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How would you repair this pickup cavity?

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

  1. EsquireBoy

    EsquireBoy Tele-Afflicted

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    I love the idea of celebrating what one particular instrument has been through. But in the case of a vintage instrument, I would rather try to restore it to its original condition I think.

    @jvin248 Very very nice guitar and repair by the way! It has loads of mojo.
     
  2. matmosphere

    matmosphere Tele-Afflicted

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    I say do whatever makes you happy. It’s a pretty rough route. If it was all under the pickguard I would say just leave it, but then I’m sure the guitar would have cost a lot more.

    If it were me I’d have a pro fix it but not sweat matching grain or finish to precisely. That guy has stories, it’s okay to let them be told.
     
  3. matmosphere

    matmosphere Tele-Afflicted

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    In other words make it stable so it doesn’t get worse and make it play right. Then just play the hell out of it.

    But if you do it right, like the Dan Erlewine vid, I wouldn’t blame you at all.
     
  4. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I've done this kind of repair to vintage Fender bodies and have my opinions!
    Routing out and replacing the stock between the back of the neck pickup rout and the front of the bridge pickup rout is fairly straightforward, and with a decent grain match the little bit that will be visible beside the bridge plate and between the bridge and guard will be hard to spot if the refin is well done.

    IMO there is no need to go solid color for the purpose of hiding the tiny bit of replaced wood at the expense of hiding the whole durn vintage swam ash Tele body!

    One finds that a solid color refin has little vintage about it unless you take off the guard and bridge to see the little bit of vintage lumber/ finish/ markings.

    I would probably not attempt to replace the buggered edge of the neck pickup rout, but If I did I would rout all the way into the neck pocket and then re rout that as well, when re routing the front of the bridge pickup rout and back of the neck pickup rout, plus the diag rout. A competent tech or luthier could certainly save the finish at the bottom of the old routs by only routing to just short of that depth.

    You might have little bits of air where the fill pieces are not glued to the butchery below, but again, IMO keeping as much wood as reasonably possible is the goal.

    I've seen a vidoe by a purported luthier where the neck HB rout was deepened half way through the body just to make sure every bit of chiseling evidence was removed plus another 1/4" for good measure.
    No no no!
    Keep the original lumber!

    As far as the Erlewine repair where he ran the rout all the way out the butt end, I've also done that, before the internet, because it was called for in the case of a pre CBS Strat body with a huge rout that went behind the bridge for extra switches.
    I routed less deep than the jack cup rout and in the end the bottom of that rout still had the old finish.
    Not that important but it's signifies originality, which is IMO worth preserving.

    In this case it looks ugly but is really not that bad to repair.

    Can't see under the bridge plate though!
    What the hell are you hiding from us?
    We've all seen butchered vintage guitars, no need to be ashamed if it wasn't you that butchered it!
     
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  5. jimash

    jimash Friend of Leo's

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    Maybe you could find an old body, with which to rebody it.
     
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  6. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    A few ways to approach the wider area under the guard vs the narrower area beside the bridge on the low E side.
    If you rout out straight you make the patch beside the bridge larger, and if you rout only the width of the visible butchery beside the bridge you have to either rout at an angle to get the under guard portion, or rout two straight lines with a wider patch under the guard and a narrower patch next to the bridge.
    To get nice tight joints on each side, yet be able to drive the patch in to the bottom without it swelling with wet glue and jamming before it's fully bottomed out, you can glue in the narrower piece that's the width you need to fill both sides of the bridge plate, running straight on the high E side but leaving a wider section open under the guard on the low E side.
    Then with the glue still wet you drive in the 3/8" wide piece under the guard on the low E side and it ensures the bigger block stays snug to the high E side. After dry fitting of course.
     
  7. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    I would probably do nothing. It's all covered by the pickguard? Or if not just repair that which isn't covered. There is nothing you can do that makes it original anyway. Even if you pay a luthier a few hundred dollars to fill and re rout, it's not original and as much a devalue as leaving it. Sure, cleaning up the cavity to smooth surface is good for your "head"!
     
  8. rangercaster

    rangercaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    I would leave it alone if it were mine ... Of course, I would have made that decision when I purchased it ... It will never be original again, even with a perfect ( read expensive ) repair that likely will not improve it's tone ... I would preserve the story\mojo of the axe... I am also a firm believer in the idea that once you own a guitar, it's yours to do to it whatever you wish ... There is no right or wrong path ... If it makes you happy to do a neon orange rattlecan paint job on it, than more power to you !!!
     
  9. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Looking at actual luthiery it is so common to find large portions of original wood replaced that for example old violins with no wood replaced are unusual and even less desirable, because it invariably means they have never been maintained and repaired.

    For some years we saw threads where many insisted that a refret lowered the value of a vintage Fender.
    Those folks are fewer now.

    As far as a buyer of sub collector grade vintage Fender guitars?
    I suppose some may prefer that butchery and splinters over a good repair, but I'd bet more buyers would like a nice repair and refin with no big gaps beside the bridge, over all original butchery.

    From internet opinion I see that many are more stressed by the question of "fix it or leave it?", and fewer are stressed by a nice repair and refin that you really can't even see without taking parts off.
     
  10. POS Guitars

    POS Guitars Tele-Meister

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    My question is, what was the purpose of such a hackery? We might never know...

    I am on the 'make it as good as possible' wagon. Rout out a big rectangle, insert a new piece of wood that matches grain as closely as possible. Finish the rest anyway you like. Even if you stain it, the pick guard should cover up the new insert - and if it doesn't - so what? Right?

    Just make it solid and playable.
     
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  11. Tedzo

    Tedzo Tele-Meister

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    Right on....

    '53.jpg
     
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  12. Blue Bill

    Blue Bill Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    I'll chime in: If you like the way it sounds, screw the pickguard back on and forget about it. You may change the tonal qualities of the body by filling it, and most likely, by making it less resonant. For less money you can find a used blonde body. I would try that first and see if it rocks. Routing, filling, sanding, painting, oh my!
     
  13. tele_savales

    tele_savales Tele-Holic Platinum Supporter

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    I'm amazed by the amount of people who said "let the guitar tell it's story". What does that even mean??? Some dumbass butchered the thing for life. THE END.
     
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  14. Stratwrangler

    Stratwrangler Tele-Meister

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    @Jewronski Just wondering if you have done anything repair wise with this yet? :
     
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