Can this Les Paul Jr be Salvaged?

TheWelder

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This Les Paul Jr sadly was the victim of a house fire. It's the best playing and sounding guitar I've ever owned and I'm wondering what can be done, if anything, to salvage it. I was told by one luthier that it is too far gone...but I'm having a hard time accepting that. If that's the case, so be it, but I don't want to give up there. I sent photos of this to Gibson, and they were willing to take a look at it but their quote was really high, and I'm not sure I want to put that much money into something that will likely never be the same again.

Any suggestions on what to do with this are welcome. It's now just sitting sadly in my closet in its current state.

Here are the photos post fire:

Gibson LP JR Post Fire_1.jpg
Gibson LP JR Post Fire_2.jpg
Gibson LP JR Post Fire_3.jpg



And here is the current state after a lot of cleaning and sanding that I've done:

Gibson LP JR Post Fire_4.jpg
Gibson LP JR Post Fire_5.jpg
Gibson LP JR Post Fire_6.jpg
Gibson LP JR Post Fire_8.jpg
Gibson LP JR Post Fire_9.jpg
Gibson LP JR Post Fire_12.jpg
Gibson LP JR Post Fire_8.jpg
Gibson LP JR Post Fire_11.jpg
Gibson LP JR Post Fire_10.jpg
Gibson LP JR Post Fire_7.jpg
 

bum

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This is just me but I would put tuners on it and a new nut and play it as is, you can't buy mojo like that and it's one hell of a story.
Sorry to hear about the fire though dude, that sucks
 

Side Burns

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Wow.

hows the neck?

i’d vote to put a new veneer on the headstock (maybe not), new tuners, and clean the rest of the PG, knobs, etc. maybe put some clear on the plastics to keep them from deteriorating further. If the tuners are functional then insert new buttons.

maybe even leave the back of the neck bare.

Not erasing the past just making it playable.
 

TheWelder

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This is just me but I would put tuners on it and a new nut and play it as is, you can't buy mojo like that and it's one hell of a story.
Sorry to hear about the fire though dude, that sucks
Thanks, I've thought about that. I've got about five others like this as well, some in worse condition and others around the same...but this one is really special to me.
 

TheWelder

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Wow.

hows the neck?

i’d vote to put a new veneer on the headstock (maybe not), new tuners, and clean the rest of the PG, knobs, etc. maybe put some clear on the plastics to keep them from deteriorating further. If the tuners are functional then insert new buttons.

maybe even leave the back of the neck bare.

Not erasing the past just making it playable.
I tossed the tuners, they were beyond salvaging. I have all the plastics (aside form the truss rod cover obviously) and they are more or less OK.

I don't know the first thing about installing a new veneer. Can anyone advise where I could find one appropriately sized?
 

Side Burns

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I tossed the tuners, they were beyond salvaging. I have all the plastics (aside form the truss rod cover obviously) and they are more or less OK.

I don't know the first thing about installing a new veneer. Can anyone advise where I could find one appropriately sized?
I cant help you there, but you’re in the right place. *

I’m sure someone will step in and either suggest a place to get a veneer or if it should be painted black with silk-screen Gibson & Les Paul.

& now you have a roasted mahogany neck. Maybe you can start a trend lol
 
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TheWelder

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I cant help you there, but you’re in the right plaxe.

I’m sure someone will step in and either suggest a place to get a veneer or if it should be painted black with silk-screen Gibson & Les Paul.

& now you have a roasted mahogany neck. Maybe you can start a trend lol
I've got an authentic 'roasted' Strat neck now as well. No need to pay extra money for this look...just throw it in a burning living room!

Roasted Strat Neck_1.jpg
Roasted Strat Neck_2.jpg
 

endial

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I tossed the tuners, they were beyond salvaging. I have all the plastics (aside form the truss rod cover obviously) and they are more or less OK.

I don't know the first thing about installing a new veneer. Can anyone advise where I could find one appropriately sized?
I don't believe Juniors' headstocks are veneered, or maybe that depends on the year (-and I could be entirely wrong. Someone will let us both know here). There is no way that guitar is too far gone.

Where are you located? There has to be a luthier nearby that could bring that back to life within a reasonable amount of cost.
 

TheWelder

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I don't believe Juniors' headstocks are veneered, or maybe that depends on the year (-and I could be entirely wrong. Someone will let us both know here). There is no way that guitar is too far gone.

