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Should you see a line on the body of the guitar that shows where they glued a section of wood?

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by Revelation, Aug 10, 2018.

  1. Revelation

    Revelation TDPRI Member

    56
    Aug 4, 2018
    PA
    On a sunburst Tele, there is a line on the body of the guitar above the pickups where they glued a piece of wood to the other piece. You don't notice it from a distance but up close you do. Is this poor craftsmanship on Fender (on a Professional series Tele) or normal? I know with solid colors they can hide it easier?
     

  2. AAT65

    AAT65 Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    53
    May 29, 2016
    Edinburgh, Scotland
    Almost all guitar bodies are made of several pieces of wood glued together (its one of the major ways to keep costs down) and if you can see the grain through the finish you can always identify the joins, sometimes with a bit of effort. I don’t think it’s anything out of the ordinary.
     
    rich815 likes this.

  3. 8barlouie

    8barlouie Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Age:
    59
    May 9, 2015
    Seekonk, MA
    Most have two or more pieces of wood glued together. However, the skill of the craftsmen who do that can matter. Pictures would help.
     
    Nubs likes this.

  4. JimmieT

    JimmieT Tele-Meister

    344
    Apr 12, 2005
    Seattle, WA
    I wonder if Fender glues their body blanks or has them outsourced and if any attention is paid when they grab one for a see through finish. I've had sunbursts where you could barely find the seam and some where the grain doesn't come close to matching. Seems to be a crapshoot regardless of where it's made.
     

  5. Revelation

    Revelation TDPRI Member

    56
    Aug 4, 2018
    PA
    I called Fender and they said some pieces of wood you will notice it more than others due to how it matches with the larger piece. I don't think it's a defect but on several other guitars I didn't see to notice it as much. So I am wondering if the craftsmanship was an issue perhaps rushing it a bit
    On a quick phone camera shot, I couldn't see it.
     

  6. Crobbins

    Crobbins Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

    Jul 10, 2014
    Meiners Oaks CA.
    A picture of your guitar would help.
     

  7. Obsessed

    Obsessed Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Nov 21, 2012
    Montana
    My assumption all along has been once they cut the shape of a glued up body, someone makes the call if the grain match looks pretty good, they shove that body into a higher model line. At the same time, I assume the worst matches go to the solid color line. The burst ones always look fantastic to me, so maybe the person that makes the call went to get another cup of coffee when that body went by during manufacturing.
     

  8. nicod98

    nicod98 Tele-Holic

    791
    Jul 7, 2014
    Belgium
    It's certainly no defect.... it's a natural product that is glued together...
     
    esetter likes this.

  9. maxvintage

    maxvintage Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Age:
    59
    Mar 16, 2003
    Arlington, VA
    If you are gluing two pieces of wood together you always want a seamless joint. It’s not that easy to do. Two different pieces of wood wil absorb or lose water at difererent rates. One is maybe more dense. Maybe one expands a bit more when it warms. Maybe they put more filler on one piece. Pretty soon you see the glue line. Most traditional finishes, like nitro, aren’t all that waterproof either.
     
    nicod98 likes this.

  10. Ira7

    Ira7 Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    61
    Jan 8, 2008
    Coral Springs, FL
    Yes.

    It's normal.
     
    Widerange Hum and bender66 like this.

  11. telepraise

    telepraise Tele-Meister

    Age:
    62
    158
    Feb 27, 2017
    Palmetto, Florida
    Grain orientation has a lot to do with it. If it's quartersawn (vertical grain) on both pieces it would be more consistent. On bookmatched caps it will be really noticable because the grain on the two halves are opposite of each other.
     

  12. jrblue

    jrblue Tele-Meister

    387
    Nov 14, 2010
    Santa Barbara
    Neither grain matching nor placing the seam on center is important to Fender. Highly visible seams are commonplace, as are non-centerlined joints.
     
    Revelation likes this.

  13. FenderGuy53

    FenderGuy53 Poster Extraordinaire

    May 14, 2008
    Marion, NC
    In an ideal world, no.

    As was mentioned, seams are virtually invisible on solid finishes; however, on semi-transparent 'burst and clear finishes, variances in wood grain patterns make the seams more visible to the eye.
     

  14. danlad

    danlad Tele-Meister

    240
    Mar 24, 2015
    Here and there
    Must be an exercise in frustration on the Strat assembly line. I mean, you match the grains perfectly on the blank only for half of it to be hidden behind plastic and the other half gets cut out for horns or contoured so much it exposes completely different grain.
     

  15. SPUDCASTER

    SPUDCASTER Poster Extraordinaire Platinum Supporter

    I have a MIM Strat. It's Torino red, not a sunburst. But, if you hold it just right, you can see five different pieces.

    Doubt if Fender goes that far for regular models to make a one piece body for sunburst or natural finishes.

    The Custom Shop might.
     

  16. schmee

    schmee Friend of Leo's

    Jun 2, 2003
    northwest
    My American black strat you can see the join lines. There's no gap, but just in a reflection on the surface it's like a line.
     

  17. Wrighty

    Wrighty Tele-Holic

    716
    Aug 17, 2013
    Essex UK
    I’ve got a butterscotch blonde Tele and Strat. Never looked for the join(s), I will now!
     

  18. marc2211

    marc2211 TDPRI Member

    Age:
    40
    83
    Jan 30, 2018
    Switzerland/France
    I have the same on a Candy Apple Red tele. You normally don’t notice, but when it reflects "just right" I can see a join.
     

  19. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Tele-Afflicted

    Aug 30, 2011
    U.S.A.
    Seeing it by way of seeing the grain differences is not necessarily poor craftsmanship. It just means that the customer isn't paying enough to pay for the labor of having the wood grain matched. Sure, a high-end wood worker who has the luxury of doing things ideally often grain matches, but these are assembly line instruments, not articles of fine woodworking.

    Seeing it because of physical misalignment of the two boards is usually a craftsmanship issue...but not always. It could be because of poor grain filling, using wood that is too young, too wet, or that hasn't acclimated to its environment. It could be due to imperfect joining. Or it could just be due to age – the wood moving around for many, many years due to being exposed to tough environmental conditions.
     

  20. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Telefied Ad Free Member

    Age:
    61
    Nov 15, 2009
    Austin, Tx
    As many others have posted, multi piece Fender style electric guitar bodies are the norm.
    Pretty much always has been.
    I’ve seen a few 50s Teles with one piece bodies.
    I owned a 57 Tele and a friend, Dan, also owned one.
    I have a “thing” for the one piece bodies.
    I don’t think it makes any sonic difference.
    It’s just aesthetically nicer, IMO.
    My non-Fender avatar guitar has a one piece body.
     
    8barlouie, schmee and tery like this.

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