Flea market find- early 50s tele?

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

  1. bender66

    bender66 Poster Extraordinaire

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    That PG & bridge cover surely isn't original.

    Thanks for sharing this with us Charlodius. It's nice to see things like this can still happen. I hope it's the real deal.
     
  2. El Tele Lobo

    El Tele Lobo Friend of Leo's

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    A bunch of people weighing in. Don't do ANYTHING to ANY part of it until you have it looked at by an appraiser experienced with vintage interments. Don't even CLEAN it!
     
  3. El Tele Lobo

    El Tele Lobo Friend of Leo's

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    Guys, STOP with the "mix a solution of this and wipe off the finish" and "have it refinished by so and so"!!! The OP needs to get this assessed by a knowledgeable appraiser of vintage guitars and get at least a few professional recommendations of what to do with it before going forward! I keep facepalming at some of these posts. SLOW DOWN!

    Imagine being in the OP's position. Just the fact that he may have what he thinks he may have is overwhelming. Let's not encourage him to do anything rash or impulsive.
     
  4. John Nicholas

    John Nicholas Friend of Leo's

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    I agree 100% with this... don't do any of it on your own. Get the help of a trusted expert.
     
  5. timbo86

    timbo86 TDPRI Member

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    I have enhanced the image of the neck heel a little bit to see if you can spot any markings on there at all.

    [​IMG]
     
    t guitar floyd and Charlodius like this.
  6. Alex W

    Alex W Friend of Leo's

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    I would definitely get a professional appraisal. Living somewhat close to Nashville, I would be inclined to take it to Gruhn's if it were my instrument, but I don't know who to recommend in the OP's neck of the woods.

    On a side note, does the Fender Custom Shop ever do restoration projects on a guitar as notable as an early 1950s Telecaster?
     
  7. Antoon

    Antoon Tele-Holic

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    Is there a "D" pressed into the wood somewhere ?
     
  8. Charlodius

    Charlodius Tele-Meister

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    Someone asked that and I don’t see one, but I heard someone else say they don’t all have that. The finish is pretty thick there.
     
    Flakey likes this.
  9. Charlodius

    Charlodius Tele-Meister

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    When I got it home, before I knew what it was, I cleaned the funk off the fretboard with Martin polishing spray. I also wiped part of the top bout. When I took the pickguard off and saw the vintage plate, I ceased all cleaning operations. I realize I could seriously devalue this thing by pretending I know what I’m doing. I had removed the old strings before cleaning the board. I restrung it so it would be back to having tension on the neck but even then I was leery about turning tuners so old with so much funk to gum up the gears. I don’t want to pluck this thing out of the dirt, it having survived adverse conditions for so long, only to screw it up on my workbench. I work on squiers. I don’t work on vintage guitars.
     
  10. Charlodius

    Charlodius Tele-Meister

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    6DA50716-5E82-4E57-BB6E-FF86B03122AC.jpeg
    Here is the router hole on the lower horn.
     
    skunqesh likes this.
  11. Charlodius

    Charlodius Tele-Meister

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    Here is the router hole on the lower horn-
     
  12. Adam Wolfaardt

    Adam Wolfaardt Tele-Meister

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    I doubt that fender does that. Even if they did I wouldn't even think of having them work on a vintage guitar. There are some real experts in the field
     
  13. jman72

    jman72 Tele-Afflicted

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    Amazing find! Sucks for the guy who sold it to you for $20, though! I guess you better know what you're selling.
     
  14. MrYeats

    MrYeats Tele-Meister

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    that capaciitor is worth more than what you paid....Great find.
     
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  15. Antoon

    Antoon Tele-Holic

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    You mean the original nail hole from painting the body? Only recent Teles have an actual router hole in that spot. Are the edges of the body sanded to a rounder profile? That would be a bit of a pity.
     
  16. Flakey

    Flakey Friend of Leo's

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    It's already been refinished all though an old one. Being an old one doesn't make it anymore valuable than a new refin. A refin is a refin is a refin.
     
    E5RSY likes this.
  17. TwangToInfinity

    TwangToInfinity Tele-Holic

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    whoa congrats nice find!

    looks totally legit to me imo.

    that finish is cool, the old timer that did it was living on their own terms!

    no hecks were givin!

    * i would leave it as is , except i would put the string ends in the holes like they're supposed to be :p!
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2019
  18. dkmw

    dkmw Friend of Leo's

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    You do now:):):):):):)

    IMO that old refinish has a character of its own. Have you laid a normal pickguard on it? A pic of it with a black guard would be cool (request):)
     
    AlbertaGriff likes this.
  19. robinn

    robinn TDPRI Member

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    I've been thinking about your find for a couple of days now... hard to believe this can still happen.

    The refin is kinda growing on me as well!

    Keep us updated and enjoy it.
     
  20. Preacher

    Preacher Friend of Leo's

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    Just to add to your knowledge tool base. That small hole on the lower horn is where they put a nail into the face so they could paint the face of the guitar, then turn it over onto the nails and paint back. They would then pluck the nails out after the body dried and then shot it with clear hanging from the neck holes.
    There will be no router guide holes on that guitar like you see on modern units. Those "crop circle" holes under the pick guard are alignment holes for a CNC machine to be able to cut the back of the guitar after the face has been detailed. They lay the blank on the machine within a certain space and vacuum pressure holds the part down. The machine then details the face of the body adding in the alignment holes. Then the body is turned over onto its face and placed on a spool board that has a set of protrusions that match those alignment holes perfectly. The machine is then able to detail the back of the body (outside radius contours, string ferrules or cavity plates and even belly cuts and such) in direct correlation to the face details.

    When these vintage bodies were made back in the day they cut the blanks on the band saw, and then screwed the body to a template using a neck hole and a bridge hole location as their screw points. They did the body shaping and probably the cavity cutouts on a pin router. I used to think that they may have used a large shaper, but the horns would have caused an issue as most shaper heads are around 3" in diameter. Looking at some old videos I saw the overhead pin router in use and started thinking of how a production shop would have ran these. The easiest way would be to use the template and have it run around the pin on the router to shape up the outside and then cut the cavities from the top with the template on the bottom of the body. All of these details would match the template exactly, which might also explain why the ferrules were always a bit off. My guess is they were done on a drill press free hand.
    Some of the old bodies probably suffered some tear out which is where you get some of the iffy shapes as they cleaned them up on the spindle sander which is why all the bodies are not exactly the same.

    The more I see of this guitar the more history I keep seeing.

    Again I would encourage you to get some knowledgeable people to help you decide what to do with it. This forum is great, but there are some people out there that really know their stuff.

    I want to throw out a plausible idea for you to think on when even looking at changing things or making changes without getting someone's expert opinion.
    It could be a prototype that Leo was messing with trying to get a cheaper ashtray cover or pickguard. It could be some famous guitarist Tele from back in the day. Or it could "just" be a vintage tele that was used as a tool, refinished and hacked together to get through another gig.

    And I for one and glad you found it and are sharing the experience with us!
     
    younkint, RiverDog, dannyh and 10 others like this.
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