Where are you located? There has to be a luthier nearby that could bring that back to life within a reasonable amount of cost.
I'm pretty sure a veneer was part of Gibson's estimate. If it helps, this guitar is a 2011 Historic VOS 57 RI.
 

pshupe

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Pretty sure JRs did not have a veneer. The veneer was usually for guitars with pearl inlay. They used a thin holly veneer and cut the pearl inlay into it and painted the veneer black and scraped the pearl. JRs had silk screened logo much like the Les Paul signature.

Cheers Peter.
 

Brek

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Sorry to read about the fire, well that cleaned up nicely, it did looked 'toast' as they say in that first pic, but not looking any where near as bad with your tidy up done.
 

TheWelder

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Pretty sure JRs did not have a veneer. The veneer was usually for guitars with pearl inlay. They used a thin holly veneer and cut the pearl inlay into it and painted the veneer black and scraped the pearl. JRs had silk screened logo much like the Les Paul signature.

Cheers Peter.
Thanks for the input. I just found my communication with Gibson and you're right, they don't mention a veneer. I've copied that section below for reference. So do they just stain the face of the headstock black and silk screen from there?

"refinish the neck only in a gloss nitrocellulose lacquer finish to match the back/sides of the body, including re-applying the Gibson and Les Paul Junior silkscreen logos. This repair cannot be guaranteed to look like a new neck, nor should it really look like a shiny, new neck on a vintage guitar. For example, the headstock “wing” tips are not as square as a newly-manufactured headstock."
 

pshupe

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Thanks for the input. I just found my communication with Gibson and you're right, they don't mention a veneer. I've copied that section below for reference. So do they just stain the face of the headstock black and silk screen from there?

"refinish the neck only in a gloss nitrocellulose lacquer finish to match the back/sides of the body, including re-applying the Gibson and Les Paul Junior silkscreen logos. This repair cannot be guaranteed to look like a new neck, nor should it really look like a shiny, new neck on a vintage guitar. For example, the headstock “wing” tips are not as square as a newly-manufactured headstock."
Yes, they paint it black and finish it and then apply the silk screen after. Not sure about the logo but the signature is on top of finish, just like a Les Paul Standard. That is why the signature is usually mostly gone on those old guitars.

Cheers Peter.
 

cmjohnson

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It's cleaned up very nicely and if Gibson's quoted price for the headstock work is fair to you, I'd say do it.

And if some traces of the fire damage should remain, that's good. It's authentic battle damage mojo.

You may recall that Peter Frampton's Les Paul "Phoenix" was restored by Gibson but the choice was made to leave the damage on the headstock just as it was. Some binding remains, the rest burned off. One piece of the diamond inlay complex fell out and was not replaced. Scars tell stories. Stories are cool.
 

TheWelder

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It's cleaned up very nicely and if Gibson's quoted price for the headstock work is fair to you, I'd say do it.

And if some traces of the fire damage should remain, that's good. It's authentic battle damage mojo.

You may recall that Peter Frampton's Les Paul "Phoenix" was restored by Gibson but the choice was made to leave the damage on the headstock just as it was. Some binding remains, the rest burned off. One piece of the diamond inlay complex fell out and was not replaced. Scars tell stories. Stories are cool.
Thank you. I do like the fire damage to an extent and I wouldn't want it completely refinished. To be clear, their quote to respray the neck and headstock and silk screen the logo, signature, and seriel number was fair. They were also saying they thought it would need a complete refret along with planing the fretboard. At that point the price was getting into the territory where I was no longer interested.


On a side note, I love what the fire did to my Goldtop Tribute. I'm getting some new hardware and keeping it as-is:

Goldtop Post Fire_1.jpg
Goldtop Post Fire_2.jpg
Goldtop Post Fire_3.jpg
Goldtop Post Fire_4.jpg
 
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Wailing

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Get a luthier to plane the neck and refret and leave the rest if it plays well.. the guitar looks awesome as it is .. there is no other one like it... what a fantastic story this Phoenix will tell with every note and chord !!
 

TheWelder

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Get a luthier to plane the neck and refret and leave the rest if it plays well.. the guitar looks awesome as it is .. there is no other one like it... what a fantastic story this Phoenix will tell with every note and chord !!
Can anyone tell if this will likely need to refret and fretboard plane from the photos? I'll admit I was skeptical when Gibson told me that but I also sent then photos that were in a previous state of recovery.

You will have an incredible relic collection after you’re done.

Did you completely lose any to the fire?
I for sure lost my '56 AVRI Strat. That was so far beyond salvageable and ended up in one of the dumpster loads with the other debris during cleanup. Of the others, I don't really know yet as I haven't started working on them.
 


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