*** 1952 Les Paul - Next Project ***

moreles

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My personal take is that you have been given an opportunity to take a promising but messed-up guitar and make it outstanding and beautiful. Since new work will be done and you can never make it original again, I see no sense in restoring it to having a trapeze tailpiece. Those guitars are crap, and double-crap-crap-crap when compared to a fully-realized LP. I would do the half-retop. I disagree about the wood figure. I find any individual partial flamed top the have an authenticity that the relentlessly thin/symmetrical veneer tops have made so boring. I would reset the neck. I would not preserve a shallow neck angle that has so many limitations. You're not running a museum, are you? Who wants a guitar with a shallow neck angle -- an LP especially. If every concert Strad in the world has had its neck reset to allow the instrument to play and sound its best. a meh goldtop can have its neck reset too. And I'm sorry you reverted to P90s. IMO, they're good in a LP though with a narrow sound spectrum. I find HBs to be way more versatile and articulate, and to encourage finding your own voice rather than being boxed in somewhat by the P90 sound.
 

archey

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With a nice curly maple you hate to cover it. But envisioning it to it's end I'm thinking you'll have a burst that will always look like it's had damage done to it, or a beautiful perfect looking gold top. I'd probably go gold top.
 

jimi55lp

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With a nice curly maple you hate to cover it. But envisioning it to it's end I'm thinking you'll have a burst that will always look like it's had damage done to it, or a beautiful perfect looking gold top. I'd probably go gold top.
I can't stand those "LUCY" off center mismatched grain tops and don't believe the maple harvest age makes any tonal difference if glued properly with the correct matched maple. I wouldn't say this about the "oldwood" mahogany as I do feel the age of the wood DOES make a very big difference! I also feel this top was heavily damaged before he got this guitar and what he dares to do will be an improvement!! If this wasn't chopped up before purchased, I'd say something like restore it to gold but this man is an artist and very capable of this task.
 

boogieongtr

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Thanks everyone for your input, I appreciate everyone who commented. I'm getting close to having the conversion finished. I decided to put it back to a goldtop...!! I still have to do a fret job and take care of the control cavity. Someone went crazy with a chisel. Finally I'll send it off to Kim at HM for one of his killer goldtop finishes with the natural back color and some light aging/checking. Since I'm doing a 52-57 I put on a new holly veneer and moved the Gibson MOP up to correct placement. These are the last pics till I get the finish. I'll then assemble it, take some pics and post the final results.

Glue on the holly veneer.
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Route for the new MOP
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Glue in new Gibson logo
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Black epoxy filler
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Hand fit the neck to the 4 degree angle
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Glued the neck back in and route for pickups
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I pulled the bushings, filled the holes and positioned them at the correct placement. I used the long 1-1/4" bushings.
IMG_6339.JPG
 

boogieongtr

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Cleaned up the control cover route. You can see the hacked area I still need to fix.
IMG_6340.JPG


Cleaned ledge for backplate.
IMG_6341.JPG


Same thing for the switch cavity.
IMG_6343.JPG


Installed the ABR1 and strung it up. Next up the fret job and new nut.
IMG_6345.JPG
 

nuance97

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Cleaned up the control cover route. You can see the hacked area I still need to fix.
IMG_6340.JPG


Cleaned ledge for backplate.
IMG_6341.JPG


Same thing for the switch cavity.
IMG_6343.JPG


Installed the ABR1 and strung it up. Next up the fret job and new nut.
IMG_6345.JPG
Beautiful
 

1970Deluxe

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Hi I've been following this thread and others you have posted lately. The quality of your work and craftsmanship is without equal. Not sure if this has been covered previously .....but I have a question about the routing templates Gibson used back in the 1950s. What material did Gibson construct their LP body and/or routing templates from? Thanks. Tom
 

boogieongtr

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Hi I've been following this thread and others you have posted lately. The quality of your work and craftsmanship is without equal. Not sure if this has been covered previously .....but I have a question about the routing templates Gibson used back in the 1950s. What material did Gibson construct their LP body and/or routing templates from? Thanks. Tom
Here's a 1967 Documentary and if you watch closely you can see the jigs, templates and woods used.
 

1970Deluxe

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Here's a 1967 Documentary and if you watch closely you can see the jigs, templates and woods used.
Thanks......it appears Gibson's guitar templates and jigs are made of high grade plywood. That's a fascinating old movie Gibson made decades ago.
 

jaydubpdx

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I just scored this 52 LP husk. Someone had stripped off the gold, hacked out for humbuckers, added a shaved down ABR1, tailpiece and did a refin. All of the original woods, bindings and inays are intact. The area below the bridge pickup route is just spilled lacquer and not a repair. The neck has never been out. Restoring the guitar back to an original trap 52 doesn't make sense financially, also the plugs will eventually show thru the finish. I'm trying to decide on one of 3 possibile ways to go. 1) Reset the neck, do a "Snatch" goldtop conversion. 2) Reset the neck, correct the routes and do a two humbucker conversion. 3) Make it a center seam PAF conversion by resetting neck, remove the binding, remove 1/2 of the top, add a matching piece of flame maple, recarve the new piece added.

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If you need a compensated wrap-around bridge, I have one. Aged with aged studs.


I'll make you a good deal on it. It's sitting in my projects (I'll never get to) drawer, LOL!
2) Reset the neck, correct the routes and do a two humbucker conversion. 3) Make it a center seam PAF conversion by resetting neck, remove the binding, remove 1/2 of the top, add a matching piece of flame maple, recarve the new piece added.
 

boogieongtr

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Thanks......it appears Gibson's guitar templates and jigs are made of high grade plywood. That's a fascinating old movie Gibson made decades ago.

Correct, I'm sure Gibson tried to find the most stable materials for their templates. I wonder how many times they had to make new templates due to everyday use. I use Corian and 9 ply 1/2" Russian birch ply for most of my templates.
 

eric ernest

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Thanks......it appears Gibson's guitar templates and jigs are made of high grade plywood. That's a fascinating old movie Gibson made decades ago.
Gibson's very early templates were made of scrap wood...often very figured! They (Post war?) went to templates made of plywood and scrap wood.

Gibson would also repurpose older templates for new models. I have a 100+ year old template that was later used for a classical model in the 60's.

Their templates for plastic parts were wood if they were stamped out, and metal or phenolic if they were routed.
 

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