Original 70's Telecaster Deluxe NGD and Restoration!

Discussion in 'Vintage Tele Discussion Forum (pre-1974)' started by Matthias, Aug 28, 2019.

  1. Matthias

    Matthias Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    Thanks for people’s input on the pricing/finish question threads. I pulled the trigger on a well-used ‘73(ish) Tele Deluxe today! I haven’t removed the neck, but it has all the hallmarks of an early 70s and not a later neck or a reissue. Might end up ‘74 though. It’s borderline “vintage” so it can live here. Pictures to come but I’ll give early impressions and a rundown of the work I intend to do, which I shall document here.

    So, the initial report on my first (somewhat) vintage guitar...

    General impressions
    Played with enthusiasm for 45 years and stood its ground. A long while with the last owner. It’s a well-worn, well-loved road warrior player. I was happy with the price I paid even with a bad overspray on the body. No structural issues, but it needs some further work.

    I reckon it’s no more than 8lb.

    Picking up a well worn-in vintage is a completely different experience to a new one, isn’t it?

    Neck and tuners
    The neck is straight and only a few dings. Lots of fretboard wear but with more of a 60s look than that 70s flaking look you sometimes get. Good partial refret a few years ago and recent level/nut. On its last level I think, but still very playable. A nice shade of uniform vintage amber, and it doesn’t appear to be an overspray. Tuners are in fair condition with some nylon washers between what I think are the originals. I have a few replacements including some Teflon-coated ones I can use. They’re better tuning up than down.

    Body
    Well worn 80s brown overspray showing the original Walnut, especially on the edges. No sign the original finish was aggressively sanded back - yet. Big patch of buckle wear shows alder as expected. No big issues I can see that, worst case, wouldn’t be covered by a better refinish. Plan A to buff out/strip/scrape the bad brown to reveal a real-life relic factory finish is ON.

    Electronics
    All work fine. The pots/caps have been replaced due to them getter scratchy. It was barely played for a while. I expect to find a splice on the output lead. I have the old harness that has three original pots plus one mini alpha volume. Plan to try and repair the original tone pots/caps, put some better volume pots in and put in a non-spliced output wire. Humbuckers are fine.

    Hardware
    Natural relics. Well worn HB covers. Some new screws/springs. The only major issues are there’s a missing original saddle and the bridge baseplate is quite corroded across the lip where it’s lost some chrome. Debating what to replace. Used bridges from the era are comparatively reasonable considering the rising price of these guitars. I have a few spares on the way to make the screws and springs match up better. I have a really good stainless steel 2 7/32” Hipshot I could put on it that’s 90% accurate.

    ....

    I know. This thread is no good without pics. I’ll post some in a few hours so you can enjoy its glorious mojo/brown ugliness. But I’m excited and had some travel time to kill. I’m looking at the case now and just want to get the thing out.

    Then take it to bits :)

    Look forward to that brown :D

    EDIT - Pics added in post #9
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2019
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  2. unixfish

    unixfish Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Looking forward to some pics. That sounds like a great survivor!
     
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  3. Lefty Addams

    Lefty Addams Tele-Afflicted

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    pics would be wonderful.
     
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  4. Flaneur

    Flaneur Friend of Leo's

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    Congratulations! I was hoping you'd find this instrument was worth buying. :)

    If you can get a set of repro '70s F tuners, you should probably throw them on and bag up the originals. Forget the Hipshot, though. Restore the bridge you have, or at least clean off the rust, with a little elbow grease and wire wool. The money you save will go towards the re-fret, when the time comes.

    You casually mentioned the pickups, in passing. I wonder what you'll say, once you get that thing cooking, through your regular rig? :cool: I would play the heck out of it, for a while, before taking anything off......
     
  5. Matthias

    Matthias Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    Thanks for the suggestions. The tuners are the two-prong Schallers that only made it on a couple of 70s models... I think they were only on the Tele Deluxes then IIRC “The Strat”, I would speculate to use leftover parts. I hear rumours the early MiM reissue Deluxes used old-stock black bodies from the last couple of years of production, and use a different pickguard shape to the other reissue colours.

