April 23rd, 2012, 10:46 PM
This will be my subtle, but needed rework of a tele clone I bought off craigslist for $25. She plays decent but could use some work.
This is my first real "Project" so i may be needing some help along the way, and it will be a learning experience. I'm excited!
Condition the fretboard
perhaps change pickup
perhaps refinish body
general cleaning and maintenance
I do really need to decide if I want to refinish and change the pickup, it has a humbucker in the neck pickup, and I kind of like the sound from it. I could use some electronics experience though. How hard would it be to change back from the humbucker to a single coil? I have a pickup I could put in there that came with the guitar.
Pictures of purchase:
April 23rd, 2012, 11:01 PM
How can you tell it's a clone???
April 23rd, 2012, 11:27 PM
Bargain for $25... looks ok...
. any serial #'s on the rear of the headstock?..
you could pull the neck off and check for any other markings in the pocket or the heel of the neck... for more clues to it's origin..
a single PU mounted to a new guard would go on easy enough... just swap the 2 wires ..
April 23rd, 2012, 11:29 PM
Two things accomplished today, but we'll take them one at a time.
First off! I began reconditioning the fretboard.
I started off with a quick polish of the frets with some ultrafine steel wool, gave them some nice shine!
This is post shine, but pre oil, notice how terrible dry she looks.
Wiped down with water, then Naphtha for cleaning: Before, after, and product. That's boiled lindseed oil there, got it from my uncle, who uses it for the finish on gun stocks.
Then with the oil (I was oiling another neck for a different project as well, that one first, then tele):
After a wee bit, and pretty much how they sit now, my god did this make a difference.
This finishing gave me plenty of time to listen through my favorite musical, Razia's Shadow, it's a concept musical by Forgive Durden, and I needed to give it a listen through again in preparation for a student film adaptation I will be involved in.
She's gonna sit for a while now, later this week I'll probably give her some more, she's loads better, but not quite to the point I want, still seems a wee bit unhealthy.
April 23rd, 2012, 11:38 PM
The person I bought it from said he had built it from a kit, I believe it was a Saga kit, but I'm sure happy with it for the price. There is one marking on the back of the neck heel, I'll upload a picture with some other stuff tomorrow. The full set that I got was the guitar, a Peavey Rage 12w, an 18ft cable, a strap, and that bag of parts, containing another humbucker, a single coil neck pup, a set of tuning heads missing some bushings and I think a few unknown screws and some random shrink tubing. I'm happy with it, and it can be my first guitar revamp without worrying about destroying a nice guitar!
April 23rd, 2012, 11:51 PM
Hell of a deal if it's a true fender telecaster neck. Those usually go for $200+ on Ebay by themselves. Pretty good deal for the body and all the other stuff as well.
April 24th, 2012, 11:41 PM
Unfortunately not a true fender, and that's apparent. Here's the mark on it.
I began taking apart the bridge, took all of the saddles off and took it off.
It's that that makes me wary to refinish, I can't even tell if this is a wooden body anymore, is there any reason that it would be smooth and singular color? Its somewhat like that in other spots as well. Could it be some sort of primer? Urethane or something?
Question time! How should I go about cleaning the parts, is there something to soak them in, or just brush with water and a toothbursh or something?
April 25th, 2012, 12:07 AM
Looks like that might be a really thick poly clear coat under the paint. I bought a knock off body last year, it looks just like that.
April 25th, 2012, 01:50 AM
How tough would it be to take the poly off of it?
April 25th, 2012, 05:17 AM
There are lots of threads here about stripping poly - try searching. What you may find is that a heat gun (used carefully so you don't burn the wood) is a good choice. Personally, I have stripped a few guitars and although I get better each time there have been some disasters, but a 25 dollar guitar isn't a bad one to learn on I guess.
If money is an issue be aware that repainting bare wood can be relatively expensive as you will need to buy at least three different products (grain filler, paint and clear coat).
If the finish on the guitar is basically sound you may be better off painting over what's already there. Again, there are threads on painting over poly that could help.
Of course, leaving the existing finish alone if you don't hate the colour is the best option of all!
Regarding you question about swapping from a humbucker to a single coil in the neck, it could be as simple as getting a new pickguard and then just swapping the new pickup in, with just two wires to desolder and solder - you will see where the wires from the humbucker connect with the controls easy enough. Maybe if you post a picture of your wiring under the control plate we can confirm that for you.
Cleaning metal parts? Start with soapy water and a toothbrush, give it a dry with a towel and see how that works before trying anything more aggressive. If any parts are a bit rusty or really clogged up with stuff then a squirt with WD40 and a brush before using the soapy water may help.
BTW the best way to assess the body wood is to look inside the control cavity. There is a chance it might be plywood - you will see a very stripy effect if it is. If it's plywood, stripping and repainting is even less of an attractive option as quite a bit of work and skill is needed to prevent the laminate joins showing through the paint.
April 25th, 2012, 06:00 AM
Looks just like the mark on the bottom of my saga neck.
The stuff under the paint is a sealer that comes on the saga bodies. It is actually pretty thick and difficult to strip. I sanded it off. But , not sure its really worth your while. If you use a chemical stripper, it will likely not affect the sealer. That's stuff's indestructible! Best bet would be to refining with a solid color. The sealer is kind of a milky semi-transparent color.