This tele is a limited edition , all rosewood model , on the board the lacquer seems to be staining or maybe lifting . The frets are still level and there is no sign of the lacquer seperating . Any ideas or experience ? It is a 2007 I think .

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Did anyone try to oil the fingerboard?

Hi Mike , no oil , it has just sat in its plush case and seldom been played , never been hot , cold or damp either .

It's a very common issue with all Fender Rosewood Tele's. Sooner or later, it will happen on different locations on the guitar.

I've worked on several of those reissues and 2 vintage models, and each one had some lac flaking on the back of the neck, the FB and several other locations. Fender doesn't have or didn't have enough experience with lac on rosewood. It's much to oily to be used on the FB. 

Personally, I'm not a fan of that particular model. The originals are too heavy for almost anyone. The reissues were reintroduced to impress die hard Beatles fans who had more money than common sense. At least the reissues are chambered... but still just a marketing venture. That explains why it remained in its case for so long. ;)

Fixable? Yes. An uncommon thing? Not at all.

Good luck with it, Len :)

Thanks Paul , so chip it back and touch up ?

That's what I'd do, Len.

With your skill & craftsmanship level (which is EXCELLENT in my book), standard operating procedure will produce a nearly or purely invisible repair.

It should be clear lac over bare Rosewood. No color matching... Yay :)

Have a great one, buddy :)

Much like Paul, I have never been a fan of this model. On top of everything he's pointed out, I've just never liked the sound personally when playing one.

   One see's this issue frequently around headstock tuners. It's something akin to a bubble of air that has happened between the bond of the lacquer and wood. At the tuners, the ferrule or washer has loosened and with the string tension pulling the machine head post at a higher angle, the ferrule/washer presses down sharply at its edge as apposed to sitting flush to the headstock. With the frets, it's the expansion and contraction of the fingerboard slots around the frets. And as Paul has noted, with some models, it can just been a poor bond of finish to wood.

   Before chipping away at the lacquer, try poking a hole with a pin into it and dropping a spot of thin CA into the pin hole. Don't go crazy with poking a hole; try to just puncture the lacquer not wood. In a surface that large, you may have to make a few pin holes but you'll see the void filled. If you use a damp rag and are EXTREMELY quick with a wipe-up (I'm talking 5sec or less), I find you will have minimal clean up.

Good luck!


*EDIT - I had not seen Paul's advice yet and certainly chipping back and touching-up is a fine procedure and will workout. I'm lazy and not sure how I came across the pin-prick method but tend to go that route first...

ok Thanks Doc and Paul , I hope for the owners sake that it doesnt continue all up the board .

I had tried to edit my earlier post but was too late. To correct my explanation about the air bubble at the tuners; the machine head post obviously doesn't pull at a higher angle but rather the loose ferrule/washer has now protruded from a flush seating on the headstock and with the force of the pulling string tension, the edge indents into the lacquer, breaking a poor lacquer to wood bond.

Best wishes,


Yes Ive seen that many times , also the lacquer will peel from a sharp fretboard edge on a maple neck fender .


Would your pin hole method work on lacquer (Nitro) with lacquer thinner instead of CA?  I'm always wary of using CA over lacquer because a slip or over-fill really destroys the finish.  Wouldn't thinner cause the lacquer to lay down and bond to the base--especially if it's not rosewood.

I have lifts like this on one headstock as you described as well as a couple on the edge of the soundhole on a different flattop (due to an over-filled Kyser soundhole humidifier--duuh...) and near some of the binding.  A good method of fixing these would be helpful.


Hi Larry 

   In general, I don't much like CA but I'll use it with plastic finishes. And more than anything, I loath refinishing, so I am very understanding of your weariness.

   I have not tried it with thinner but I imagine it should work fine. Maybe thinning out some lacquer so it has high fluidity. With thin CA, it doesn't take much at all and I can't see why the thinner wouldn't work in a similar fashion.

   I'll make the pin hole, put a dab of CA on a toothpick and just touch the pin hole and wipe really quickly with a damp cloth. You can see the air bubble fill up instantly. Just be sure not to puncture the wood.

   I think I'll try your idea of the thinner neck time a nitro air bubble shows up. Why not.

Best wishes,


What Stars Paul and Doc  are!

Along with the many other wonderful forum members that grace this place.

I always feel so privileged to visit this site and am always gaining insights and profoundly furthering my knowledge.

As is his Custom, our treasured friend Paul nailed it one, Doc's advice is great and there's so many additional points made by everyone that simply ring with the authoritative truth of experience.

