First '59 LP Build Thread

Scero Guitars

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Hey guys,

This is going be as detailed as possible, build thread of my VERY first '59 LP build. I am definitely going for as much period correctness as possible, but am not going to get "too" hung up on small minute details. Really just want to focus on the truly vital aspects, i.e.: body woods, glues, angles, hardware and electronics.


I have many T & S style builds under my belt, and feel very comfortable handling those handmade builds. I have the most high and upmost respect for the Replica builder out there, Bartlett, Yaron, Weyandt, Gustavason, Ian Anderson, etc. I really wanna put my skills to the test, and see if i could get somewhat close to the real thing. I am going to be taking AS MUCH time is needed on this, not rushing any of the even the most small details.

Any input, feedback, or general chatting, would be gladly and much appreciated ! I truly wanna hear whatever (try and keep it friendly), from whoever about it ! No constructive criticism will be turned down -


On this first one, i thought about carving the top, with help from a phenominal luthier, Ed Lynch, but decided to take a "little" easier, and use on of Tom's beautiful Eastern Maple Carved Tops. On my next one, i am certain i will tackle the carving of the top BY HAND !


Some of the details of the pics, may be bluntly obvious to most of you, but i'd like to show as much detail as i can, to any newbs (myself included) out there, who may need a little bit more light, into what i'm trying to do


Woods For Build:

300yr Old Growth Honduran Mahogany (Purchased from Ches @ NorthShoreVintage)

Pre-Carved Eastern Maple Top (Courtesy of Mr Tom Bartlett)

Old Growth Brazilian Rosewood Board

Holly Veneer


Parts Used:

Retrospec Nitro Cellulose Inlays (Courtesy of Kim @ Retrospec)

Royalite Binding (Courtesy AGAIn of Tom Bartlett)

Jescar 6100 Frets (Loved these on my last replica i owned)




Woods



Was able to get TWO neck blanks out the one blank Ches sent me. SUPER excited about that. The stuff is SO light, rings like a bell, and has some real nice flame and Cathedral grain to it.



Both necks, cut down to rough form. Working with such expensive, and old wood, is a little nerve wracking ! But, patience, and OCD-ness, will prevail !



Beautiful piece of Brazilian, show on top of the Old Growth it will be matched up with soon








Sanding down the sides, trying to get to my 1 11/16 Nut width, with the right amount of taper up the neck. Still really considering a 1 5/8" width. Last Replica had it, and it just MUCH more comfortable to my hands. . .




Trying to clean up the headstock, to get as close to possible at the look im going for. Definitely dont wanna do anything to UPSET the BIG GUYS, but wanna have somewhat the same look and feel from far away.











 

Scero Guitars

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Forgot some pics ;)

Fingerboard, ready to start radiusing to 12". It was hard deciding which side to use on this beaut, both had awesome figure, and dark look. I ended up choosing the darker side. . .
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Radiusing with a 12" block. Started with 80 Grit paper, to get a little more mass off, and smooth up ALOT of the rough edges and middle grain of the piece.
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More final sanding will come on the board, after fret slots are cut, and inlays are cut and installed.


I am LOVING my new StewMac Miter Box, Saw & scale length templates, for fret cutting ! The different scale length templates, though pricey, make the whole experience easier and enjoyable !

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MORE TO COME !
 

Pete M

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Nice! Looking forward to seeing this one progress. :thumb:
 

pshupe

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Looks great. Awesome looking board. That's gonna look killer. You may want to do ears, if you are doing a "replica"? Keep those images coming. :thumb:

Cheers Peter.
 

pshupe

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Sure - I think most of the stuff is over rated but that is what makes it a replica, isn't it?? Hide glue is over rated. Brazilian rosewood is WAAAAY over rated considering the price. Honduran mahogany is over rated. Cellulose nitrate inlays are over rated. I think you see where I'm going here! ;-) Better save up some big $$$ for the Cellulose Acetate Butyrate pick up rings. You can buy ones that kind of look like them for $4 each, or the real CAB ones for about $200 each. Do you really want a real replica?

