Help with Tele Body date.

Discussion in 'Vintage Tele Discussion Forum (pre-1974)' started by ASATecaster, May 3, 2020.

  1. ASATecaster

    ASATecaster TDPRI Member

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    Hello,

    I have owned this frankencaster with a 70's SN (622838) for 20 years now and I want to get a pickgard that fits it correctly. The current WBW butts up to the control plate too firmly and also pushes the neck PU forward.

    I took it apart last night to try to figure out the year of the body and just ended up more confused by what I found.

    The neck PU wire is a channel which suggests that it is post 1968. The PU are held up by surgical tube which does not jive with that era. There are also nail holes in the body that are full of paint or rubbing compound of some sort. The PU cavities are filled with what looks like epoxy.


    The clear coat is heavily worn and cracked. It may not be original.

    Can any of you help?

    Thank you,
     

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  2. pcasarona

    pcasarona Tele-Holic

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    My guess is that it has been stripped and refinished. From the photos, seems like some remnants of Olympic White or Blonde finish, but hard to tell. It's a pretty piece of Ash though. Lovely grain.
     
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  3. CWP0126

    CWP0126 Tele-Meister

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    Hi ASATecaster,

    I’m not really seeing an issue with the current pickguard that a replacement will correct. I have had pickguards that get a little tight around the control plate as well. You could try to use sandpaper there on the pickguard to gain a little relief, and also in the cut out for the pickup to keep it from pushing the pickup so much. Just be careful and take your time, you can probably get it to fit perfectly.

    That looks like an early 70’s body judging by the lack of the diagonal wiring rout, patent number bridge, and the neck notch. Does it have two holes on the back filled with dowels?

    The serial number is kind of high for the neck notch. Your number indicates 1975, but the notch was disappearing in the early 70’s and supposedly completely gone by 1974. You stated it is a partscaster so someone may have put a later plate on when it was assembled.

    What is the date on the neck? The logo is not a 70s logo. Any numbers on the pots?

    It’s a nice looking guitar btw. Naturals were an option starting in the 70s so that may be the original finish.
     
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  4. Marn99

    Marn99 Tele-Holic

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    Yep, the bass side notch on the neck pocket was gone by 74, and that SN does read to 1975. Perhaps this is a partscaster made up of a smorgasbord of 70s parts. I personally don't think that that is the original finish, the presence of blonde paint in the neck pocket and cavities would suggest that it was refinned. Pot codes and pics of the back would be helpful.
     
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  5. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

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    If it was natural it would in that era have a 'Natural' stamp in a route. It's a blonde that's been stripped.

    Definitely pre-74 because not only does it have have 'the notch' but it doesn't have the mouse ears at the edge of the neck pocket route.

    My 78 the control plate to pickguard was a tight fit also because it had a ground strap that contacted both, and the neck pickup was tilted by the guard. It mounted on springs. It doesn't matter except visually because the pickup is a single coil.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2020
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  6. ASATecaster

    ASATecaster TDPRI Member

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    Hello,

    There is something stamped in the neck pocket in red ink. Almost illegible. I thought the first letter was"H" but it could be an "N". The current finish is definitely Nitro as the whole thing is checking.

    The pots came back as stackpole. The volume was from 75. The tone is a 250k with a "8" in the year code.

    Neck date is smudged. Last three digits looks like "494"

    The bridge PU has yellow and white pvc coating and is waxed.

    Thank you for you help.
     

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  7. rangercaster

    rangercaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    Nice guitar and a good player I bet ...or else it would be gone ... Give me an old mongrel that plays and sounds great ... instead of the pristine all original vintage piece that, despite it's physical perfection, is just an average or mediocre player...
     
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  8. Antoon

    Antoon Tele-Afflicted

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    To me it also looks like a nice early 70s Tele body. It has been refinished a couple of times (?) and because of the ash it would almost certainly originally have been blonde. It may have had a couple of different pickguards as well. The neck may also have been refinished because of the logo that does not match the neck code format. There is probably a date on the bridge pickup. You would have to remove the pickup base plate if you want to see that.
     
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  9. ASATecaster

    ASATecaster TDPRI Member

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    There is a 7 numeral word printed in red ink on the pocket. I think the first letter is an N and I see an R.

    Neck shows two layers of rectangle. Could be refinished.

    It is a fantastic player and the bridge PU is my favorite guitar sound period. She was $600 bucks in 2001 and worth every penny. I plan to get her a fret job at Elderly Instruments which is just 30 minutes away. Any advice on that is welcome and appreciated.

    Thank you for all of the input. You fellas are great.
     

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    Last edited: May 4, 2020
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  10. ASATecaster

    ASATecaster TDPRI Member

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    Is this a dowel? I have 2.
     

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  11. fernieite

    fernieite Tele-Meister

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    Yep, the other one should be about 3 1/4 inches down from the neck plate. :)
     
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  12. ASATecaster

    ASATecaster TDPRI Member

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    Found it.
     

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  13. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

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    If it's a 74 and original, the topcoat isn't nitro as that was phased out in the late sixties except for the headstock face. The hard poly Fender used cracks like glass and chips off in flakes. You can see it on neck edges.

    The cracking on that body shot above is characteristic of poly, not nitro. You can test it with a drop of nail varnish remover or acetone. If it doesn't soften it's poly.
     
  14. capitalbear

    capitalbear TDPRI Member

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    Interesting assessment regarding the cracking structure, in my experience the opposite is the case, it's typical for nitro. Never seen cracking poly like that. Attached pics of nitro cracking on a LP Junior:

    IMG_0674.jpg IMG_0676.jpg
     
  15. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

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    Yep - nitro checking is the result of thin nitro cracking as it shrinks and thins and often in suddenly changing temperature.

    Poly cracking is caused by the thick finish getting brittle. Here's a 76 Strat. That is not nitro. Fender totally stopped using clear nitro to finish bodies and necks by 68-69. The only place it was used after that was headstock faces, because the decals reacted with poly. Hence the headstock face goes orange So if this is an original 70s body it's poly finished. I had a 78 - the neck finish was coming off in splinters on the edges of the fretboard.

    Screenshot_20200505-202202~2.png
     
  16. Matthias

    Matthias Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    That looks like the remains of some walnut finish in the neck pocket and cavities (too dark for mocha, I think), which I *think* came in 1972... I can't find any proof that it was used before the other 1972 changes except very occasional people dating by serial, which is unreliable. The notch was still noticeable on many 1972 guitars and you don't see it by the end of the '73 production year. So I'd say most likely '72.

    Unless that white is actually under the brown, but to me that looks on top and a worse job, and could even be buffing compound in places.

    The neck looks like a re-decalled '74 to me.
     
  17. hamerfan

    hamerfan Tele-Meister

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    Please comment on the number on the back of the bridge pickup.
    Does 3279 mean 27th week of 1969?
     
  18. capitalbear

    capitalbear TDPRI Member

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    Looks like 53279 to me.
     
  19. hamerfan

    hamerfan Tele-Meister

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    Okay, then 32th week of 1979?
     
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