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Newbie here with dumb questions about pawn shop find

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by AceTrestle, Mar 1, 2021.

  1. Joe M

    Joe M Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Wow! Great story, makes the guitar worth even more. Enjoy :D:D
     
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  2. 985plowboy

    985plowboy Friend of Leo's

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    You had me at Pawn Shop!!
    You kept me with the pics.
    Well done and welcome aboard.
    Don’t you get rid of that guitar, it’s magic. I can tell.
     
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  3. Boreas

    Boreas Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Welcome aboard!

    Bad juju not listening to a guitar that is calling your name...
     
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  4. Sea Devil

    Sea Devil Friend of Leo's

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    What a great deal! It won't take much to whip that guitar into tip-top shape. Congratulations!
     
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  5. Mr Green Genes

    Mr Green Genes Tele-Afflicted

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    It's not hard, just tedious. There are specialized crowning files that you can get from Stewart MacDonald, etc, but a small triangular file will work just as well.

    I have a triangular file that I ground the "points" smooth on.

    You'll probably want to use a fingerboard guard* to protect the wood from being accidentally scratched with the file.

    A fret rocker or level beam and sharpie are good for making sure the frets are level before you crown them. It looks like someone already did some pretty aggressive leveling.

    If you don't have a fret rocker, I've done "field checks" using a credit card- just use the small side of the card across three frets (21, 20, 19, then 20, 19, 18, and so on, down the length of the neck), and try to rock it like a teeter-totter. If it rocks, the fret in the middle is higher than one of the others. Once you get closer to the nut, you'll have to switch to the long side of the card in order to span three frets.

    Other than that, it's just a matter of re-shaping. You'll want to make sure you're working both sides equally, so the peak of the fret is in the center.

    Sometimes it's helpful to do the "reverse Sharpie trick"- draw a line across the top of the leveled fret with a Sharpie marker, then file in until the Sharpie line is thin.

    There are loads of tutorial videos on Youtube.

    This is a picture of the fret wire's original cross section, which I lifted from the Warmoth site. This is the profile you're shooting for:

    catFretSizeAllNickel.jpg


    To adjust the intonation, use the three screws on the back of the bridge:


    telecaster0097-sm.jpg

    In your case, the fretted note is sharper than the open note, so you want to lengthen the scale by moving the saddle back a little bit, further from the neck.

    Tune the open string to pitch, check the fretted note, then turn the screw just a little bit clockwise, re-tune to pitch, and check again. Repeat if necessary.

    If the fretted note was flat compared to the open string, you'd want to shorten the scale length by moving the saddle closer to the neck, turning the screw counter-clockwise.

    It's a quick, easy adjustment, so go ahead and do it now so you have the experience and know how to dial it in. You'll need to do it again once you crown the frets and change the strings, but once you've done it the first time, it'll be easy.




    * I'm not endorsing any particular Ebay vendor or product, I just put "fretboard guard" into the search bar on Ebay and linked to a product page so you could see what you're looking for. The product is right, the price is good, and it looks like the seller has a good reputation, but it's not somebody that I've done business with, so I can't personally vouch for them.


    .
     
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  6. dogmeat

    dogmeat Friend of Leo's

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    when I set intonation I capo the first fret to remove any influence from the nut. of course you use the octave on the 13th fret

    yep strings wound backwards, and... you cut the string leaving an inch - inch & half depending on the string, then poke the cut end down the hole in the tuner shaft so there's no sloppy ends flailing about
     
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  7. Jay Jernigan

    Jay Jernigan Tele-Afflicted

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    Be sure to bend the wound strings in a 90° angle at the point where they are to sit in the slot. This prevents slippage of the windings.
    I always use the tuning keys to measure: pull the string tight through the bridge and across its respective key to a distance of about the next two keys. On the wound strings, make your bend there. The depth of the hole has varied on some of mine, but 3/4 inch is close.
     
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  8. Jay Jernigan

    Jay Jernigan Tele-Afflicted

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    BTW, this is a lifetime Guitar, if you haven't already guessed.
    And speaking of guessing, it's my guess that the frets are a really old refret, if not, maybe, the originals.
     
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  9. AceTrestle

    AceTrestle TDPRI Member Silver Supporter

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    I am grateful and overwhelmed by the outpouring of information here. Thank you all so much. The knowledge and generosity in this forum are incredible, and I wish I had time to personally reply to everyone who reached out to help.

