1. Win a Broadcaster or one of 3 Teles! The annual Supporting Member Giveaway is on. To enter Click Here. To see all the prizes and full details Click Here. To view the thread about the giveaway Click Here.

Any advice on an old DIY tele Frankenstein...?

Discussion in 'Other T-Types and Partscasters' started by Stephenlevin73, Feb 27, 2021.

  1. Stephenlevin73

    Stephenlevin73 TDPRI Member

    Age:
    40
    Posts:
    4
    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2021
    Location:
    Brooklyn
    Hello!

    first time poster here.

    I bought what I thought was a genuine Tele 20 years ago in Providence RI for $200. It’s not bad but it’s not a genuine Fender.

    20 years later it sounds fine and has decent playability and intonation and I can’t complain-it’s my only electric guitar.

    As you can see from the pics below, someone before me did some weird stuff to it-it looks like they routed and punched a hole all the way through the body, put in the pick ups and electronics, then filled the hole in with what looks like a tubs worth of Elmers wood filler. It’s definitely a Frankenstein.

    again, I can’t really complain but I’d be interested in switching out the pickups at some point and my good friends and tele players have said I should just knock out the wood filler and put a pick guard on the top and a cover or small piece of fitted wood on the back and leave it hollow-ish.

    does anyone have any advice? Pics of the beaut/monster attached. Thanks!!!

    Steve
     

    Attached Files:

    crazydave911 likes this.
  2. dpang2836

    dpang2836 Tele-Meister

    Age:
    66
    Posts:
    392
    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2019
    Location:
    Post Falls Idaho
    I would be looking for another Body, but don't go by me, as I am on #54 (I think)? I change Bodies, etc. a lot? Sickness you don't want!
     
    Stephenlevin73 and crazydave911 like this.
  3. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

    Age:
    61
    Posts:
    26,129
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2010
    Location:
    Maine
    Body looks like a cheaper import and has been butchered.
    Up to you of course and I don’t know what kind of shape the neck and frets are in, but you can get a pretty good used Squier or off brand Tele style for like $200.

    Labor to fix up the body plus cost of pickups can easily get less return for more investment. If the filler is harmless then why mod it?

    If it was a Fender with some value it would be worth labor and materials but probably wouldn’t sound or play better fixing the hole.
     
  4. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

    Age:
    61
    Posts:
    26,129
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2010
    Location:
    Maine
    Oh and welcome!
    Freaky oddball guitars feel at home here...
     
    Stephenlevin73 and crazydave911 like this.
  5. crazydave911

    crazydave911 Doctor of Teleocity

    Age:
    61
    Posts:
    11,416
    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2010
    Location:
    East Tennessee
    If you have ANY woodworking experience AT all I'd move this thread over to the Tele Home Depot and ask about making a body, pine or Douglas Fir, preferably out of recovered wood from old homes. Don't let anyone talk you into a high dollar body as expensive as the guitar, it's only wood

    Dave
     
  6. dpang2836

    dpang2836 Tele-Meister

    Age:
    66
    Posts:
    392
    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2019
    Location:
    Post Falls Idaho
    Glue down some Veneer over it, sand a little, then some Wipe-On.
     
    drmordo, Sparky2 and Stephenlevin73 like this.
  7. Engine Swap

    Engine Swap Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,366
    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2014
    Location:
    Chicago
    You're halfway to a B-bender....

    Cool guitar!
     
    Stephenlevin73 and dpang2836 like this.
  8. Stephenlevin73

    Stephenlevin73 TDPRI Member

    Age:
    40
    Posts:
    4
    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2021
    Location:
    Brooklyn
    With or without the wood filler?
     
