Radical Telecaster Modification-HELP NEEDED

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by gungnir, Jun 17, 2017.

  1. gungnir

    gungnir TDPRI Member

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    ok, so i bought a wonderful telecaster very cheap, but when i got to get its pickguard off, i saw how awfully the neck humbucker cavity was routed.
    all the dents are made by the former owner by hanging the body by the back of the car and driving with it getting scratched by the road.
    the front is relaquered with wood laquer(the type for fences), bought from local store.
    i want to give a complete modification, reroute the neck cavity and also route another one for a middle pickup(an usual tele neck pup) and also relacquer all the body with another layer,for protection(now, in all the dents there is bare wood)
    neck is good, electronics is good, hardware is good... 20170617_233618.jpg IMG_20170326_210904_402.jpg 20170617_233352.jpg 20170617_233335.jpg 20170617_233326.jpg need your help with the body.
    any suggestion how i could start? i never really did any major modification on guitars, this would be my first project.
    i have all the tools that i might need in my father's shed sooo...fire your ideas about this project!
     
  2. dsutton24

    dsutton24 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Whoa... That's kind of impressive in a strange way!

    Does your dad have a router in his collection of tools? I'd route a 'bathtub' cavity to clean up that cavity. There are lots of threads here detailing the use of a router and templates to route cavities. Poke around and see what appeals to you.

    As for the finish, I don't think I'd try anything aggressive... erm... well... more aggressive than has already been done to it. I might be inclined to remove what's left of the black paint and just give it a clear lacquer finish. You'll never fix all that damage without removing a lot of wood.

    It really is a great beginner project. You can experiment with tools, techniques and finishes. If it all goes wrong, you're not out a lot of money, and you're not experimenting with a guitar that you need to use next Friday night or that has sentimental value.
     
  3. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I would rout out a rectangle out of that and glue in a new plug with similar species wood. It looks like alder. Then I'd remake the routs you don't care for using a template and a pattern bit. If you go from neck to bridge pickup, you can get away with only two new glue lines running parallel to each other.
     
  4. R. Stratenstein

    R. Stratenstein Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Got to wonder if some of that neck pickup route mayhem was due to being dragged behind a car. Must have been a very naughty Tele to earn that kind of abuse.


    I'd try some stripper on the whole thing, then, hopefully Dad has a random orbital sander you can get rid of the black and some of the crappy finish. I like the look of the front, natural, so my advice would be to get several rattlecans of Minwax clear gloss lacquer and give her a new coat.

    I like the fake tort pickguard with the natural wood, and it looks to be a good fit at the neck--why do you want to re-route the neck cavity?

    As for a middle pickup, I'd carefully lay it out on the pickguard, cut it out, transfer the outline to the body underneath, then route it out. There are several switch choices that will fit the existing slot, that's what I would do.
     
  5. john_cribbin

    john_cribbin Tele-Afflicted

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    Think they made a film of that mod, Driller Killer ....
     
  6. mikeyb

    mikeyb Tele-Meister

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    You should really fix that because Superman might look through the pickguard and have a laugh at your expense.
     
  7. Mr. Lumbergh

    Mr. Lumbergh Poster Extraordinaire

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    Ouch, that is a wreck. I agree on re-routing the cavity and adding a plug to clean it up. Another option would be to make a smooth swimming pool rout for the neck and mid, since adding a mid is direction you said you wanted to go.
     
  8. Davecam48

    Davecam48 Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    I think he may have been referring to the neck "pickup" cavity Rick!

    DC
     
  9. mudimba

    mudimba Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

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  10. TRexF16

    TRexF16 Friend of Leo's Vendor Member

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    Good point earlier that the neck pickup rout is kind of like having a hole in your underwear - you know it's there but nobody else does.
    It's a pretty good bet you won't make it any worse if you have a go at cleaning it up.

    There is a whole lot you could do to that damaged back if you cared to put in some work, like setting up a routing sled and taking off a couple mm, then gluing on a new back from some nicer looking wood, and so forth.

    Good luck,
    Rex
     
  11. S00NERMAN

    S00NERMAN Tele-Meister

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    Strip it, sand it, fix it, and for God's sake paint it!
     
  12. metecem

    metecem Friend of Leo's

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    And where is the radical part?
     
  13. Macrogats

    Macrogats Friend of Leo's

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    Hmmm.....I was wondering this as well. Strip, sand back as much as possible, fill all the nicks and unruly scratches, then paint it. This would also work in well with putting in a plug after cleaning up that pup mess and starting again.

    Erm, this is in reference to what S00NERMAN said.
     
  14. JORear

    JORear Tele-Meister

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    Use a heat gun and putty knife to strip the black off the body. Then sand with up to 220 grit. Use Minwax pre stain on the body. Then stain the body to a color of your liking. Use Minwax wipe on poly for your clear coat. Wet sand after each coating of clear and then let dry. I did 2 coats a night for 3 nights and let dry for 2 days after the 6th coat. Do a wet sand at 1200 grit. I found some 0000 wire pad to do the final sanding. Then you can buff it with a wax. 20170513_225232.jpg 20170605_165122.jpg
     
  15. gtrjunior

    gtrjunior Tele-Holic

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    This is what I was thinking as well. That said, I know nothing about building guitars.
     
  16. fenderchamp

    fenderchamp Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    I gotta say. I'd just slap it back together and play it
     
    mikeyb and 2blue2 like this.
  17. epizootics

    epizootics Tele-Meister

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    Believe it or not, we Europeans see this sort of stuff quite often! I know at least two people over here in France who attached their guitar to the back of their car with rope and drove it around for a few miles. There seems to be an idea that this is a cool thing to do to an instrument, extra rock'n'roll kudos to the process. Don't ask me why. The Old Continent's decadence, aha.
     
  18. trouserpress

    trouserpress Tele-Holic

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    It actually looks quite nice from behind. Nevertheless I'd repaint it maybe fiesta red over white or in the creative way George Harrison did a couple of times.

    As for the cavity: There's nothing uglier than a swimming pool. Let it look like a speech bubble pointing to the control cavity. Make a smaller speech bubble for your middle pickup. Or make it car or heart shaped.

    Leave routers in the hands of guys who know how to operate them. Get some chisels to shape the walls/sides and the rough spots of the bottom: Two with straigt blades (narrow / wide) and one or two with (a) rounded blade(s) and take your time.

    To fine-plane the bottom take a variety of small blocks (toy blocks) and stick some very rough sandpaper (40s) to them.

    This way your guitar will be unique and nice and with the absence of strange gorges reaching into the upper frets.
     
  19. gungnir

    gungnir TDPRI Member

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    Thanks to all of you for the advice!
    Tomorrow I am going to strip all the guitar so I can apply some grain filler.
    Which do you think is the proper way to remove everything, with an orbital sander from the beginning or with a heat gun, followed by orbital sander? I gotta borrow the heat gun if in need, I was wondering if the orbital sander could do the job from the beginning without affecting the wood.
     
  20. JORear

    JORear Tele-Meister

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    Be patient, stripping it will be difficult because of the damage to the body. You might have to do both, sand and use a heat gun. If you leave the heat gun in one area too long, you will burn the wood. I did these around the neck of my body. It was a mistake, but looks cool. Good luck and have fun.
     
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