Late 70's Framus Memphis restoration project/DONE!

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ohm-men
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Late 70's Framus Memphis restoration project/DONE!

Post by ohm-men » Thu May 29, 2014 5:49 am

Hi All,

Though not a real "Off-waist" guitar, I'd thought I share it anyway with you
I recently sold of a great deal of instruments and amp I didn't use anymore. While placing the adds on a local version of Craigslist I stumbled on an add for a Framus I'd never seen before.
Though, it wasn't a complete guitar, just a body and neck and some tuners. Being a bit of a Framus fan, I couldn't get this out of my head.
since my gear sold very quickly, I contacted the seller and bought the thing...

Image
Image

Guitar was in a really sorry state...
But since I didn't have a late Framus and kind of liked the SG meets Tele with a twist of Hagström thrown in, I had to give it a go.
Originally, this was a guitar of the last line of models designed by Framus before their demise. The story goes they contacted Bill Lawrence and Chet Atkins to design a new line of guitars for Framus. The most known of this line was the "Framus Nashville" and the "Framus Memphis" came with it along with other designs.

Originally it should have looked like this, though mine originally had a hard tail strat bridge instead of a TOM and stop tail.
So, yes...Those string thru ferulles are indeed done by a Framus employee, must have been a monday or he already had a few beers
Image
And this is the last version of the Memphis (most likely a prototype)
mine is probably an inbetween model of these two.
Image

Unfortunatly, Framus was already bankrupt by the time these got into production, so the whole line failed. There are plenty of Nashville guitars to be found, but the Memphis is a bit of a rarety...

Though it will be virtually impossible to restore to it's original glory, as the parts I need for this are very expensive and hard to find. (the Bill Lawrence "Nashville/Akkerman" pick ups for instance are rare as hens teeth) + rest of the parts are also hard to find and very expensive.
And since this guitar suffered a neck break in it's past life, I can safely give it my own twist without hurting anything as this guitar was well on it's way to the graveyard...

So far I have bought a "Pat Pend" (80's?) hard tail strat bridge, that can be used as a top loader and string thru from formite mjet and a pair of Dearmond 2K's locally.
I kind of have the Fender Tele-Sonic in my mind for this...more to come
Last edited by ohm-men on Sun Jun 15, 2014 6:51 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Late 70's Framus Memphis restoration project

Post by Toots » Thu May 29, 2014 9:35 am

Those are crazy! They always make me giggle
I would love to have one

Are you keeping the original finish?

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Re: Late 70's Framus Memphis restoration project

Post by ohm-men » Thu May 29, 2014 9:52 pm

I'm gonna keep the original fisnish. I quiet like it for some reason.
Though it's pretty banged up, but in a good way (at least imho)

The back (as shown in the picture) was painted over in black. I sanded the paint carefully away only to reveil a previous owner must of tried to get a sticker off with some chemicals... :wacko: ...There is a square where the original finish is gone...

Though, the neck broke in the meantime... :wtf: :fp: :'( ...I guess the old glue that repaired the neck break simply gave in.
But I managed to reset it! :) and actually make it stonger. (remebering Paul's (stereordenairy's) advice to use a good Poly Uthurane glue to reset nasty breaks)
The good is that the neck is of good quality maple, the body is Pitch Pine. (same as the Framus Strato 6 and Nashville)

Another problem that rose is the fact that unlike any other set neck guitar, there is an actual upward slope to the neck instead of a downward one.
This means the action is huge. But I think I got a cure for that. I'm gonna rout the hardtail bridge, so the plate sits flush with the top of the body.
Thus bringin the action down. I calculated that 3 mm would do the job, the thickness of the actual bridge plate.

Pics wil follow soon! This will be more of a complete rebuilt than an actual resto job, I guess...

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Re: Late 70's Framus Memphis restoration project

Post by Toots » Fri May 30, 2014 2:28 am

Atleast it's a good thing the neck repair broke now and not later.
Do you think it was designed to have the positive neck angle originally? Not sure if I have seen that on any other guitars then classicals.

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Re: Late 70's Framus Memphis restoration project

Post by ohm-men » Fri May 30, 2014 11:33 am

Toots wrote:Atleast it's a good thing the neck repair broke now and not later.
Do you think it was designed to have the positive neck angle originally? Not sure if I have seen that on any other guitars then classicals.
Not sure about the neck angle, but I've strung it up to test my neck repair and to my big surprise it plays great, even though the action is high.
So I'm gonna go ahead and countersink the bridge to lower the action. As shimming is not an option with this set neck.
The test with the Dearmond 2K pu's in it was also promesing.
Since the guitar sounds great acousticly and the 2K's seam to come to their right, I think the whole project starts to look promesing!
My first conclusion is that it sounds very Tele alike, which is a good thing. The massive bridge is also helping this :)

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Re: Late 70's Framus Memphis restoration project/Progress!

Post by ohm-men » Fri May 30, 2014 11:27 pm

So, here some pics of what happened...

