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Acquired failed Telecaster relic - opinions/advice sought

Discussion in 'Finely Finished' started by adamlee, Sep 4, 2020.

  1. adamlee

    adamlee TDPRI Member

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    Hi all, I have recently acquired a Classic 50's Series Tele that has had an unfortunate relic job attempted on it. I am seeking some advice on whether or not the current sunburst finish is salvageable and I can get this guitar looking something like its former self.

    The front of the guitar has took the brunt of the damage, back is in good shape overall apart from one small patch slap bang in the middle and the sides haven't been touched. The finish on the front of the headstock is cracking quite badly and the serial number decal on the back could be picked off easily.

    Do you think it is too far gone to save the original paint job or is it possible to remove the scratched layers and then re-lacquer? The only bare wood is the patch in the bottom left.

    Would it be wise to have a go at the whole body or try to save as much as the original finish on the back as possible? Would it be a similar process on the neck in sanding down the current clear coat and refinishing? I guess that the serial number decals are beyond saving and I would have to buy new.

    Thanks for looking, any advice would be really appreciated.

    tele1.png tele2.png tele3.png
    tele4.png tele5.png tele6.png tele7.png tele8.png
     
  2. john_cribbin

    john_cribbin Tele-Afflicted

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    Welcome to the forum.

    Well somebody had some 60 grit sandpaper they needed to use ....

    The good news is that the finish on MIM's is usually good and thick. You could try something like T-Cut on the body and polish the worst of the scratches out. I'd be tempted to use wet and dry first to remove a lot of the surface damage. My concern would be water getting into the bare wood if you're not careful ...
     
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  3. adamlee

    adamlee TDPRI Member

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    Hi John,

    Thanks for getting back to me. That sounds positive and gives me something to go off.
     
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  4. Gaz_

    Gaz_ Tele-Meister

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    I can't help at all really, but I was wondering if there was a picture of the guitar as a whole, in isolation that looks quite bad.

    If it was me, I'd probably work backwards, start with a swirl remover type product and work up to tcut, then wet dry if I couldn't live with it. I would probably live with the bare wood corner. I guess it depends on how confident you are with finishing a guitar. I've only rattlecanned a kit I put together and I won't be rushing to do that again.
     
  5. stormsedge

    stormsedge Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    I like the above advice of trying to salvage/polish out the old finish. It may be that as you do, the "relic" attempts will smooth, feather and look more like wear.
     
  6. El Marin

    El Marin Tele-Afflicted

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    I would get some sand paper...

    400
    800
    1200
    2000
    2500

    Would work some elbow grease, water sand from 400 to 2500... patience, work.

    Then use some polish to get where you want

     
  7. adamlee

    adamlee TDPRI Member

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    Thanks a lot for all the advice, it's a big help.

    I think I will go with the polish/swirl remover first as mentioned and see where I am for sanding. Don't want to put it through any more unnecessary stress!
     
  8. Peegoo

    Peegoo Poster Extraordinaire

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    Do not use water because it will swell the wood where the finish is completely missing, and that will just make things worse because it will pop the finish around the bare areas.

    Dry sand as much as possible, and then when you get into the higher grits like 600 and up, use mineral spirits to keep the paper lubricated--just enough to keep the surface wet as you work.
     
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  9. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Doctor of Teleocity

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    OR.......put new strings on and play that puppy!
    Doesn't look that bad to me. ;)
     
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  10. Sidney Vicious

    Sidney Vicious Friend of Leo's

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    it doesn't look that bad to me either - looks more like a mistreated used guitar than a poor relic - the only thing that stands out is the down to wood sanding on the lower bout - that could be disguised with black shoe polish or such -
     
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  11. jsalvaggio

    jsalvaggio Tele-Meister

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    Hi there,

    In the immortal words of Frank Zappa...



    ;)
     
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  12. Steve Holt

    Steve Holt Tele-Afflicted

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    I'm on board with the wet sanding. If all you're looking to do is get rid of the heavy scratches do what others have said but I'd recommend odorless mineral spirits. It still smells bad but when you compare odorless mineral spirits to low odor... World of difference. In either case, do it outdoors or in a well ventilated room and a respirator or face mask of some sort is never a bad idea.
     
  13. rich815

    rich815 Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    I was expecting a lot worse from your description. I’d barely call that a relic job. You might just make it a helluva lot worse...
     
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  14. ricardo1912

    ricardo1912 Tele-Afflicted

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  15. Controller

    Controller Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I've never seen decals look so pasted-on. Like the whole decal is lifting off. Can you do anything to stick them back down or would that destroy them?
     
  16. Ecadad

    Ecadad Tele-Holic

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    I wouldn't mess with it, it's certainly been abused, but it's a tele. If it sounds and feels good I would just leave it be and embrace the bad relic.
     
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  17. musicalmartin

    musicalmartin Poster Extraordinaire

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    Looks like fake to me .
     
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  18. noname_dragon

    noname_dragon Tele-Meister

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    Looks fine to me
     
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  19. ReverendRevolver

    ReverendRevolver Tele-Afflicted

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    Wet/dry/wet and buff the snot out of it. You might be able to get it looking like its had an interesting life instead of a botched relic job if you handle it well.

    Good luck, and remember, itll still play fine with a botched relic job. (Then surface sanding nonsense is the biggest tell of what happened. Even mutants with volatile sweat dont do that to poly...)

    The back might need something slightly abrasive with a soft cloth to degunk, then handle as normal. If you give up on the BS faux buckle rash, you can always pop on something 3d as a belt buckle (sacred heart, motorhead logo, etc) and hula dance in some real buckle rash ;)
     
  20. Peegoo

    Peegoo Poster Extraordinaire

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    I'd pay a dollar to see that!
     
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