    It's a lot to digest, so I think I'm going to put strings on it and complete the set up steps within my ability: intonation, saddle height, checking for high frets (thanks for the "field check" tip, Mr. Green Genes). If nothing else, this will give me a good "before" picture, as I research local luthiers and see what they recommend. I do think there is a full level, crown and polish in the future, but I'm eager to start playing, so I'll see how bad it really is before making any big moves.

    It looks like the last remaining mystery is the oddball 3-screw humbucker, which looks like nothing I can find on Google Images. Knowing what it is might help determine when the mod was made. The back of the pickup certainly looks old, but perhaps that's just grunge.

    Thanks once more to everyone for all the help and advice.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  10. ElJay370

    ElJay370 Tele-Afflicted

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  11. ScottJPatrick

    ScottJPatrick Friend of Leo's

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    This was mine in about 1979, traded it against a 1976 Firebird in 1981 but then traded the Firebird against the '75 Tele which I still own about 6 months later, best trade I ever made. Tele's are like cats, you don't choose them, they choose you, when you find the right one it will let you know.

    upload_2021-3-2_8-10-19.png
     
  12. WingedWords

    WingedWords Friend of Leo's

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    Spot on!

    Though cats aren't always interested in Teles. 20200205_105452.jpg
     
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  13. WingedWords

    WingedWords Friend of Leo's

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    Ace, the interest is actually only thinly disguised jealousy.

    +1 on playing it for a while before doing anything. (New strings wound the right way perhaps.)

    Teles are survivors- it'll be fine! Enjoy it!
     
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  14. Nick Fanis

    Nick Fanis Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    It definitely is.
    Replacement pickguard and replacement neck humbucker.
    The rest of your guitar is stock
     
  15. Jay Jernigan

    Jay Jernigan Tele-Afflicted

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    OP, you mentioned changing the bridge p'up and I have to advise against it as it is likely original, or something very close. At this point, you could change the pickguard and the neck p'up and have a very original looking Telecaster.
    The damage is done, as they say, under the guard, but can be hidden. Just my 2¢ worth.
    I noticed, also, that the pots are 1meg and most of us Tele players prefer 250k for warmth. YMMV, of course, but be advised, by someone who has failed to do so: if you decide to change ANY of the stock electronics or hardware put the old parts safety away and guard them well. The more factory it is, the more it's worth. Period.
     
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  16. Telecaster88

    Telecaster88 Tele-Afflicted

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    I love these threads, because I learn so much from everyone's expertise and advice, filing it all away for some future moment when *I* walk into a pawn shop and see a guitar like this.

    My question is... Shouldn't a mid-70s Tele have a three bolt neck?
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2021
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  17. Winky

    Winky TDPRI Member

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    Great story. Looks like fitting the HB was done in a "pragmatic" way, rather than professional. I don't quite understand the miss-drilling of the screw-hole for the neck, either. This doesn't seem like something that would really be screwed up. But it seems like a great find. Fixing up the frets should make it play better, for sure.
     
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  18. John C

    John C Friend of Leo's

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    No; the "standard" Telecaster never went to the 3-bolt neck and stuck with the 4-bolt neck. The three models they introduced in 1972 - the Tele Custom (neck Wide-Range humbucker/bridge single coil, big pickguard and LP-style controls), Tele Deluxe (2 Wide-Range humbuckers. LP style controls, Strat headstock) and revised Tele Thinline (2 Wide-Range humbuckers) - all did have the three-bolt and the bullet truss rod adjuster.
     
  19. Winky

    Winky TDPRI Member

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    Deleted
     
  20. AceTrestle

    AceTrestle TDPRI Member Silver Supporter

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    Incredible, you found it! The back does indeed look identical. Great sleuthing, ElJay370!

    The front looks more although not exactly like the one on this 1972 Electra "Rock and Soul":[​IMG]

    It looks like the Hi Flyer was sold between 1967 and 1977, so yes... the mod may well have happened when the guitar was relatively new, or later with period-appropriate parts.

    Ooh, here's an even closer match for the pickup: https://reverb.com/item/35733035-ma...tage-mij-japan-greco-super-real-dry-z-pu1-pu2

    The "pragmatic" chiseling that Winky mentions is actually pretty precise... It took a bit of patience to get the pickup back in, as the tolerance is minimal.

    Scott, that is exactly how it felt!

    It's hard not to personify (catify?) objects possessed of so much character and cultural significance as electric guitars
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2021
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