Flea market find- early 50s tele?

Discussion in 'Vintage Tele Discussion Forum (pre-1974)' started by Charlodius, Apr 8, 2019.

  1. teleman1

    teleman1 Tele-Holic

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    I guess not, I just googled pics of a 52 & 53.
     
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  2. Danman

    Danman Tele-Meister

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    Wow, I've been dreaming about a find like that for decades! Congratulations! Get her fixed up by someone good and play her!
     
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  3. marc2211

    marc2211 Tele-Meister

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    What does it say on the headstock? Has it been stripped, or is there a Fender logo?
     
  4. asquinet

    asquinet TDPRI Member

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    The lack of Fender logo was indeed the lucky of the opener...
     
  5. 63telemaster

    63telemaster Tele-Meister

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    Great find. I'm in the camp that says please don't touch anything until it's been properly evaluated in hand by at least one expert. From the pics I can't see any evidence of a blonde finish on that body and as unlikely as it may seem, that needs to be properly checked out for the slightest possibility of it being a factory finish.
     
  6. augustwest

    augustwest Tele-Meister

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    Dana Sutcliffe is a master luthier in Wilmington, Delaware.

    https://danamusic.com
     
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  7. omahaaudio

    omahaaudio Friend of Leo's

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    Yup. That would pretty much answer the OP's questions.
    I wonder why such an obvious photo was left out?
     
  8. Flakey

    Flakey Friend of Leo's

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    The electronics look right. Gruhn's guide to vintage guitars will help you decipher the pots codes to get an approximate data of their production. The tuner case profiles look right for the suspected vintage of the guitar. Router pin holes are in the right place. You can see the original color of the guitar in the control cavity. The truss rod screw is close to the fretboard and that would be appropriate for the suspected year as well. If you have a picture of the headstock it would be nice to see how the walnut plug end there. They installed the truss rod so shallow at times so a crack would develop between the top edge of the walnut plug and nut. It might be a long shot but if the refin. is light enough in the bridge or neck cavity you maybe able to see a couple of numbers written in pencil those would be production date.
    They maybe written in a fraction format. Example: "5/52" .
    I notice the dowel plug in the center of body on the back. That would be correct as well. This was the dowel end that they used to plug the router pin hole.

    Look to see if they body is made of two to three pieces of ash. The seams will run at a slight angle from the neck side to he bottom side. They never ran a straight "North to South" seam.


    You're on a nice start of a vintage find.
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2019
  9. dkmw

    dkmw Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Whoa Nelly! I predict increased attendance at flea markets everywhere in the near future:)
     
  10. Hags

    Hags Tele-Meister

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    I have been told on this site that I was wrong but I think on a 50s fender the 12th fret dots should be further apart.
    If anyone has a definitive answer please chime in.
     
  11. Charlodius

    Charlodius Tele-Meister

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    I’m at work now but will upload a pic of the headstock when I get home. It has been refinished and the finish looks thick. The fact that the heel is finished makes me think this was not a factory finish. Here are the headstock pics I have saved on my phone. I tried to shine a black light on it at the recommendation of someone on FB but didn’t see anything. The black light I used was tiny and weak- it was on the inside of one of my kids toys, intended to be used to read invisible ink. Maybe with a proper light I will be able to see something somewhere.
     

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  12. radiocaster

    radiocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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  13. Charlodius

    Charlodius Tele-Meister

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    I am no expert- I leave it to you guys- but someone who seems to know a hell of a lot said that the dot spacing at the 12th fret is one of the identifiers for placing the neck as manufactured in 52. I don’t know, but this guy from Italy who goes by ‘ReCaster’ on FB knee all the details, pot codes, wiring. He said the wiring is all original and untouched except for the leads to the pickups, which were unsoldered for the refin.
     
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  14. Flakey

    Flakey Friend of Leo's

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    Well, an approximation without measuring is that the "A'' string and "B" string should touch to the outer edges of their two dot fret markers. Make allowances for how the respective strings go over the bridge saddles.
     
  15. Flakey

    Flakey Friend of Leo's

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    Last edited: Apr 9, 2019
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  16. Charlodius

    Charlodius Tele-Meister

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    He recommended Hess in the US to refin. He also said Joe Riggio does great work. I spoke to joe, he’s a really cool guy. He knew everything about it, could ID what the screws to the tuners look like etc. Pics of his work are beautiful. He said he’s an authorized fender service guy. Someone else recommended I reach out to dan Erlewine, said he’s super personable and as everyone knows, an expert on all things guitar related.
     
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  17. Preacher

    Preacher Friend of Leo's

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    All I can say is I went back to make sure this was not posted on April 1...


    Great find. And again I would not touch anything more. You have enough pictures to have a reputable person give you an idea of what you have and where you should go from here.

    Again it could be someone special long lost guitar which could make it even more valuable in the long run. So don't get rid of the non tele parts. It could also be that it is a Tele like my wife's uncle who took his '56 and tried to make it into a strat... just someone who modified that guitar to the max.
     
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  18. Flakey

    Flakey Friend of Leo's

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    The edges look about right and from what I can make out of the walnut plug it looks shallow as well. I you determine that it's an refin. Blackguard tele and you decide to restore it to a more correct color, when you strip it there is no need to sand it to remove the refin.!!! Just mix a 50/50 solution of lacquer thinner and denatured alcohol and dip a green 3M scratch pad in it and scrub it off keeping in mind common sense precautions (rubber gloves, well ventilated area, filtered breathing mask and safety glasses.) It might take a few applications but it will come clean.
     
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  19. Flakey

    Flakey Friend of Leo's

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    Dan does excellent work.
     
  20. Charlodius

    Charlodius Tele-Meister

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    Now that I believe it is what it is, I’m scared to remove so much as a tuner screw to get a look at the underside. I just need to wrap my head around it, but there is absolutely no way I would personally do any work in it myself!
     
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