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Thinking of refinishing my MIA Standard - anyone else done the same?

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by joelisaac, Jan 19, 2021.

  1. joelisaac

    joelisaac TDPRI Member

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    I have a 2008 American Standard Tele in crimson red with a maple neck. 13 years ago, it was the coolest colour to me when picking a Tele. Fast forward to 2021 and I am starting to seriously consider having it refinished professionally in blonde.

    Has anyone here done a similar thing? (getting your tele refinished professionally because you fancy a colour change). I am based in the UK and have read some good things about local nitro finishers.

    Just looking for people's experiences, regrets, do's and don'ts etc.

    I did almost snab a blonde American Special tele yesterday on reverb for £550, but was picked to the post at £600 (this may be the route I eventually go down).

    Cheers,

    Joel
     
  2. capgun

    capgun Tele-Meister

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    I’d just buy a new body in the color you want. Even if it’s a pro job and perfect, you devalue because it’s no longer original. May not matter to you but it does to some. I also think it would be cheaper to just get a new body. Sell that one after and offset the cost or hold onto it for when you change your mind.

    Capgun
     
  3. 3-Chord-Genius

    3-Chord-Genius Poster Extraordinaire

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    I "refinished" an MIA strat when I was in my 20's. I took a drill with a sanding wheel attached and took it down to the wood - I was not careful at all, and the wood was all wrecked from me applying uneven pressure on the sander. I recall going through tough polyurethane, then the black paint, then some pink primer, then the wood.

    Long story short, I destroyed that guitar. I took wood stain from Kmart and rubbed it on the wood with paper towels. I totally regret this. I don't have the guitar anymore; I traded it in toward something else at a music store and barely got $200 for the trade. They told me I wrecked the guitar.
     
  4. PCollen

    PCollen Friend of Leo's

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    I bought a used black 89 Strat Plus around 2005. I don't like black guitars, so I sold the body on Ebay for $150 and bought a used Oly White 2001 Am Std Strat body for $175. Nice, hassle-free and non-labor intensive swap. It would be nice if prices were not 2x now.
     
  5. Despres

    Despres Tele-Holic

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    Yes, I would definitely just buy a different body - you can buy a raw one and have it finished however you want if you can't find one in the exact color you want, but stripping Poly is a pain in the arse.

    I have a MIJ Jerry Donahue signature that someone had spray-painted flat black over the sunburst. I stripped it with a heat gun and refinished natural. It came out 'OK'. I would have tried to salvage the sunburst if I had known it was there, rather than taking all the finish off. The amount of time spent stripping, sanding and otherwise definitely wasn't worth the cost of a guitar body.

    Plus if you buy a guitar body, you'll have a spare guitar body, which will sooner or later end up with a neck and pickups, and voila! two guitars!
     
    WingedWords likes this.
  6. WingedWords

    WingedWords Friend of Leo's

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    Sounds like you have local resources available, but I use Jon at Rexter Guitars in Norwich.
    https://rexterguitars.co.uk
    Here's a recent sample he did for rze99 who put me on to Jon's work.

    https://www.tdpri.com/threads/ngd-6...nitro-doublebound-and-rosewood-build.1060400/

    And this was based on a body he built for me

    20200205_105452.jpg

    The cat wasn't impressed, but I was.

    Jon will strip an existing body, but I'd certainly support the idea of starting from a new body, which he can also make for you. As Despres said, it gives you a start on another build. My latest build is starting from a bridge left over from the build before that which started from a spare neck plate and a strap button. It's so good to be able to put hand on heart and tell significant other "Well I had a lot of the parts already..."
     
  7. joelisaac

    joelisaac TDPRI Member

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    All,

    Thanks so much for all your replies. As much as I winced reading people's attempts of refinishing themselves - I would only have been interested in going down WingedWords' route, that of getting it refinished professionally.

    The resounding answer seems to be don't do it! I have been super interested in building something myself over the years, but have never quite got round to it. This looks like the perfect opportunity.

    What are people's favourite UK based parts places?
     
  8. Asmith

    Asmith Friend of Leo's

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    If you're looking to build a partscaster using stuff just from the UK I would buy an allparts or a mexican fender neck. I'd probably buy a used body off eBay, not sure I'd have anywhere specific in mind for hardware it would depend on what I'm after.

    If you want something more customised guitarbuild is the only company I can think of.
     
    WingedWords likes this.
  9. WingedWords

    WingedWords Friend of Leo's

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    Apart from the thinline body Jon built, I've used Guitarbuild for bodies and always been happy. I've used Allparts for necks, again happily, and a couple of MiM necks. Hardware from Axecaster and Axesrus and various other bits from James' Home of Tone, including McNelly pickups on 4 builds so far and some of James' wiring harnesses which are beautifully done.
    https://www.homeoftone.co.uk
    This is a Jazzmaster wiring harness he did for me:

    IMG_0735.JPG.jpg
     
  10. mojek

    mojek Tele-Meister

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    Agree, best solution;) It will be always cheaper to sell it and buy original professionally made Fender body, and it will look amazing new. Professionally made re-paint job will be expensive, if done properly.
     
  11. Wrighty

    Wrighty Friend of Leo's

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    You’ve then devalued it by making it a partcaster. Also, I think to ‘just buy a new body’ is not quite as easy for us on this side of the pond.
     
  12. Minivan Megafun

    Minivan Megafun Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

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    [​IMG]
     
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  13. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    Hey Joel.

    Listen, the wood underneath that Crimson is not going to be photogenic and it could be alder, and not ash.

    Blonde finishes that please the eye are applied over select ash bodies, and the result is not opaque - even if it isn't transparent.

    So, even if you could make a case that pro refinishing was good value for money, your guy would need to start with a different body - not the one you have. So, you may as well go with the flow and buy a Blonde ash Fender body of a compatible or like model.
     
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  14. Minivan Megafun

    Minivan Megafun Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

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    CRT was over ash on the American Standards. I've got one. It's one of the most stunning finishes Fender has.
     
  15. Fenderdad1950

    Fenderdad1950 Tele-Afflicted

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    Walmoth sells some incredible bodies that are stunning. Wide ranges in types of wood, finishes, tops, chambered bodies available.:D
     
  16. Coloradotwanger

    Coloradotwanger Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    I have a black 2004 Fender MIA jazz bass i bought some time ago.It has some small chips and dings from the previous owner.I would like to have it refinished in nitro vintage white/butter cream.I hear getting the thick poly paint off is a chore though?Does anybody know if using a heat gun REALLY works for removing the poly paint?
     
  17. Recce

    Recce Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Buying a blonde Telecaster is a much better idea.
     
  18. capgun

    capgun Tele-Meister

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    If he keeps his original body he can always put it back together. Either way, a body in original finish will still be worth more to some than a partscaster.

    Capgun
     
  19. Wrighty

    Wrighty Friend of Leo's

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    See what you mean
     
  20. aleski

    aleski Tele-Meister

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    Yes. My AVRI '52 Telecaster has been refinished, by a professional, from butterscotch blonde to "thin-skin" black (in nitrocellulose lacquer). No regrets.
     
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