1st Les Paul Build-how to make an unplayable but expensive instrument.

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Windir, Jul 7, 2017.

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  1. Windir

    Windir Junior Member

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    Finally, time to start building a les paul. I have waited this for years. So, i have now purchased lumber, some of the hardware, finishing supplies etc. I'll post pictures as i make progress.

    [​IMG]
     
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  2. Bobby Mahogany

    Bobby Mahogany Senior Member

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    Good!
    Subscribed to the thread.
    Always interesting to see a build.
    You'll have plenty of followers...

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2017
    Windir likes this.
  3. fordmugg

    fordmugg Senior Member

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    Looking good, the only advice i can give is when your gluing and clamping stuff together is either have a jig or pins to hold the piece in place.
     
  4. pshupe

    pshupe MLP Vendor

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    You need to clamp the scarp joint so the ends do not move. It can be as simple as clamping the neck down and then place a block at the end of the scarf joint piece so it cannot move away and clamp it to the angled piece.

    [​IMG]

    Here is a pic of a jig that is probably over complicated.

    Cheers PEter.
     
  5. yamariv

    yamariv Senior Member

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    Shitty to hear brother, hang in there! Can't wait to see this bad boy completed!!
     
  6. Skyjerk

    Skyjerk Meatbomb

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    Its a simple truth :)

    I used 21 clamps for my phoenix top. As many as I can fit is how many I use :)

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2017
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  7. kiko

    kiko Senior Member

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    Watching!
     
  8. emoney

    emoney Senior Member

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    Consider these mishaps as "lessons" because the more they happen, the more you learn. Don't be too
    hard on yourself because we've all had little set-backs here and there and more than one of us even
    have totally ruined attempts still laying around the shop as reminders. Not me of course, but I'm
    sure there are plenty.

    Keep at it and keep us posted. You can do this!
     
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  9. SlingBlader

    SlingBlader Premium Member

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    Hi Windir. Take this for what it's worth, because I'm totally new to guitar building. I'm still finishing up builds that I started just over a year ago. I'm not saying that they're going to be masterpieces or anything like that; but one thing that I can say with certainty is that I have greatly enjoyed the experience and the process.

    As somebody much wiser once advised me; "There is no race to be won, and no prize for first place."

    Slow down, take your time and ask lots of questions of you're unsure how to proceed. I understand you have limited tools, but there are always multiple ways to accomplish a task. What you do have is time, don't work frantically.

    You're among many talented builders here. Be sure to take advantage of THAT resource!! :thumbs:
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2017
  10. Bobby Mahogany

    Bobby Mahogany Senior Member

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    :hmm:

    No pics, hey?

    :hmm:

    We're coming after you..!
     
  11. jc2000

    jc2000 Senior Member

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    WOW! that is scary. I don't think I could tackle a project like that.
     
  12. ajory72

    ajory72 Senior Member

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    I feel your routing pain - its like an epiphany one doesnt want to realise (do I really suck at wood-work) - but like many around here you haven't given up = which means you are going to rock this baby!!
    It always seems like the good chaps here blaze through builds without any major issues, but I reckon they started out making every mistake there is and one thing for sure is that you have come to the right place. Take heed of what the peeps here say to do to get around issues and you'll be fine.
    Good luck with your build and may the force be with you!
     
  13. tokairic

    tokairic Junior Member

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    If this is your first build you should expect to make some mistakes. I hope you didn't spend too much on the wood !
    I have built a good few guitars now - electric and acoustic - and I have made some mistakes along the way. The next one will always be better !!
    I started by modifying cheap used guitars to gain some experience, its a good learning path. Then building from bare wood, buying cheap from the local lumber yard, you don't need the best timber for a guitar to sound pretty good.
    Eventually I made and sold a few Strat style guitars completely from scratch using high quality materials, as they are easier to make than a Les Paul. I still haven't made a LP, carving the top is the only thing putting me off (and the cost of a flame maple cap thick enough to carve nicely).
    I moved on to acoustic guitars, learning how to bend wood by making an Irish Bouzouki (easier shape to bend). That is now sold and I currently have two very nice solid wood acoustic guitars, hand built. Next I think will be an archtop, if I can pluck up the courage.
    Building guitars is addictive - and its a pleasure. These days you can buy a really good guitar for a fraction of the cost of building one, but the satisfaction of playing a guitar you've built yourself is priceless.

