• The Gear Page Apparel & Merch Shop is Open!

    Based on member demand, The Gear Page is pleased to announce that our Apparel Merch Shop is now open. The shop’s link is in the blue Navigation bar (on the right side), “Shop,” with t-shirts, hats, neck buffs, and stickers to start. Here’s the direct link: www.thegearpageshop.com

    You’ll find exclusive high-quality apparel and merchandise; all items are ethical, sustainably produced, and we will be continuously sourcing and adding new choices. 

    We can ship internationally. All shipping is at cost.


MIM Tele D...what kind of wood is this?

Clyde Bisbee

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
405
Hey there, Just hoping I could get some opinions on this early 2k's MIM Tele Deluxe I'm restoring. I'd like to know exactly what kind of wood I have here so I can make better choices for applying finish. It's a 2003, I believe. I used a heat gun to get rid of that "plastic" poly, it was that brown, walnut color originally. Here are a couple pics....





My guess is that it's Alder. I'm planning to either use grain filler to make the grain pop a bit or use an ebony stain and sand it back to accomplish the same. After that I'm undecided as to whether I'll go with a greyish "driftwood" color or keep it a more natural walnut. I may go the Tru-Oil route, but I'm not into super shiny. I'd love to do a relic'd vintage blonde/aged white, but that's probably beyond my ability and/or budget.

Thanks for any input you may have!

Kerry
 

gkoelling

Member
Messages
17,218
This was alder with tongue oil finish, no grain filler or stain.



It was a cheap, Chinese body but sounded fantastic after I stripped it and used the oil.
 

RockDC

Member
Messages
1,466
Looks like alder to me most of my ash bodies don't have that kind of grain... both of my alders look similar.
 

Clyde Bisbee

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
405
Thanks for the input so far! Hopefully, someone will come along and say, "yep, it's xxxxxx wood, no doubt about it!"

Kerry
 

Clyde Bisbee

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
405
Def not pine. And I don't think Fender was using maple for MIM tele bodies, at least around 2003.
 

stratter

Member
Messages
1,421
no doubt about it, alder. It's pretty well figured as far as alder goes though. If it's a bit heavier, my guess would be maple, but fender doesn't normally use maple.
 

bgmacaw

Member
Messages
8,083
If it's a 2003, it's alder.

90's MIM Fenders were usually poplar but there were some exceptions. They transitioned to alder about 2000-2001.
 

swiveltung

Senior Member
Messages
14,486
It doesn't look like alder to me. Looks just a bit like ash with that darker open grain mixed in that shows best on the back. Although with most ash I would expect more of that. Could be one of the MIM oddball woods too...poplar/basswood might be a good guess. It could be Alder though, just hard to tell. Boy, you really got it clean! I've not had alder with those dark brown linear grains, but wood can do most anything sometimes.
 
Last edited:

Clyde Bisbee

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
405
Ok, so update....

Pretty sure it's alder. I tried conditioning the wood and doing this kind driftwood effect with wood dye and stain (decent stuff, from Woodcraft). It did not work out, looked pretty hideous, so I sanded it some more then bought some primer and "Vintage Cream" nitro from Reranch. I was pretty nervous, but got the hang of and actually enjoyed spraying the body. Then I made the mistake of using tinted clearcoat over the vintage cream, UGH! I wanted it to look aged, but the tinted clearcoat turned it more of a mustard yellow, yuck! Reranch really should let folks know that the tinted clearcoat over the vintage cream = deep YELLOW!! I tried sanding it off but decided that I'm going to need to just buy another can of Vintage Cream from Reranch and respray it, then just use the reg clearcoat. Right about this time (mid November) the weather got too cold to spray and my funds got tight so I had to put things on hold.

@war-knuckles I've really enjoyed the project and I CANNOT WAIT to finish it! I had the Fender RI WRHB's rebuilt by Brandonwound Pickups (he's got a video on YT comparing his rebuilds to original WRHB's and they sound fantastic!). Then I rewired the pickguard (with the rebuilt WRHB's) with some CTS 550k's and some 500k push-pull's on the tones, so I can split the coils...along with some orange drop tone caps. I also got a deal on some original 70's Tele Deluxe tuners which will make a nice addition to the vibe of this guitar. I'm really dying to hear this thing now! Here are some pics to show you all where things stand with the finish (and pickguard):




You can sort of see the blotchiness of the tinted clearcoat where I've tried to sand it off. I didn't want to go too crazy and go thru the nitro...then again, maybe I should just relic this baby and be done with it! Any thoughts, input or suggestions are welcome.

Kerry
 
Messages
23,951
Like Ron Kirn and others have said, that's 100% alder, Kerry. See those short, medium brown streaks all through the wood? That's classic, textbook alder.

You can try to apply Grain Filler to alder but it won't accept much at all - just tones the look of the wood and maybe eliminates a coat or two on your base. Ash, by reference, would gobble up a lot of filler, multiple passes or the grain pores will telegraph through the finish coats as they dry.

NH? definitely sit tight and let what you have done dry for a while. No "law" says you can't assemble it as it is now, play it in for a while and respray the disassembled body later when the conditions are much better.
 




Trending Topics

Top