Started a '59 LP project

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Shadowfax29, Jan 3, 2018.

  1. Shadowfax29

    Shadowfax29 Junior Member

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    Ok, so I'm no builder, total beginner here but as many others, I can't justify/afford the price of the 59 that I would truly want. I found this unfinished LP build, seller says it was built to the Bartlette plans, honduran mahogany body, braz board, hide glue etc, and now I've undertaken to try and do the finishing job to my liking. If all goes well I'll end up with a dirty lemon burst.

    Here's a few pics of how I received the husk:

    [​IMG]
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    The seller wasn't sure if the mahogany had been grain filled or not so I ordered some from reranch and went to work tonight

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I have to do some final leveling once the grain filler has fully set, then I need to hit a local lumber supplier to get some test mahogany and maple for when I do my colors. I have analine dyes that I plan on doing this with. More to come!
     
  2. Mr.Fingers

    Mr.Fingers Member

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    If you've come that far, why not complete it yourself? Ah well: his loss is your gain!
     
  3. Shadowfax29

    Shadowfax29 Junior Member

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    My thoughts exactly! The seller I purchased from said he didn't build it and that it was "built by a Luthier in Maine by the name or Pierre to the Bartlette plans" So I guess he just never moved on it afterwards. It's pretty much exactly what I've been looking for to try and create the burst that's been in my head but can't really acquire without dropping some serious cash so I'm hoping it'll be a fun and rewarding learning experience!
     
  4. WhiteEpiLP

    WhiteEpiLP Senior Member

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    Have you assembled the guitar and strung it up to make sure there are no issues that prompted the sale? It looks good in these pics but before you waste the time and money finishing it I'd try to play it.
     
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  5. WezV

    WezV Senior Member

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    definitely do this.

    My first thought is its been sold for a reason - it looks so close to finished. I would want to get a few bits of hardware on to check for issues.

    if you don't have hardware yet, you can at least roughly check neck angles with a free digital spirit level on a smart phone and neck alignment with any long straight edge... as long as these two things seem within tolerance you are usually good to proceed
     
  6. stp

    stp Member

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    yea it seem like he did all the hard stuff then let sell it ?
     
  7. jimi55lp

    jimi55lp Senior Member

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    Check,check,check, then proceed. Please take us along for the adventure?
     
  8. Shadowfax29

    Shadowfax29 Junior Member

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    Thanks for the great tip guys! I do have the necessary parts to do a mock up.......aside from a nut. I'll snag one from work and see how it goes. Seems solidly built, neck looks straight etc. To those saying he did all the hard stuff then bailed, he didn't do anything from what I understand. He hired a builder to build it to its current state then he gave up on finishing it. So hopefully it'll play decently enough to move on.
     
  9. kakerlak

    kakerlak Senior Member

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    Has anything been screwed into the holes for tuners, pickup rings, control covers, etc, or are those just clean pilot holes? If you can see thread marks inside them, then it'd definitely seem like something somebody at least put together. Still, no implication anything's wrong with it. Gibson usually finishes after the nut is installed, so that's a good thing to knock out ahead of finishing and, once that's there, might as well mount tuners, bridge and TP to make sure all the basic geometry works.
     
  10. Shadowfax29

    Shadowfax29 Junior Member

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    Well got it strung up today. Everything seems legit for the most part. Definitely going to need some fret leveling but I'm just doing the finishing and final assembly and once done, it'll go to my tech for all the final setup etc.
     
  11. Atomicmonkey

    Atomicmonkey Junior Member

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    Updates?
     
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  12. Bobby Mahogany

    Bobby Mahogany Senior Member

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    Congratulations on your first post!
    :D

    April 19th, 2016 'till today: one word.
    But an important one.
    I can't wait to see the finished guitar!
    :thumb:
     
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  13. Shadowfax29

    Shadowfax29 Junior Member

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    Ok so here's where I'm at......

    So to recap, Other's expressed some concern that this guy built the guitar then unloaded it. He didn't build it, he hired a luthier to build and then his intentions were to send it to Historic Makeovers to have it completed.

    After members suggestions to string it up I did. And while everything seems ok, will need some fretwork when all is said and done but no major neck issues as far as my eye sees.......the neck was a baseball bat. So at it with sand paper I went....

    The good news.....feels much better now, (I prefer a slimmer 60's style neck)

    And the bad........Even though I measured with a caliper (measurements taken from the neck of my '73 LP custom), Whomever originally built this guitar put the truss deep enough that I hit the cavity when I was thinning out the neck.

    I'm not a woodworker so I'm hoping that my luthier will be able to essentially install a skunk stripe in the neck to fill the cavity. Not thrilled but not sure what I can do at this point.
     
