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Advice on "relic-ing" a tele?

Discussion in 'Finely Finished' started by australicaster, Sep 20, 2020.

  1. Erwin

    Erwin Tele-Meister

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    Sorry, But that relicing is a fad. Look at pictures from 15-20 years ago, there where none of these around. Hell even today Micawber still looks quite unscated, And that guitar has been toured extensively,
    As for poly being uncontrolable, I don't know, it works, it is stable, doesn't get sticky even on a hot stage and unless you tow it through town behind your car in 15 years it'll still look good. What's not to like.

    But to return to the OP's question, seems to me that you have a problem that will not be fixed with relicing, you need to chamfer the body or get something with a contoured body, like a strat. That is not what a tele is about. If you want a pet that listens and obeys you then you get a dog, It doesn't work to get a cat and try to train it. That's the road to insanity.
     
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  2. Jukers

    Jukers TDPRI Member

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    There's a few little tricks I use. Relicing takes a lot more patience than most people take. It never really turns out "right" but if you take your time you can get it close.

    One of the big things that people miss, is that you have to leave some parts on the guitar to get it right. There's a little line that's relatively in touched right next to the pick guard. So while you relic there needs to be a pickguard ON the guitar. Same with the bridge, control plate and neck. I like to throw on crappy/spare parts while the relic is happening.

    Also it's been said "less is more". Pick your tool correctly. I like to use a buffer as opposed to a sander. The buffer takes more time but there's less risk for a screw up. The biggest problem, I've found, with a buffer is that you can build up too much heat if you let the buffer go dry and sit in one spot too long.

    How the guitar is painted on the forefront can change your process.

    So this first one was one of my first attempts. I think I went too far. It was intended/test to see what a walnut body with a light paint and relic looks like. I like it as a concept, but I went too far with the buffer.
    IMG_8878.JPG
    This one was another concept. I went for patriotic. Red tinted clear, with white on top of that, with blue on top of that. relic through and you get the cool colors. I really like this one. This was years ago and you can tell that my drum sander was a makeshift POS. I needed more patience.

    IMG_20200104_220129.jpg

    This one came out great IMO. White with tinted clear on top relic'd.

    IMG_20200202_112213.jpg

    This one I covered a bad paint job with a green tinted white. There's some imperfections, but hey, It plays and sounds great. It's one of the best necks i've ever built and a cool weird pickup I wound.

    IMG_20200620_103119.jpg

    Good luck on your project man. Don't let the haters discourage you. If you want to do it... do it. If your guitar is worthy of a museum, don't dare do it. If it's a tool that you want to use... absolutely do it.
     
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  3. Co0lcat

    Co0lcat TDPRI Member

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    Bull-oney, there’s only one way to relic...that’s by playing it. I don’t buy the excuse about it feeling uncomfortable, you just want a fake aged guitar to look played, if anything is true ncmforable it’s the square edge of the guitar, not the finish.
    I’m against this, but if you want this done for comfort then you won’t worry if it looks aged or not, like when people remove the finish from the back of the neck. That never looks relic’d.
    All my guitars are relic’d the right way... through many many hours and years of playing...don’t be a poser!
     
  4. Co0lcat

    Co0lcat TDPRI Member

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    Sadly not one of them looks relic’d....no guitar would age like that.
     
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  5. Muckyboots13

    Muckyboots13 TDPRI Member

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    I personally would not go for it...leave it,love it.. play it to death. I am yet to see a Poly finish that looks realistic imho. If you want an aged look you could spend 100 bucks and buy Road Worn series parts to take the shine of it...literally...or if you are feeling brave enough just scotchbrite all the the metal parts.
     
  6. Fender-guy

    Fender-guy Tele-Meister

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    The OP hasn’t replied back so probably just gave up in site. Depending on the finish of your guitar you can scrap away the edge of the forearm with a dull straight edge.

    Then blend it in starting with 600 and go all the way up to 2000 grit sandpaper. Look at lots of pics of custom shop stuff for a reference
     
  7. Mike Simpson

    Mike Simpson Doctor of Teleocity

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    Funny how “relic-ed” guitars never look like a guitar that has actual wear from being played.
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2020
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  8. Blue Bill

    Blue Bill Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    I think some of the FCS relics look old and beat up. But they cost $5000. You have to keep then in a glass-covered wall case, so they don't get scratched. :lol:
     
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  9. teletail

    teletail Tele-Afflicted

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    And some of us don't have 30 years left to wait. :D
     
  10. Mike Simpson

    Mike Simpson Doctor of Teleocity

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    They look beat up on purpose. Some are better than others, most are overdone and still look like someone did it on purpose.
    .
     
  11. teletail

    teletail Tele-Afflicted

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    Do you not understand how a poly finish ages? You could play one for 100 years and it wouldn't fade like the old nitro finishes. I have two 30 years old strats that look basically new and one was my main player for 10 years. Thousands of hours of practice, rehearsals and gigs. It still looks basically new.

