. Later he decided he'd try out blue. Then finally he must have missed the original colour, so slapped another layer of red paint on the top. I wanted to strip all the paint off, but was aware that normal paint stripper would just eat straight through the vinyl covering. So, after a bit of net research, I came across a paint stripper designed for boats which have plastic-based hulls, called 'Marine Strip'.
    Last weekend, I spent a day and a bit stripping the multiple layers of paint off. It took many applications of the stripper, but finally I got it all off, and the vinyl covering was as good as new underneath!
    Next step is to attack the neck. The frets had been very badly replaced with a lot of damage to the fret board and dried glue everywhere, so I've pulled them all out and plan to sand it down and then try my first refret job. I'm not sure what effect sanding will have on the dot inlays, but I guess time will tell! Fortunately I paid next to nothing for this guitar, so if the end result is destined for the trash, there will be nothing lost, just refurbishing experience gained.
    I will post the results as I go along. For now, here are some pics of the first step.
     

    Attached Files:

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  2. ElRey67

    ElRey67 Squier-holic

    Jan 10, 2016
    Chandler, AZ
    Gotta admire your drive and determination. Seems like a cool project
     
  3. nitro

    nitro Squier-holic

    Mar 16, 2017
    ocala fl
    Good luck TS. Hope it works out for you man.
     
  4. Davis Sharp

    Davis Sharp Squier-holic

    Jan 7, 2016
    Maryland, USA
    Great job in restoring the original color. The rout is fricking huge - it's a bootlegger's guitar.
     
  5. Michael7

    Michael7 Squier-holic

    Cool project! Gotta love the old Klira, Hofner and other vinyl covered guitars from the 1960s!
     
  6. Totally Squiered

    Totally Squiered Squier-Nut

    610
    Nov 21, 2012
    Berlin
    Update:
    Finally got round to sanding down the neck. It had been brush painted with a thick black gloss, and someone had put a clear lacquer on the rosewood fretboard.
    So, I sanded it all down. The fretboard was also quite damaged from when someone had done a bad job of changing the frets. Managed to sand out almost all of the chips. Amazingly the pearl dots were completely unaffected by the sanding.
    Gave the fretboard a good drink of lemon oil.
    Now to order up some frets and watch YouTube videos of how to install them![​IMG][​IMG]
     
  7. nitro

    nitro Squier-holic

    Mar 16, 2017
    ocala fl
    Looking good bro . Stay the course and you'll have her up and singing in no time at all and she'll mean the world to you.
     
  8. Totally Squiered

    Totally Squiered Squier-Nut

    610
    Nov 21, 2012
    Berlin
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  9. Totally Squiered

    Totally Squiered Squier-Nut

    610
    Nov 21, 2012
    Berlin
    Spent the evening putting the frets in the neck.
    This project is progressing slowly. Very slowly. But I have all the hardware now, so just need to cut the pickguard from the blank and then start assembling. 1525630212669.jpg 1525630224225.jpg
     
  10. Totally Squiered

    Totally Squiered Squier-Nut

    610
    Nov 21, 2012
    Berlin
    So, my first ever refret is looking promising... 1526417575180.jpg
     
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  11. Totally Squiered

    Totally Squiered Squier-Nut

    610
    Nov 21, 2012
    Berlin
    I have a question though:
    Since I bought a set of pre-cut frets, the bottom bit that sinks into the wood is not as wide as the fret board, or sometimes not as deep as the groove I cut (my bad, I know)!
    Is there a standard method for filling the gap left in the edge of the fretboard? I'm thinking wax, but maybe you guys have some ideas for me... 1526417780383.jpg
     
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  12. so1om

    so1om Dr. Squier

    Age:
    50
    Feb 10, 2010
    Chicago
    I have a few guitars where that gap is present. I would leave it. Or you can weep in some glue or poly or something...
     
  13. RoyalWe

    RoyalWe Squier-Meister

    Age:
    27
    477
    Sep 5, 2012
    Eugene, Oregon
    If you just want to fill in the gap on the sides for appearances, make up some wood filler from wood glue and the saw dust from your fretboard. Should match the color pretty close.
     
  14. Totally Squiered

    Totally Squiered Squier-Nut

    610
    Nov 21, 2012
    Berlin
    Yes, its purely for appearances.
    Thanks, I'll try that with the wood glue and fretboard sawdust.
     
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  15. Totally Squiered

    Totally Squiered Squier-Nut

    610
    Nov 21, 2012
    Berlin
    Slowly but surely, she's coming together. Cut the pickguard today. Another first for me.
    1527856125899.jpg
     
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  16. kjmac

    kjmac Squier-Meister

    Age:
    61
    498
    Aug 14, 2017
    Omaha, NE
    You are doing an amazing job. Plus, I'm sure you are learning a ton. Definitely a labor of love. I can't wait to see or hear the finished product. Good luck and keep up the great work!
     
  17. Totally Squiered

    Totally Squiered Squier-Nut

    610
    Nov 21, 2012
    Berlin
    New update on this restoration project. Pickguard assembly is starting to come together. It's OK if you don't look too close, but I cut this pickguard a bit wrong and may have to redo it at some point. But it serves its purpose for now.
    1529505488600.jpg
    I have recycled the original pots, wiring and cap. It remains to be seen whether they still sound OK.
    1529505497857.jpg
    I've been stuck on replacement machine heads. The original Klira tulip machine heads sell on eBay for around 60€ each individual one. So, I found these Chinese knock-offs on the bay for 7€ a set. Interestingly, they have Gibson Deluxe printed on them. So either these come from an OEM selling surplus stock cheaply or they're counterfeit.

    As you can see from the pic, I'm having to file the edges down to fit them next to each other in a 6-in-a-line way. (I had to order two sets so I had 6 L).
    1529505510973.jpg


    The same goes for the cheap Chinese mini humbuckers I ordered for a tenner the set, which appear to have the Seymour Duncan logo on them.
    1529505520377.jpg
     
  18. daan

    daan Squier-Nut

    959
    Oct 21, 2013
    Twin Cities
    This is awesome! I’m surprised by the grain of the vinyl, I guess I was expecting it to have more ...”subtle” grain, or something.
    It is really cool that you’re going for a total refurbish on this, it’s important to see guitars like this today. I can’t imagine the survival rate is real good on guitars from that era (other than “the usual suspects”)
    I can’t wait to see more!
     
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  19. Totally Squiered

    Totally Squiered Squier-Nut

    610
    Nov 21, 2012
    Berlin
    Thanks. Yeah, the vinyl gives a super interesting look to the body. It's so much better than the horrible red gloss someone had painted over it. And the white binding gives it a classic look.
    I'm starting to think this is actually from the 50s, because the original wiring still has the DIN socket attached. I think by the 60s guitars were already using standard quarter inch jacks. I think the hole drilled in the side for a jack socket is a later modification. Need to research this some more.
     
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