Vintage Tele restoration - and a vote on colour

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WezVWezV Frets: 8385
edited July 14 in Making & Modding
@bgmartinsbridge came around with a nice old tele last week.   



It had original smuggler routes hiding under the guard, but oddly someone had filled them in with 4 blocks and refinished it in red.  This was actually done pretty well a long time ago... we think the finish is 80's

Theory 1 - they didn't know about smuggler routes and tried to put it back to "original" spec by filling them.
Theory 2 - It was the 80's.  Heavier was better

  Then further down the line it got hacked for a humbucker leaving this below the guard





I have re-routed the smuggler cavities and added a new middle section which gets us to where we are now.   Still needs a bit of tidying up, and final shaping, but most of the way there   

I was really happy as I was able to route just inside the lines and peel back the last 0.5mm to reveal the original walls of the smuggler cavities.   Although I still have a layer of resin on the bottom to work my way through





This leaves us with a dilemma.   The original finish will have been white/blonde.  you can see traces of it on the original cavity walls.   We are considering refinishing it in its original colour.

But the red re-fin is quite old in itself, and nicely aged... but not right for the year



So, What would you do?   Red or Blonde?




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Comments

  • guitars4youguitars4you Frets: 4019
    I'd go with the dirty faded 'blonde'
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  • miserneilmiserneil Frets: 4862
    A nice aged Blonde for me.
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  • WezVWezV Frets: 8385
    I'd go with the dirty faded 'blonde'
    well when you put it like that  ;)

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  • ZoolooterZoolooter Frets: 231
    Nice work, definitely blonde. What is the actual year as a matter of interest?
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  • WezVWezV Frets: 8385
    edited June 5
    Zoolooter said:
    Nice work, definitely blonde. What is the actual year as a matter of interest?
    67.  The smuggler routes were only used for a short period  in 67 before they started doing the full thinline
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  • SteveRobinsonSteveRobinson Frets: 1612
    Black is the best colour. But blond.
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  • bgmartinsbridgebgmartinsbridge Frets: 766
    Got to say, I'm in two minds...

    The current finish is a stunner but I think a vintage relic blonde could also be amazing - I'm totally on the fence.... 

    Heres some more pics in red... 
    https://imgur.com/gallery/VW2pH
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  • stevebrumstevebrum Frets: 3843
    Blonde gets my vote - I’m not a big fan of red guitars. Unless it’s a cherry red SG.
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  • punchesjudypunchesjudy Frets: 104
    I actually really like that as is.. 
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  • meltedbuzzboxmeltedbuzzbox Frets: 7110
    sonic blue :-D
    The Bigsby was the first successful design of what is now called a whammy bar or tremolo arm, although vibrato is the technically correct term for the musical effect it produces. In standard usage, tremolo is a rapid fluctuation of the volume of a note, while vibrato is a fluctuation in pitch. The origin of this nonstandard usage of the term by electric guitarists is attributed to Leo Fender, who also used the term “vibrato” to refer to what is really a tremolo effect.
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  • WezVWezV Frets: 8385
    I actually really like that as is.. 
    and you are not wrong.  It’s good natural ageing.

    i guess that’s what leads to our dilemma.  It’s not a choice between blonde and red.  It’s a choice between naturally aged wrong colour and artificially aged right colour.


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  • peteripeteri Frets: 729
    Naturally aged red - it will always be a refin, so let it wear the scars with pride
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  • poopotpoopot Frets: 997
    Blondes have more fun but red ones are always faster!....
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  • JD50JD50 Frets: 245
    edited June 5
    Leave as is, tells a story.
    Also looks great.

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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 31142
    peteri said:
    Naturally aged red - it will always be a refin, so let it wear the scars with pride
    This. Leave it as it is, it looks fine/great, and genuine wear is always better than fake.
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • axisusaxisus Frets: 10332
    I would 100% keep that as it is! Looks fabulous. It would be heartbreaking to lose all that mojo.

