Friday, October 8, 2010

1955 Fender Esquire Telecaster and string ferrule hole restoration

This week in the shop we finished this beautiful 1955 Fender Esquire with 100% original parts down to every last screw. This is a wonderful guitar that is currently for sale:


Also we want to show you how we deal with Tele string ferrule holes. Often when a body is sanded the height changes on the ferrules and when we refinish the body, the ferrule holes fill with lacquer such that the ferrules don't seat flush with the body. We developed this tool to redrill the step in the ferrule hole so everything sits flush after the refin:

First we redrill the holes with the specially designed drill to stop depth

Here the holes are done. You can see the special copper guide on the step drill.

Finally the ferrules are pressed in flush with the body.

Friday, October 1, 2010

1965 Precision Bass Restoration and Refinish...update!

Simon's '65 P-Bass is done now and it came out great. Follow the restoration process with captions, including before shots, and the final steps in the Flickr Photo Set. Note that although the color looks a little greenish in the photo due to digital capture, it's true Sonic Blue.


Also, this week in the shop we finished the '55 Esquire body. The complete guitar that is 100% original except for the finish will be for sale after it cures and is reassembled.

And in process are the guitars you see below. L to R are '58 P-Bass, Olympic White, '64 P-Bass, Olympic White, '66 Tele, original black custom color restored, and another '66 Tele in blonde. The '58 and '64 P-Basses are customer instruments, the two '66 Teles will be for sale.


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

1956 Telecaster, 1968 Telecaster Bass, 1965 P-Bass Sonic Blue

This week in the shop we just finished the three guitars below, a 1956 Telecaster, a 1965 Clay Dot Jazz bass in lightly aged Olympic White, and a 1968 Telecaster bass with original finish. All great guitars, all for sale (check for sale section to see if still available):




And we are also restoring a 1965 Precision Bass for my friend Simon in the UK. It'll be Sonic Blue. Below you can see the color coat going on in the Fiesta Finishes spray booth. You can follow this project along with the Photo Set.


Friday, August 20, 2010

This Week 1956 DuoSonic, 1957 Telecaster by Fiesta Finishes

This week we completed two awesome guitars. The first is Arthur's 1956 Duosonic. This guitar is literally one of the very first Duosonics from mid 1956! It was originally Desert Sand but had been stripped to bare wood. The tuner holes had also been enlarged for modern tuners. We installed adapter bushings while Arthur sourced some period correct tuners. Then we applied a Desert Sand finish, preserving the original finish in all cavities. The pick guard assembly and all electronics, knobs, etc. are just as they came from Fender in 1956. Nothing has been touched, and the anodized pick guard is signed by "Mel." I wonder if that's Melvin or Melissa? See more photos here


Next we have a 1957 Telecaster. This guitar was in poor shape when we got it, having a bad finish on both neck and body, dead pickups, wrong tuners with drilled head stock, etc. We worked hard to bring it back to life but I never expected it to turn out to be such a cool guitar! It has a light, one piece Ash body, a pronounced V-Neck, and the rewound pickups sound simply amazing thanks to Tom Brantley at Lindy Fralin pickups! This is one of those guitars you just can't put down because it sounds so cool! I'm a big V-Neck fan so that makes it even more amazing to me personally. It really goes to show that with a little love, some good craftsmanship, and patience, a sorry old Fender can really come alive! I'd really like to keep this one, but alas, it's for sale. Check out more photos here


Monday, August 9, 2010

This Week, Melody Maker Restoration

Who says we only do Fenders? This week we completed Arthur's vintage 60's Gibson Melody Maker. It was in rough shape, so it received a complete Cherry Red restoration. Arthur and I agreed we didn't like the faded brown Cherry, and we didn't want it too bright red so it looked like a new guitar, so we found a happy medium. A nice, aged 'closet classic' Cherry Red. This guitar plays great, the neck feels like a Les Paul.


Friday, August 6, 2010

This Week, 1956 Fender DuoSonic, 1959 Stratocaster, 1958 Telecaster Fret Job

This week we have lots going on at Fiesta Finishes, restoring a Black '73 Strat body, a Desert Sand '56 DuoSonic, and a Sonic Blue '59 Strat.


And we now offer re fret jobs at Fiesta Finishes on your vintage Fender. Finding it frustrating to wait for local luthiers who can't seem to get them done on time and are not experts at Fender maple necks that often require finish work during a re fret, we've brought fret jobs in house. Here a Telecaster neck gets new vintage style frets.


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

1952 Fender Telecaster, 1953 Precision Bass, Fiesta Finishes

This week at Fiesta Finishes we completed the restoration on two Black Guard Fenders, see pics below. Feel free to inquire if you are interested in either of these rare vintage instruments. Both are spectacular pieces. For more info, click the links below:

1952 Telecaster

1953 Precision Bass



Monday, July 12, 2010

This Week at Fiesta Finishes

This week we finish Tommie Chick's Custom Stratocaster and send it off to him. He'll be thrilled, this is a great guitar! Learn more about
Tommie Chick's Strat.


We also have a new member on the Fiesta Finishes team. This heavy duty Mill Drill will enable us to do body repairs, fix humbucker routes, etc. with more accuracy and efficiency. Can't wait to get it into the work flow!