    Everyone is entitled to an opinion, but they aren't entitled to their own set of facts. ;)
     
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  12. Ghostdriver

    Ghostdriver Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    in your opinion ! Others may think different, who can exactly say how a guitar has lived its life and how or why it got scuffed, dinked or bashed.....it’s not an exact process. Yes, some relics look awful, others I would say you can’t tell new from old. It’s all about what floats any individuals boat at the end of the day, period.
     
  13. mteetank

    mteetank TDPRI Member

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    For your tele, go slow and give each major step time to bake in the old noodle before pulling out the tools.

    My view is the relic'ing is an off shoot of the steam punk stuff. I enjoy looking at the work people go through and the end product in the right hands can be quite a visual treat. I do not think some of the examples truly represent a found vintage guitar and what it would actually look like. If the desire is to have a guitar that looks "vintage" all the simulated neck wear and body wear just does not look realistic IMO and if it actually did occurred it would be on a extremely small number of guitars. My goal on my "Vintag'ing" process is to go for the understated, collectable look. The beauty of the relic'ing craft is to each his own What ever gets a person into the shop and doing the work is all that matters!
     
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  14. bigdaddy

    bigdaddy TDPRI Member

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    When relicing was all the craze, I started a small relicing hobby/business (called THORelics) and sold my stuff on eBay.

    The most important part is to think thru your process and only relic in a way that looks AUTHENTIC. Taking a claw hammer to the face of a guitar makes no sense. How the hell would something actually happen like that, even in heavy gigging?

    Before I did anything, I looked at hundreds of photos of real guitars with real wear. I made note of how it looked, how it was shaped, etc.

    For the wood, I used multiple grits of sand paper and steel wool. When I got down to bare wood, I “stained” it dark by rubbing in several course of crushed pencil graphite. When you see a SRV clone and the bare wood looks prestine and new, it sticks out like a sore thumb. If a player played hard enough to wear thru the finish, it would have take hundred of sweaty, dirty gigs that never allowed the wood to look clean.

    When it came to hardware, I first put everything in a back with a bunch of old wood screws and shook it up. They I put it 8n a container with a chlorine puck (from our pool) and a small salsa bowl full of vinegar. After a couple days, the vapors from the vinegar and the chlorine had turned the steel green with surface corrosion. I then cleaned it all up with steel wool and repeated the process a second time.

    One last thought, take your time. You can not undo reliving, but you can add more later, if you desire.

    On a side note, I’ve been a huge Clash fan since college (Early 80s). Using the profits from THORelics, I built this Joe Strummer tribute tele. I even had the stickers recreated by a graphic artist and produced them thru a local sign shop. Everything you see here, started new....
     

    Attached Files:

  15. Terrygh1949

    Terrygh1949 Tele-Meister

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    Mine has been done naturally with age and playing a lot. It's a 70s model. Can't really give you much advice here. Very sweet Tele. Good luck! IMG_20200126_203847122.jpg
     
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  16. oregomike

    oregomike TDPRI Member

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    This is really cool. Especially with the Bigsby.

    OregonMike
     
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  17. El Marin

    El Marin Tele-Afflicted

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    Mine is natural... BUT... I did refinish the poly with black over white nitro. 20 years later, 40 gigs and 100 rehearsals a year and two refrets is a looker and natural reliced... well , for me is just well USED
     
  18. oregomike

    oregomike TDPRI Member

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    Yes, this. I just finished a pbass DIY build. I have two nitro colors Teal Green Metallic over Vintage Cream (after sealer and Med. Neck amber) not realizing how thin those coats are, I was buffing with 000 Scotchbrite and went through the green coat. Not having anymore green, I decided to take it a bit further and just give it a slight worn look and took a little more off. I was lucky that it's right where my forearm hits anyway, so it ended up looking legit. And as EsquireOK said, i can buff it out and reapply green down the road if I want to fix it. The OP doesn't say whether or not the finish is nitro, if not, relicing poly is pretty much a no-no in my experience. The clear is just too thick. All that to say is, scotchbrite is your friend.

    OregonMike
     
  19. Dannebrog53

    Dannebrog53 TDPRI Member

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    It sounds like you're looking to do what Jeff Beck did with his Esquire. Here's a photo from the Reverb site. You can simply sand it down like either Jeff or his guitar tech did back in the day or you can buy a new custom made body from Warmoth that they'll do the arm, tummy and neck pocket relief and you can have finished or left bare. The Fender Richie Kotzen Tele also has the arm contour. 41B7313A-3806-487A-83F5-15F45197F2DE.jpeg
     
  20. charliebrown51

    charliebrown51 TDPRI Member

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    I can attest to this method, although it only took about 3 years. It was a nice Tele that I'd built from a neck and body I bought from a local shop years back when they stocked a lot of parts from Mighty Mite, Schecter and others. Nice Lake Placid Blue finish I spent a couple of months doing. Visualize it like it had been dragged behind a truck for 50 miles. "Heavy Relic" is an understatement. "Thrashed Relic" is a thing, right?
     
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