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

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