1950's P-90 to PAF Les Paul Conversion

boogieongtr

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A customer of mine sent me two 1950’s P-90 LP’s for conversions. He didn’t know the production year of either guitar and asked for my input. Both guitars have issues but with some TLC will make great player old wood guitars.



I’d date this one as a late 55, 56 or 57. It has a factory stop tail and ABR1 bridge.


3.8 neck angle which is found on a late 55, 56 & 57 guitars


One of the pots has a 56 pot code, ground wire comes into the control cavity like a stop tail



Nasty gouge on neck and a SS# etched into the heel.


Both P-90 routes were poorly enlarged for a humbucker.


The original fingerboard was removed at some time. The fretboard on the guitar is narrower than the neck wood. You can see the mahogany sticks out past the binding on both sides.


Low Gibson MOP
 

boogieongtr

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First thing is to remove the existing fingerboard.


Fingerboard removed, you can see the neck has never been out of the guitar.


I'm going to pull the neck, glue in a thin piece of mahogany so I can sand out the SS# etched on the heel.




Steaming out as much of the etched SS# as I can.


A little sanding and the SS# is gone.


A dark Brazilian fingerboard with nitrate inlays and Bartlett binding ready to go.


Gluing a small chunk of mahogany with a maple spline to the end of the tenon.


You will see why I did this when I route out for the pickups.


Gluing the Brazilian fingerboard using hot hide glue.


The neck is ready to be glued back into the body.
 
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pinefd

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Awesome project, Jim! And great to see you back at it again. I hope you're doing well.

Question...what did you decide to do about the discrepancy between the width of the fingerboard and neck. Did you use a little wider binding, add a little wood to the side(s) of the fingerboard, or make the neck a little narrower?


Frank
 

refret

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The front of the headstock actually looked pretty good. Not sure why that needed to be stripped?

Also looks like all of that work could have been done with the neck still in the guitar.
 

boogieongtr

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Awesome project, Jim! And great to see you back at it again. I hope you're doing well.

Question...what did you decide to do about the discrepancy between the width of the fingerboard and neck. Did you use a little wider binding, add a little wood to the side(s) of the fingerboard, or make the neck a little narrower?


Frank
The fingerboard on the guitar is not the original board. I'll make a new Brazilian fingerboard so it matches up to the width of the mahogany neck. The owner had his pic from these three.
 

boogieongtr

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Next up the body.... It's going to need some work especially from the hack job on the pickup routes.


Someone also plugged and repositioned the ABR1.



Someone had taken the original bushings out and installed the short ones. I'll install a set of Retrospec 1" bushings.


I made a template so I could use my OH router to clean up the pickup routes.


Both pickup cavities cleaned up.


Maple/mahogany plugs made for each cavity.


Both plugs glued in using hot hide glue.


 

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boogieongtr

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Next I'll clean up the neck pocket.


Touch up the bottom of the mortise.


I'm gluing a piece of mahogany into the neck pocket. This is to replace the 1/32" to the thickness of the neck when I sanded out the etched serial number on the heel.


Hand fit the neck for a perfect fit.


I'll do a dry fit. The neck sets perfect off the body.
 




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