- Feb 5, 2014
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If you were brave enough and had some sort of horizontal brace, I wonder how much you could clear away with a long forstner or flat wood bit.
If you really have had this experience, you'd know straight away that a hand saw would give you neither surface ready for gluing. So it would be about the worst way for prep, convenience and end result.....darkback or not. Pro's for example doing burst conversions with a replaced maple top never try and saw the top off........and thats with the glue join being hidden by the binding too.I had my own brick and mortar guitar repair business for many years, trained under Erlewine in the 80s, God only knows how many broken pegheads and pulled up bridges I have fixed, nevermind the neck resets and the dozens and dozens of refrets and bone nuts, it goes on and on. So not like this is a Boy Scouts project.
I don't like the top, I plan on sending it to Kim at Historic Makeovers for an exact copy of this one, along with the refin I will have the top carved to exact 1959 specs which they knock out of the park. In addition to the recarve, the refin itself will take the thick plasticized finish off and should be more resonant once the lacquer is applied, plus weight relieving it with long channels should give it more volume acoustically as well. There is no collector value in a Lester that has been broken as badly as this one was, and repaired, but if it turns it into a really really standout guitar it will be worth the investment. I refretted it with stainless Jescar wire set in epoxy, it got a real nice hollow vowel tone after the fret work, I was quite surprised at the difference. I knew it would wake it up to refret it, but it seems to have accented the upper mids and brought them remarkably closer to the sound of the best bursts that I have heard.
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Dougie, if I am understanding you correctly you are saying that you want to have the top replaced with a copy of the one you have pictured.Wouldn't popping the top off and routing like the factory(same/diff pattern) be best and easiest? They do top replacements, don't they?
There's your answer right there. Leave the top alone. Chamber from the back, plane it down, and veneer it.... I thought about routing off the back, then I would have to redo the switch and control cavity cover routs, very time consuming but likely the most professional looking results of all methods.
I had a thread here from 2013 about lightening a LP, maybe it was in that thread let me go find it. Guess you can tell I haven't given up on doing this if I am still wishing it to be done 7yrs later.I've seen something really similar to what you're wanting to do... but now of course I can't find the site. It was a German site is all I remember. But they did essentially what you're talking about. Sawed about 1/4" off the back of the guitar, chambered it, then glued the wood back on, and refinished the guitar. I'll keep having a look around, but it was in one of those threads of people asking how to remove weight from their Les Pauls.
This is exactly what I was thinking. The German site that had the same exact thing done. They had a really elaborate pattern though; almost star like shape. But otherwise, perfectly doable. Sorry, I can't tell a band saw from a marching band, but salute you for the effort.I've seen something really similar to what you're wanting to do... but now of course I can't find the site. It was a German site is all I remember. But they did essentially what you're talking about. Sawed about 1/4" off the back of the guitar, chambered it, then glued the wood back on, and refinished the guitar. I'll keep having a look around, but it was in one of those threads of people asking how to remove weight from their Les Pauls.