NVGD - 1955 Restoration/Conversion - The Red Bellied Black Snake

Discussion in 'Vintage Les Pauls' started by d1m1, Jan 1, 2017.

  1. d1m1

    d1m1 Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,251
    Likes Received:
    2,307
    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2012
    Here it is folks,

    "The Red-Bellied Black Snake" aka "Pseudechis porphyriacus" (Weight: 7.9 lbs)

    I chose that name because both the guitar and the snake are blacktops with natural belly and have two venomous teeth/studs. The red on the snakes belly is actually just binding bleeding ;)

    To the guitar. It is/was in fact a 1955 Les Paul Goldtop with wraptail. The first owner (i´m the second one) decided to mod the guitar in the late 60´s. He added a third pup, a second jack, stripped off the finish and routed the edges all around from the body and the neck to the headstock to install i guess multi ply binding. He than realized the he cant do the job so he bought a new guitar and put the GT in a carton with the parts. The guitar was stored all those years till he passed away. The relatives then sold the guitar incl. parts. The good think is it has no broken neck etc..

    The restorasion is done by Igor Keller, a great talented luthier from slovakia. He did an awesome job! My intention was to keep it as original as possible which was very difficult since the guitar was a mess. It would be easier to replace the top, the fingerboard etc but he did so much fine detailed work and saved everything! He also used right materials, glues, measurements (Bartlett) etc.. Most of the parts are original to the guitar, PAF´s and harness are from 1959 and a couple are repros (pics). The measuraments of the neck are according to the beauty of the burst average for a 1959 neck. It weights phenomenal 7.9 lbs.

    When i bought it i wasnt sure if that thing will be worth it to do, but it turned out to be the best guitar i ever owned and pretty sure one of the best, if not the best, i had in my hands. It sounds, plays and feels like a dream. I´m so glad i could save that piece of history from decay.

    I´m going to post more pics of the before and after condition, the parts and also from the restoration it self.

    Here you have for now a few:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2017
  2. Jester

    Jester Premium Member

    Messages:
    213
    Likes Received:
    18
    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2008
    That is one amazing guitar, thank you for sharing the story and images!
     
    d1m1 likes this.
  3. Kris Ford

    Kris Ford Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,524
    Likes Received:
    1,720
    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2011
    Love it.
     
    d1m1 likes this.
  4. d1m1

    d1m1 Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,251
    Likes Received:
    2,307
    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2012
    The Before condition

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2017
  5. d1m1

    d1m1 Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,251
    Likes Received:
    2,307
    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2012
    Parts original to the guitar

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    This is how 50´s plastics look like when holding against the sun
    [​IMG]
     
  6. d1m1

    d1m1 Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,251
    Likes Received:
    2,307
    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2012
    50`s parts are a 1959 harness and 1959 long magnet PAF´s. The current pole screws on the PAF´s are WIZZ. The readings of the pots are between 600K and 670K!

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  7. Kris Ford

    Kris Ford Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,524
    Likes Received:
    1,720
    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2011
    WOW!
    Hats off to Igor!!
     
    d1m1 likes this.
  8. d1m1

    d1m1 Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,251
    Likes Received:
    2,307
    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2012
    Repro parts are:

    - OTPG rings
    - MojoAxe pickguard
    - WIZZ PAF covers
    - WIZZ poker chip
    - WIZZ jack plate

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  9. d1m1

    d1m1 Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,251
    Likes Received:
    2,307
    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2012
    Here some pics of the result of Kellers work


    can you see the added braz on the sides? :)
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    and from inside
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  10. d1m1

    d1m1 Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,251
    Likes Received:
    2,307
    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2012
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Next to a 1958 ES-335 (also restoration - by Historic Makeovers)
    [​IMG]

    Next to a 2010 R5 BB
    [​IMG]

    2010 R5 GT, 2010 R5 BB, 1955 Blacktop (yep i like wraptails)
    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  11. d1m1

    d1m1 Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,251
    Likes Received:
    2,307
    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2012
    Yes he did a KILLER job!!! :bowdown
     
  12. Cookie-boy

    Cookie-boy Senior Member

    Messages:
    16,640
    Likes Received:
    10,565
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2009
    I'll tell you what, isn't it refreshing for once on one of these conversion threads where you actually see the pictures of the alleged "basket case" before conversion? 99% of the time they are strangely absent???

    Great job, nice looking guitar!:thumb:
     
    d1m1 likes this.
  13. Nick-O

    Nick-O Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,245
    Likes Received:
    5,449
    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2014
    Simply outstanding!
    Well done indeed
     
    d1m1 likes this.
  14. Bottleneck

    Bottleneck Senior Member

    Messages:
    609
    Likes Received:
    732
    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2010
    The top carve is awesome!
    Nice save.
     
    d1m1 likes this.
  15. charlie chitlins

    charlie chitlins Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,191
    Likes Received:
    1,454
    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2011
    Cheers to someone who restores a classic to it's former glory instead of trying to make it something it never was.
     
    d1m1 likes this.
  16. mono

    mono Senior Member

    Messages:
    7,393
    Likes Received:
    2,896
    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2009
    thats a freaking phenomenal restoration
    literally picking my jaw up off the floor
    enjoy in good health!
     
    d1m1 likes this.
  17. refin

    refin V.I.P. Member

    Messages:
    2,125
    Likes Received:
    696
    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2007
    OUTSTANDING save on that one,that guy is great.
    Congrats on the guitar!
     
    d1m1 likes this.
  18. Progear

    Progear Premium Member

    Messages:
    534
    Likes Received:
    452
    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2012
    What a great save... plain and simply, just amazing
     
    d1m1 likes this.
  19. d1m1

    d1m1 Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,251
    Likes Received:
    2,307
    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2012
    Thanks a lot guys! Really appreciate!
     
  20. d1m1

    d1m1 Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,251
    Likes Received:
    2,307
    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2012
    I know why they´re absent:thumb:
    I was looking long time for a really abused lp for restoration/conversion because i just couldnt touch a undamaged working original lp.
     

Share This Page