I repair quite a few old pickups and thought you might be interested in this ‘68 Telecaster Bridge Pickup.
As you can see it’s looking pretty tired. I quite like seeing pickups like this – it’s clearly given great service for decades. This is just wear and tear and the sign of a happy life and although it isn’t working now there’s no reason why it can’t be made good for a few more decades.
One of the first things I noticed is the black tape. Underneath it is the original waxed protective string. I’m not sure why someone added that.
The plate underneath has aged fantastically but as you can see the earth wire is missing from it. I re-solder the connections just in case there is a dry joint but the pickup is still dead.
I suspect this is the fault- the top plate has warped over time and the corrosion has got in and damaged the windings. That top plate looks like a skateboard deck – it should be flat! This pickup is going to need a re-wind.
With the back plate off you can clearly see the date.
And here it is, this is the problem. With the windings cut away you can clearly see that the corrosion on the pole piece has spread into the winding. There’s a bit of wax in there too from when it was potted originally.
So here’s the plan. I need to flatten that top plate back. Then clean up the pole pieces. I need to do something about the corrosion. And finally re-wind the pickup to original spec. And most importantly make it look like nothing ever happened.
Cleaning the poles is easy, then I flatten the top plate and glue it in place with super glue. Originally it was just a push fit. Then I treat the rust with some anti rust stuff. Here you can see it masked off so I can give the poles a couple of coats of lacquer.
Next I wrap the poles with thin tape. I want to protect the windings from future corrosion. I want this pickup to play hard for another 50 years.
Then it’s re-winding and wax potting and finally replacing the original string.
Of course, I forget to take a photo of it with the string on.
If you need any pickup repairs please contact me through the website http://www.mrglynspickups.com or give me a call 021912678
‘68 Telecaster Bridge Pickup