Tell Me About Fender's Desert Sand Finish.

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by Butch Snyder, Mar 9, 2019.

  1. Butch Snyder

    Butch Snyder Tele-Afflicted

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    Mine is a 2006 with no flaking.
     
  2. toomuchfun

    toomuchfun Tele-Holic

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    I don't think it was a color used on Telecasters or Strats in the '50's but it was on lap steels, later replaced with blond. They also came in a walnut shade. They were usually made from alder or poplar.

    I also think I've seen the short scale guitars (Musicmaster & Dou Sonic) from the '50's with desert sand finish. They were usually made of alder or poplar too. For ash they used blond to show off the grain.
     
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  3. Butch Snyder

    Butch Snyder Tele-Afflicted

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    Which pickguard looks better with the desert sand?

    [ upload_2019-3-13_18-52-32.jpeg upload_2019-3-13_18-51-58.jpeg
     
  4. schmee

    schmee Friend of Leo's

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    I like it.
     
  5. schmee

    schmee Friend of Leo's

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  6. rze99

    rze99 Poster Extraordinaire

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  7. fendrguitplayr

    fendrguitplayr Poster Extraordinaire

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    It looks a lot like one of my Honey Blonde guitars.

    IMG_5027.JPG
     
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  8. BobbyMac

    BobbyMac Tele-Meister Gold Supporter

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    Yes, Desert Sand was a color used on some Duo Sonics and Musicmasters in the late 50's. And they were fitted with anodized aluminum guards. They can be seen in some of the coffee table books showing the golden years of Fender.
     
  9. stanger

    stanger TDPRI Member

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    Yes, it was. Leo Fender got a really good deal from DuPont on some Duco automotive lacquer around 1958 or 59, at a time when all his guitars and all his competitor's guitars all used colors that had been around for a long time.

    The Duco lacquer was designed for use on cars, so it was very good to use on guitars, and Leo was never one to turn down a good deal, especially if it showed some sales promise to him. So he began to offer the new colors as an option. They became very popular in California almost instantly afterward, but Desert Sand as a color was more associated with Plymouth sedans than Corvettes- both cars used the Duco colors. The Duco red became the most popular of them all, then Surf Green and Sonic Blue.

    I was lucky enough to find an original DuPont chip chart I borrowed from its owner that showed all the original colors that were specified for use on Chrysler-made cars. A friend wanted me to re-finish his old Fender Precision in one of them, and he chose Sonic Blue. I remember seeing Desert Sand on that chip, and it looks exactly like the photos I've seen here.

    But each car company apparently specified slightly different variations on the colors from DuPont. After returning the chip chart, I saw another one for GM made cars, and the two charts varied just a little bit from each other. The owner said the variations were intentional.

    My bass work was later replaced with a 2-color sunburst, and then the burst was removed and the bass was re-painted Sonic Blue again by Fender's custom shop to match a new Strat. Both guitars were matched to the GM chart, and my buddy said the GM colors were different than the dip-chip I gave him when I did the work. The paint I used was color-scanned and digitally matched the original chip chart, so it was as accurate as possible.

    But age may have done its work on the chip chart, so the color I used could have been off a bit to DuPont's own color standards, and I'm pretty sure DuPont supplies the Fender Custom shop. It's an interesting question in my mind I doubt I'll ever be able to answer.

    DuPont's newer lacquer is not the same formula for sure; the old stuff was very workable, but it was fairly slow to cure completely, and required some buffing to reach it's highest gloss. As the car companies improved their production, their lines sped up, so the old formula was changed so it would cure out faster and wouldn't need any overall buffing.

    Nowadays, even the new Duco formula is obsolete for its original purposes. DuPont still makes it in limited batches for their smaller markets where there's still a demand for the product.

    But I thought Desert Sand would be a really handsome color for a Tele with a rosewood board and an anodized gold pickguard when I saw the color chip, and seeing the color on some guitars was really nice for me. It also looks great with the red tortoise pickguard too!
    regards,
    stanger
     
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  10. Butch Snyder

    Butch Snyder Tele-Afflicted

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    Done....
     
  11. stanger

    stanger TDPRI Member

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    Good choice. The old-timey color needs an old-timey pickguard.
    regards,
    stanger
     
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  12. Butch Snyder

    Butch Snyder Tele-Afflicted

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    When I bought the guitar, someone had installed a single-ply black bakelite guard. I know they came stock with a single-ply white (eggshell) guard ('52/'58) model. While I had the guitar in layaway, I ordered a Fender Pure Vintage '52/'58 Telecaster Tele Pickguard, Eggshell and installed it the night I brought it home. I have a stock of replacement pickguards probably about 2" thick. I found this parchment multi-ply guard and thought I'd try it. Looked ok, but looks much better with the single-ply 5-hole eggshell guard.
     
  13. dannyh

    dannyh Tele-Afflicted

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    I had a DS Baja for a while, I love the color, more so than the BSB. I liked that guitar a lot except for the weight; it was heavy as a battleship, and I traded it for something else.

    [​IMG]


    FWIW I really like the single ply white guard on those. Good choice.

    Congrats and enjoy!
     
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  14. Butch Snyder

    Butch Snyder Tele-Afflicted

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    Must have been Northern Hard Ash instead of Swamp Ash? I had a Baja in Vegas Gold. Heavier than a Norlin-era 70's Les Paul. I sold the body and replaced it with a poplar body. Gave it to my daughter. It didn't sound as good as other Bajas either; notebly, the one I have now. I attribute that to its denseness maybe.
     
  15. dannyh

    dannyh Tele-Afflicted

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    Yeah I don’t know what the deal with that one I had was, but I weighed it and it was a several ounces heavier than my LP. I’ve tried some other Bajas that were much lighter, but this one was a beast.
     
  16. Owenmoney

    Owenmoney Tele-Afflicted

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    ACE335B4-1BBB-4241-BAE8-D94C6D495A82.jpeg I love my DS Baja, it a 2010 I bought used, it’s my favorite guitar,
     
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  17. Butch Snyder

    Butch Snyder Tele-Afflicted

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    Nice....
     
  18. LocoTex

    LocoTex Tele-Afflicted

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    I gotta say, I now like it better than butterscotch blonde.
     
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  19. ADK Teleman

    ADK Teleman Tele-Afflicted

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    Bubba if you ever want to sell one of them I’m in brother.
     
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  20. Owenmoney

    Owenmoney Tele-Afflicted

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    I had wanted the blonde because it’s iconic, and I got that first, then I decided I wanted to get something different and I sought out the Desert Sand and it’s an absolutely wonderful guitar. I thought that they were alder but Boris Bubbanov assured me all the Bajas were ash. Both of my Bajas are stock except for Dunlop strap locks and strat switch tips. I learned that from Keef Richards. The blonde sounds more country, the Desert Sand sounds more Rock n Roll. It quickly became my favorite guitar ever.
     
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