I actually really like the look of Tom Bartlett's cellulose nitrate inlays, and his binding material is great to work with. I made my fist guitar out of hard ash, which was a real pain to work with. Mahogany and maple are like butter after that.

Cheers Peter.
 

ARandall

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Personally I too believe that the ears are a key part of doing a Gibson replica. Given that you've gone to the trouble of getting proper woods, you should add them in. It wouldn't be that hard to add then at this stage....the Bartlett build thread has the dimensions of the centre block if you need it.
 

Scero Guitars

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FINALLY ! Had some free time today to get a few small things done on the '59 Build -

Nothing more fun that making templates, off of other templates :0 But it has to be done

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Forgot to take pics of a few small things, like;

Routing Control Cavity (did not worry about vintage accuarte angle cut to expose maple. . . Like i said, a few small historic accuracies, will be passed up, more worried about TONE & PLAYABILITY)

Recess for electronics cover

Routing Toggle Switch hole

Recessing Switch hole Cover


Didn't have my Bartlett plans with me (working at home), so after a little Googling, and callin on a few builders/buddies, i found the info ! 9/16" Depth by 1/2" width is routed

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1/8" Recess is routed with Dremel Tool 1/8" Straight Cutting Bit (Same bit reccomended by Bartlett to use for Inlays with his Stainless Steel Inlay Template)

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Hope to get ALOT more done this week ! Glue on the top, get some neck work done, ANYTHING ! I'm Gassing for my own guitar !!!
 

Scero Guitars

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Sure - I think most of the stuff is over rated but that is what makes it a replica, isn't it?? Hide glue is over rated. Brazilian rosewood is WAAAAY over rated considering the price. Honduran mahogany is over rated. Cellulose nitrate inlays are over rated. I think you see where I'm going here! ;-) Better save up some big $$$ for the Cellulose Acetate Butyrate pick up rings. You can buy ones that kind of look like them for $4 each, or the real CAB ones for about $200 each. Do you really want a real replica?

I actually really like the look of Tom Bartlett's cellulose nitrate inlays, and his binding material is great to work with. I made my fist guitar out of hard ash, which was a real pain to work with. Mahogany and maple are like butter after that.

Cheers Peter.


True, alot of those things are just HYPE, but make a replica a replica.

As far as period correct M69 Rings, Alex at Wizz Pickups sold me his $150 ones at a price that would make most people mouth's drop ;)

I have a very nice set of Italian Correct Nitrate Inlays, but they dont fir super well with Tom's Template, so i may have to pick up a set of His/Retrospecs's
 

Scero Guitars

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FINALLY had some time to work on the build these past few days, YAY !!!

Honestly, one of the most new/scariest parts for me on this build, was the Inlays. I literally have had sleepless nights, wondering how i should do it, and strategizing the perfect way to put em in. Well. i KNEW they would not come out perfect the first time around . . . . Had to be realistic, but i think that might be a historic accuracy ? ;)


Like mentioned earlier, i am using a set of vintage accurate, Italian Nitro Cellulose Inlays. I used these for the first '59 Replica i had Ed Lynch build me, and LOVED EM !


Since my fret slots we already cut, i found the centerline of my Brazilian board, and then the centerline of each inlay. This was obviously going to help me with at least centering the inlay.

Next, i taped off every space that would have an inlay, and positioned the inlay so the exact same amount of space was showing on each side of the inlay (perfectly center between each fret slot). Once i found the exact centering, i'd pencil mark each side of the inlay for reference, then 2-side tape the inlay to hold it into place, inside it's traced area.

After that, using tips & tricks from Ex-Nihilio , i x-acto knifed the edge around each inlay.











