NGD - 59/60 Les Paul Special (not for the squeamish)

Discussion in 'Vintage Les Pauls' started by none2low, Jul 28, 2015.

  1. refin

    refin V.I.P. Member

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    I sheepishly have to agree......:cheers2:
    I owned a '57 Special,absolutely stock....and a '59 burst,stock too.Plus, a '52 goldtop,a few Jrs. and a '59 mangled Special.Others,but trying to sum up here.:wave:
    Stock is good,IF:
    (a) it plays good
    (b) it stays in tune
    (c) it sounds good
    If these three things aren't happening,we are fooling ourselves---because we have invested in a guitar we can post pics of and jam with,but in the real world of stage and studio,it ain't gonna cut it.The feel of the old Gibbys are usually incredible,but if they need a leg up to complete the package,do it or flip it.
    My late '55 is so far from stock,but I would put it up against my old burst.....okay here come the tomatoes,but I was there.:laugh2:
     
  2. jeggz

    jeggz Senior Member

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    I once gently used 800grit sandpaper on my finger to expose the serial # of a stingered 58 junior.

    Give it a shot,whatcha got to lose?
     
  3. leoslespaul

    leoslespaul Junior Member

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    Hi, I have a similar Special to yours that has also been altered significantly-It does have the proper pickguard still intact, however, and I'm also including a pic of the neck pickup route if that helps any. Mine has been refinished as well, with no serial #, but the pots are numbered 134936-(Probably late '59) Looks very similar to yours-I can send more pics of unmolested pickup routes if you need them.
     

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  4. Greco

    Greco Senior Member

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    It seems like with most of these they had a standard template (for the guard area) and then cut the top part to accommodate the pickup routes (the non-beveled part). Perhaps even for each individual guitar. The back generally lines up with the tailpiece then the rest is all over the place, especially when they started moving the neck pickups around.
     
  5. none2low

    none2low Senior Member

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    I thought the same at first, until I tried to modify the template I received from Dan at Mojoaxe. That's when I realized that the pickguards are physically sized different. At least with the template Dan has, it's not just the pickup placement that's moved. The body contours on the treble side, top horn area and lower bout all line up differently.

    The screw placement on the early '59 vs late '59/60 is different as well. In that the treble side screws wind up on the very edges of an early '59 guard without further modifications to the overall shape and size.

    A few of these changes can be seen in the example posted above.

    First you can see how much larger the over hang on the neck pickup is (on earlier/mid '59 guards it stops basically parallel to the P90 cover) on this version it extends almost into the cutaway.

    Second is the guard spacing between the bridge and neck pickup. On earlier versions it's a much tighter/cleaner fit. Whereas on the late '59/60 version pickguards there is a larger spacing around the pickup covers.

    There are some other minor differences in the curvature of the guard as well in the upper and lower bout area that make me believe IMHO there had to be multiple templates. In trying to figure out which guard I need, looking over pictures of multiple examples from each period in '59, I will say they tend to be consistently inconsistent in the differences from each period.

    I also find it odd that so far I cannot find any original examples serialized in 1959 with this particular version pickguard despite the pot codes all indicating late '59. Not that it makes a big difference in my situation, but I do find this stuff intriguing.
     
  6. none2low

    none2low Senior Member

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    If you wouldn't mind, could I get a tracing of the pickguard? You can PM me for my personal email.

    Out of curiosity, does yours also have the very small heel with a neck profile right in-between the fatter '59 and slim '60?
     
  7. Greco

    Greco Senior Member

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    As I remember there were some differences in what I printed out and the actual guard. You may have to either make a plastic template from your screw hole locations and send this to Dan, or make a custom guard yourself.

    Measure this distance on the screw holes in your body and the template. Let me know what it is. I'll measure the guard I got from Mojoaxe. This is what I mean seems roughly the same in most pics, regardless of how the pickup part is positioned. They could've used multiple templates for slightly different screw hole locations, or it's just variance from part to part.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. none2low

    none2low Senior Member

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    Greco - Thanks for checking that. The distance on mine between those two screw holes (center to center) is 5.847" or 148.44mm

    btw - this picture shows what I am referring to as the late '59/early '60 pickguard style. It has the large overhang on the neck pickup, more material removed between the bridge and neck pickup routes and ends closer to center of the bridge line.
     
  9. leoslespaul

    leoslespaul Junior Member

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    Hi, sure I can send you a tracing of the pickguard- I'm new to the forum though and don't know how to PM you-:). I sent you a "friend request"

    Unfortunately, the heel material on mine has been removed for some reason, making an already weak neck/body joint even weaker :shock:

    It does have a very slim neck profile, however, from what I can tell-
     
  10. none2low

    none2low Senior Member

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    Weird can't send you a PM, but I did accept the friend request and posted a visitor message with contact details.

