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Old Johnson Telecaster rebuild?

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by reingarnichts, Apr 18, 2018.

  1. reingarnichts

    reingarnichts TDPRI Member

    13
    Jun 12, 2014
    Germany
    Hi there,
    I'm planning on rebuilding an old Johnson Telecaster that was lying at my parents house for the last ten years.
    It's a cheap copy, but the wood looks quite ok and the neck has a really nice profile.
    This was my first Telecaster, actually.
    Some parts are missing (screws, jack,...) and a much younger me scraped of the headstock logo.
    The body is beaten up and has a lot of dents and cracks in the finish.

    Since the wood seems nice, I might give the thick poly a heatgun treatment, go for a simple oil finish and enjoy this guitar as a nice beater.

    Also, this seems to be the perfect opportunity to do a first DIY fret dressing if necessary...

    Any objections? ;)
     

    Attached Files:

    nojazzhere and 2blue2 like this.

  2. viking

    viking Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    52
    Jan 23, 2007
    Denmark
    No worries , just do it.....buy decent parts , the money wont be lost. If this guitar turns out to be less than perfect , they can always be used on a future project
     
    nojazzhere and reingarnichts like this.

  3. reingarnichts

    reingarnichts TDPRI Member

    13
    Jun 12, 2014
    Germany
    The bridge might need compensated saddles, the rest seems to be ok. I might need better pickups (I would love to try something noiseless...).
    The tuners are not really fancy but might do the job - in my experience most/all tuning problems have their origin in a badly cut nut (or a suboptimal way of stringing your instrument...), so I will try to use them.

    We will see how this turns out, the first thing to do is to remove all that plastic/finish ;)
     

  4. 2blue2

    2blue2 Friend of Leo's

    Jul 20, 2013
    Island of Oahu
    This looks like a fun little project.
    Every time I finish a guitar, I have enough pieces left over to start another one.
     
    mrz80 likes this.

  5. aerhed

    aerhed Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    59
    Dec 24, 2016
    Boulder, WY
    I've got an old Johnson hanging around somewhere, but it's not very straight.
     

  6. reingarnichts

    reingarnichts TDPRI Member

    13
    Jun 12, 2014
    Germany
    The clear came off quite easily.
    Of course I scorched the wood in some places, but this is the price you pay for learning...

    I already tried to get through the filler, this will probably be another one or two hours of work, but it seems to work. But I have enough for today. Still have to play a gig this evening and I already burned my fingers ;)

    I bet it won't be the cleanest result, but it's better than touching plastic all the time...
    What is it with guitar manufacturers, that they put all this plastic on a nice piece of wood?
     

    Attached Files:


  7. reddy2300

    reddy2300 Tele-Meister

    Age:
    49
    167
    Aug 25, 2017
    Dublin, Ohio
    The twelve-year-old me (wife would say current me) thought that comment was hilarious. :rolleyes:

    OP, is that wood alder? Looks like a great start on a cool project!
     

  8. reingarnichts

    reingarnichts TDPRI Member

    13
    Jun 12, 2014
    Germany
    I actually thought the same.
    Seems to be a three-piece alder body...
     

  9. reingarnichts

    reingarnichts TDPRI Member

    13
    Jun 12, 2014
    Germany
    I begin to believe, that there is more finish than wood...

    And some of the alder is now roasted alder. I also damaged the wood in some places.
    But everyone has to do the beginners mistakes, I think ;)


    (I still think, this will be a nice beater ;))
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Apr 23, 2018

  10. bluescaster72

    bluescaster72 Tele-Holic

    726
    Mar 4, 2009
    pennsylvaina
    I tell you a good guitar is a good guitar and Johnson's are good guitars . Used to have an old strat and the pickups were fantastic . perfectly gig worthy. I think once your done you'll be quite happy with the results
     

  11. reingarnichts

    reingarnichts TDPRI Member

    13
    Jun 12, 2014
    Germany
    The finish is gone now. I'll buy some wood oil this week and start the finishing process.
    I think the only thing I can do is to go for a rather rough look since there were a lot of deep scratches and dents.
    Some of them are related to the heat gun treatment, but most of them are the result of the guitar being thrown around as a piece of abandoned garbage in the last few years...

    I'm not sure about the electronics, always wanted to try an Esquire but I'm more of a neck-pickup-guy,
    so I have to experiment with that, an Esquire with a mid cut might do the trick (inductance/Q-Filter?).
     

  12. R. Stratenstein

    R. Stratenstein Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Aug 3, 2010
    Loganville, Ga.
    I would never take a heat gun to my old Johnson! :eek: No matter how bad the finish got.


    Can you steam raise the dents in it, and sand some of the burns and scratches out?
     

  13. Macrogats

    Macrogats Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    51
    May 15, 2017
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Cool looking project dude. I'll be watching this!
     

  14. reingarnichts

    reingarnichts TDPRI Member

    13
    Jun 12, 2014
    Germany
    Second layer of oil is now drying...
    The nice weather helps a lot.
     

    Attached Files:


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