    Don't give up. Learn from your mistakes. The next one will be better.
     
  14. Bobby Mahogany

    Bobby Mahogany Senior Member

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    Wow!
    My best to you, man.
    Don't take it too hard.
    You've come that far, that's something in itself.
    We've all tried something that turned horrible once or twice (and more!) in our lives.
    Things that bring a smile years later.

    Take a break and let the dust settle.
    If I could, I'd invite you for a couple of beers!
    :D

    P.S.: Don't delete the thread, maybe some people will come along and give you
    tips or whatever.
    Hang in there!
    :thumb:
     
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  15. Mowgli5555

    Mowgli5555 Senior Member

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    Definitely leave the thread, if you don't mind. I have started a few wood projects with less than stellar results.

    How many times I keep trying, only God knows. You should see how many times I sanded back the lacquer on my Telecaster.

    Taking on a Les Paul build is still well beyond my tools and skill level, but I appreciate those that try. Josh
     
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  16. pshupe

    pshupe MLP Vendor

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    I don't think you can delete it, actually.

    I would have to say you would win the "most honest thread" award. I bet the vast majority of the people that post here have had similar issues with their builds. I know my first build was pretty much filled with "what was I thining" moments. Like when I tried to take waaaaay too much off my headstock with my router table. The headstock literally exploded. I just patched it and moved on. There are very few things that cannot be fixed. Some of the things you have done are easily fixable with some modifications. Like the top gouges. Cut out a larger piece and patch but it just becomes a solid colour top. I have an inlay of a maple leaf in my first completed guitar. It was a complete f'up that I needed to cover, so I made it a feature.
    [​IMG]


    Do not be too hard on yourself. I've built about 10 guitars a few full builds, and few up to finish, and some that were kits or just bodies and necks and I still stuff up now and then. I almost ruined a body blank 2 days ago by cutting the control cavity in the wrong location. It happens. You save what you can, and most can be saved, and chuck the rest and all of it becomes a learning experience. Don't quit. I expect to see this guitar finished in this thread at some point.

    Cheers Peter.
     
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  17. Skyjerk

    Skyjerk Meatbomb

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    I think maybe the biggest things working against you here was you were all ahead flank at every step of the way.

    You need to slow down.

    FYI, on my first Strat build I was sanding the headstock thickness on my spindle sander with a fence clamped on. Like an idiot I started feeding the headstock between the spindle and fence from the wrong side.

    The sander grabbed it and fired the entire neck across my shop at a high velocity like a baseball from a pitching machine. Damn good thing I was alone. Not my best neck ;)

    Not my finest moment either. In retrospect I feel pretty strongly I should have seen that one coming from a mile off and even now 3 years later its pretty embarrassing.
    Still, I learned a valuable lesson. One of many.

    Dont think of all the things you messed up on this build. Think of all the things you learned :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2017
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  18. The Ballzz

    The Ballzz Senior Member

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    Peter,
    Truly the mark of a great craftsman is how he turns a flaw into a feature! Any craftsman who's never made a f--kup is a liar, fer sure!

    I Used To Laugh At Idjits, Now I Are One!
    Gene
     
  19. valvetoneman

    valvetoneman Senior Member

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    Just make it a flat top les paul

    Even getting it put together will be an achievement

    I've made loads of stupid mistakes recently and I've probably learnt the most over the last 6 months than the last 5 years

    It's a big learning curve but keep doing it and learn to sharpen tools
     
  20. rockgod212

    rockgod212 Senior Member

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    hell I built 4 necks before making one that worked right, don't give up. learn from it. its not easy building a guitar, but if I can do it- you can too.
     

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