    If yours has a very small neck heel it could be original. If you want to post a pic or email me a picture I can compare with mine.
     
  11. Greco

    Greco Senior Member

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    So this is the guitar? How about the template you printed? I measured the mojoaxe guard and it is the same give or take a few fleas pubes. I measured (roughly) 5 7/8ths or 149mm. So it seems its the part in between the pickups that changes. I wouldn't expect a standard mojoaxe guard would fit the pickups but Dan should be able to still work something out for you.
     
  12. none2low

    none2low Senior Member

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    [​IMG]

    Greco - This is hard to explain, but hopefully I can make sense with the aide of this picture :fingersx: (For reference number 1 is mine and the paper template pictured is the '59 template Dan currently has)

    If you look at where it ends closest to the bridge you can see how this version of pickguard comes down too low and causes an overlap with where the plastic switch washer would be. Also if you look at the treble side contour it doesn't line up correctly either.

    Like I was talking to Dan about. It's almost as if the whole right side needs to shift upwards, but the problem I ran into with doing this was that the screw holes at the bottom then fell right into the outer bevel.

    That's what led me to believe they must have had different templates for each revision they made.
     
  13. HeeBGB

    HeeBGB Senior Member

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    I'd put a carved top on it and some binding then call it Beano!:thumbs:
     
  14. none2low

    none2low Senior Member

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    Ya know... I didn't want to say anything, but... this actually started out life as Pages missing custom.:lol:
     
  15. Greco

    Greco Senior Member

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    I understand perfectly and it seems we're on the same page. Maybe I'm not explaining myself well.

    The key is if we both measured approx 149mm between the screws I mentioned earlier then this more or less confirms the scratch plate part is the same. The part between the pickups needs to move down rather significantly to fit your guitar.

    The treble side "waist" doesn't line up with the body on any DC Special.

    Here I've put together and approximate comparison. The ones above plus mine, and yours are on each end. It's probably most obvious on the black end photo as the paper covers the screw holes on the first one. you can see how the screw holes line up.

    [​IMG]


    And here's how your guard should differ from a regular one (and the Mojoaxe standard one). The blue area has been moved down.

    [​IMG]

    Again, like I said. If you give Dan your screw hole locations it should just be a matter of him modifying what he already has to accomodate where your pickups are. Or even cut a paper template where it joins the pickups and stick it back together how you need it. It should fit and you could then send this back to Mojoaxe to make up?

    The reason for the movement is because yours originally had both the goof hider and the last fret on the body. Like the 60 you posted. The majority only have one or the other. So I think you'd be correct in thinking yours is later in production. Just before they move the neck pickup further and changed to the wrap-around pickguard.
     
  16. leoslespaul

    leoslespaul Junior Member

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    Like they say, "The Road to Hell is paved with good intentions"........

    Just sent you an e-mail- :dude:
     
  17. Greco

    Greco Senior Member

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    For completeness, here's a vertical comparison and an overlay on your screw holes from the original photos.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  18. none2low

    none2low Senior Member

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    Greco - Thank you so much for taking the time and putting forth all the effort in trying to help. I completely understand what you are saying and where your coming from. In theory it makes total sense, but in practice it didn't quite work out. I'm not sure why, but it's entirely possible it was user error as it seems to work in your example.

    For reference here is a picture of the template I created and Dan's original. Mine are the darker lines and Dan's the lighter. While they are close, they are not the same dimensions.
    [​IMG]
    And here is a picture of how my template fits.
    [​IMG]
     
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  19. Greco

    Greco Senior Member

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    Well if it works then go with it I guess. :thumb: I'm not sure how you can be confident of the change to the outer curves without a guard to go off. One thing too, it looks like the right most screw is now in an odd spot compared to vintage guards. Those seem more centered.

    Did you end up checking the printout measurements of Dan's template?
     
  20. none2low

    none2low Senior Member

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    The lower right screw hole position is one of the areas I ran into an issue. Using the curves on Dan's template leaves a larger space between the bevel and body edge than typically seen. Plus the bottom edge closest to the switch washer ended up too close still. They didn't overlap, but they butted against each other.

    I wish I could figure out what's going on with it. Every time I compensate in one area another doesn't line up correctly. This was the compromise I ended up with without a correct vintage guard to compare with.

    Oh and yes, I did verify the scale of Dan's template. He emailed saying he has some business to finish up on and will take a look as soon as he can. So all hope isn't lost, just frustrated by something seemingly so simple. :shock:
     
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