Major Project from 2011

sdmusic15

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Last week I picked up a 2011 Gibson Les Paul. Personally I’m not sure if it was a Tribute or a Studio. Regardless, I picked it up in a trade for an Epiphone I had posted for 350 bucks. I bought the Epiphone last year for a little over 300 and had an old hard shell included so I don’t feel like it was a bad trade..

Now.. the major project and my observations. It had a neck repair.. I’m not sure how good the repair was as I pretty much immediately started ripping it apart.. the more I dug into this, the more of a mess and sloppy job someone had done before. I’m pretty sure someone did a Van Halen paint job that was under the black with the green flame. They filled the neck pickup cavity but apparently swimming pool routed the area from the neck to the bridge… no idea why.. I think maybe they were going to do 3 pickups… then fucked up and just routed it, filled it and went with just the single pickup. The channel from the toggle switch to the control cavity was filled with spray foam and with the soft wood where the main area was routed and plugged.. what a mess. Trust me I know.

This week I’ve slowly removed a good bit of the paint and routed a new neck cavity.. also cleared out the channel. It’s got a long way to go.. I may consider removing the entire area that was plugged and redo that as well.. I’m content with the project but I know I have a long while to go and I’m in no hurry. It was a cheap project to acquire and the reward of resurrecting a Les Paul will be great.

I believe through the removing of the paint this guitar was originally a Goldtop and that excited me because I’ve been GASing for a Goldtop for a long time..
 

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lowatter

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Are you using a paint stripper or just scraping this poor little fellow? I'd especially use a Jasco stripper on the back of the headstock to preserve the serial #. Chemical stripping saves TONS of time and does a much more acceptable result. JMHOYMMV
 

fatdaddypreacher

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well, i'm not the best at what i do, and doubt i'm even pretty good, but i do know one thing. someone in days past had no business working on that axe. i'm a sucker for seemingly lost cases and extreme basket cases. i'm looking forward to you bringing this thing back to what ever kind of life you can give it. please keep us posted.
 

LPTDMSV

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Last week I picked up a 2011 Gibson Les Paul. Personally I’m not sure if it was a Tribute or a Studio. Regardless, I picked it up in a trade for an Epiphone I had posted for 350 bucks. I bought the Epiphone last year for a little over 300 and had an old hard shell included so I don’t feel like it was a bad trade..

Now.. the major project and my observations. It had a neck repair.. I’m not sure how good the repair was as I pretty much immediately started ripping it apart.. the more I dug into this, the more of a mess and sloppy job someone had done before. I’m pretty sure someone did a Van Halen paint job that was under the black with the green flame. They filled the neck pickup cavity but apparently swimming pool routed the area from the neck to the bridge… no idea why.. I think maybe they were going to do 3 pickups… then fucked up and just routed it, filled it and went with just the single pickup. The channel from the toggle switch to the control cavity was filled with spray foam and with the soft wood where the main area was routed and plugged.. what a mess. Trust me I know.

This week I’ve slowly removed a good bit of the paint and routed a new neck cavity.. also cleared out the channel. It’s got a long way to go.. I may consider removing the entire area that was plugged and redo that as well.. I’m content with the project but I know I have a long while to go and I’m in no hurry. It was a cheap project to acquire and the reward of resurrecting a Les Paul will be great.

I believe through the removing of the paint this guitar was originally a Goldtop and that excited me because I’ve been GASing for a Goldtop for a long time..
Holy Moly . . that's a lot of work you've bought for yourself there! I love to see the natural wood tones appearing from underneath the paint though. Great project, looking forward to updates.
 

CB91710

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"Some people's kids"

Seriously... that is a mess, and it's going to take a lot of work, but all of the pieces are there.
Crazy they would use spray foam as a filler.
 

sdmusic15

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Are you using a paint stripper or just scraping this poor little fellow? I'd especially use a Jasco stripper on the back of the headstock to preserve the serial #. Chemical stripping saves TONS of time and does a much more acceptable result. JMHOYMMV
Yes using a stripper.. I already had a container and it is indeed working.. slowly but surely. Broke through the serial number this morning. Tooth brush was very helpful and seemed to do the job well.
 

