first les paul builds

BrandonLee

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so after i made my first guitar for myself,i had two friends begging me for a guitar..so here i go with a les paul and a "left paul".im considering making the necks on these myself so any tips or strategies would be hugely appreciated
 

Barnaby

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Don't have any tips, as I'm in the process of building my first one from scratch right now, but I can offer my encouragement. I wish you all the best - I'm sure you'll do a great job of the builds! :thumb:

Also, I have to say you're on the right forum for questions that will arise along the way. The combined power of the expertise on here could run a small country. :D
 

fatdaddypreacher

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jump on in. i see you,ve been a member for a while, so i suppose you're familiar with ex and the others that do great work both on their builds and their documentation. while there is no true experience like doing it, these sure do help the process along. don't underestimate barnaby,s work either, although it woudn't surprise me if he has to put on his cape and mask and go fix those reactors. is there anything he can't/won't do. how bout pics on your first build? glad to see another build site...maybe you can take some of the heat off of me from emoney. good luck. i'm always ready to learn something.
 

ptate

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Just a few initially:

Get a sliding bevel and fine saw/sharp chisels for the neck angle/tenon cut.
Cut the tenon first and make sure it fits properly.
Mark a centreline through.
Mark out everything clearly from the c/l and cut slightly oversize.
Cut your headstock angle (make sure you leave enough room for your nut ledge) and truss rod route before tapering anything.
Shape your neck at the head/heel ends roughly first and bear in mind the depth of your truss rod channel at all times. Then work the area between them.
Main one - Make sure you mark a centreline clearly and work off that at all times.

Sounds easy, it isn't. Good luck....Take your time, think about it before you cut and look at all the hints/tips on here:thumb:
 

Barnaby

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Just a few initially:

Get a sliding bevel and fine saw/sharp chisels for the neck angle/tenon cut.
Cut the tenon first and make sure it fits properly.
Mark a centreline through.
Mark out everything clearly from the c/l and cut slightly oversize.
Cut your headstock angle (make sure you leave enough room for your nut ledge) and truss rod route before tapering anything.
Shape your neck at the head/heel ends roughly first and bear in mind the depth of your truss rod channel at all times. Then work the area between them.
Main one - Make sure you mark a centreline clearly and work off that at all times.

Sounds easy, it isn't. Good luck....Take your time, think about it before you cut and look at all the hints/tips on here:thumb:

I'm going to use these tips too. Thanks! :hmm:

Some other obvious ones:

- If you are using a 4" x 3" x 30" blank, you can get both necks out of it with up to a 17-degree headstock on each.
- Cut your blank carefully, remembering you will also need wood for the 'wings' of the headstock.
- Quartersawn is apparently best.
- If they are not strictly 'historical' LP copies, you might like to lessen the angle of the headstock and add a volute for strength.
- Sharpen any hand tools used until you can shave with them - this will make them a joy to use and really efficient. :thumb:
 

Barnaby

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don't underestimate barnaby,s work either, although it woudn't surprise me if he has to put on his cape and mask and go fix those reactors. is there anything he can't/won't do.

I won't do folk dancing...

...ever! :D

No cape and mask today. Cleanup work at my University here and some donations to the relief fund are the closest I can get. I'll leave the kudos to the real heroes who are up there right now risking their own lives to pull people out of the rubble. :dude:
 

Claymore

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so after i made my first guitar for myself,i had two friends begging me for a guitar..so here i go with a les paul and a "left paul".im considering making the necks on these myself so any tips or strategies would be hugely appreciated
Hey Brandon, go for it!
I just posted a few pix and trix on neck building in my "Dragon" build that might help.
 

Reverend D

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I won't do folk dancing...

...ever! :D

No cape and mask today. Cleanup work at my University here and some donations to the relief fund are the closest I can get. I'll leave the kudos to the real heroes who are up there right now risking their own lives to pull people out of the rubble. :dude:

Try to remain calm at all times when building. I've heard Barnaby has been known to carve tops while the city shakes and crumbles (if he was just sanding at the time he could have saved a lot of time :laugh2: ).. Oops responded to the wrong post.. My bad... :naughty:

Regards,

Don
 

emoney

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From everything I've read, Valium seems to work best for the "staying calm" portions....
 

bertzie

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If you're worried about making the neck right, go down to your local home improvement store, buy yourself some pine lumber, and practice.
 

BrandonLee

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ok so this is my list of materials so far

2 pieces of sothern swamp banksia (cut and stored since before i was born)
4 pieces unknown rainforrest timber
2 pieces of queensland maple (i think)

the banksia will be used as the back of the bodies,the rainforrest timber will be the tops and the QLD maple the necks,unless anyone has a good reason not to (and "its not traditional" or "not correct" are not good enough resons for me):cool:
 

Barnaby

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ok so this is my list of materials so far

2 pieces of sothern swamp banksia (cut and stored since before i was born)
4 pieces unknown rainforrest timber
2 pieces of queensland maple (i think)

the banksia will be used as the back of the bodies,the rainforrest timber will be the tops and the QLD maple the necks,unless anyone has a good reason not to (and "its not traditional" or "not correct" are not good enough resons for me):cool:

Those timbers sound great to me. Queensland maple is a beautiful wood! :thumb:

Photos of the rainforest timber? Love to see it.
 

ptate

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If it's your first neck:

Make templates (side, head and tenon if required).
Make some profile guages to help determine the shape/feel (1st, 11th and anywhere else you want).
Take time shaping as it's easier to cut than replace timber.
Use some of the tricks in our esteemed luthiers' build threads (black paint, taped sandpaper etc.).
Remeber that the head angle of 17 degrees is close to the cut for your truss rod bullet....Here:
57gold15.jpg

57gold3.jpg
 

BrandonLee

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barnaby-iwill post some pics as soon as o find my camera..it likes playing hide and seek and is winning:rolleyes:

ptate-thanks heaps for that but i was hoping to do a slightly more sensible 14 degree headstock..any issues there?
 

Barnaby

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barnaby-iwill post some pics as soon as o find my camera..it likes playing hide and seek and is winning:rolleyes:

ptate-thanks heaps for that but i was hoping to do a slightly more sensible 14 degree headstock..any issues there?

I think 14 degrees sounds good. Also, if you use a double-action truss rod with an allen nut like the StewMac ones, then you can probably take out much less wood.

Hope your mates are paying you for this (parts and supplies, at the very least). I've noticed that people wanting you to make them a guitar somehow think that things like tuners, bridges and truss rods are free...
 

Bob1

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I think 14 degrees sounds good. Also, if you use a double-action truss rod with an allen nut like the StewMac ones, then you can probably take out much less wood.

Hope your mates are paying you for this (parts and supplies, at the very least). I've noticed that people wanting you to make them a guitar somehow think that things like tuners, bridges and truss rods are free...

Then when they ask you should tell them firstly you'll work out the cost and get back to them.
 

BrandonLee

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yeah theyre payin just what it costs to make them approx $120.
iv ordered two oneway style rods from the music store for $7.50 each so when they come in ill start on the necks..should i make the bodies first or the necks? iv read conflicting opoinions on this
 

ptate

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Easier to fit a tenon to a route than the other way around.:thumb:

14 degree, you may need to leave extra thickness at the head/neck join or add a volute.
 

Barnaby

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Easier to fit a tenon to a route than the other way around.:thumb:

14 degree, you may need to leave extra thickness at the head/neck join or add a volute.

+1. :thumb: (...and timely advice for me too, as it happens...)

I reckon a volute is a great idea for these builds.
 

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