  9. Stephenlevin73

    Stephenlevin73 TDPRI Member

    Age:
    40
    Posts:
    4
    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2021
    Location:
    Brooklyn
    Lol I was just looking up Clarence White’s guitar which is now owned by Marty Stuart
     
  10. dpang2836

    dpang2836 Tele-Meister

    Age:
    66
    Posts:
    392
    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2019
    Location:
    Post Falls Idaho
    Right over it somehow? Make sure it is flat enough to glue. I never throw any Bodies in the Fireplace!
     
    Stephenlevin73 likes this.
  11. Collin D Plonker

    Collin D Plonker Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,767
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2020
    Location:
    Delaware
    Yeah that thing is butt ugly. I love it.

    Looks like the bridge and control plate are wedged with cardboard or something. The no-finish whatever wood is pretty cool, but the putty. The putty brings it all together and makes it pop.

    I totally would not change a thing. You don't need a pickguard. That would destroy the mojo.
     
  12. Stephenlevin73

    Stephenlevin73 TDPRI Member

    Age:
    40
    Posts:
    4
    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2021
    Location:
    Brooklyn
    Not sure if you noticed, but the real topper is the Wayne’s World neck plate.
     
  13. Wrighty

    Wrighty Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    66
    Posts:
    3,969
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2013
    Location:
    Essex UK
    I’d consider tidying it up, smooth the filler front and back and then refinish. It’s got history, 20 years of it with you, and I’d want to keep it pretty much as it is. Then I’d invest in a ‘real’ Tele, even an Affinity, that you can make yours with your choice of pick ups etc, a lot easier than further butchering what you have. Two guitars isn’t extravagant!
     
  14. Sparky2

    Sparky2 Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    61
    Posts:
    3,818
    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2017
    Location:
    Harvest, Alabama
    I love it.

    Me personally, if I were to change out the pickups, I'd go ahead and remove those stickers, clean up the pine body real nice, and put a clear, satin finish over it.

    I'd leave the Bondo filler as is, only sand it all smooth prior to applying the clear-coat.

    Pick guard or no pick guard (I could be convinced to go either way), that is one unique and awesome guitar!!

    :)
     
    Roscoe295 likes this.
  15. Blue Bill

    Blue Bill Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    8,188
    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2014
    Location:
    Maine
    Since you asked: Scrape off those stickers, lightly sand the body to clean it up. Rub on a few coats of wipe-on poly or tru-oil. Slap on a parchment or black pickguard. Bob's yer uncle.
     
    Crobbins and Stephenlevin73 like this.
  16. Engine Swap

    Engine Swap Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,366
    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2014
    Location:
    Chicago
  17. Fenderdad1950

    Fenderdad1950 Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    70
    Posts:
    1,721
    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2019
    Location:
    Albuquerque
    A shot body and a neck that probably needs to be re-fretted, I'd say that you got your $200 moneys worth. Squire Affinity Teles & Starts are an excellent value ($229) the build quality is very good and tons of buyers are satisfied customers
     
  18. jvin248

    jvin248 Doctor of Teleocity

    Posts:
    10,258
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2014
    Location:
    Lions & Tigers oh Mi !
    .


    I have a Tele that started in somewhat similar condition of prior owner hackinsack.
    I routed out a half inch deep channel and inlaid walnut and maple strips then recut the pickup routes, sanded and refinished.
    [​IMG]
     
    RobRiggs, drmordo, Roscoe295 and 2 others like this.
  19. Roscoe295

    Roscoe295 TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    80
    Joined:
    May 3, 2020
    Location:
    MA
    Welcome! (from a native Rhode Islander)

    I think you’re in a can’t lose situation:
    1. If it’s a heavy guitar - remove the ‘glue’ & you’ll have a nice semi hollow tele (sort of)
    3. Shouldn’t be too hard to give it a careful sand & finish. With a pick guard you’re back to business.
     
  20. drmordo

    drmordo Tele-Holic

    Age:
    46
    Posts:
    932
    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2019
    Location:
    Miami, FL
    I can't understand why they cut that giant hole all the way to the back of the guitar!

    Beautiful and elegant solution.
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.