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sdmusic15

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When I first read the thread title, I thought "here's someone like me, picking up a project from where they left it eleven years ago!" :D
I’ve done some shitty work in the past…. On a guitar like a cheap Squier or something that wasn’t worth much to begin with.. not a freaking Gibson.. even if it was a lower end Gibson.. they’re great platforms to upgrade and tinker with. But the molestation this guitar went through just gives me all the more motivation to let her have a new life.
 

sdmusic15

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Holy Moly . . that's a lot of work you've bought for yourself there! I love to see the natural wood tones appearing from underneath the paint though. Great project, looking forward to updates.
Part of me almost if thinking about just keeping it wood and maybe do a clear coat of nitro.. I don’t know yet though
 

LPTDMSV

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Part of me almost if thinking about just keeping it wood and maybe do a clear coat of nitro.. I don’t know yet though
Mahogany can be such a pretty wood, always seems a shame to me to cover it up … clear lacquer back and a gold top is a classic look on a Les Paul ( just one opinion! )
 

LPTDMSV

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Mahogany can be such a pretty wood, always seems a shame to me to cover it up … clear lacquer back and a gold top is a classic look on a Les Paul ( just one opinion! )
And with a maple top you would also have the option of scraping the edges for a faux binding look.
 

emoney

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Did you get enough ser. # to figure out what it was? Looks like whoever did that excellent finish and headstock repair also routed out for the single humbucker, without a template, lol.

The good news is, there's only one way to go with this one; up! Best of luck and keep us posted. Nothing better than the "before and after" photos!
 

sdmusic15

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Did you get enough ser. # to figure out what it was? Looks like whoever did that excellent finish and headstock repair also routed out for the single humbucker, without a template, lol.

The good news is, there's only one way to go with this one; up! Best of luck and keep us posted. Nothing better than the "before and after" photos!
I haven’t contacted Gibson or looked it up yet. But yes, I got it all cleared out yesterday
 

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sdmusic15

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And with a maple top you would also have the option of scraping the edges for a faux binding look.
I may do that. Definitely considering leaving the back mahogany visible.. and doing a Goldtop.. I would really like to do P90s but I already have everything to throw humbuckers in.

When I get everything stripped off, I’m most likely going to throw all the hardware in and string it up to see how stable the neck feels with that headstock repair. If it needs to addressed, I would rather do it before painting and doing the clear coat on the back. I’m wondering if I should put some more grain filer on the mahogany
 

LPTDMSV

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I may do that. Definitely considering leaving the back mahogany visible.. and doing a Goldtop.. I would really like to do P90s but I already have everything to throw humbuckers in.

When I get everything stripped off, I’m most likely going to throw all the hardware in and string it up to see how stable the neck feels with that headstock repair. If it needs to addressed, I would rather do it before painting and doing the clear coat on the back. I’m wondering if I should put some more grain filer on the mahogany
There's a good recent thread on grain filler here on Luthiers Corner, if you need it - you very probably will, though it depends how much paint or filler came out of the pores when you stripped it. Ironically that headstock break might be the the thing that gives you the least trouble on the whole project! I wonder if they epoxied it? That would be in line with the "bodyshop" approach!

I fully agree with the idea of stringing it up now, see how it feels / sounds, does it stay in tune, etc.
 

LPTDMSV

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I haven’t contacted Gibson or looked it up yet. But yes, I got it all cleared out yesterday
That guitar is looking so much happier already! Think you're going to need some grain filler in places, yes ...
 

sdmusic15

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That guitar is looking so much happier already! Think you're going to need some grain filler in places, yes ...
I’ll look into some things in here. I try not to post things that have answers that can be found with just a little bit of digging. There’s so many resources on here alone it’s incredible Most likely this will be the last big progress on this guitar til next weekend. I work night shift and have two kids to come home to… usually my weekend thing, but we’ll see
 

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