Your opinion keep original, fix it or Mod it?

Discussion in 'The Custom Shop' started by nerveknob, Feb 20, 2012.

  1. nerveknob

    nerveknob Junior Member

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    Hey there. This is my first post to the forum, sorry about the abruptness and lack of introduction.

    I picked up a black 1980 Les Paul Custom that has been abused and I'm not sure what I want to do with it. It would be a decent guina-pig for cap, pot, and pickup mods. But I also look at it and think, ahhh, maybe just keep it original. What would you do in my situation? I didn't pay a ton, but enough that it's not throw away money.

    The thing smells like it was assembled at the Marlboro plant. All the hardware that was on it is original (very warn gold) and the pickups are missing the covers. The neck is straight, the jumbo frets are in need of some dressing (not overly horrible) but not a lot of meat on the frets, they are low.

    Buuuut... The thing sure has character from the abuse. A lot of edge chips scratches and dents which I can get around. But there is one dent/gouge that's really huge and does bother me a little. My question is, should I have someone attempt to repair or fill it?

    I wont waste time with photos of the whole guitar, I stripped it to give it a good rub down and clean the parts and attempting to give it a detox. So here are some shots of the gouge.
     

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  2. Nay

    Nay Senior Member

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    Its up to you about keeping the original hardware, but I'd consider refurbing it. A bit of mojo is a good thing, but bashes and dents all over aren't.

    There is a ton of build threads on here, mainly in the luthiers section. I'd consider reading up on that and attemp to learn to refinish the whole thing youself, either back to black or whatever you choose. Refinishing back to a decent standard could up its value a touch too, especially keeping it in its original colours.

    Otherwise, it would be a decent test bed for rewiring, but thats up to you.
     
  3. purevilpleasure

    purevilpleasure Senior Member

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    I would have it "steamed" out and than let it be. The wood in compressed and can be brought back out with a wet towel and an iron........pratice first or find a furniture store that has done it before.
     
  4. Guitardad47

    Guitardad47 Senior Member

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    I have a Black '80 Custom as well and I really fell in love with the T Top pickups that are originally installed. My vote would be to clean up the finish as best you can, get a Cts pot and Pio cap package from Jonsey, keep the T Tops and play the heck out of it. You will find these are great LP's.
     
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  5. Zenzeypher

    Zenzeypher Senior Member

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    I love a guitar beaten to hell and back but shows love, like a nice nut, clean hardware - good wiring etc.

    Id get it all upto scratch, make sure the tuners are nice, get the nut upgraded, sort out the hardware, fret dressed get her set up and play the shit out of her.

    I play a lot of punk and hard rock so over time my guitars get bashed up pretty quickly unless it's my Telecaster, that's my baby and barely gets used live..but even that is showing some love dings.

    Set her up, and let er' rip... least you don't have to worry about dropping it too much :D

    edit> however I LOVE A nice neck, so if they come dinged up I usually sand them out to get the ding out and then to smooth it, I do it with most my geets.
     
  6. HOT-BRIT

    HOT-BRIT V.I.P. Member

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    the dings are only character marks, you will still see that larger dent after steaming and the steaming swill effect the finish in the area, so just clean it, set it up and enjoy it!
     
  7. northernguitarguy

    northernguitarguy SWeAT hOg

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    Make it playable (fret-dressing, and by the sounds-or rather smell-of it, the electronics could use a sprucing up) and that's it! IMO..
     
  8. HOT-BRIT

    HOT-BRIT V.I.P. Member

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    Leave it out and the smells will go away in time
     
  9. GitFiddle

    GitFiddle Premium Member

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    Arrrgh, its just a flesh wound.
    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zKhEw7nD9C4]Monty Python-The Black Knight - YouTube[/ame]

    That looks more like a gouge out of the wood and somebody may have covered it over with nail polish or something.

    Yes, please waste some more time on more photos. I have a severe disappoint because I don't have an old beat up black custom. :cool:
     
  10. Eric Smith

    Eric Smith Senior Member

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    Leave it. Me likey. In the grand scheme of things it really isn't hurting anything. Seriously, have you seen Frampton's custom that they just found after 31 years. That thing had been through a ton more than this and he had it restore back to working condition; nothing more. It tells a story. Personally I think I would also just leave it as original too. Clean it up and play it. Nice find.
     
  11. nerveknob

    nerveknob Junior Member

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    Thanks for the input. I should have started this thread elsewhere, but I don't see how to move it.

    So is this common? The serial number states that this was made Oct 2nd 1980. But when I took out ground plate, it was ink stamped 1981. The pots are 1979. The pickups are not T-Tops, I cannot tell what they are yet, but appears to be 498T/490R (I'm guessing, I don't know, maybe you guys can tell).

    If it seems too far gone to be worth much (you'all would know better than me), then I'm thinking of putting a pair of Classic 57's, oil caps, 50's wiring, and Guitarworks Superpots.

    I'm at work, later I'll post hardware. Here are more pics of it stripped.
     

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  12. nerveknob

    nerveknob Junior Member

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    handful more pics of condition
     

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  13. nerveknob

    nerveknob Junior Member

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    And finally. I'm at work, later I'll post hardware.
     

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  14. nerveknob

    nerveknob Junior Member

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    Could someone help me identify what the pickups are?
    IMG_0844.jpg and IMG_0847.jpg above.

    I have a pair of Classics I was thinking about swapping, but I'm a little too green to know what I am swapping.
     

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