1955 Les Paul Jnr Resto-Mod

Jumping@shadows

V.I.P. Member
Joined
Sep 15, 2012
Messages
1,351
Reaction score
2,637
Hi all, I thought I’d share a really cool recent project, and something a bit different to the usual conversions and traditional restorations I do.

I bought a completely FUBAR vintage ‘55 Jnr husk for no more reason than it was old and fell into my lap, but it was so trashed I didn’t really know what to do with it as far as a straight restoration, so as I had a heavily flamed eastern maple top laying around I decided to get crazy and see if I could build a hybrid guitar incorporating my favourite ‘50s Les Paul aspects.

I started with this:





The headstock was broken off, body riddled with hand chiselled cavities and crudely made into a double cut, as well as all the rest, so I first set about making a sound chassis to accept the maple top:



The plan was for a P90/PAF/wraptail combo with perhaps two volume/master tone Flying V set up, but that got modified later on.

It took a lot of work to get the top fitted, and I added a ~2mm shin under the original fretboard to make a fat neck as well as compensate for the shallow Jnr neck set, and here’s an early mock up:



Layout now decided:



Pickup routes and wraptail bridge complete:



Mahogany back pore filled and the whole guitar sanding sealed, ready for aniline finishing:



Classic ‘50s cherry sunburst:



The completed guitar:



I didn’t want to bind the top so masked off and scraped the edges to make a faux natural flame maple binding, which looks killer imo, and overall I feel it’s a really striking yet classically familiar look, and the pickup combination sounds crazy good!
Overall it sounds much more like a Jnr than a Standard as it’s aggressive and really barks in the midrange, and being slightly thinner overall is very comfortable- killer result from what was pretty much firewood :salude
 

Attachments

Dalendl

Junior Member
Joined
Jan 30, 2019
Messages
27
Reaction score
36
Very nice! Looks like a fun guitar to play.
 

sliberty

Member
Joined
Feb 11, 2008
Messages
68
Reaction score
30
Beautiful work, and the results are just gorgeous.

For what it is worth, to my eye, that husk looks like it was an early / mid 60' Melody Maker.
 

Mick51

Premium Member
Joined
May 14, 2008
Messages
466
Reaction score
171
Looks great! I''m curious as to how you have the controls wired.
 

caloyburger

Member
Joined
Oct 20, 2011
Messages
30
Reaction score
78
Wow! Awesome work and good save there. It came out 10x better. That would also be a good idea for a custom order junior/special build.
 

warprider

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 31, 2011
Messages
418
Reaction score
428
This is witchcraft, pure & simple. There's no other explanation for this wizardry.

We will be in touch regarding the drowning. Bring the guitar.
 

mgdesigns

Junior Member
Joined
Dec 25, 2009
Messages
21
Reaction score
11
Hi all, I thought I’d share a really cool recent project, and something a bit different to the usual conversions and traditional restorations I do.

I bought a completely FUBAR vintage ‘55 Jnr husk for no more reason than it was old and fell into my lap, but it was so trashed I didn’t really know what to do with it as far as a straight restoration, so as I had a heavily flamed eastern maple top laying around I decided to get crazy and see if I could build a hybrid guitar incorporating my favourite ‘50s Les Paul aspects.

I started with this:





The headstock was broken off, body riddled with hand chiselled cavities and crudely made into a double cut, as well as all the rest, so I first set about making a sound chassis to accept the maple top:



The plan was for a P90/PAF/wraptail combo with perhaps two volume/master tone Flying V set up, but that got modified later on.

It took a lot of work to get the top fitted, and I added a ~2mm shin under the original fretboard to make a fat neck as well as compensate for the shallow Jnr neck set, and here’s an early mock up:



Layout now decided:



Pickup routes and wraptail bridge complete:



Mahogany back pore filled and the whole guitar sanding sealed, ready for aniline finishing:



Classic ‘50s cherry sunburst:



The completed guitar:



I didn’t want to bind the top so masked off and scraped the edges to make a faux natural flame maple binding, which looks killer imo, and overall I feel it’s a really striking yet classically familiar look, and the pickup combination sounds crazy good!
Overall it sounds much more like a Jnr than a Standard as it’s aggressive and really barks in the midrange, and being slightly thinner overall is very comfortable- killer result from what was pretty much firewood :salude
I love the color of the top. Can you share the recipe? I have a Les-Scrapper in the works, but 2 more LP's after and would love the color of that top on mine. Thanks Ahead.
 
Last edited:

Blues_Verne

Member
Joined
Aug 6, 2008
Messages
33
Reaction score
23
Oh man, what a beautiful guitar. I love that grain and the color of the top - awesomeness!!!
 

punkerg1

Member
Joined
Dec 18, 2009
Messages
68
Reaction score
36
I love the color of the top. Can you share the recipe? I have a LesScrapper in the works, but 2 mor LP's after and would love the color of that top on mine. Thanks Ahead.
Man that wouldve made me an awesome 55 DC, beautiful convo, if I found a husk like that anyway you could make me a dc standard?
 

Herbie74

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2011
Messages
218
Reaction score
174
Very cool. Anymore pics of the back, neck and headstock?
 

anorton

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2013
Messages
294
Reaction score
408
Incredible! I’d love to see more pics including headstock, back, neck, etc.
 

none2low

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 13, 2012
Messages
149
Reaction score
120
That looks amazing!! Absolutely love the PAF/P90 pickup combo.
 

BrianB

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 20, 2012
Messages
3,708
Reaction score
5,541
Beautiful work, and the results are just gorgeous.

For what it is worth, to my eye, that husk looks like it was an early / mid 60' Melody Maker.
Melody Makers like what you reference have the control cavity routed from the front, with the pickguard serving a dual role as control cover.

This is a '63;




Also a '63, fully assembled;

 




Top