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Tommie Chick's 1954, 1959, 1969, Custom Stratocaster


Tommie Chick (Chick is a nickname coming from his Italian surname) saw one of my '59 style Fender 3 tone sunburst finishes and approached me about doing one for him. Once I explained it's best to fit the parts before the finish is applied, we decided he'd ship me all the parts and I'd put it together for him. Tommie came up with the spec after we decided on a one piece Ash body. He selected a Clapton neck, Callaham hardware, and Abigail Ybarra '69 Strat custom pickups loaded on a single ply white guard. Follow along as the Strat goes together on the Flickr Photo Set.

Monday, June 7, 2010

1953 Vintage Fender Precision Bass Restoration Refinish


This week in the shop we have a '53 Fender Precision Bass. The P-Bass came out in 1951 and revolutionized the music industry. This bass is # 08XX, so it was one of the very first made. It was restored in 1957, when it was given a two color sunburst finish and a white guard, which was the new style P-Bass finish of the day. Then goofed with probably in the 70's with a brushed on "natural" finish (ouch). Currently we are bringing it back to original specs. The butterscotch blonde finish is being applied though the florescent lamp in the paint booth makes it look a bit green! And it will receive the proper black guard. The bass will be offered for sale in a few weeks once everything is done and the lacquer is cured. Feel free to inquire about details if interested.

Friday, June 4, 2010

1963 Vintage Fender Telecaster Humbucker Route Repair


This week in the shop we are working on a 1963 Telecaster, fixing the humbucker route and restoring to original Fender Telecaster route. Fortunately, the owner kept the original neck pickup, and this will be installed. See photos and descriptions here.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

1959 Fender Telcaster Restoration, Nice!


We just completed this 1959 Fender Telecaster. This is an early "slab board" neck model. Although the bridge pickup has been replaced, it has so many other things going for it. The finish is amazing and the original pick guard has an unbelievable patina. The neck is rock solid and plays great, and the guitar sounds wonderful.

View more photos here and click on "All Sizes" above the images to see a larger size.

Monday, May 17, 2010

1959 Fender Stratocaster Style Body 'Faded '59'

This new body mimics the look of a faded 1959 Vintage Fender Stratocaster. It features a very deep tobacco brown outer, a faded and receded red burst, and an amber center. This is an Ash body so it combines the best attributes of the '54-'55 Ash Strats with the beauty of the faded '59 3-tone burst. At Fiesta Finishes, we can do any degree of fading that the customer desires. From a bright red NOS look, to an extremely faded, almost two-tone look.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Fiesta Finishes Shop Notes, week of May 10, 2010

Pictured above are three jobs in the shop this week. A Dakota Red '62 Precision Bass (restoring original custom color), a 1959 Telecaster, and a '71 Precision Bass. The '62 P-Bass and the Tele will be for sale next week, while the '71 P-Bass belongs to a customer.


This is customer Geoffrey's beautiful figured Ash Stratocaster body. Geoffrey had a vision for a 3-color tobacco burst. So we took our "Faded 1959 Stratocaster" look and took almost all of the red out of the burst. These colors, along with the great wood make a striking combination. The body is also very light, well under 4 lbs. with finish. It's great to help a customer realize his/her vision.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

1957 Fender Telecaster Refinish and Restoration


This '57 Tele has to be one of my all time favorite guitars. Wish I could have kept it. It came into the shop as you see it on the left of the photo. I picked it up and it almost flew out of my hand it was so light. I put it on the scale as you see it without strings, pick guard or knobs, and it weighed 5.8 lbs! I started doing the math in my head to determine that if, with the new finish, and correct parts installed, it could be the first sub 6 pound Tele I'd ever seen. It was close, at 6.04 lbs. complete as you see it on the right hand photo.

The Tele was purchased in 1957 and played steadily through the early sixties. Some time around 1962 the original owner refinished in in the blue green color you see here. In 1968 he sold to the second owner, who played it a bit, then decided to refinish it. He started sanding (the back of the guitar was almost bare wood), and then halted the project sometime around 1970. The guitar sat in a closet since then before we brought it back to life at Fiesta Finishes with our restoration effort.

We removed the rest of the finish from the body, then carefully sanded as to retain original contours. We then applied a thin skin Nitro Lacquer late 50's style finish. We then sourced an original '57 pick guard and period correct knobs.

We did some light relic work on this guitar. The lower bout had some arm wear on the wood. Rather than filling we elected to relic this area and also create some chips on the finish where they were originally. Overall the look was perfect as it matched the condition of the neck and other hardware.

This is truly one of the finest Fender guitars I have ever had the chance to work on. It has a nice big boat V-Neck, perfectly straight, and the light weight and resonant tone of the body is just amazing. See more photos of this great guitar here:

1957 Telecaster

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A typical day in the shop at Fiesta Finishes


Lots of bodies in the shop this week for finishing. Hanging: Surf Green '73 Precision Bass, '72 Telecaster Blonde, '73 Precision Bass Olympic White. On bench: '57 Telecaster Blonde, '57 Stratocaster two color Sunburst, in Paint Booth: '66 Precision Bass, Candy Apple Red. All bodies were in pristine condition except for the Oly White P-Bass which required a repair for an extra bridge pickup route and an enlarged control panel route.