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Classic 50s bridge plate - shiny / rough

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by Little Ricky, Jun 21, 2018.

  1. Little Ricky

    Little Ricky Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    Just picked up a 50s Classic lacquer yesterday and the bridge in front of the pickup is shiny smooth chrome plated, but behind the pickup it is rough textured.
     
  2. WingedWords

    WingedWords Tele-Afflicted

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    I think (but someone please correct me if I'm wrong) that this is as produced in the 50's. Leo was trimming costs and if the bridge cover is fitted as designed only the front part of the bridge plate shows and needs polishing. The part behind the pickup doesn't show so needn't be finished as well.

    I'm away from my teles at present, but I think the current Fender vintage style base plates on my MiM and MiJ are finished the same.
     
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  3. Little Ricky

    Little Ricky Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    Gotta love Leo's practical frugality. Thanks
     
  4. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    I basically agree with this, but these fellows at the Plating Shop I know tell me, a smooth surface is easier and faster to plate and requires less materials. Which could mean saved money. I think Leo's people may not have had ready access to the means to polish up the entirety of the bridge plate. I think if the tools they had on hand lent themselves to doing a nicer job, they'd have spent the extra few moments. Remember this is in the run-up to the Korean War and plating materials were scarce - some Chevys went without chromed bumpers. The materials were more in demand, and the labor was cheap. I think the fact it was to be concealed is the #1 thing, but I think in another way St. Leo had no simple fix so they went with it as is.

    I actually think a matte finish would make more sense.
     
  5. archetype

    archetype Fiend of Leo's

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    This has been normal since the Broadcaster. Fender has never bothered explaining this, and why would they, really? IMO... With the ashtray cover, only the leading edge of the plate can be seen. Also, it's hard to get a buffing wheel into the back of the plate, given the flange at the back and the small radii of the bends. Buffing that out would require hand work with small wheels.
     
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  6. RodeoTex

    RodeoTex Doctor of Teleocity

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    Seems standard on all my Fender bridges. I supposed the back end could be polished easily enough with a Dremel but I've never really worried about it.
     
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