How would you repair this pickup cavity?

Discussion in 'Vintage Tele Discussion Forum (pre-1974)' started by Jewronski, Sep 21, 2019.

  1. Jewronski

    Jewronski TDPRI Member

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    https://imgur.com/bcNJQ3n

    So I bought this 1966 Tele for a steal and I'd like to restore it to something closer to its original state: filling the many extra pickguard holes, making the pickup cavity look like it wasn't dug out with a butter knife, probably refinish it to its original blonde.

    Unlike the previous owner, I'm going to bring this to my luthier to have the work done. The question is whether to have new wood put in, or to just clean up the cavity. Or some third option if anyone has any ideas.

    I'd just like to hear some thoughts if that's not too much to ask. Cheers!
     
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  2. skunqesh

    skunqesh Tele-Holic

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    imho

    I'd fix the bridge pocket area, to get it looking tight (no gaps), and more or less only go half way up, yet keep room for a humbucker up top.
    I'm partial to 'Keef' mods on old teles, especially since the damage is already done.
    Plus nothing says "road worn" like an improvised Smuggler Tele , lol
    Good Luck!
     
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  3. jimbo735

    jimbo735 Tele-Afflicted

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    I could go either way have them stick a tight fitting wood block in there and re route or just cover with pickguard and play it.
     
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  4. d barham

    d barham Tele-Meister

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    I can't imagine it would devalue the guitar to repair the damage.
     
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  5. Major Gruber

    Major Gruber Tele-Afflicted

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    Ask a good luthier. He will replace the block of wood with a wood with similar grain. Funny to see the bottom of neck cavity and diagonal cavity intacts. It should be more complicated restoring it while keeping theise bottoms. He will most probably replace all the zone and proceed to new routings.
     
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  6. WrayGun

    WrayGun Tele-Afflicted

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    I don’t know. I’d be inclined to leave it alone, but it’s a personal call.

    Here’s a video of Dan Erlewine fixing a huge hole in an old Tele. To me, it really brings forward the question of what is original and what isn’t. And if it matters.




    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  7. Ricky D.

    Ricky D. Doctor of Teleocity

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    I think you need to repair the area around the bridge, definitely. I wouldn't spend a penny on the project if I didn't do that. I don't know how you could "clean it up". The area can be routed out to create straight edges and square corners, then a filler block can be fabricated and glued in.

    The other areas will be covered by the pickguard, so they are optional. Not much more work to fill in that whole swimming pool between the bridge and neck, but that will never be seen. Also never to be seen are all those extra screw holes, so they are optional, too.

    If it was mine, I would not refin with a visible-grain finish. Your standard of workmanship should be a repair that is completely invisible, like new. You can't match grain with those repairs around the bridge. A solid color would hide every thing like it never happened.
     
  8. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Silver Supporter

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    Make up a router template in the shape of a rectangle that surrounds all the gnarly routs. Then get a stewmac pattern bit and rout it all out so it is clean. Then make a new rectangular wood plug out of ash and glue it in with yellow glue. Lastly, get a correct pickup template and reroute it/them. Level it/ Sand it flat. Refinish. I used to do something similar turning Kahler routs into non routs. If done correctly and fit with a similar grain pattern, it can look pretty nice.
     
  9. 2 Headed Goat

    2 Headed Goat Tele-Afflicted

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    I'd fill it with water, install a diving board on one end, a basketball hoop and possibly a slide. ;)

    Seriously, Nice score!

    I'm with WG on this one as far as doing anything to it other than finding period correct parts.
    I dig the grain pattern and depending on how heavy the body is, the extra 'space' might be a bonus weight-wise. Springsteen's main axe has a huge route underneath the p/g. IMB, you get a period correct bridge and p/g and the rest of the small stuff will 'disappear'. The areas around the bridge obviously won't... tho they could be covered up in some manner.

    Personally, I'm not a fan of refin vintage guitars even ones that had the original finish already stripped/removed like this one. I'd rather have the 'back story' remain as well as whatever remnants of the original finish. While refin guitars generally look nice, they are devoid of the aforementioned and lack Mojo IMB.

    Regardless of what you decide to do - Congrats!
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2019
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  10. lammie200

    lammie200 Tele-Afflicted

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    Are you absolutely sure the body is an original Fender body from 1966? How could you tell? Are you trying to restore it to some kind of original spec? Do you know what that is? If so, how did you find out? I am only asking because whatever you do to fix this body will still be apparent unless you go with an opaque finish. Maybe you can hide the patches with a butterscotch?
     
  11. LowCaster

    LowCaster Tele-Holic

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    For me there is no way back to the original condition. You can rout and fill everything as seen in the stew-mac video, and refinish. You would get a guitar looking like new, with weird patches of wood hidden inside... I don't see the point...

    What I would do: It would be quite easy to shape by hand two pieces of wood to fill the sides of the bridge cavity, no need to remove more wood... Then you can put a pickguard with a mini humbucker, and that woud be quite right. I wouldn't even refinish it, leave the screw holes... This guitar has a story and just needs some attention.
     
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  12. Wallaby

    Wallaby Tele-Meister

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    I think if it's well-executed, even obvious repairs and restoration areas would be acceptable or even add interest, especially if the neck makes it all worthwhile.

    It looks like a fun project with a lot of potential!
     
  13. 24 track

    24 track Doctor of Teleocity

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    thats a great trade secret , but biy you'ld have to know your tools
     
  14. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    .

    I have a Squier Affinity that received similar hackery treatment. I routed and inserted new contrasting wood as a design element to the repair. Probably not what you want, but sometimes celebrating is better than attempts at hiding.

    [​IMG]
     
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  15. max_twang

    max_twang Tele-Afflicted

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    I'd would have it restored just like Dan Erlewine does in the video.
     
  16. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Friend of Leo's

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    I would rout it out cleanly and squarely, and fill it with a block of wood. Level, fill, smooth, refinish in a custom color.

    I'd probably send it to Gord Miller for the work, to give it some "legitimacy" as a restoration piece.
     
  17. ElJay370

    ElJay370 Tele-Holic

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    A good repairperson could make that hole disappear pretty easily. They’ll square up the hole, glue in a fitted piece of ash with similar grain, reroute, stain, and finish. I’ve seen much worse made to look like it never happened.
     
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  18. RodeoTex

    RodeoTex Poster Extraordinaire

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    Everyone seems to bandy about the word luthier. Y'all do know that most don't come close to qualifying, right?
     
  19. EsquireBoy

    EsquireBoy Tele-Meister

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    I would definitely do a refin in a period correct solid color too.
     
  20. Matthias

    Matthias Friend of Leo's

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    Do you have any pencil marks remaining in the bridge cavity? You’ll want to keep those... perhaps the same with the other cavity bottom with original finish. I can picture how you might do that but it’s a chunk more work.
     
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