Ever since Fender gave George (who lived in the next town) the Rosewood and Maple Sandwich, I have never liked this Guitar. As was stated, it was way too heavy for a Telecaster, and anyway, I too never liked the Sound, or the even the Look, though that did ensure it got plenty of Attention.

To be honest, although I have experienced some notable exceptions, which I tip my hat to. As a general rule I have no love for Satin Finishes either, but for a Satin Finish it seems to Shine Very Well, although the Neck is Fully Finished throughout. I put this Shine down to the Sheer Amount of Polish and Care the Instrument has had bestowed upon it over a great many years.

Mainly, I simply felt Roger Rossmeisl who Designed it and Philip Kubicki who Fabricated it, used entirely the Wrong Wood, and here's why. They had earlier developed the Thinline Telecaster which used a Solid Centre with Hollowed Out Wings. The Traditional Lightweight Ash was in poor supply at the time and thus it was a way to use the Heavier Ash that was available, but significantly reduce its weight to an acceptable level. Certain other Telecasters were made with Three New, Larger, Hollowed Out Cavities, in the centre, either side of and underneath their ever more enlarged Pickguards, for precisely the same reason, in addition to the option of Humbucking Pickups.

The Rosewood Telecaster of course gave up all such Design Pretentions and was as a Side Effect a way to make Heavier Telecasters increasing acceptable. Later Humbucking Models were also available in Mahogany. The Luthiers were delighted when George used the Guitar on Film, and Telecasters that featured somewhat Heavier Ash following the Rosewood Models introduction, would never the less, always appear Significantly Lighter in Weight by Comparison. Although the early Series Production in Japan were a Solid Sandwich. Like the earlier Thinline Model, later iterations of the Rosewood Telecaster were also Similarly Hollowed Out, to Reduce Weight.

George Harrison liked the Rosewood Model  so much, that he quickly gave it away to Delany Bramlett, just a year after he first got it. The Beatles themselves like it so much that John Lennon Played Lead Guitar on his Epiphone Casino instead of George, when he used the Guitar in the "Get Back" Movie used to promote the Hit Single. Getting on for 30 Takes over several days to get that One Song Right, with the Faux Ending and the Coda Finale being edited on later by Phil Spector to the Finally Released Recording that used the Best Sounding Take, for the Commencing Section. Producers are Wonderfully Creative, even the somewhat unsettlingly creepy ones to work with, or perhaps I should write "especially those".

Delany Bramlett loved Georges kindly gifted Guitar, (he also gave a SJ-200 to Bob Dylan) but Delany later Removed the Tailpiece to install Twin Humbuckers. Today, the Original Prototype Telecaster Restored with the Modified Cavity Filled, and again close as possible to its Original Design, resides close by in Henley, with Olivia and Dhani after it was finally purchased on Olivia's behalf at Auction. Though it cost many thousands and took Three Decades to get here. I call it the "Get Back Guitar" not only because George Played the Instrument on a Song with that Title in the Movie "Let It Be"; but also because completely true to the Lyrics, it took  30 Years to "Get Back To Where" it "Once Belonged" in George's Grandiose Mansion in nearby Henley. Dhani Plays Guitar and looks after his late Father's Dads Collection of Instruments, which Frank might be interested to know include a Hybrid Banjo/Uke Gibson UB-2 which we would see very rarely in this Country.

I question the use of a One Piece Rosewood Neck, even one with a Maple Skunk Stripe,  without an Additional Stabilising Process enacted during Manufacture to address the Inherent Qualities of the Wood. But the biggest single problem to me, was that the Instrument simply did not Sound like a Telecaster.

In my experience, people that purchase a Telecaster, do so because they want the Hallmark Characteristic Tonality of a Telecaster. To my mind, it Lacked that Quality.

Georges Guitar was flown in its own Airline Seat across the Atlantic Ocean. It's Incredibly Heavy, and I do not usually mind Guitars on the Heavy Side.

Another Rosewood Prototype was a Stratocaster, sent to Jimi Hendrix, but it arrived after he had just sadly died, which completely finished that!

It mysteriously melted away, to who knows where?



The problem above, is that Rosewood is inherently, The Most Oily of All Woods.

This is why it makes such a Great Fingerboard and has been Traditionally Chosen by Manufacturers for that purpose.

