Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups

52 black guard questions

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by PonyExpress, Sep 30, 2017.

  1. PonyExpress

    PonyExpress Tele-Meister

    Sep 28, 2017
    So I have been doing a lot of reading up on tele history and researching parts availability etc. And I now have a better understanding of some of the terms I see being used here


    1. what distinguishes a 52 black guard from the other years like 51 and 53? jack cup? fender patent pend bridge? tuners? decal? pups? knobs? pickguard?

    2. I want to do an exact as possible replica. so I guess I need to get swamp ash body instead of the alder and poplar I was looking at?

    3. what about fretboard radius neck profile? did those vary? what about freets?

    4. I see there's not neck drawing from Terry Downs. what specs do I need for the neck. Is there a correct drawing available?

    5. just about every picture I see of a tele is without a bridge cover. Was that because everybody just took them off and threw them away? or was that an option?

    bear with me. My dad used to say " dammit boy you ask a lot of questions"

  2. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Mar 30, 2003
    Ontario County
    The Ed Hawley drawing is the neck drawing. The neck and body drawings are in here:

    I can't answer questions about the details because I've never been that concerned with making a replica. Fretboard radius was 7.25 then I believe. The covers were annoying from what I have heard.
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2017

  3. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

    Mar 17, 2003
    Lubbock, TX
    Most of your questions are answered in The Blackguard Book. Imho, anyone who is thinking of cloning a Blackguard Tele needs that book......and/or an actual Blackguard of the timeframe that one wants to clone.

  4. Tele Dad

    Tele Dad TDPRI Member

    Feb 21, 2015
    Where are the other 47 questions?

  5. Steve Holt

    Steve Holt Tele-Holic

    May 29, 2016
    Am I mistaken or that book impossibly hard to find?

  6. '59_Standard

    '59_Standard Tele-Holic

    Jan 27, 2010
    Nacho still has some for sale afaik - $160 plus shipping.

  7. hdvades

    hdvades Tele-Meister

    Mar 6, 2016
    Hudson Valley, NY
    +1 I just ordered one a couple months back. I think mine came to $171.00 and it is worth every penny.

  8. PonyExpress

    PonyExpress Tele-Meister

    Sep 28, 2017
    OMG! Now I have to have one. Thanks guys. Untill a little while ago I was perfectly happy in life and now........
    I clicked the link, not much help. says all book sales are handled buy JK lutherie. went to that site and says under construction. Help. I want to spend more money

  9. The rumor is that Nacho has a few left in his private stash. You'd have to contact him directly.
    Check out many Black guard book photos there with great detail.
    1950 models were Broadcasters. In '51 they took the name off due to the lawsuit. Those are the "Nocasters" 52 to 54 are the Black guard Telecasters. While there are no general differences between any of those years there are some specific documented differences. The "donut" hole before the diagonal route for example.
    All that said, there was little quality control or standardization in the first half of the 50's so two 52 tele' s could exhibit a fair bit of difference. For example, 7.25 inch radius was standard but there are 9.5 inch radius examples.
    Due to the photobucket thing a lot of pictures may be gone but you can look up the "Double Esquire" build by "Preeb" on this forum. Outrageous attention to historical accuracy. You'll be reading all night though...

    Edit: Praise God, the pictures are still there! Is there a way to tell if those are hosted on photobucket? If so, they need to be preserved before we lose access.
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2017

  10. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

    Mar 16, 2003
    You can also buy the Duchoissor book 'The Fender Telecaster' which while not so detailed will answer many questions.

    A lot can't be definitively answered, because early Fender was basically a cottage industry making handbuilt products that varied with customer feedback (Leo gave or lent a lot of stuff to gigging pros).

    Fender started selling the Broadcaster 1948 (radio being big) until Fred Gretsch sued due to their Broadkaster drum line. The Nocaster was because they snipped stickers to say Fender 1950-51. 1952 Leo had the brainwave for Telecaster.

    Pickups varied in spec - early Broadcasters used a lap steel 10kohm pickup which dropped by Nocasters to 7-8kohm and further in 52 to 6-7kohm of 42awg - Leo was looking for a sweeter twanky tone for country music to match honky tonk and swing music popular then.
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2017

  11. John Thigpen

    John Thigpen Tele-Meister

    May 10, 2003
    Hendersonville, NC
    There seems to be a difference in finish. The 52's age to butterscotch, whereas the later model stay more blonde.

  12. archetype

    archetype Fiend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Jun 4, 2005
    Williamsville NY
    I believe Musicraft has a chart of blackguard neck specs for 20 or 30 examples. Plenty of them were 9 1/2" radius as well as the 7 1/4" ones.

  13. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

    Mar 16, 2003
    In 54 they went to a limed white ( hand-applied) under lacquer. The nitro still yellows. These married up with the white nitrate guard in place of lacquered Bakelite

    This is a 54 original finish under guard. Limed white (chalky wash applied with a rag) would be cheaper than topcoat and quicker to apply to a grain/pore filled body. My dad who was a painter used to do this on dark boards like lintels and wood cabinets to match lighter paint.
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2017

  14. RickyRicardo

    RickyRicardo Friend of Leo's

    Mar 27, 2012
    Calgary, Alberta
    You really do need to do a lot of reading and research to get an understanding of Tele's and the differences. Making a replica is easier said than done IMHO and to me making any Tele similar to anything in the 50's is highly satisfying. The plans posted are accurate and will do fine for what you want to do. The differences mostly are the neck profile on the back.

    Here is Preeb's '56 build with templates from a '54. He is one of the better builders on the planet and a stickler for authenticity. You'll learn lots from his builds. I know I did.

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