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1960 Custom Telecaster - To restore or not?

Discussion in 'Vintage Tele Discussion Forum (pre-1974)' started by Tele Jones, Sep 4, 2017.

  1. Tele Jones

    Tele Jones TDPRI Member

    42
    Sep 3, 2017
    Texas, USA
    I've got a 1960 Custom Telecaster that was stripped in the 70's and varnished (for lack of a better word). It's a killer sounding and playing guitar and has pretty cool look about it, but I've been thinking about
    restoring her. Have talked to a couple of places with excellent references and reputations and believe I know who I would use. My problem is whether or not to pull the trigger. I have a feeling that a proper restoration wouldn't hurt and may even make a great guitar even better, as good as it already is. I have read that undoing the old refinish can actually hurt the already reduced value of this guitar, but as this one was done an amateur I don't think that's an issue. This is my first and only vintage guitar, so I'm a bit nervous. Any insights or opinions are welcomed! Thanks in advance!
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2017
    The Tube Guy likes this.

  2. robinn

    robinn TDPRI Member

    49
    Sep 20, 2013
    Belgium
    Do you have some pictures?
     

  3. Tele Jones

    Tele Jones TDPRI Member

    42
    Sep 3, 2017
    Texas, USA
    I'll get some posted in a minute.
     

  4. Tele Jones

    Tele Jones TDPRI Member

    42
    Sep 3, 2017
    Texas, USA
    Here's one in the case. A couple of shots coming after this.
     

    Attached Files:

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  5. Tele Jones

    Tele Jones TDPRI Member

    42
    Sep 3, 2017
    Texas, USA
    Here's a few more.
     

    Attached Files:


  6. TVmodel

    TVmodel TDPRI Member

    Age:
    58
    24
    Aug 25, 2017
    Hoboken, New jersey
    That's really cool....myself...I would keep as is.....I'm afraid a refin would just make it look like just another new guitar....I would get a nice repro green guard tho
     

  7. Ron R

    Ron R Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    51
    Mar 23, 2016
    Raleigh, NC
    I am in the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" camp. I think it looks pretty cool as is.
     

  8. Tele Jones

    Tele Jones TDPRI Member

    42
    Sep 3, 2017
    Texas, USA
    Thanks, it's a great guitar and has lots of (hate to use this word) mojo. Got from a friend a couple of years ago who found it this way in the 80's in a guitar store. The black guard is interestingly sandwich black/white/tortoise which I've never seen before.
     

  9. Tele Jones

    Tele Jones TDPRI Member

    42
    Sep 3, 2017
    Texas, USA
    Thanks Ron, I've been thinking that as well, but every time I see one like TVModel has, I start thinking about it again!
     

  10. xafinity

    xafinity Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Dec 24, 2015
    my Mom's basement
    Leave it alone! Please
     
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  11. tery

    tery Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Sep 21, 2012
    Tennessee
    I wouldn't screw with it .
     
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  12. ddewerd

    ddewerd Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    I would keep it as is, but I am biased!

    Yours looks nearly identical to mine (a '63) except I have a white pickguard. And the amateur varnish refin was done by - ahem - me. I bought it used in 1972 and let's just say my refinishing skills were less than ideal (hey I was 12!)

    Over the years I have considered a refin many times, but just can't do it. I think it would let all of the mojo that has built up escape!

    It is due for a refret (and I'm even agonizing over that, but it needs it). I did replace the pups a few years ago too. But I love the way it plays, and love its look even more.

    I say do some basic maintenance on it and just enjoy it. I think the natural finish makes it unique.

    Cheers,
    Doug
     
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  13. Steve Holt

    Steve Holt Tele-Holic

    750
    May 29, 2016
    Kansas
    Being that it's already been refinished in the past, refinishing it now probably wouldn't change the value much, other than making it look newer, but I agree with Ron R. And if it were mine I'd leave it alone and file the option of refinishing down the road and keep it as an option. That being said, I have a 1974 Rickenbacker 4001 that I refinished a few years back. It had also been refinished previously (poorly I might add) and I am very happy with the results. I do think though that some guitars are better pristine and others are great and even better with that old vintage look. And that tele you have looks great the way it is!
     
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  14. Blue Bill

    Blue Bill Friend of Leo's Ad Free + Supporter

    Feb 15, 2014
    Maine
    It depends on whether you are more concerned about re-sale value or having it the way you want it. Tough call. Of course, you could re finish it with a nice BSB or CAR, then relic the heck out of it! :)
     

  15. Tele Jones

    Tele Jones TDPRI Member

    42
    Sep 3, 2017
    Texas, USA
    Thanks Doug, Appreciate your great story. Mine's all original including the dual load bridge, except for the bridge pup which appears to be an early Seymour Duncan and the tuners, which are old USA Klusons with the holes in the sides of the posts instead of the top. Interestingly, I have a friend who has his dad's original 1960 Telecaster, who in the 70's stripped it and varnished it. It looks almost exactly like mine except for the white guard. Guess that was popular back then.
     

  16. Tele Jones

    Tele Jones TDPRI Member

    42
    Sep 3, 2017
    Texas, USA
    Thanks! I'm glad I brought this problem to the Forum!
     

  17. Tele Jones

    Tele Jones TDPRI Member

    42
    Sep 3, 2017
    Texas, USA
    Thanks for your input Steve, I really appreciate it. Can't believe I've waited all these years to join the Forum, but, better late than never!
     

  18. Tele Jones

    Tele Jones TDPRI Member

    42
    Sep 3, 2017
    Texas, USA
    Thank you sir, it has been a tough call. I'm surprised (guess because I'm new to the Forum) that everyone so far has been for leaving it alone. Hate to ask, but what is BSB and CAR?
     

  19. Tele Jones

    Tele Jones TDPRI Member

    42
    Sep 3, 2017
    Texas, USA
    Thanks! Appreciate your straightforward opinion!
     
    tery likes this.

  20. Blue Bill

    Blue Bill Friend of Leo's Ad Free + Supporter

    Feb 15, 2014
    Maine
    ButterScotch Blonde or Candy Apple Red.
     

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