Two vintage Hoyers, German hand tools, Sycamore and a new Maybach!

Published on October 12, 2019 at 3:32 PM

Two rare Hoyer Specials at the shop.

This week it all seems to revolve around a German theme here at Dear Wood. First of all an amazing German archtop, a 1950's Hoyer Special found it's way to my personal collection! I owned a Thinline Special model with a vibrato which was for sale on the website, but was on the look out for a full sized jazz guitar with a fixed tailpiece. Unexpectedly the Hoyer with my desired specifications was right here in the Netherlands, and the owner contacted me to ask if I would be interested in a swap as mine would fit his style of playing better.

These are very rare guitars, and to find two in the same place is an even rarer coincidence, but I have the pictures to proof it. The one on the right is my new guitar, and I'm sorry to say it won't be coming up for sale.. It will need a bit of restoration work don't to it, which is for an upcoming post.


The history of Hoyer guitars.

The Hoyer company was founded in 1874 by Franz Hoyer in the German Egerland region which today is part of the Czech republic. The company started making zithers and lutes, but later switched to folk and classical guitars. The business would later be continued by Joseph Hoyer.

By 1945 the company relocated to Tennelohe near Erlangen. It was around this period that Arnold Hoyer took over the business from his father Joseph and led the company into it's golden-era, establishing it's reputation for high quality guitars which are now sought after by collectors.

The Hoyer Special was one of the high-end models, only exceeded by the beautifully adorned Special SL and Bianca model which are even rarer models. The Special features an all solid construction with a hand carved back and top. Initially an acoustic archtop, toward the second half of the 1950's these models were often out-fitted with electronics.

During the 50's and 60's Hoyer had reached the pinnacle of their trade and produced some of their finest guitars. By 1967 after the passing of Arnold Hoyer his son Walter took over the business and shifted the companies focus towards building solid body guitars. These days the Hoyer brand still exists ,but most of their guitars are built overseas now.

 

German made traditional handtools.

Continuing on our German theme I found this picture of the Hoyer workshop on the companies website, and hanging from the sealing on the right you may notice two Special guitar bodies. The woodworkers among us may also notice the two frame-saws in the middle of the back wall?

While the British and US market had already converted to the handsaw, the frame-saw was still in use in our part of the globe. Basically you could consider these type of saws a wireless bandsaw, often called a turning saw although  that really depends on the way the teeth are set. In instrument making these saws where used mainly to cut out the top and back.

I'm bringing this up as a preface to the next subject, because coincidentally I bought a new frame saw (a turning saw really) myself this week to replace the smaller version I had made myself. The German company E.C.E. Still makes these type of saws to this day, and I will be using it as well to cut out the body shape and tops.

Two Hoyer Specials. The left one is a rare Thinline version which I exchanged or the one on the right.


The Hoyer workshop. Probably around the mid 50's


And more German made tools..

As I mentioned in one of the previous posts I've also been hunting down some nice old tools for the workshop. Here is a typical German-style wooden plane, and this case a scrub-plane. A scrub-plane has a convex blade and a wide mouth, and is meant to remove allot of wood quickly. I thickness all my stock by hand, and this will make my live easier! In the picture the blade is missing, that's because it's soaking in vinegar as it needs to be de-rusted.. 


Above :  two frame-saws. The bigger one is brand new and made by E.C.E.

Left : A German style wooden scrub-plane


European maple aka Sycamore.

This week we also received some nice wood from a German (!) supplier. I must say many good things come from Germany !

For my next project I'm going for a carved top and selected this fine Sycamore, which will be united with a beautiful piece of old stock Brazilian mahogany I have laying around.

Basically what we call Sycamore is the European species of maple which grows all over Europe. Referring back to the Hoyer guitars, I think it's very likely that these where made with Sycamore as well simply because it could be sourced locally. 

 

 

And finally.. The Maybach Stradivari !

And last but not least we received our first Maybach Stradivari at Dear Wood! Weighing only 3,1kg this guitar is a joy to play and it looks awesome too. Maybach (a German car,right?) is made in the Czech republic, but the brand is owned by a German company.. See how it all came together this week?

Let's see what next week will bring!

Above : A Sycamore top for a new built.

Below : The Maybach Stradivari in Caddy Blue!



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