Les Paul Style Build With Silky Oak

P.H.Fawcett

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I started this build near to end of the Archtop build I put up here earlier this year. Silky Oak ( Grevillea Robusta ) is a tree that grows well in my part of Australia and is very close in its properties to Honduran Mahogany.

This guitar has a flat sawn back with a quarter sawn top. The neck is from quarter sawn material. The figure of quarter sawn Silky Oak can be quite pronounced. At the moment I'm waiting on some Weld-On to do the binding on the f/board and body.


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Brek

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Interesting, hope it goes well. Stick some sound clips up when it’s finished.
 

P.H.Fawcett

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Well it's been a while since my last post and I've been cruising along here. Some days I can't make it to the workshop as the house or garden needs attention. The old body complained after I did some fencing so I've decided to call a couple of young fellas to finish the job. I got a couple of repairs in, one being a Telecaster that needs the output jack changed over to an Electrosocket and the other a 15yr old Maton 12 string, that has succumbed to the sub-tropical climate. It's going to need a neck reset.

Here's a couple of photos that show some a bit more work with the neck bound and the body routed for pickups. I dropped my router bit so I'm waiting on a replacement from Stewmac before I can rout the body for binding.
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Like most of my builds the journey takes over from the destination.
 

P.H.Fawcett

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Things have picked up pace here this week. Like the cargo cults of the South Pacific Islands the mail plane finally dropped off the router bit for the binding channels. I now realise that the one I dropped had to be almost 20yrs old so it must have been fairly blunt.

Now I don't want to scare the horses with my setup for holding the trim router but it does work, even if the assembly is what could described as "agricultural". The router is fixed to the box with a threaded screw from inside into the clear plastic base. Then hi-tech strap iron serves to hold the body securely and vertically. A cord rides through and over a pulley [ part of an old sailboard rig ] and is tied off to lead strap acting as a counter balance. Finally a plywood puck rides the contours of the body. And all is safe as houses.

Would you let this man repair your valuable guitars ?!?


Les Paul Silky oak 07.jpg

Les Paul Silky Oak 08.jpg
Les Paul Silky Oak 09.jpg
 

P.H.Fawcett

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Well fellow builders it's been hot and sticky here in the subtropics. I'm lucky that my wife just loves here John Deere ride on mower. Due to my war wounds, at this time of year I get a young bloke in to cut back the garden/ jungle. He was born and bred on a banana plantation so can work in the heat and humidity. If I went down to the crossroads late at night I wouldn't bargain with Old Nick for the chops of John Littlejohn, I'd want the body I had 40 years ago.

I've had a bit of a break from this build and have only inched forward with completing the binding and the final shape using the contour guides that come with the '59 plan. I'm pretty close to gluing the neck to the body. Apart from that I've had a number of setups on Strats and LP's. I've also done a neck reset on a Maton 12 string. There's a couple of photos of where I setup to work on setups etc during summer. With a couple of overhead fans and a bit of a breeze I work here rather than the workshop.


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LPTDMSV

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Things have picked up pace here this week. Like the cargo cults of the South Pacific Islands the mail plane finally dropped off the router bit for the binding channels. I now realise that the one I dropped had to be almost 20yrs old so it must have been fairly blunt.

Now I don't want to scare the horses with my setup for holding the trim router but it does work, even if the assembly is what could described as "agricultural". The router is fixed to the box with a threaded screw from inside into the clear plastic base. Then hi-tech strap iron serves to hold the body securely and vertically. A cord rides through and over a pulley [ part of an old sailboard rig ] and is tied off to lead strap acting as a counter balance. Finally a plywood puck rides the contours of the body. And all is safe as houses.

Would you let this man repair your valuable guitars ?!?


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That is a truly Australian solution!
 

Oldskoolrob

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That looks awesome. I love the use of silky-oak. I have it as moulding in my place and my guitars are jealous of the amount of flame on the skirting boards lol.
 

moreles

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Very nice. Thanks for sharing your build. I have not seen sily oak before, but it looks really attractive and is a nice break from the billion standard flametops that have become cliche. I like your headstock shape a lot. If you had sold that to Epiphone, there would be approx 5 billion less ugly headstocks on LP-style guitars! Yours is sweet!
 

P.H.Fawcett

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Very nice. Thanks for sharing your build. I have not seen sily oak before, but it looks really attractive and is a nice break from the billion standard flametops that have become cliche. I like your headstock shape a lot. If you had sold that to Epiphone, there would be approx 5 billion less ugly headstocks on LP-style guitars! Yours is sweet!
Thanks for the boost it's so hard to IMHO to design a headstock that looks original and pleasing.

I didn't want to just replicate another Gibson headstock shape just like I would never put a Gibson logo on a guitar that I built. Having said that I've got no problem with other builders paying homage to all things Gibson.

This shape is similar to but scaled down from, the headstock shape I used for the silky oak archtop I put up here last year.
 

nuance97

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Well fellow builders it's been hot and sticky here in the subtropics. I'm lucky that my wife just loves here John Deere ride on mower. Due to my war wounds, at this time of year I get a young bloke in to cut back the garden/ jungle. He was born and bred on a banana plantation so can work in the heat and humidity. If I went down to the crossroads late at night I wouldn't bargain with Old Nick for the chops of John Littlejohn, I'd want the body I had 40 years ago.

I've had a bit of a break from this build and have only inched forward with completing the binding and the final shape using the contour guides that come with the '59 plan. I'm pretty close to gluing the neck to the body. Apart from that I've had a number of setups on Strats and LP's. I've also done a neck reset on a Maton 12 string. There's a couple of photos of where I setup to work on setups etc during summer. With a couple of overhead fans and a bit of a breeze I work here rather than the workshop.


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Looking awesome!!
 

P.H.Fawcett

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Very nice. Thanks for sharing your build. I have not seen sily oak before, but it looks really attractive and is a nice break from the billion standard flametops that have become cliche. I like your headstock shape a lot. If you had sold that to Epiphone, there would be approx 5 billion less ugly headstocks on LP-style guitars! Yours is sweet!
I think I've posted in the thread I did on the my Silky Oak and Bunya Pine Archtop build, that S/O has properties very close to Honduran Mahogany. For that reason I think this guitar will sound much like a Les Paul Studio. Maybe a bit less top end than the regular matching of Maple on Mahogany.

Here are a couple of more shots of the body that show the grain from two different directions. From the second shot you can see why the early sawyers and cabinet makers of the mid 1800's, gave this timber the name Silky Oak for it's Oak like grain pattern when quarter sawn.

The third photo is of a guitar I built with a flat sawn Silky Oak back and quarter sawn. This one had a red brown stain and then a nitro finish.


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