2005 Les Paul Double Cut Faded restoration

paddybrown

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Not sure if this or Luthier's Corner is the right place to post this, but Luthier's Forum seems to be about building guitars, and this is a restoration, so here seems the most appropriate.

I found this guitar in a local second hand shop.

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On examination it turned out to be a 2005 Les Paul Double Cut Faded - basically, a Special with stoptail and tune-o-matic rather than a wraptail bridge - somewhat inexpertly modified and refinished by some barbarian of a previous owner. It's been painted white, but the white paint wasn't very durable, so the original cherry finish shows through, the pickup routs have been enlarged to fit full size EMG humbuckers, it's been rewired for a master volume, master tone and two knobs that do nothing, the bridge volume knob hole has been enlarged and the switch moved there, and the pickguard chopped up. I thought I'd have a go at turning it back into a decent guitar. I tried removing just the white paint, leaving the original cherry, but it had got into the grain and I couldn't remove it without taking too much of the cherry off with it, so I sanded it back to the wood.

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I rebuilt the pickup routs almost invisbly with mahogany wood filler. They still need a bit of work to even them out and straighten the edges, but I'm pleased with the colour match. Will hopefully be inconspicuous except under close examination.I also need to figure out how to make the hole for the bridge volume a bit smaller.

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I came upon a pair of mini-humbuckers online, which would fit the P90-sized routs. I already have a Reverend Sensei Junior with a P90 in it, and I don't have a guitar with mini-humbuckers, so I bought them. Next stage, finishing. It has nice grain, so I want a transparent finish, but if I apply the colour directly it might take differently to the wood and the wood filler, leaving the repair much more obvious. So I'm going to try a clear sanding sealer first, then the colour, then a clear coat. Assuming the wood and the filler don't look too different under the sealer, I can spray the colour onto the sealer and it will look even. I'll need to rig up some kind of spray stand in the back yard.

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Once the finish is done, then I need to worry about wiring it up. I'm really bad at soldering so I'll probably outsource that to a local tech.
 

BDW60

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It’s gonna be a heckuva lot nicer when you’re done compared to how you found it.
 

paddybrown

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Been experimenting with colour. Thought about a spray finish, but I don't have a spray booth or access to anything I can use as one, so I've been looking at alternatives. I do have a bottle of yellow Crimson Guitars Stunning Stains, bought some time ago and not used, so I applied it to the back of the guitar and I like it. The stain is water-based and has raised the grain, so it'll need sanded back and redone, but tYellow combined with the natural colour of the mahogany gives me a nice amber-gold. I've ordered a bottle of their amber stain, which should allow me to do a honeyburst. I'll practice that on the back before I try and do it on the front.

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truckermde

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Nice!

Good save. That poor guitar was looking pretty bad, and now, it's sweet!

I'll be watching for the completed pics...

:cheers2:
 

truckermde

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Looks great, Paddy!

That's gonna be a killer guitar with a sweet back-story.

:cheers2:
 

Roxy13

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Before you are done with the finish you can plug that hole that is too large with a dowel. Flush cut saw to get it matched to the top. Harbor Freight has an inexpensive one.

Excellent job and it looks fantastic!
 

Cjsinla

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I bet that white was the original finish. And, you don’t need a spray booth. Get nitro in a can from Guitar Reranch.
 




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