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Restoring a 1964 Telecaster pickup

In this blog I shall be regularly taking you into my workshop to look at some of the interesting 'classic pickup' rebuilds and restorations we are asked to do.

Above is the rather sad and messed about Tele pickup that arrived on my desk last week. It had no output and was registering 'open circuit'. This poor thing had very obviously been seriously 'molested' in the past ... as was confirmed when I started To remove the masking tape that had been plastered all over the coil. Underneath was red plastic tape .... all of this a far cry from the string wrap the pickup would have had when it left the factory.

Underneath the red PVC tape was somewhat 'psychedelic' bright purple wire ... definitely not original Fender, and under the wire was rust ... the corrosion that had killed this pickup, probably for the second time.

We had here a pickup that had been rewound badly with non standard wire, had had it's magnetic polarity swapped compared to factory 60s standard, had been wound in the wrong direction,

and was rustier inside than an iron bucket in a compost heap!

I cleaned up the magnets with non metallic abrasive pad, then coated the magnets in a rust preventing laquer ... before taping the magnets to prevent any future short circuits.

Then I hand wound the coil with period correct PVA coated, 42awg plain enamel wire ... exactly as Fender would have done in 64.

The rewound coil has its cloth covered cables fitted ... these will be given a patina to match the aged look of the pickup once the whole thing is fully assembled.

The baseplate is soldered on and the solder 'aged' before the pickup is wax potted. In 1964 Fender would have dipped this pickup in 'nitro laquer' to pot it ... we will be using wax.

The final finishing touch is a period correct string wrapping ... yellowed and dirtied to match the bobbin top ....

Ready to rock for another 50 years!
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