Help Me Restore 55' Esquire

Discussion in 'Vintage Tele Discussion Forum (pre-1974)' started by telesaxter, Jul 10, 2019.

  1. telesaxter

    telesaxter TDPRI Member

    Age:
    34
    Posts:
    16
    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2018
    Location:
    West Coast USA
    I recently acquired a 55 esquire parts caster, refinished that I would like have restored to be playable and period correct (for the most part).

    The biggest issue is the poorly done routing (see photos) and I would like to see how you would proceed in having it taken care of.

    Who are the best luthiers at fixing poor routes? Would you recommend a refinish?

    Original parts present in this guitar;

    3 Way switch
    Neck Plate and screws
    Body
    Bridge pickup

    I don't think I can afford to pay market price for a 55 neck. Who can make a proper replica?

    What is the best vintage repro bridge and saddles for this guitar ?

    IMG_3135.JPG IMG_3140.JPG IMG_3143.JPG IMG_3146.JPG
     
  2. monkeybanana

    monkeybanana Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    224
    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2016
    Location:
    mmhmm
    I don't know if they take work but I've seen Fiesta Finishes from Berkeley, CA list guitars they have restored to original after pickup routing.

    Cool project! Looks like someone already had a lot of fun.
     
  3. bender66

    bender66 Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    6,487
    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2010
    Location:
    on my bike
    Of course Erlewine has the ability. He has a great vid of him doing such a thing.

    I'll have to look up Fiesta. Never heard of them when I lived there.
     
  4. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    6,800
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2003
    Location:
    Godzone
    Wow. Commendation for wanting to take it back.

    If the routing is covered by the guard you could just leave it. Is the body weight over 4lb?

    You could just get a period correct neck and have someone like Mark Jenny relic it. He could supply or you give it to me
     
    Chunkocaster and ifallalot like this.
  5. RodeoTex

    RodeoTex Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    8,671
    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2005
    Location:
    Nueces Strip
    What ensures this is a '55?
    I'm not seeing much recognizable.
    Did I miss something?
     
  6. Major Gruber

    Major Gruber Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,260
    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2012
    Location:
    Colombes France
    There's a marking still visible in the neck cavity and by the way next to this cavity there's a nail hole at the place it should be in 55.
     
    Dan R and RodeoTex like this.
  7. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    7,751
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2014
    Location:
    Lions & Tigers oh Mi !
    .

    Whatever you decide to do, make sure to stick a 3x5 card inside the guitar with all the details of what is what parts on the guitar. So you or the next owner knows what is there a dozen years from now. Like even identifying the nail hole noted above.

    .
     
    horax, Chunkocaster, jrblue and 2 others like this.
  8. Dan R

    Dan R Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    61
    Posts:
    4,927
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2003
    Location:
    Charleston, SC
    A refinish is tricky. It looks too new in most cases. Blond would be the color I'd choose. Call Mark Jenny and see what he says. Do you wish to get rid of the Gibson neck pickup? How does the guitar sound and play to you?

    It seems like a nice axe. I would be careful and very deliberate about any changes. That's just me.
     
    fenderchamp and El Tele Lobo like this.
  9. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    20,425
    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2003
    Location:
    Ontario County
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2019
    tombob and Dan R like this.
  10. telesaxter

    telesaxter TDPRI Member

    Age:
    34
    Posts:
    16
    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2018
    Location:
    West Coast USA
    It came to be as a basket case of different parts. 62 rosewood tele neck that looks to have been shaved down to be .72 at first fret which I absolutely hated and have since sold. Gibson pickup was cool and wired with a coil tap, but that sound reinforced to me the reason I love single coils. I have since put it on ebay to fund the restoration. Guitar played OK, but needed setup. The bridge pickup is divine!

