I'm a cabinet maker by trade and one of my biggest hobbies is playing the guitar. I bought my first les Paul in February for my birthday and was blown away by how great it sounded, but was left very unimpressed with the quality of the instrument. I figured I would have to spend the big bucks on a custom shop historic Les Paul to get the quality I was after, but then it occurred to me that maybe this would be a good project to build for myself.
Here is the build process. I hope everyone enjoys following along and puts in their two cents.
I did not decide to document this build until after I had carved the top, so Iíll have to explain the steps I took up until that point.
After selecting the wood I re sawed the top piece, and jointed the edges of the two book matched pieces. I decided to use hide glue to build this guitar for a variety of reasons and heated up a batch for the top glue up. After the book match was dried I planed it nice and smooth on one side then glued it to the mahogany body blank and let it dry over night.
The next morning I used a jig saw to cut out the body profile being very careful to center the shape on the book matched centerline. I then planed the whole body to thickness.
I routed the binding channel all the way around the body except for in the cutaway and set up the duplicator.
After carving the top I realized the guitar was not thick enough and decide that I could either make the guitar slightly thinner than a standard Les Paul, or start with a new top. Well, after carving the top I had revealed a few minor flaws in the wood and also deciding that I would not be happy with the finished product knowing that it was thinner than it was supposed to be, I planed down the top right back to the mahogany.