1971 Rosewood Tele: Any recs for routing repairs? (ideally SoCal/AZ)

knavel

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My brother wants to partially restore a 1971 Rosewood Telecaster he bought from the estate of a jazz player who modified the instrument fairly substantially likely early in the guitar's life(*). Mods in order of most saddening first:

--A smuggler's tele type addition of a chamber to accommodate electronics (kind of interesting in their own rite).

--The Rickenbacker style drill bit approach to routing at the neck for a humbucker.

--The elongation of the electronics cavity.

--Addition of new holes for a different bridge assembly.

Dishonorable mention for the perplexing adding of a hole in the neckplate that went through the body to the neck pocket.

--
The anatomical result of the mods are anatomically interesting as one can see how there was a solid center block but the sides where hollow as we've read to be the case as this model evolved from George Harrison's prototype.

My brother is looking to have the top restored back as close to original as possible save that he wants to keep the Gibson humbucker in the neck slot, so just smooth out that rout. ((*) The reason I speculate the mods were done in the early 70s is that the Gibson humbucker has the "Gibson" logo on it and this was something Gibson only did in the early 70s.)

Ideally someone local to him in AZ/Southern California for in person interaction but getting this done right is worth shipping. Thanks for any suggestions.
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"Pics or didn't happen." Unfortunately as is shown below, what I describe did happen. :(
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Mike Simpson

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Sadly there is no real restoration and the wood grain and color will never match if pieces of wood are glued in to fill the routes. You could make blocks of rosewood and glue them in but it will always look like that was done.

The only thing I would recommend is to clean up the routes with a router and a guide template so they don't look as much like amateur hacking but on the other hand leaving it as is it has "patina" from the years of use and the things done.

I don't think I would take it to Roberto Venn... and whatever you do don't let Rich Beck work on it.

But I have my own routers and tools and build my own guitars.

.
 

lil scotty

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Sadly there is no real restoration and the wood grain and color will never match if pieces of wood are glued in to fill the routes. You could make blocks of rosewood and glue them in but it will always look like that was done.

The only thing I would recommend is to clean up the routes with a router and a guide template so they don't look as much like amateur hacking but on the other hand leaving it as is it has "patina" from the years of use and the things done.

I don't think I would take it to Roberto Venn... and whatever you do don't let Rich Beck work on it.

But I have my own routers and tools and build my own guitars.

.
Rich Beck died in September
 

KokoTele

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You might look for someone that specializes in fine woodworking repairs rather than focusing on a luthier.

The hardest part of those repairs will be matching the grain patterns well, so you need to find someone that has a large stock of rosewood to choose from.
 

Rosewoodtele

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Some great suggestions here and I don’t disagree with most.

If you insist on some repairs, give 13th street guitars in Huntington Beach a call. The owner does great work and is the preferred shop for many known SoCal players. No affiliation, for the record.
 

Cam

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I like it as is, along with the history of the mods. I wonder if the neck plate hole had anything to do with a strap button experiment or diy neck tilt that didn't happen. I'd just hide stuff with a pick guard if returning close to spec. It appears that all (or most) is hidden if it was rewired to spec.
 

naneek

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I should have mentioned in the OP that my suggestion was largely the same as above: Get a new pickguard and correct bridge, restore standard electronics if need be.

But the desire is for restoration. Hence this post.
I understand why they would want one restored just like it was when rolled out from the fender factory,
but this is the Billy Fender signature artist model 71 rosewood tele!
it's even pictured on the album cover, how cool is that?
I now have the reference to the late original owner's record. In tribute - also a youtube link--it sounds like he was using the effects he built into it:



View attachment 930908 View attachment 930909

I think it sounds good too. that's a fun track, I bet it can do a lot more than just jazz fusion.

thanks for posting a link to the original owners album, what a neat little piece of history.

whether or not he restores the guitar, he should definitely track down a copy of that LP.
 
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jimmywrangles

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The fifth hole in the neck pocket is probably so the guitar could be hung to dry after painting.
As for the rest of it well....it's a beautiful guitar that someone has performed sacrilege upon.
Fixing the hole is probably not worth it as the scratch plate has it covered but if it's a must it'd be a difficult job that will never look right, the control cavity fix may be easier, I'd glue a round dowel of appropriate size into the hole and then route it out to original specs, you'd still be able to see it but only when the control plate is off.
If it was my guitar I'd leave it alone.
 

Fretting out

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The fifth hole in the neck pocket is probably so the guitar could be hung to dry after painting.
As for the rest of it well....it's a beautiful guitar that someone has performed sacrilege upon.
Fixing the hole is probably not worth it as the scratch plate has it covered but if it's a must it'd be a difficult job that will never look right, the control cavity fix may be easier, I'd glue a round dowel of appropriate size into the hole and then route it out to original specs, you'd still be able to see it but only when the control plate is off.
If it was my guitar I'd leave it alone.

The hole in the neck pocket goes all the way through the neck plate
 




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