  14. pshupe

    pshupe Senior Member

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    That's too bad. There's your answer to Luthier built or not. NOT! There is no way a luthier would route the truss rod too deep, if this was to be a replica. There are a few minor things that caught my eye. The heel looks a bit long, the roundover on the back looks a little large and the control cavity is very sloppy. Also in the picture showing the neck tenon, it looks like there are gaps on both sides of the tenon, like the neck didn't fit properly. If you were under the impression this was a replica I would expect some money back.

    Regards Peter.
     
  15. marijnsloth

    marijnsloth Senior Member

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    Doesn't that depend on how far you sand the neck down?

    Story goes that Joe Walsh also had his 59 neck shaved down far enough to barely avoid hitting the trussrod channel before he pawned it of to Jimmy Page.

    https://www.creamtone.com/blogs/lonnies-blog/jimmy-page-and-number-one

    Joe Walsh had just bought two Bursts—a '59 and a '60. He didn't like the fat neck on the '59 so he sent it to Lay's Guitar Shop in Akron, Ohio, and asked them to make it as thin as his '60. Lay's has a special technique they use for determining how much wood they can take off the back of the neck without exposing the truss rod, so Joe told Virgil to make it as thin as possible. Then Joe got it back, and he didn't really dig it, so he sold it to Jimmy Page.
     
  16. emoney

    emoney Senior Member

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    No, I think what he's saying is that someone that "knows" will cut a channel that would allow you to thin
    it down without concern. Cutting a channel that deep could go so far as to negate the pull of the rod,
    rendering it useless regardless of if it was sanded down or not. THat article you
    quoted proves his point, in that his builder knew where the rod was, and it allowed
    him to sand it down to meet the 60's specs.

    Plus, he didn't even mention the poorly rounded off "bottom" of the guitar.

    Side note; there's a lot of guitars sitting around in the shops of a bunch of MLP contributors
    in this very state, mainly due to the fact that we simply hated some aspect of it,
    abandoned it and started over. I'm sure it wasn't brought up before because we
    also don't like raining of people's parades, so-to-speak.
     
  17. pshupe

    pshupe Senior Member

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    Here are the average neck widths from BOTB -
    Capture.JPG

    The average is 0.96" at the 11th fret. You would have to take about 0.14" off to hit the truss rod slot if it was built to replica standards. I believe the Bartlett plans are right in that ballpark. That would take it down to 0.82" at the 11th fret. That is mighty thin. What is the thickness of the neck where you hit the slot? That is about 1/16" thinner than a standard replica at the first fret! If this is the case, then it is your fault. If not the luthier made a critical mistake and should not have used that neck.

    Regards Peter.
     
  18. marijnsloth

    marijnsloth Senior Member

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    I hope I don't come off as wiseass, my point of the article was only that it took a skilled luthier to avoid hitting the trussrod slot. So without knowing all the facts (the missing crucial info being just how much wood was sanded off) it isn't quite fair to already call out that the builder put the rod in too deep and is therefore NOT a luthier.

    It could well be that I'm missing something here... but we still don't know how much the OP took off the back of the neck and therefore have no real way to determine how deep the slot is.

    This will indeed give us some more accurate readings of all the dimensions of the neck and the slot.



    I agree that the radius of roundover on the back is a bit too big to be a true replica, but maybe this was a deliberate decision to deviate from. As is the inside of the control cavity. From what I can see in the pictures this might not be a super accurate 59 replica, but that doesn't make it a poorly build hackjob...
     
  19. pshupe

    pshupe Senior Member

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    If it was sold as a 59 LP replica, as clearly states in the title of this thread and also in the OP where he said it was built to the Bartlett plans, then it is a hack job and not done by someone I would call a luthier. He also clearly stated that the neck was "a baseball bat" and he measured his 73 custom for reference. He went at it with sandpaper, which would suggest he didn't accidentally take of 3/16" and hit the properly placed slot. I would like to hear how much he took off to hit the rod. I hope he didn't pay too much for this husk, and would question whether it has a braz board on it as well.

    As far as the control cavity and roundover, I cannot see this as something someone would do on purpose to purposefully deviate. There is no advantage over either and frankly the control cavity is just a time saving hack. With the proper jig and bits you can create a very nice angled pocket so the pots sit the way they should. There are some real bursts, apparently, that display similar qualities but I think they were mistakes that were fixed and not something to be repeated unless you are copying an exact serial # guitar. Also I do not think the diameter of the holes shown here would be what was seen on those "fixed" bursts, but I'm not expert.

    Regards Peter.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2018
  20. marijnsloth

    marijnsloth Senior Member

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    I guess I don't see things as black and white then... there's a lot of grey area before it got into OPs hand. Even the OP doesn't know exactly who built it and the whole 'replica' vs 'inspired by' vs 'based on' makes for a lot of blurry lines IMO.

    Maybe he just didn't have the exact round over bit and asked the guy he was building it for if he could use what he had instead, to which the buyer agreed. My point being there's a lot we don't know about it.

    Agreed, that does sound pretty bad yeah!! I read over the sandpaper part. You can take of wood quit aggressively with a power sander, but not with sandpaper.
     
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