    I have decided to have the routes corrected and refinished in the original blonde. But I have to say I do love the distress it currently has on the current old refin - see photo.

    fullsizeoutput_14cb.jpeg

    I would love the neck to be period correct, but cannot afford the price of original vintage. I would consider a custom shop telecaster neck from a 55' esquire type guitar, or would like to know who can make a better replica that has the same shape, and period correct sticker.

    Of the electronics, the only original remaining part looks to be the toggle switch. Would you keep it with the guitar? The going rate seems to be $300 and I can't see how this would affect the sound.
     
    tomkatf, SweetClyde99 and Charlodius like this.
  11. preactor

    preactor Tele-Holic

    Age:
    60
    Posts:
    544
    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2009
    Location:
    gainesville, ga
    Before I did anything, I would make certain the body is definitely what you say it is.
     
    horax and telesaxter like this.
  12. Recce

    Recce Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,349
    Joined:
    May 3, 2016
    Location:
    Northern Alabama
    If it is an Esquire did someone add the Humbucker to the neck? About all I really know about Esquires is one pickup in the bridge.
     
    Major Gruber likes this.
  13. Dan R

    Dan R Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    61
    Posts:
    4,927
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2003
    Location:
    Charleston, SC
    Here's my advice. It's free so worth what is costs: Find a neck you like. I have no advice on that one. Get it set up and playing like you want, then look at a refinish. Enjoy the journey.

    I envy you 'cos a '55 Esquire pickup must be awesome. You've got some good stuff there. Keep all original parts.
     
    jrblue and telesaxter like this.
  14. telesaxter

    telesaxter TDPRI Member

    Age:
    34
    Posts:
    16
    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2018
    Location:
    West Coast USA
    All the glitters is not gold.


    IMG_3205.JPG IMG_3206.JPG IMG_3207.JPG IMG_3208.JPG IMG_3209.JPG IMG_3205.JPG IMG_3206.JPG IMG_3207.JPG

    Well apparently the bridge pickup is not vintage correct. The plate is Seymour Duncan marked SD 2 83 on the plate. This makes the bridge pickup the newest part on the guitar : (

    Photos included incase someone has any more info.


    It will be a long process to restore this guitar to its original form but I am on the way and I appreciate everyones's help. Now if I could only source one of those Fender lap steel pickups from 50's!
     
  15. Skydog1010

    Skydog1010 Tele-Holic Ad Free Member

    Age:
    66
    Posts:
    908
    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2019
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Just ship it to my house, I'll take care of it.

    Beautiful...lucky rascal!
     
  16. Skamania

    Skamania Tele-Meister Platinum Supporter

    Posts:
    242
    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2018
    Location:
    California
    telesaxter likes this.
  17. rze99

    rze99 Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    7,121
    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2014
    Location:
    South London UK
    RE lapsteel Oil City (UK boutique winder) make a '49 er directly copying the next first Broadcaster bridge pickup. I have one in my Broadcaster build and it is fantastic. No afil.
     
  18. EsquireBoy

    EsquireBoy Tele-Meister

    Age:
    39
    Posts:
    326
    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2019
    Location:
    Paris, France
    I see you are in the US: I would contact Eric Daw. He was the former guitar tech for Emerald City Guitars in Seattle, and now runs his own workshop in Idaho. He seems to have loads of experience in restoring vintage guitars. He has recently brought back to life an original Broadcaster that was in really bad shape. I would trust him 100%.
     
    horax and telesaxter like this.
  19. telesaxter

    telesaxter TDPRI Member

    Age:
    34
    Posts:
    16
    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2018
    Location:
    West Coast USA
    Can anyone help verify if the 3 way switch is actually from 1955? It is in the second photo marked CRL1452 and "YH" upside down?
     
  20. Antoon

    Antoon Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    894
    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2010
    Location:
    Low Lands
    The switch is not from the 1950s but later. It probably has a nylon center ring whereas an original has a brown inner ring. Your switch also has the half round shape.
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2019
    telesaxter likes this.
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.