Once the x-acto trace lines were cut, i peel back the tape of that area, showing you a inner tracing of your inlay. From there, i used my Dremel with a 1/8" straight cut bit, to mil out as much of the inlay as possible, without going past my tape/trace line. After this is the fun part, using chisels to fit and form each slot to take the inlay, as tight and flush as possible.

By NO MEANS did mine come out perfect (remember, wasn't expecting them too), or close to that, but not that bad. I used Testers Rubber Cement glue, mixed with Brazilian Dudt, to make a putty, and fill all the spaces and tiny little areas. This is another trcik learned from ExNihilio


Inlays and Board being final sanded/radiused after inlay and putty work is done:











Here's the final product, sanded up to 1200 Grit, what do you think ?!?!












BODY TIME !

Last we saw, i had just got done routing for my wire channel in the mahogany, well after some final flat sanding to both the mahogany and maple top (wanna make sure they sandwich together as flat as possible), it was time to glue the top on.

I made sure to find my centerline on the mahogany, to match up with the maple. As per Tom Bartlett's recommendation, i used Dap Urea Formaldehyde to glue the mahogany w/ the maple top.


After laying down a healthy amount of glue, it was clamp time ! The world doesn;t have enough clamps . . . . .













More updates to come ASAP ! Maybe i'll get to work on the neck a little . . . ?
 

pshupe

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If you want to make your inlay routing a little easier check out this thread about fretboard inlay templates. Here is a link to the thread about it http://www.mylespaul.com/forums/luthiers-corner/239842-fretboard-inlay-template.html

This thread shows what they are and how they are used. Tom Bartlett is selling them on his site here - www.bartlettwoodworking.com and a lot of other really cool stuff. I think you said you have been there before.

There is a modern version which relates to the most common Gibson scale which works with the pre-slotted and pre-radiused fretboards and a vintage version which relates to the "rule of 18" scale length of the vintage Gibson guitars, specifically the '59 standard burst. There is also a small one that has the 4 different sizes in a smaller format.

Looks great BTW. Keep up the good work.

Cheers Peter.
 

pshupe

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Tom Bartlett's vintage correct inlays. Thanks

Regards Peter.
 

Scero Guitars

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If you want to make your inlay routing a little easier check out this thread about fretboard inlay templates. Here is a link to the thread about it http://www.mylespaul.com/forums/luthiers-corner/239842-fretboard-inlay-template.html

This thread shows what they are and how they are used. Tom Bartlett is selling them on his site here - www.bartlettwoodworking.com and a lot of other really cool stuff. I think you said you have been there before.

There is a modern version which relates to the most common Gibson scale which works with the pre-slotted and pre-radiused fretboards and a vintage version which relates to the "rule of 18" scale length of the vintage Gibson guitars, specifically the '59 standard burst. There is also a small one that has the 4 different sizes in a smaller format.

Looks great BTW. Keep up the good work.

Cheers Peter.



Hey Peter,

I actually have one of these templates already, but for some reason i just wanted to do it by hand the first go around (don't ask me why). I had a little bit of trouble setting up a jog to hold the inlay template, exactly the way i wanted, so i just went at it by hand with he dremel and carving tools.

I'd really like to have a go with the next build around ;)
 

pshupe

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That's cool. I did my first board by hand and while it turned out OK, it took me forever, hence the reason to do the template. Now it takes me about 1/10th or less of the time and they are in the perfect location and depth, and obviously, size.

If you need a hand with the jig setup or clarification do not hesitate to PM me.

Cheers Peter.
 

Scero Guitars

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I can't believe it's taken me so LONG to update this thread, sorry guys !

Alot has been done in this past week, and the progress is making me more and more excited for the final product.


From the last I posted, I had just clamped the maple top to the mahogany, and joined em with the Dap Urea Formaldehyde glue. This yielded a GREAT glue joint, and hopefully even better transfer of tone from the two.

Next, i removed the clamps and trimmed the over hang by hand with my router. Came out pretty clean








Next came the mortise. Luckily my templates, that i mad off of other templates, were going to make this whole new experience for me, much easier.

