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Restoration of my '78 Telecaster Deluxe

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by Piotr, Nov 24, 2020.

  1. Piotr

    Piotr Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Poland
    The Deluxe saga continues. As I've bought the guitar with much help from the forum, I owe you this topic. It may not be very advanced restoration work, but still...

    The guitar started like this:
    Not too shabby by any means, but:
    - the nut needed changing,
    - the frets needed work,
    - the neck pocket was an abomination,
    - only one WRHB pickup was original, with non-original cover though,
    - the pickguard and electronics were non-original, with 500k pots.

    As of today, I've already had my guitar tech correct the neck pocket to reduce the gap and ensure better stability. I'll replace the electronics myself and it will go back to the tech for a new bone nut and fretwork. What do I have at my disposal?

    1. Original neck and body with hardware.

    2. An original pickup with a replaced cover, measuring 9.90k (neck position), and a vintage WRHB I bought on Reverb, measuring 10.55k (bridge position). The one I bought is not in the best shape ever, but I hope it will work with no issues.

    3. An original pickguard from a '77 Deluxe. A bit tatty, but working. I bought it with an original switch and output jack, which were a nice bonus.

    4. Original electronics, which I found in the case with the guitar - alas, untested.

    Stay tuned for soldering updates :cool:
    And please, do keep your fingers crossed that the electronics and the vintage pickup work as they should.
     
    Mjea80, robinn, wblynch and 2 others like this.
  2. bluescaster72

    bluescaster72 Tele-Holic

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    Looks like a great project !! I know Tab Benoit favors those guitars Kinda hot pickups from the readings . Keep us updated ! Love that natural wood .
     
  3. Piotr

    Piotr Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    The pickups have a strong signal, but they do not definitely "sound" hot. I do roll back quite a bit of volume anyway.
     
  4. Piotr

    Piotr Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    The revamp of the electronics is finished! Miraculously, all the old electronics works. I had an intermittent problem with one of the volume pots, but a solid whack solved it. I left the unoriginal jack socket in, as I just couldn't be bothered to replace it.
    As you can see, I have a diverse selection of old and new screws and the pickguard has seen better days. I kind of like it! The unoriginal neck pickup cover seems out of place. Moreover, it was not soldered correctly, so it has some movement. But good luck finding a vintage replacement. There is one for sale on Reverb for more than $100. I'm not that crazy yet.
    The other pickup is fully original, but had two layers of heat shrink tubing on the lead, which I had to remove. It made the lead too stiff to use.
    The wiring itself took me many hours. I just couldn't figure it out. The original Fender Tele Deluxe wiring is slightly untypical, check out the original schematic. Lugs 1 and 2 on the tone pot are bridged, with the tone cap between lug 3 and ground. Volume pot is connected to lug 2 of the tone pot. However, for some reason, this just did not work for me. My volumes behaved strangely and the tone didn't work at all with that arrangement. I've moved the connection to lug 3 on the tone pot and it all started working correctly. Beats me.
    My multimeter came in handy A LOT. I've constantly rechecked ground for continuity. I've also checked the resistance on the output jack to make sure both pickups were connected correctly. Made my life much easier. I haven't had a single bad joint in the guitar after putting the pickguard on for testing. And believe me, putting the wired pickguard in is a major pain, you don't want to redo it too many times.
    Next phase should be correcting the nut and the frets, but I'm having so much fun playing that guitar that I can't take it to my guitar tech just yet.
     
    preactor likes this.
  5. Cesspit

    Cesspit Tele-Holic

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    Looks a beauty, keep going.
     
    Piotr likes this.
  6. preactor

    preactor Tele-Holic

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    gainesville, ga
    "Fun Playing" is what it is all about.
     
  7. Dana Rudd

    Dana Rudd Tele-Holic

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    Project is looking great. Enjoy the playing.
     
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