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Verifying a vintage Tele

Discussion in 'Vintage Tele Discussion Forum (pre-1974)' started by Guitarzan56, Feb 25, 2015.

  1. kingbee1

    kingbee1 TDPRI Member

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    Late '68 w/transition logo is a rare bird. Every bound maple cap tele that I've seen with the "F" tuners have the later black decal.
    The guitar's finish is nitro, no doubt.
    It's totally right and has '66-'67 appointments (the tuners -and neck date- are the only thing that shouts out '68 on this for me.)
    Good find. I would be curious for what that sold for....
    My appraisal on it would be $7000 plus...not many transition logo maple cap custom teles out there. Rare.

    Here's my August '66 maple cap bound tele w/transition logo. Same guitar except my tuners are klusons.
    [​IMG]
     
  2. MichaelAa

    MichaelAa Tele-Holic

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    Good to hear that the tele has found a good home, and thanks for sharing the pics. It sure looked killer :)
     
  3. kingbee1

    kingbee1 TDPRI Member

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    If that guitar sold for under $6000, I would buy 20 of them :). Glad it worked out.
     
  4. Guitarzan56

    Guitarzan56 TDPRI Member

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    Cleaning it

    So the guy who ended up with it is considering giving it a good cleaning. I was hoping to get sore advice or maybe a consensus as to cleaning a vintage instrument like this one.

    Just how aggressive can he go with it. He knows of course not use any harsh solvents or chemicals on it but can he polish the hardware to as good as it will get, not using anything more abrasive than say, buffing compound or jeweler's rouge? And what about carefully masking off all of the frets and polishing those too? He wants to get the Shmutz off of the entire finish, but nothing more, leaving of course the finish checking and other wear from age.

    The idea is to remove the dried beer, whiskey, sweat, and nicotine from the finish. Nothing more, No buffing or anything like that

    I know that with almost anything antique, it's a definite no-no to clean it up. The antique community wants that "patina" at all costs. With coin collectors, I know it ruins the value of a coin if it's been cleaned in any way.

    With something like a guitar tho, (and this one was a 1-owner unit), if it had been mine, I'd have been keeping up with the cleaning and hardware polishing right from the start and all the way thru to the present. So It wouldn't be a question of "should I clean it?" because it would already be BE clean.

    I don't know if you guys are familiar with a metal polish called Flitz, but that's what I use on my guitars for metal polishing. It has no abrasives in it and completely non-destructive but a tiny bit on a soft cloth can make any metal gleam. When I re-leveled the frets on my Les Paul, i used progressively finer abrasives on the fret wires, and finally Flitz, to put a mirror-like finish on them. It not only looked good, but as you might imagine, with almost zero friction resistance with the strings, bending notes is like butter, and the strings last forever. I'm NOT saying that the '68 Tele frets should be polished to mirror finish. In fact, I think it would look weird against all of that good honest play wear evident on the maple fret board.

    So again, my question is, should he clean it at all, beyond just using a damp rag to remove the obvious filth?

    it is my instinct, that the cleaning/polishing of a musical instrument is something that starts the day you bring it home and then you keep up with it from that point forward. I'm not talking about trying to garf with the checking in the finish from age, or the gouges from the way it was cased and carried.
    None of the chrome is pitted so the tuners and bridge plate could be polished to look really great. The saddles and springs are filthy too but not rusted so the whole bridge assembly could be made to look really great. So what do you guys think? I value the replies I get here and as always, it's please and thank you (in advance) for your efforts.
     
  5. bender66

    bender66 Poster Extraordinaire

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    If it were mine, I'd polish the frets only, maybe a good wipe off, but that's about it. It's his to do as he pleases. If he wants it to look better, that's on him.
     
  6. Antoon

    Antoon Tele-Afflicted

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    Yes only polish the frets, using tape between the frets to protect the fingerboard. Leave the rest as is. If it were a Strat I might consider cleaning the bridge saddles and height screws (by putting them in caustic soda) but a Tele bridge never needs that.
     
  7. Nick Fanis

    Nick Fanis Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    This is a late 66-67 and it is nitro.
     
  8. kingbee1

    kingbee1 TDPRI Member

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    Yes it appears to be but he mentioned that the neck was dated late '68 and the guitar has "F" tuners, not klusons. I have never seen a transition logo maple cap custom tele w/"F" tuners. Most have later black logo.
     