    Save that guitar!!!!!!
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  • punchesjudypunchesjudy Frets: 104
    WezV said:
    I actually really like that as is.. 
    and you are not wrong.  It’s good natural ageing.

    i guess that’s what leads to our dilemma.  It’s not a choice between blonde and red.  It’s a choice between naturally aged wrong colour and artificially aged right colour.


    Id keep as is. Looks great. 
    I'm not one to be bothered whether the colour is vintage correct or not though. 
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  • adampeteradampeter Frets: 114
    Blonde all day long
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  • crunchmancrunchman Frets: 3498
    Tele with rosewood board looks best in Lake Placid Blue.

    I've no particular preference on either of those colours.  Don't like that shade of red overmuch, but Blonde Teles are everywhere and I've got a bit fed up with them.  I'd prefer LPB, Black, Sunburst, CAR over either of them.
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  • JonathangusJonathangus Frets: 118
    So - late 60s, originally blonde, refinished red, impeccably aged.

    It's Gillian Anderson.

    Leave it.
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  • RockerRocker Frets: 2614
    peteri said:
    Naturally aged red - it will always be a refin, so let it wear the scars with pride
    I am in this camp.  This guitar has a history so why hide it?
    Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. [Albert Einstein]

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  • WezVWezV Frets: 8385
    So - late 60s, originally blonde, refinished red, impeccably aged.

    It's Gillian Anderson.

    Leave it.
    you make a strong argument
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  • WezVWezV Frets: 8385
    edited June 5
    Rocker said:
    peteri said:
    Naturally aged red - it will always be a refin, so let it wear the scars with pride
    I am in this camp.  This guitar has a history so why hide it?
    I like to understand the history of a guitar, i liked uncovering the previous work done to this one and speculating what the reason may have been.   I was also totally on board with removing some of its (Admittedly uglier) history to reinstate an original and rare feature it obviously had when it left the factory.

    So at this point we have already wiped out some of its history (fully documented along the way),  and started it on the next chapter.




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  • bgmartinsbridgebgmartinsbridge Frets: 766
    From my perspective it's been great to see the extra wood that was added, now removed. And the rare smugglers route now visible - that's a big piece of cool history opened back up.

    I know from the previous owner that the red refin was done around or prior to 1980.
    Following that it was gigged to hell and back around London and I've got some pics.


    Personally I'm a big Gillian Anderson fan but then you could get into a cuffs and collars argument... 
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  • andrewawardandrewaward Frets: 625
    blonde gets my vote
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  • munckeemunckee Frets: 1038
    Defo red, a) it looks great anyway and b) its already reliced.  I think teles look better in darker colours.  I maybe woiuldn't pick red it you had a blank bit of wood but I wouldn't strip that.
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  • rsvmarkrsvmark Frets: 543
    What's the story behind 'smuggler' - never heard of it before
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  • GuyRGuyR Frets: 120
    Great work so far, but I'd leave it as-is, with some carefully matched paint under the scratch plate. Every mid-60s tele you see is blonde and it will always be a refin, so custom colour gets my vote, particularly with all that lovely wear & fading.
    Refin with 30 years of honest wear or refin with simulated ageing; easy choice.
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  • richardhomerrichardhomer Frets: 18147
    rsvmark said:
    What's the story behind 'smuggler' - never heard of it before
    Weight relief - large chunks of wood were routed out beneath the pickguard.
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  • WezVWezV Frets: 8385
    rsvmark said:
    What's the story behind 'smuggler' - never heard of it before
    Just a silly name for the weight relief fender added under the guard in 67.

    The story goes that wood was getting heavier and this was the first attempt to do something about it.  It wasn’t considered that effective so stopped quite soon.  The thinline followed shortly after.

    However, its removed 6oz so far, which is more than I expected from the story above and should put the guitar about 8lb when done
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