Prior to neck break;
Image
Image
Then, This....
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Image
Some clamping and the wait...
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Image

Glue and clamping worked and the reglued neck is stronger then before. Luckily the old repair job just gave in, which was a clean break to start with.
I kind of knew what I was into when I purchased this "project".
But now the actual resto job can start.

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Re: Late 70's Framus Memphis restoration project/DONE!

Post by ohm-men » Sun Jun 15, 2014 7:04 am

Well, I finally got arround it and somewhat finished it!
Took some work, but she works now and sounds really great!!!
I'm very, very happy with the outcome of this one.
Here are some pics;
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Headstock with a new nut (from beech) and a handmade tuss rod cover plate (as per original)
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Battle scars aka the neck repair
Image
This was under the black paint on the back. Seams someone wanted to remove a sticker of some sort with the wrong agent, seriously damaging the paint.
I'll leave it like this for now. Might respray later, when I have more time on my hands.
Image
And a family shot of my small "Framus" colection. From left to right;
1963 Framus 154-50 "Strato"
1973 Framus 155 "Strato 6"
197? Framus "Memphis"

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Re: Late 70's Framus Memphis restoration project/DONE!

Post by MatthewK » Mon Jun 16, 2014 4:33 am

That thing is MAD. Great job!

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Re: Late 70's Framus Memphis restoration project/DONE!

Post by crianlarich » Mon Jun 16, 2014 1:52 pm

yeah, I like it. Damn, that neck looks huge in comparison!
They did use pine for the Strato 6? (the ones with the wacky finishes are Limba / african Korina - maybe this doesn't take paint so easily)

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Re: Late 70's Framus Memphis restoration project/DONE!

Post by Brock the Mod » Mon Jun 16, 2014 2:15 pm

Don't mean to thread hijack, but the blue framus has mini wrhb????? :wtf:

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Re: Late 70's Framus Memphis restoration project/DONE!

Post by ohm-men » Mon Jun 16, 2014 8:16 pm

Thanks guys! Yes...The Memphis has indeed a huge neck. I initiatly bought it with the idea of turning into a 12 string. But the small headstock and neck brake kind of decided against it. the Neck somewhat feels like an acoustic size wise.
Anyway, the Memphis is a Tele in disguise. It sounds and plays like a tele. The huge mass bridge I bought of formite "mjet" certainly helps.
And the Dearmond 2K pu's are pretty superb sounding in this guitar. Very sparkly with a small P-90 ish growl, but more Fender-ish.

The body of both the Mempis and Strato 6 is Ptich Pine. the finish on the Mempis is very brittle, not that you can peel it off, but different then the others.
Brock the Mod wrote:Don't mean to thread hijack, but the blue framus has mini wrhb?????
No, these are Full sized WRHB's. These were made by Schaller in the early 70's for the Strato 6 as the German equivalent to the Deluxe Telecaster.
They sound quiet close to the Fenders. Darker then a regular HB, though their construction is different then the Fender WRHB.
They are a bit microphonic, not too much though.

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Re: Late 70's Framus Memphis restoration project/DONE!

Post by Hiwatts Up » Mon Jun 30, 2014 5:06 pm

I did not know these guitars existed; now I totally want one. :w00t:

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Re: Late 70's Framus Memphis restoration project/DONE!

Post by Clo » Sun Dec 17, 2017 5:50 am

Hi! Stumbled upon this old thread and instantly recognized the old Framus I used to have but sold about 20 years ago.
Mine looks a little different, fi the back cover, but does have the strings through the body. I remember the action to be quite high, the neck to be really narrow and the sustain to be really good. Here it is: https://ibb.co/eh23H6

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Re: Late 70's Framus Memphis restoration project/DONE!

Post by Shadoweclipse13 » Sun Dec 17, 2017 5:25 pm

I didn't like it at first, but it really quickly grew on me. It's like the Master Computer from TRON sucked in a Gibson SG, and spat something out that was much squarer :D I'd play the hell out of a lefty one of these, but mostly, I'm just jealous of your 2 DeArmond's :w00t: :w00t: :w00t: Cool project and great job!!
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http://www.offsetguitars.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=104282&p=1438384#p1438384

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Re: Late 70's Framus Memphis restoration project

Post by mgeek » Mon Dec 18, 2017 5:20 am

ohm-men wrote:
Thu May 29, 2014 9:52 pm

Though, the neck broke in the meantime... :wtf: :fp: :'( ...I guess the old glue that repaired the neck break simply gave in.
But I managed to reset it! :) and actually make it stonger. (remebering Paul's (stereordenairy's) advice to use a good Poly Uthurane glue to reset nasty breaks)
This is a vv cool guitar and the resto looks great, but I've never seen anyone talk about using any kind of glue other than woodglue or hide glue on this kind of repair...lots of surface area to play with etc.

Not having a go just curious as to what reasoning would lead to a suggestion of a poly kinda glue.

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