  9. Guitarzan56

    Guitarzan56 TDPRI Member

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    Yes, the neck heel is dated 30 OCT 68B
    I know the source of this thing and am positive it was a 1-owner guitar bought brand new back in the day. So is it possible that the body could have been a "late '66-'67 nitro" that sat around 'til '68, and than was mated with the neck?
    From what I've heard about the way they did things at Fender in Leo's day, I wouldn't think so. This is 2 years into the CBS era tho. Almost 3 years in fact.
    CBS took over in Jan '66 right? So late Oct '68 is 2 years and almost 11 months into the CBS era. So could the transition possibly have caused a change in the way things were being done, thereby letting a "late'66-'67 nitro" body sit someplace for close to 3 years before being completed? IDK. Purely conjecture on my part. What I know to be facts:
    1- owner purchased new and never left his possession 'til now
    30 OCT 68B neck date
    17th week of '66 Stackpole pots
    Those are facts.
    I truly believe, based on condition of the screw slots, other physical evidence, and gut feeling that I was the first one to remove the control plate and neck since it left the factory. The original owner never said anything about it ever going in for any kind of work. Only that he had it since he bought it brand new.
     
  10. kingbee1

    kingbee1 TDPRI Member

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    Yes. Don't get me wrong, I believe the guitar is 100% original. Very cool. Just because I've never seen one before doesn't mean it doesn't exist. I really liked it and I definitely would have purchased it had it become available. Great find.
     
  11. Guitarzan56

    Guitarzan56 TDPRI Member

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    I'm not saying I don't believe anyone or that anyone doesn't believe me and I really do respect and value the opinions of you guys. The bulk of member on this bb know WAAAYYYY more than I ever will about these things. I'm just making sure you guys have the facts as I know them since they can get muddled when a thread gets this long. Anyway, for all intents and purposes, it is what I stated it is to the guy who bought it so that part of the thread is history.

    I really should have, and maybe will start a new topic "Cleaning a vintage Fender guitar"

    Thanks again to all who contributed. You guys are great.:D
     
  12. Guitarzan56

    Guitarzan56 TDPRI Member

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    The guy cleaned it. I helped him. We worked on it for a solid 2 1/2 hours not counting the time he'd already put into the case. It looks great. We got all the shmutz off without changing the character one bit. It looks fantastic. Upon lifting the neck pu out of its routwe noticed "S B" penciled in the bottom of the rout under the nitro and wondered if anyone on seeing this thread might have any information on who S.B. might be? Assuming that those are initials of course. Please and thanks as always fellas.
     
  13. Antoon

    Antoon Tele-Afflicted

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    It probably means "Sun Burst" I would say.
     
  14. Guitarzan56

    Guitarzan56 TDPRI Member

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    I was hoping some old Fender employee was gonna say "oh yeah! that was Schmendle Burgermeister, the famous guy who did this and that. It add $10K in value".
    :)
     
  15. Antoon

    Antoon Tele-Afflicted

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    :)
     
  16. unixfish

    unixfish Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Oh my is that beautiful.
     
  17. Guitarzan56

    Guitarzan56 TDPRI Member

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    Hi guys!
    Hey, I s'pose you guys all know this already, but I didn't. I was researching something else altogether when I found out something about the neck heel date that I never knew. As you may remember, the date was 30OCT68B. Well the "B" part of that had me curious but I guess not curious enough to ask about it. Anyway, I stumbled across this:
    http://www2.fender.com/support/articles/guitar-neck-shape-v-c-u/
    Which means that the "B" of 30OCT68B means it has a 1-5/8" nut.
    Just FYI for those who didn't already know it.
     
  18. Major Gruber

    Major Gruber Tele-Afflicted

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    Actually, CBS took over on January 65.

    Just a comment concerning the neck base stamp. I'd be surprised if it'd be "30". It more certainly should be "3" as it's the ref of the Telecaster model neck they stamp, not the day of the month. Sometimes they're stamped twice because first attempt didn't had enough ink, so it's possible to have the impression there's a zero after the 3 if the second attempt was stamped exaclty at the same place, but 30 should only be "just an illusion", the correct number being 3. A picture would be very interesting.
     
  19. Guitarzan56

    Guitarzan56 TDPRI Member

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    30OCT68B as clear as daylight. Sorry but you're off the mark on that one. I will dig up the pictures for you. No mistake no ****.
     
  20. Major Gruber

    Major Gruber Tele-Afflicted

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    Neck stamps

    That's really not normal. Here's a series of 68 markings out of my visual collection (more or less half of them for 68). The 3 at the beginning of the stamp isn't always at the same distance of the month because it's made out of a different stamp, as you can see, the type face is different. In 69, starts a different stamping, like the last one of this series (but it'll be always mixed with those regular model/month/year/neck size). I checked 67 too, there doesn't seem to be exceptions to this type of stamp. So Telecaster model is 3, then comes the month. I'd be very curious to see yours, it must come from some kind of mistake maybe…
     

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