Opinion for my spalted maple top tele

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by bullfrogblues, Mar 14, 2019.

  1. bullfrogblues

    bullfrogblues Friend of Leo's

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    I posted this in the "what's on your workbench" the other day, but now have a choice to make, and I'm not sure which way to go. I didn't want to bog down the other thread, so:
    Before I received the top, I didn't think it was anything special, and it really isn't, but bought a thinline style pickguard for some reason, and sort of set up the body for it. But it looks better than I thought, so I need advice on which way to go.
    Naked(no pickguard)
    Black thinline guard
    Red tortoise shell guard
    Thanks!
    I recently sold all my clamps, so I drilled 2 locating dowels because I had to use a large piece of granite to weigh the top onto the body for gluing. They were located because I intended to use the black pickguard, so if I go another way I'll have to address them. I do have some spalted cutoffs I can use to make plugs.
    Naked.jpg black pickguard.jpg Red Tortoise shell.jpg
     
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  2. PingGuo

    PingGuo Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    I would go naked! :D

    But really, that top is great. Why cover it if you don't have to?
     
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  3. perttime

    perttime Tele-Afflicted

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    I'd say naked because it is a pretty piece of wood ... except those dowels might start staring at you. Is there any way to hide those dowel ends? Blending them in totally might be a challenge. What about covering them with something that looks like you put it there on purpose?
     
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  4. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    Full approval!
    I like the Thinline guard, but I’d vote for brown tortoise shell instead of black.
    It looks great, no matter what or whether pick guard.
     
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  5. etype

    etype Tele-Afflicted

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    Without the holes, I'd def say naked. However, that thinline pickguard looks great on there (and my vote is for plain black -- I think the tortoise shell pattern distracts from the beautiful top you have).
     
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  6. mistermikev

    mistermikev Tele-Holic

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    imo red tort looks horrible on this gtr. and I'm a tort fan. have always loved the thinline p-guard... but imo solid black would look a lot better as it will tie in better with the black lines of the spalt.
    love the lines of that pickguard but also feel like "why cover up beauty wood?"
    If this were mine I think I might try doing a clear pickguard in the thinline style, but using waterslide on the bottom of it and do some pinstripes around the edge. Then in the control area... perhaps an inner section in solid black to hide the rout. Just a thought. Going to be a beauty no matter what direction you choose.
     
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  7. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Silver Supporter

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    I like the black thinline guard. It goes well with the spalt. I'm of the school of people that think that a tele needs a pickguard and rings and such just don't cut it. As always, YMMV.

    Plenty of wood still shows too.
     
  8. darkwaters

    darkwaters Tele-Afflicted

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    None of the above. I'd go clear plastic of some sort.
     
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  9. Marc Morfei

    Marc Morfei Tele-Afflicted

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    The texture of the tortoise competes with the pattern on the wood. The thinline guard covers too big an area. Just use a standard vintage size guard, in plain black or cream color.
     
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  10. ElJay370

    ElJay370 Tele-Holic

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    +1 on the black thinline guard, it complements it well. The spalt is cool, but not so wild or interesting that a bit of it can't be covered.

    I also agree that the longer you look at those plugged holes the more they'll probably start to annoy you, so covering them isn't a bad idea.

    Looking forward to seeing this when it's done.
     
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  11. PingGuo

    PingGuo Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    The more I look at the plugged holes.... The more I'm leaning towards the black thinline guard.
     
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  12. RickyRicardo

    RickyRicardo Friend of Leo's

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    I would leave it exposed as much as possible. I built this one for a friend - a La Cab clone with Filtertons so it got the minimum pickguard. The pickguard is creamier in color than the pic shows. Your top will come alive when finish is on it.

    bradentele3.jpg
     
  13. Lies&Distortion

    Lies&Distortion Tele-Holic

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    Naked.
    Black Thinline or something similar, if you must.
    No tortoise.

    The plugged holes don't bother me. The book matched area below the bridge is fantastic.
     
  14. cousinpaul

    cousinpaul Friend of Leo's

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    single-layer black thinline
     
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  15. Engraver-60

    Engraver-60 Friend of Leo's

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    Naked is best.
     
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  16. Lake Placid Blue

    Lake Placid Blue Poster Extraordinaire

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    No pickguard
     
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  17. cc50fralin

    cc50fralin Tele-Meister

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    My favorite finish on any guitar or bass is sunburst, any kind of sunburst.

    Followed very closely by natural, which includes spalted tops.

    Yours looks fantastic, by the way.

    I would go with no pickguard, because the wood looks so nice. Second choice would be the tort pickguard.

    Good luck whatever you do, and please show us the finished product.

    Mike ;)
     
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  18. bettyseldest

    bettyseldest Friend of Leo's

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    Always a sucker for a bit of spalted timber, but the black thinline really compliments it, both colourwise and shape. The standard scratchplate covers the wrong bits of the body and the tortoiseshell just fights with the spalting.
     
  19. cc50fralin

    cc50fralin Tele-Meister

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    Since I read your post, Marc, I tend to agree; the tort does compete a little with the wood's pattern.

    The black does look better.

    Mike
     
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  20. Seasicksailor

    Seasicksailor Friend of Leo's

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    This is going to be a beautiful one regardless of what you do. Having said that, my vote would go to the thinline guard also. It doesn't cover much of the pattern while it also breaks it up nicely.
     
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