Traditionally Gibson never Stained their Fingerboards. But I've encountered many Fender Guitars, especially as time has gone on with more Modern Instruments, whose Fingerboards I strongly felt had been given a Coloured Stimulus. My reading is that it's down to the Quality and Variability of the Available Woods.  Very well, but it can lead to problems which is precisely why Gibson by Tradition, have never Stained Fingerboards.

Without a Layer of Neutralising Stabiliser, especially if an Unproven and Incompatible Water Based Stain is used, as Oil and Water don't easily mix. It's completely predictable and inevitable that unwanted separations caused by instability of the underlying material will cause problems to the Finish of the Product. At first I wondered whether friction and heat from the fingers were involved but rather, due to the haphazard patterns of reactions either side of the Frets, I wonder whether Un-cleaned Oil Residue from a Singular Fret Supplier was a Contributory Factor to The Wood Stains Reaction? It's no different to having a Humidity, Oil or Rust Contamination on a Body in White Vehicle. You can Rust Proof it and Paint It, but eventually the Treatments will Lift From Underneath because an undesirable element exists that prevents the Proper Adhesion of Finish to Material. Once that begins it will likely spread further and wider, eventually resulting in the Adhesion of the Finish to Material Surface, Peeling.

By the way, if you have a Car with a Six Year Warrantee on Paintwork, it will be likely to be fairly worthless, unless you keep a Chip Paint Brush handy and touch in any Stone Chip Damage where stones that have Hit the Finish Hard, have gone right through to Bare Metal. The Owner attending to doing so usually forms part of any such Warrantee and neglect of this can be a basis for a Manufacturer, conveniently Voiding the Warrantee. It's probably all in the small print so do attend to any such occurrences, because they Start as a Tiny Exposure of Bare Metal, then Rust Forms and Travels Underneath the Finish, Breaking the Layers of Paint Away from the Metal, as it goes. If you don't check routinely when you wax your Car. By the time its noticed because the Rust is now Obvious, and a Large Area needs to be taken right back to Bare Metal in order to effect a Soundly Lasting Repair. It's a pretty similar problem to the Original Post by way of Analogy.

Finish Contamination Problems are either Inherent To or Upon the Underlying Material that is being Finished. (It's perfectly possible to Buy Huge Rolls of Sheet Steel that have an inherent Pig Iron Contamination defects, that will eventually emerge as Rust from within the material itself, if you don't have the proper Metallurgical Laboratories to routinely check for such defects, but it's usually sold cheaper, so that's a good clue).

Are Inherent Within and Emerge From  the Finish Material itself, (even though Top Paint Suppliers meticulously Filter the Material and Manufacturers do again, usually continuously, through Constantly Recycling Systems).

Or Fall upon the Finish During or After the Application of Material, (with luck towards the latter part of the Curing Process, where it can be Polished out of an already Hardening Finish).

Inter-coat Flash Stoving is priceless is aiding the Prevention of Contamination between Successive Coats, but although beyond the Domain of Typical Luthiers..

Applying the Same Principle Spraying, will always give the best results. Give a Light Coat and let it Harden Over Time and Properly Cure Thoroughly.

Sand defects if need be, before continuing with the Next Thin Coat. Inform Customers Expectations to Understand Time is Required.

If you think this through, it amounts to the same thing really. Inter-coat Flash Stoving just Compresses Time for a Factory.


It never ceases to amaze me, how the Folk that Manage Factories, learn and know something.

Then as time passes by, forget it and end up having to relearn what they already knew, long, long ago. I think it's something to do with Turnover of Personnel, where Succeeding Generations, come to the Fore.

A friend of mine was a Producer/Engineer for Stax Records and I know that Guitarist Steve Cropper with the Booker T. and the MGs Group also had what was by all accounts, a stunningly good looking Rosewood Telecaster.

Although the Two Telecaster Prototypes (of which George had the best) and the Two Stratocaster Prototypes (of which Jimi would have had the best) were Made in America, so that's Four Rosewood Prototypes in all that were especially made of these Two Models. 

As I recall, the Series Production for Regular Consumers occurred in Japan who to my mind, (apart from the Electrics and Hardware which was always superior on the American Products it seemed to me) did an excellent job of Manufacturing Splendid Products, at their respective class and price point.

George read an Indian Poem to Olivia one day which read "Blessed is he whose fame does not outshine his truth."

There were not that many of these Rosewood Telecasters made or sold, so that to me, tells the whole story.

Could be said to be, an Instrument whose fame outshines its truth?



George did have Real Telecasters.


Here's a Tribute to George.



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