First some background information: I never liked LP's, as I found them clunky, had awkward ergonomics, a "muddy" sound and the tendency to cause necrosis to the leg when playing seated. I'm not even that fond of humbucker guitars (I'm more of a Telecaster/Jazzmaster guy). The closest I got so far was owning a Gibson SG with Classic '57 humbuckers and a Maestro vibrola. But the LP is such an iconic guitar, and since I now own almost every type of classic guitar save the LP, maybe I should give it a shot. Then two things happened. I was browsing the classifieds this Sunday morning, while waiting for the coffee to brew, and I stumbled across someone who sold 2 LP husks (one Epiphone, one nameless kit), each for the price of a set of strings. I was interested, but didn't really think about it. Then MrsFingers, who also plays the guitar, told me she wouldn't mind having a guitar-project to work on, as she's quite interested in the technical side of things. I mentioned I saw those husks on the classifieds, and I was "strongly encouraged" (while being threatened with a slice of cheese) to contact the seller and buy one of those. So I did, and I managed to snag the kit-husk. The husk was bought as a test-bed for the previous owner to hone his skills on refinishing and dowelling holes. In terms of guitar-working. I've assembled/adapted a few Fender-oid instruments in the last years, so I know what certain stuff does on a guitar, but this thing, with a carved top, a set-neck,... is yet a whole new chapter for me. Consider me very rooky, so I'll gladly absorb any useful information, tips, tricks, remarks, suggestions you all can give me. So without much further ado, I present you: Lesty! (that's the name on the headstock). The good It looks like proper wood. According to the seller, it's a one-piece mahogany neck, a solid mahogany body and a maple top with a flamed motif (not sure if veneer of solid though) There are no apparent cracks, tears, gaps anywhere, and the neck is installed in the right plane and angle, and lines out properly with the holes for the bridge. The bad There are 2 dowelled holes in the top, about 1 cm further to the back of where the current holes for the stop tailpiece are. The holes for the switch and the treble-tone are filled with a plug of some sort (wood or plastic) The cavity for the switch is filled all the way with silicone kit used in bathrooms. It's gummy, it's tough and it needs to go A bit of an overzealous sanding near the switch location (there is a dimple there) The ugly There is this hideous golden finish. While acceptably applied (no runs), it's a bit too gold for my taste, so it needs to go. If there is a flame-top underneath it, I would like to attempt a burst using waterbased stains. And the gold sits everywhere, also on the back, the sides, the neck,... That "Lesty" headstock logo. I don't like it. So that one will very likely bite the dust as well. On Monday, MrsFingers started prodding in the silicone kit in the switch cavity with a corkscrew, a pair of tweezers and a stubby knife while watching the TV. Some four hours later, she managed to extract all of the kit from the cavity. Then, we removed the finish at some strategic locations to see what's underneath it. The gold finish (and primer) are nitro-based, so they came off nicely with nail varnish remover. Underneath were the remnants of a burst, and a subtle flamed maple pattern. The holes for the switch and tonepot were nicely doweled with a wooden plug, but the ones for the stop tailpiece look pretty rough. There is also a lot of damage to the top. What you can't really see is that there is still a VERY thick layer of transparent plastic-y finish over the top. 1mm thick at least. The damage is all to that plastic layer, the wood underneath seems to be almost pristine. Anyone a suggestion on how to remove that thick coat? Sanding? Stripper? Heatgun + scalpel?