Begin by drilling out the bulk of the slot, with a forstner bit. Making sure to not go NEAR my 1 1/2" depth



Next, i attached my template, and began to work my way down, aout 1/16" of an inch at a time. Just to make sure i didnt go too deep





Final Product

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Next it was time to start cutting and shaping the tenon. This was one of the newest and most scariest parts for me (coming over from the Fender style side of building), but with alot of measuring, and multiple reconsiderations, i gave it a go !





I made a small jig, with the 4.4 degree angle cut, to start cutting my angle on the neck








After a hours of shaping, chiseling out the shoulders, and form fitting as much as possible, i was able to get quite an amazingly tight fit, with a NICE centerline.








Piecing together quite nicely :)













One of my biggest discrepancies was, how i wanted to shape the headstock. Since i have no intent on selling this guy, I decided to make it look "right" :), and i'm happy i did.
With my templates, and my Dremel tool w/ 1/8" Straight Cutting Bit, i was able to get a nice open book on the top.







My Frets finally arrived today as well !!!! Now i can put em in, and attempt at doing my first bound NECK. I went with Jescar 6100's for this guy, since i loved em SO MUCH on my EJ Lynch '59 Inspired.

Using my 12" radius caul from StewMac, i began pressing them in one by one. Luckily my fret slot depth match up AMAZINGLY well with the Jesacar's. I know, it was risky business cutting em without frets on hand :(
I superglued each one in on the ends, just to assure me a nice tight and flush hold on em.




FINAL PRODUCT


 

Scero Guitars

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So, i may be the worst build thread-er ever - Sorry guys, I got absolutely swamped with customer orders, right around the time my last update posted -


ALOt has obviously gotten done since my last post, and i'll try and re-cap the most important parts since -



Glue the vintage accurate binding to Braz RW board

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Neck is test fitted, and is as SNUG as i think is possible (So glad to see !)



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Neck came the pickup routes. This was BY FAR, my least favorite and most frustrating part for me - but time and patience persevered

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I used a maple strip to fill in my minimal gap in the truss rod slot

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Next was time for routing the binding channel - Ed Lynch was kind enough to let me use his channel router jog for this part, due to me not being setup for routing channels on a carved top

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Next, was the gluein on of the binding. I chose to use a trick i learned from Ex-Nihilio, of melting binding, and using it as the pst for adhesive-ness. Some small areas i used epoxy for

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My next part was to route the roundover radius - this required the purchase of a new 3'8" bit. But hey, i love any reason to buy a NEW BIT !


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I was finally on to shaping the neck - I had no real era of LP that i was trying to replicate, i just simply wanted it to feel good in the hand. a CHUNKY C is what that ended up being

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Next was time to Hot hide Glue in the neck. This was somewhat trouble some for me, as i over heated the neck pocket and neck tenon with the heat gun, which caused the neck to get stick have way into inserting. After removal, clean up, and reglue, everything worked out great !


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Sadly, many steps we're not captured, but know, i did my best to replicate every step as much as possible, as to guarantee me the results i was looking for -



The first finish turned out ok, but i had a few bad areas, some sinking, some sand thru from wet sanding, and i just COULD NOT live with it. So, i decided to strip her to the bone, refill, and refinish ! I truly could not be HAPPIER that i did !



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After wet sanding and buffing


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(wetsanded to 5000 grit)




After buffing

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You'll notice frets are missing now. I decided to remove em, since i wasnt completely happy with my inlay job, and wanted to go back and clean it up, ALOT ! New frets are about 2 weeks away, and i will have final assembled shot of this beaut ! And maybe. . . . . some SOUND CLIPS !
 

Scero Guitars

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I also decided to go with a set of Ian Anderson's Alnico 2 humbuckers - I told him exactly what i was looking to replicate sound wise, and he said he'd dial it in for me NO PROBLEM

Really excited to hear how these bad boys sound
 

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