    I played it briefly through an unfamiliar tube amp to check they worked. They’re set a bit low for WRHBs (from what I hear) and I don’t know what value pots and caps the tech put in as replacements either. I look forward to exploring them properly with my set-up.
     
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  6. Flaneur

    Flaneur Friend of Leo's

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    I'm pleased to have jumped to the wrong conclusion: not a big fan of F tuners. ;)

    Have a good fiddle with the usual settings, on your amp, before looking at the pickup height. Usual rules may not apply. :cool:
     
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  7. Matthias

    Matthias Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    Sounds like a similar journey I took with my Jazzmaster... It took a year of using it to learn where the right pickup height and settings combo was — and so satisfying when it all clicked.
     
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  8. Flaneur

    Flaneur Friend of Leo's

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    One of our regular contributors, from Detroit, often makes excellent points about how changing pot and cap values can be very useful, in your situation. It seems that a lot of this wisdom gets overlooked, when the temptation is to indulge ourselves, with fancy new pickups. Doesn't make those suggestions less valuable- more so, in this case, when your existing pickups have earned such a great reputation.

    I hope it doesn't take a year, this time. :)
     
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  9. Matthias

    Matthias Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    Pics. I’ll get more as I go.

    The neck has worn pretty gracefully. There’s one chip but you can’t really feel it.
    FBFB0F3D-17A6-4FC0-B841-1DC296B70069.jpeg

    The headstock is nice. The nitro has shrunk back to the point you can see the extra thickness of the gold on the decal. It worries me at first but then I found a few comparable examples. The headstock’s aged slightly darker than the neck but not by much.

    C6560D3E-6EDB-4935-AD46-9E821A69F1C0.jpeg

    You can see where the overspray is so thin, buffing has caused the lighter, original shade coming through.

    55A41FC5-E741-413C-A7D5-A330C7313DFE.jpeg

    The corrosion on the bridge is part of the character and not as bad as I thought. It’s very superficial. I might track down a saddle though... But the odd one out has a charm. This is how you relic a pickup cover...

    E23EC8CF-8387-4773-9A85-C1262654235B.jpeg

    Big buckles have come and gone in fashion a few times in the last 46 years... You can see the mocha or walnut peeking through in some places. It’s looking more mocha to me now. That alder is well sealed.

    842EC823-B93D-4DB4-AC21-4F661642160D.jpeg

    The original finish is showing round the edges too. No evidence of aggressive sanding. There is some extra touching-up on the top bout. There might be a good wood repair there and I think that area was primed.

    0D11FFF4-2A3A-45BA-B1C3-19F7990C9FDE.jpeg
    BC70BCFF-E11E-490D-BC00-0EAC3FF00A60.jpeg

    Someone wore a big watch or bracelet and there’s some interesting wear here. Also more evidence the original finish might be salvageable. It’s not a thick looking finish though and I can see where it’s shrunk into the grain. Was Mocha (or Walnut) one of the few nitro 70s colours?

    C45059E7-D542-4E60-8C1E-E8A7CC1FCC2C.jpeg

    And here it is with my relatively young 22-year-old Thinline.

    80ED7194-01F8-4B17-977B-1150C591DBDB.jpeg

    Too late to crank it up. Sounds good through a Blues Jr and a Rat clone on quiet. The action’s a bit low for me. I feel a bit clumsy on it. Easily fixed.

    7.6lb by the way!!!

    See what I mean about that wear being right? It’s love, riffs, gigs and practice rooms and very little real abuse. I just wish the overspray was better or they’d just gone with black because it would stay as-is.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2019
  10. Antoon

    Antoon Tele-Holic

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    Have you tried if the overspray dissolves in aceton? If I remember correct, the original poly cannot be dissolved by aceton so it may be an easy way to get rid of the overspray.
     
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  11. Antoon

    Antoon Tele-Holic

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    Looking at the pics, the overspray would not really bother me though.
     
