From Zero to Hero - Gibson Explorer Custom '59 Tobacco Makeover!

Discussion in 'The Custom Shop' started by Oleynior, Jan 12, 2018.

  1. Oleynior

    Oleynior Senior Member

    Messages:
    194
    Likes Received:
    398
    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2013
    I've always wondered why Gibson didn't do the Explorer Custom model? I imagined what it would look like if it really was made in the late fifties. Because I can not afford on Gibson Custom Shop and the European M2M program didn't include Explorer, I wrote down my expectations and decided to makeover my 2011 '76 Gibson Explorer. I entrusted my idea to Mr. Witkowski (known Polish luthier). First, I considered Black Beauty, but finally I decided to do something else. Few months after starting work (at the end of 2016), Gibson released the Explorer Custom.

    Here's how it looked originally:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    The work began with removing the fingerboard. The factory chip is sticking under it.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The finish from the body was removed, showing three pieces of mahogany.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I decided on a simple and classic flame maple top.
    [​IMG]

    To mask slightly splayed wood on the back, we used two pieces of mahogany wood. Top and back were glued to the body, and then the binding was added.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The original logo and a piece of wood from maple top were used to make holly headstock veneer.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Time for Ebony fingerboard with mother of pearl block inlays and the nibs.
    [​IMG]

    Last look at the factory serial number.
    [​IMG]

    That's how it looks before glued the fingerboard and holly veneer. The next stage was drilling holes for hardware and pickups.
    [​IMG]

    Few coats of nitro from Dartfords, aging hardware from 59Parts.pl and here we go.

    Let me introduce to you my Gibson Explorer Custom Plus '59 Tobacco Burst.

    Kluson 6 in line bushing tuners. Nylon nut. 5ply binding on holly headstock.
    [​IMG]

    Stinger with stamped serial nr refers to 1959.
    [​IMG]

    Dark brown back with a burst and 5ply binding.
    [​IMG]

    Tobacco burst top with 7ply binding. No pickguard.
    [​IMG]

    Some details:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Few days ago my long-standing dream has been fulfilled. Happy New Year guys :)
     

    Attached Files:

    bullnose, Frack, dCi_king and 119 others like this.
  2. C_Becker

    C_Becker Dat Gibson smell

    Messages:
    2,060
    Likes Received:
    2,065
    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2015
    Absolutely gorgeous guitar, great work !
    Its really a shame Gibson doesn't give the Explorer much love.
     
  3. NorlinBlackBeauty

    NorlinBlackBeauty Senior Member

    Messages:
    9,333
    Likes Received:
    27,074
    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2017
    Superb! Really amazing work there!
     
    drpietrzak likes this.
  4. FuzzyPhil

    FuzzyPhil Junior Member

    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    30
    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2017
    Wow that is beautiful...
     
  5. Rocco Crocco

    Rocco Crocco Senior Member

    Messages:
    6,784
    Likes Received:
    8,217
    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2013
    That. Is. Awesome.
     
  6. Troy McClure

    Troy McClure Senior Member

    Messages:
    477
    Likes Received:
    224
    Joined:
    May 4, 2016
    The attention to detail at every part of that guitar is amazing, you must be over the moon. I love the colour of the back and neck and the binding is done so well puts Gibson to shame.
     
    Rorer714, rjohnpurdy and ben.jammin like this.
  7. Riffster

    Riffster Senior Member

    Messages:
    313
    Likes Received:
    188
    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2010
    What a fantastic conversion and what an incredible amount of work but it probably goes faster when you know what you are doing.
     
  8. TheZ

    TheZ Senior Member

    Messages:
    996
    Likes Received:
    609
    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2009
    Super cool!
     
  9. LSAR

    LSAR Pure Evil Premium Member

    Messages:
    1,059
    Likes Received:
    1,092
    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2012
    That, is amazing.
     
  10. Pappy58

    Pappy58 Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,348
    Likes Received:
    4,705
    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2014
    Beautiful! Very Well done! Enjoy! :cheers:
     
  11. elephantrider

    elephantrider Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,025
    Likes Received:
    2,947
    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2015
    that finish is stunning. ESPECIALLY the
    body back.
     
    drpietrzak and rjohnpurdy like this.
  12. scott 351 wins

    scott 351 wins Silver Supporter

    Messages:
    1,769
    Likes Received:
    2,942
    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2009
    WOW!!! AMAZING
     
  13. DotStudio

    DotStudio Senior Member

    Messages:
    4,269
    Likes Received:
    8,290
    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2015
    Absolutely stunning!

    It's perfect as it is, but if I could make one slight suggestion...

    [​IMG]
     
  14. PierM

    PierM Premium Member

    Messages:
    4,060
    Likes Received:
    7,157
    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2016
    Holy cow man. This is absolutely STELLAR!! :bowdown:bowdown:bowdown
     
  15. judson

    judson Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,374
    Likes Received:
    3,825
    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2016
  16. deadringer

    deadringer Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,305
    Likes Received:
    1,438
    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2012
    Damn, that's nice. Dream guitar for me right there.

    Congrats!
     
  17. tolm

    tolm Bigsby Junkie

    Messages:
    3,805
    Likes Received:
    2,514
    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2008
    Oh, Hell Yes!!! Superb vision and execution!!
     
  18. jdmp

    jdmp Member

    Messages:
    78
    Likes Received:
    71
    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2015
    Wow!
     
  19. guitarjoem

    guitarjoem Senior Member

    Messages:
    497
    Likes Received:
    259
    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2014
    Oh so very nice!
     
  20. Eternal Scar

    Eternal Scar Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,185
    Likes Received:
    685
    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2013
    Wow that turned out Fantastic!! Congrats!
     

Share This Page