Dating a fender telecaster body, dating Fender Guitars
Shown below is a three patent number switch and brown center wheel. This meant Fender only had to spray two colors red and brown instead of three.
The only variable was the tuner tip. Jazzmasters and Jaquars also used other colors like red and blue. They instead used the paint stick to suspend the body while drying. String guides were used on most models to give the treble strings greater string tension across the nut.
DuoSonics, MusicMasters, Mustangs and other low-end models had white plastic tips, all other models had metal tips. Later jack cups are pressed steel and have smoother edges and smooth sides. Most gray bottom pickup assemblies have at least one pickup with a hand written date. Also available starting around to about was a brown molded form-fit case.
Though this case looks similar for both the Telecaster and Stratocaster, it was not a Strat won't fit into a Tele poodle case. Esquires, Broadcasters, Telecasters to number on bridgeplate. Most ash bodies are two or even three pieces, but sometimes a one-piece body was used. The nails were then used to suspend the body while the paint fully dried. All models used Ash as the body wood.
Interestingly, Tele nail holes were moved in the early s, but are still present. The and later white pickguards do yellow a bit with age. Also shown is the difference between reissue and original slab board necks. Wax treament is no longer used in favor of a lacquer dip treatment, which is much harder to see. All other sizes were available by special order only.
Fender adjusted the neck set at the factory with a shim. Fender changed how they sprayed a sunburst finish.
The point is, don't read too much into Fender serial numbers. Fender neck shapes have changed through the years too. An original Stratocaster wiring harness and pickguard. They weren't managing the numbers in any way. The body routes on a Stratocaster.
Finally the black pickguards were clear-coated with clear nitrocellulose lacquer top side only to give them depth and shine. The interior was a bright red plush shag. Then were now inside the cavity routes, like in the truss rod rod or neck pocket route, inside the control cavity route, and inside the bridge pickup route.
But now the center wheel is white plastic instead of brown bakelite. The same lacquer-coated tweed outside and bright red shag plush lining was used, but the interior pick pocket was moved to the side next to the neck. This case was primarily available for the Jazzmaster and Jaguar guitars. That is, the bottom of the fingerboard was flat and the board was fairly thick. If a post Stratocaster was ordered in blond, it too would be Ash.
Fender Mexican Guitar Serial Dating - Guitar Nucleus
The nails were still used, but now only for the drying process and were no longer needed during painting. Note reissue Strats also use these shields. If you couldn't afford a hard case, this was the alternative. First the face of the guitar was painted. Fender used nitrocellulose lacquer for all finishes.
This relatively new material for the time was cheap, easy to work with, and somewhat flexible. These pots are date coded, and can help verify the authenticity and year of an instrument. The center wheel is still brown bakelite. Note early Strat knobs have a different and taller shape than late and later knobs.
Tweed, brown tolex, white tolex. But the switch tip for Telecasters was bakelite plastic. The handle was a smooth plastic-leather over metal.
Dating a Telecaster Deluxe body
But with time, the edges round only on the polystyrene covers. The case included with these Fender guitars was a Jennings case, which was similar in dimensions to a California rectangle Fender case, but not as stylish.
Dating Fender Guitars
In very late all models changed to pearl dot position markers. The interior burnt-orange plush used from stayed until about when the interior of the cases changed to a dark orange plush. From and later, sticky aluminum foil was attached to the bottom of the pickguard, just around the pots and switch. Pickup wire is usually a real rich cooper color. Other Plastic Parts pickup covers, knobs.
Tolex is a rough rubber-like compound that was much more durable than tweed. From to mid, the case stayed the same except now the interior was a much shorter burnt orange plush. They did this because it was easier to paint Alder it required less paint steps.
This left a visible paint stick shadow inside the neck pocket. Now the corners were more square, instead of being round. Fender also made available Custom Color finishes. This saved a spray step when shooting a sunburst finish. Now white tolex with black leather ends was the standard.
Fender started using Alder instead of Ash as the main body wood for all models that were not finished in Blond which means the Telecaster stayed Ash. From the beginning, Fender would hammer nails into the face of the guitar body before painting, under the pickguard areas. This neck style is used on most reissue Fenders regardless of the year being copied. Fender bought of these in total, babyface dating who and just used them on special Teles and some Strats. Fender used Kluson tuners exclusively on all models.
The Telecaster or Precision bass type metal knobs with the small set screw which was tightened against the pot's solid shaft to hold the knob was better with a solid shaft pot. The jack cup on Telecasters changed through the years.
In early and before, the yellow part of the sunburst was stained into the wood. Notice the small metal shielding plate around the pots, and the white single layer pickguard. They can even wear to show the black pickup itsef underneath. Also the white piping around the leather case ends becomes more pronouced. Note there is some overlap.
Only pre-October Esquires have no truss rod. These black tips are still available today, with very minor differences. Pickup screw springs are now actually real cone-shaped springs instead of rubber surgical tubing. In the Strat bridge changes to a less expesive saddle made of cast metal.
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