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Vintage Telecaster Body Route Repair: Do it? - Don't Do it?

Discussion in 'Vintage Tele Discussion Forum (pre-1974)' started by Luke1026, Mar 24, 2021.

  1. Luke1026

    Luke1026 Tele-Meister

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    Very nice collection of vintage Telecasters!

    Sign me up for "The Pool Club"!
     
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  2. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    She looks just as hot to me with the rout, but that bridge is uuuuuuugly!
     
  3. bluenote23

    bluenote23 Tele-Meister

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    Yeah, about the only parts that are still original on this is the wood but she sounds so fantastic, it must be magic!
     
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  4. Luke1026

    Luke1026 Tele-Meister

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    Is that a G&L ASAT bridge? It looks like the same one on my Classic Semi-Hollow.
     
  5. bluenote23

    bluenote23 Tele-Meister

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    I don't think so. It was on the guitar in 1990 and I don't think G&L was around then. It's a Fender bridge (at least it's stamped 'fender' on the plate).
     
  6. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I've done a good amount of resto work on this sort of abomination, and I think this I would leave as is, though certainly not before some hand wringing over the hard decision.

    Figure that to put in a patch, almost every tech or luthier will first take out even more of the original wood than was already removed.
    So to make it more original you first make it less original.
    Given the common love for a neck HB in a vintage Tele, any hope for a value increase gained by routing out even more of the original wood and gluing in a block, may result in a buyer willing to pay more if you hadn't had it "fixed", than the would because you DID get it fixed.

    I've seen repair techs post proud pics or videos of their repair of butchery like this, and often really cringe at how much more wood they remove.
    The more skilled the repair guy, the more they want to make all the joints nice and tight, including the end grain joints which are just terrible woodworking. Some rout deeper to eliminate all the splintering, and lose the bit of paint in the original routs, because: joinery!

    A good "woodworking" repair should remove the whole middle from strap button to neck pocket.
    That actually preserves the structural integrity, and ensures natural body resonance.

    Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

    Leave it.
     
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  7. Luke1026

    Luke1026 Tele-Meister

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    Now that you mention it, it looks like it has saddles like my Mustang - the grooved ones.

    Edit: update content
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2021
  8. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Classic '70s Fender hammer saddle bridge.
    There were also reissues and it's hard to tell vintage from RI.
     
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  9. DrASATele

    DrASATele Poster Extraordinaire

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    G&L was founded in 1979.
     
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  10. Antoon

    Antoon Tele-Afflicted

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    Luke, do you have an old pickguard for it? 1960s Tele pickguards that have been cut for a HB are usually very cheap because they never fit another Tele with a HB. But if the body routing is swimming pool style, like yours, you can probably make any of those routed pickguards work on you guitar.
     
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  11. Wharfcreek

    Wharfcreek Tele-Meister

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    Luke, I think the key to this whole question lies in the simple fact that, as you stated, you don't know what it sounded like BEFORE the chop-job was done. There is also the issue of the fact that all this is purely subjective in nature. To apply the 'better/worse' value judgement is really a simple matter of one's personal preferance. That said, this really becomes a simple case of 'What do YOU want to do?' In my experience the 'damage' (if any) is already done. A repair still renders the body as a 'repaired' body. So, from a 'value' standpoint, it's not going to command the same value as an authentic body that has NOT been molested. The 'fix' is really a question of: Is it broken? The answer to that is clearly 'NO!' The body is still in one piece and any visual detriments are completely obscured from view by the pickguard. I think it's also doubtful that any significant body strength has been lost such that the guitar is in jeopardy of 'breaking in two'. Let's face it, the factory sells 'em with body cavity routes that are 'similar' in nature, albeit clearly a design and manufacturing 'stock' item. But, those bodys don't break in two, and I don't think yours will either. So all this really just boils down to you're own ability to sleep with it each night. Consider some 'temporary' trial fillers: You can plug a wad of butyl into the cavity and play the guitar and see how it sounds? Or, you can line the cavity with saran wrap and pour plaster into the cavity. Both will 'fill' the hole and give you the ability see what affect, if any, you can hear by altering it's current status. And, both are easily 'reverseable' putting back to where you are now without altering it's present state. By the way, use the saran wrap when plugging with a butyl wad too. I'm willing to bet that in the end, you'll hear very little if any difference. And, I think you'll find that the cost of routing the hole to intall a block to re-route will not be a 'cost-effective' move, nor will it have any sonic advantages. That really falls into the 'I can sleep better now' category...... which I completely understand and am quite guilty of having issues with as well. I obsess over anything and everything. BUT, I'm 'learning'! I'm now able to look at what it was that I bought something for in the condition it was in, and either like it for that, or if not, pass it on. That skill is saving me a LOT of money, time, and frustration!! Maybe consider adopting that philosophy too? FWIW....... Tom D.
     
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  12. bluenote23

    bluenote23 Tele-Meister

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    My bad, I should have known this. I have old Guitar Player mags from the 80s with G&L ads in them. Thanks.
     
  13. Sax-son

    Sax-son Tele-Holic

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    Play it and have fun. There is nothing to worry about. No one will ever know the difference unless you tell them.
     
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  14. FenderScott

    FenderScott TDPRI Member

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    I used to own that Tele. (I was not the butcher lol) It is still pictured in my Avatar actually. I liked it. Had a nice neck and played great. I would not fill it, nobody but you will even know it's there.

    I never could figure out the tan lines under the guard though.
     
  15. PJ55

    PJ55 Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    AEA67C30-2A04-4D65-A27F-42A15EA6B910.jpeg If the guitar has vintage value, I would do it. My local luthier does that kind of thing and I’ve seen some beautiful reconditioned old Fenders, some with rout-fixes done to perfection. If it were my old Tele, I’d have had it done, when I had the neck reconditioned.
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2021
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  16. Luke1026

    Luke1026 Tele-Meister

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    Wow! What a coincidence! I'm glad to know of one of the previous owners.
     
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  17. Luke1026

    Luke1026 Tele-Meister

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    Thanks Tom, I appreciate your comments!
     
  18. Sax-son

    Sax-son Tele-Holic

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    We kind of have to figure out what we are doing here. If the task at hand is purely to enhance the monetary value of the guitar or to hopefully improve the playability? If it is the latter, I say just leave it alone. That small little trough routing isn't going to harm a thing. If for the former, I would say that even if it were repaired by a top notch repairman, it is still a repaired guitar. I think any work done will be negligible to the monetary value as these collectors try to grind you down for any little deviation from its original condition. I have been down that road before and it is one PITA.
     
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  19. Sax-son

    Sax-son Tele-Holic

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    I will just say one more thing on this topic and leave it a that. If that were my guitar, I would be playing and enjoying every moment of it. I wouldn't be concerned for a second. I could care less what is going on under that pickguard unless the pickup quits working.
     
  20. Luke1026

    Luke1026 Tele-Meister

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    I don't have a 60's pickguard other than the original. I hadn't even thought about looking for one that was cutout for an HB. Thanks for the idea.
     
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