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  12. Telecaster88

    Telecaster88 Tele-Holic

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    Amazing. To be honest, I wouldn't touch that finish. And I'd leave the oddball saddle, too. Lotta history in that guitar. Congratulations!
     
  13. Fretting out

    Fretting out Friend of Leo's

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    I believe you’re correct and read it somewhere once that mocha was nitro and maybe one other color in the 70s also, I can’t remember at the moment what the other color was.
     
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  14. rangercaster

    rangercaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    Awesome !!! As is ... If it plays and sounds good, don't mess with the mojo ...
     
  15. Pete Baker

    Pete Baker Tele-Meister

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    I have a 74/ 75 Tele Custom in Mocha, and if I recall, the Mocha finish is pretty delicate. If you try to remove the over spray, maybe try under the pick guard first.
     
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  16. RiversQC

    RiversQC Tele-Meister

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    I love it. Fantastic colour!
     
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  17. Matthias

    Matthias Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    Thanks all!

    I’m going to try acetone under the pickguard area or in the cavity to see if it wipes off and leaves the original. But this really doesn’t feel like a “thick skin” finish. The overspray is somewhat bearable, but it’s quite clearly not a pro job, although It’s quite shiny. In one sense I like that it’s part of its history and it’s of its era (late 70s/80s most likely) and does have a relic feel. There are a lot of old SGs that look a bit like this. There’s also the question of why it was done. There could be a massive gouge filled with wood filler somewhere obvious. I’ll live with it for a bit, perhaps.

    Yeah. I am considering that option. I’ll need to grow to love the looks.

    It feels like a nitro finish or the thin polyurethane that Fender used on the standards from 2008 or so... My 2010’s finish was already showing the grain nicely and has shrunk into it more since. On this tele, the layer underneath this is certainly thin and delicate - not the way 70s finishes are often described! It would explain why it needed to be refinished if it suffered a lot of damage.

    Thanks! What makes me sad is these days is how many less-than-pristine guitars of this era just get parted out. Mojo donors? :(
     
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  18. Durtdog

    Durtdog Poster Extraordinaire

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    Wonderful guitar!
     
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  19. 63telemaster

    63telemaster Tele-Meister

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    My thoughts exactly.
     
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  20. Matthias

    Matthias Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    Some daylight pictures and the neck pulled.

    The finish is better in some light than others. This shows how uneven it actually is.

    0905CA5A-DDC5-4E20-8780-C50FE3E8DD96.jpeg

    I thought this might be a repair but it could just be runs. Some of the other edges have a darker line, too.

    83E2EB9D-2F62-4CAC-B8D9-C37D43124BB1.jpeg

    I haven’t opened the plate yet but here’s what was recently removed. That saddle was recently replaced with the less accurate one. All the threads seem fine.

    9D3B7912-4262-42C5-BF0A-DC86B344DF68.jpeg

    Confirmed as a ‘73 based on all codes. The serial and lack of notch suggests perhaps late ‘73, maybe early ‘74.

    75DCF2BF-B64A-4628-9CE1-1EF0647A7D63.jpeg

    A better view of the neck wear. The chip on the 9th doesn’t get in the way.

    85526E87-B052-4706-A1AA-7C8C87FA0A1A.jpeg

    The headstock shows lacquer cracking. The nylon washers are new and mismatched. I presume they’re helping things. I managed to get some black Teflon-coated washers of the right size so I can try those instead to neaten up the look.

    2A5C9FDD-130A-40C1-8549-89D05A843816.jpeg

    Neck pocket. I tried a small dab of nail polish remover on a cotton bud out of curiosity. It melted the top layer but did nothing to the lower, redder layer. I can’t find a picture of a ‘73 with factory finish in the neck pocket like this, and that looks like the correct screw holes for a painting stick. Hmmmm.... Two refins? The paint on the metal shim was flaking off so I removed the paint on that with a blade. No primer under the brown, and no earlier paint on the shim. The neck pocket gaps are in the wider range of modern tolerances, I’d say.

    F4344705-C85E-465E-A3C1-FB40E8321DD7.jpeg

    Those pickups sound AMAZING by the way. :D
     
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