The Restoration of my 1957 Esquire

April 17, 2020

Here is the story

The very first step was to disassemble the guitar, and start getting that awful Krylon Blue finish off.

After the blue was removed, the guitar got a coat of sealer.

Sealer really made the grain pop!

As you can probably tell, this is a 1-piece Swamp Ash body!!

After the sealer cured, it then got color and amber to age it.

Here is the painted body, with the actual neck, and a pickguard to give an idea of what it will look like.

2-days later, and a full mockup with neck and bridge laid on the body. More sanding will be required, and then distressing so the body will better match the original neck finish.

The original pickup sounded awful, and when metered, it gave no reading. This is horribly common, because when players sweat, it lands on the bridge pole pieces, starts to rust, then the rust goes down into the windings, causing shorts. The shorts cause the pickup to lose output, and low-end, and eventually it completely dies. When I knew I needed major help, I knew I had to call my buddy, Ron Ellis. I spoke with Ron Ellis, and he indicated the pickup would have to be completely re-wound, but that he had old stock enamel coated wire that he used only on vintage Fender re-winds. So Ron painstakingly removed the wire, paying careful attention to how it was wound so he could replicate the wind pattern. Next, he cleaned off all the rust, coated the magnets in lacquer, and then re-wound the pickup with period-correct 42 enamel wire. Next, the pickup was wax potted and wrapped with white rope.

The pickup with the tell-tale sign of terminal cancer, rust on the low-E pole.

Bottom of the pickup. Again, weak sound, and no reading on a meter.

The pickup with the bottom plate removed.

The pickup fully re-wound to 7.2k. Dan may age the rope a bit more to match the rest of the guitar.

Next, the body finish will need to cure, then Dan will begin to age the new finish so that it matches the 63-year old neck.