Sunday, March 9, 2008

Stop me before I relic again!

I have committed an act of relicization on my Telecaster.

I have bought a 320-grit 3M SandBlaster sanding pad and sanded down the neck finish. It's a 1988 MIJ, with what seems like a whole centimeter of plastic between my hand and the neck. I'm liking it so much. So far, I've only done the neck, but I'm seriously considering taking the paper to the neck between the frets so I can begin working on the beautiful usage wear of, for example, Brownie from the back cover of Layla. That would be nice, but what I have right now? Much more satiny feel than the sticky plastic of before. Much better.

I don't expect to take this way further than that. I'm not going to soak my knobs in a caustic chemical and take a belt sander to my guitar.

At least what I'm telling you now.

But if I do, I blame Stratoblogster.


Stratocat said...

Don't blame me!!!

You might try applying some gun stock oil to those sanded down neck surfaces.

Dave Jacoby said...

I'm entirely sure I haven't gone all the way through the finish yet, but if I pull out the sandpaper again, I will

Kenski said...

Years ago when I was shopping for my first 'proper' guitar I was looking at a Strat Plus, which had a very silky smooth, almost matt finish on the neck and a LP which had a thick lacquer. I commented to the sales person that the LP seemed sticky compared with the Strat, to which he replied that it wasn't a problem, he could get some sandpaper and just 'take that lacquer right off'...

I nearly threw up right there in the store.

These days I 'get it' more, but I think I'd probably only take sandpaper to a real beater (like the one I painted metallic blue with spray can car paint!)

Dave Jacoby said...

Kenski, that so reminds me of a bit from "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance". The author had a friend with a fine German motorcycle (BMW?) which had a slight problem with a slipping brake handle. It could not be tightened enough to keep tight, so the author (too lazy to google) said he should shim it.

The friend thought "How much are official BMW shims? Are they in the catalog? Does it take long to import them from Bavaria?"

The author took tin snips to a beer can.

The friend nearly threw up.

A tool is a tool, and they can be modified to more perfectly address the task at hand. A guitar doesn't need to be factory-perfect (or factory-relic'd) to be a good and useful thing.

However, I've owned the thing for over 10 years. My first mod was taking off the MOTS pickguard, which was about 6 months ago. My next mod was to reverse the control plate, which can be done without any soldering, and that happened about 5 months ago. About a month ago now, I got a new pickguard and control hardware. I'm clearly more in the "blanche at the idea of mutilating my baby" school of guitar modification, wanting Fender shims for my brakes.

Kenski said...

With my previous guitar I didn't have any issue pulling out the factory pups and replacing with Seymour Duncan Pearly Gates. I figured that if I ever got the 'real' Les Paul that I wanted I'd simply yank out the PAFs and substitute... when I got the LP, pardon my french but my balls shrunk to the size of grapes and I haven't dared even take a screwdriver to it to adjust the stock pup heights... maybe one day...

Dave Jacoby said...

An ultimate goal is to have a guitar with a B-Bender.

Which means taking a router across half the back.

I'm thinking of getting a $100 Rondo to do that to, just so it's not my #1.