- Jul 11, 2010
- Reaction score
Awesome work Yuuki.
Amen.Why is this called a restoration? This is a conversion in my opinion.
...and a destruction of an original piece of musical history. A rare 1960s LPC was made into something it is not...
Kudos to your skills though, it is well executed, but I don´t understand why someone would do that. It isn´t a burst, it´s a conversion.
I love this wood working stuff.Hi all, MLP has always been sensitive to vintage Les Paul restoration threads, with equal cries of heresy/praise but I thought some would be interested in the full process.
For those with less patience, this:
Is now this:
This guitar has been discussed in a previous LPF thread, and was a factory flame top ‘60 Les Paul that was factory finished as an LP Custom- so has full Burst construction with correct internal routing, but LPC cosmetics and ebony fretboard and ornate headstock etc.
As I understood it, this lived anonymously as a run of the mill ‘60 LPC until an owner stripped the top revealing the centre seam flame maple cap (as I’m sure most reading this are aware all ‘50s LPC’s were full mahogany with no cap at all, but a single piece carved body), and after staining the top a kinda Gretsch orange played it as such until it eventually made it into a friend’s hands who sold it to me as a husk.
At his request HM did a beautiful job of bursting the top while keeping it as a three pickup Custom/Burst, but I had other plans, namely to bring it back to full ‘60 Standard spec by going back to bare wood and methodically correcting the Custom appointments.
The most obvious challenge was of course cleanly filling the middle pickup route to allow for a traditional twin pickup set up and transparent sunburst finish, but tackling the extra wide binding channels on top and back to leave a clean result was actually much more of a head scratcher!
Less troublesome was swapping the ebony board for a ‘60 SG Braz board I’d salvaged and tweaking the headstock to Burst spec, as well as a full vintage correct refinish, but enough blabbing- on to the build log!
Here it is after initial stripping, showing the original heavily flamed maple cap, with original black lacquer still in the cavities- note the 1/2” Burst/Standard spec routed wiring channel, and not the round drilled hole as found on the one piece body LP Custom, undisturbed long tenon neck joint, and traditional LP Standard control cavity with all expected ‘chew marks’ present:
First came heating off the ebony board, which confirmed the neck was original to the body, with the typical tenon shim I’ve seen on a vast amount of vintage Gibson’s:
After removing the top binding and levelling the channel, I hand cut a ‘frame’ of flamed and grain matched maple that exactly followed the perimeter of the top, just wide enough to make up the extra width of the LPC binding, but leaving enough space for traditional single ply Burst binding:
The reason I didn’t just use flexible maple trim and steam bent it was because the grain would not have matched, and there would have been a very obvious straight grained ‘halo’ the full way around- this way, although hugely time consuming and technically challenging allowed an excellent grain/flame match, even though it would be all but lost in the sunburst anyway..