My First 59 Les Paul Builds

pshupe

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I agree with you on the router neck jig method. I built the same jig you did because I saw others doing it. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but truthfully it’s just unnecessary when you have a bandsaw and an oscillating spindle sander. Neck profile shaping just doesn’t require that level of precision anyway imo.

Same here. I tried the jig method and it's just not worth the time and effort compared to cutting on bandsaw. Also you can nest closer together when you cut this way and get better use of the wood.

I'm waiting on a headstock template as well.
It's on it's way! Thanks. ;-)

Cheers Peter.
 

BPW666

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I agree with you on the router neck jig method. I built the same jig you did because I saw others doing it. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but truthfully it’s just unnecessary when you have a bandsaw and an oscillating spindle sander. Neck profile shaping just doesn’t require that level of precision anyway imo.
Not to mention that hand carving a neck is probably the most satisfying part of making a guitar.
 

Shea

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I've come across what might be an issue.... On one of these necks, from where the neck meets the body, to the end of the tennon, it seems to have a slight bow, like 1/32". With a verysmall amount of pressure from the headstock end, it planes easily with the rest of the neck. I'm assuming with string tension it would pull itself back just fine... What I'm worried about is gluing on my fretboard nice and flat.. Will this be an issue?
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I've also discovered my least favorite part of building so far... inlaying and filing the fretboard binding flush. Happy with an end result of one of them so far. After 1/2 hr of filing, I went to trim the binding to the correct size with the router, and it ripped it off.... and broke it in half. I learned to do a better job of gluing... run a bead on the fingerboard itself vs. on the binding.
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Shea

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I have made some progress! I've taken one of these guitars almost all the way... some sanding and minor things needed still. I'm just waiting on the hardware for it so I can get the bridge and tailpiece installed, and intonation done.. I Cut my odd shape holly veneer on the table saw sandwiched between two pieces of wood, set at 17 degrees. Then Used my headstock template from Pshupe to get it layed out. I cut it oversize. I then hide glued it to the headstock, which was tricky. I ended up having to heat it up with a heat gun and re adjust it because I had a small bubble up in the middle. After that was dry I used the template and routed it out. I then got to shaping my neck using the spindle sander, and a belt sander. You have to be careful, as I almost sanded a flap spot in a facet on my initial take down of material, Luckily it sanded out within specs. I'm really pleased with how the neck came out, but I will do it differently next time. I think I'm going to make a full neck and headstock template and route a perfect side profile, then glue my fretboard to it. I sanded down to my fretboard on this one and I did not like it because its easy to go to far into the binding with a palm sander.
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I was dumb and saved routing the tennon flush with the pickup cavity for after I glued the neck on. I did it like this, which could have been a complete disaster in one blink of an eye! I was pretty nervous! Luckily I avoided disaster.
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I also finally made a template to cut my control cavity route. This is so cool! I looked in my Les Paul studio and it has some jank piece of metal holding everything at an angle. This is way more satisfying.
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I just glued on ears and cut out some holly, and will get another neck done this week. What an enjoyable process.

I will be drilling the bridge holes this week. I recently read that someone had an issue drilling holes square of the drill press. Can anyone tell me if the bridge stud holes need to be perfectly perpendicular with the pickup plane?
 

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nuance97

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Very nicely done!:applause:

Bridge studs should be drilled at 90* to the back of the body. Just put it flat on your drillpress table and drill away. You’ll be good
 

Shea

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Very nicely done!:applause:

Bridge studs should be drilled at 90* to the back of the body. Just put it flat on your drillpress table and drill away. You’ll be good
Thanks dude! I can't wait to play one of these guitars!
 

ARandall

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Why do you have side dots on the underneath of the neck???

Thats only a feature on the LH guitars where they would take a RH finished neck and add in the side dots for the new top.
 

Shea

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Why do you have side dots on the underneath of the neck???

Thats only a feature on the LH guitars where they would take a RH finished neck and add in the side dots for the new top.
Holy crap you are right! I just looked more into the details on that and I F' Ed that up! Damn it!! I'm not sure that I'm going to drill those out and goop them... this first guitar may just be the prototype to getting the others right. Man that sucks because I am really happy with the transition that I made between the neck binding and body
Binding on that side. Looks better with no dots too. Thanks for catching that I would have done it again!:)
 

ARandall

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^ You now have a 'unique' 59.

Maybe cloning the 59 neck that was built for a RH, then got made for a LH guitar.....then was re-purposed for a RH guitar again;-)
 

Shea

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^ You now have a 'unique' 59.

Maybe cloning the 59 neck that was built for a RH, then got made for a LH guitar.....then was re-purposed for a RH guitar again;-)
haha Yeah. Maybe I'll meet one of my favorite players, Doyle Bramhall II. I could let him play it just the wait it is, upside down for him.
 

Macronaut

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Why do you have side dots on the underneath of the neck???

Thats only a feature on the LH guitars where they would take a RH finished neck and add in the side dots for the new top.
I was wondering the same. Now we know.
 

cmjohnson

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Looks great so far! Just one thing....it's "bound", not "binded". You bound the body, it was not "binded".

Sorry, I just have to correct these things when I encounter them. It's a lifelong habit and I'm not going to break it today!
 

Shea

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Looks great so far! Just one thing....it's "bound", not "binded". You bound the body, it was not "binded".

Sorry, I just have to correct these things when I encounter them. It's a lifelong habit and I'm not going to break it today!
Haha thanks man!
 

Shea

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When sighting down the neck before leveling my frets I discovered a back bow. Not good. The string tension only pulled it further into one. there was also a weird dip down between the first and third fret on the high E side. The bass side was fine... I believe this was because I did not glue the board down with a radius block or some kind of straight edge, causing some kind of twist. The frets had to sand down too much to get leveled for my liking. After applying heat with lamps and clamping in some relief the board became "usable" but made it more wavy on the treble side because it didn't take out the weird dip...... which would drive me crazy every time I have to look at it. So I decided to pull the board off and make a new one. I also made a fret bending jig for 4 dollars worth of hardware. This is a must. I tried bending by hand on the first one, which may have also caused some problems with the level job, not seating properly. These cellulose inlays are flammable! When applying heat with the gun, I got too close and those things started going off like a fuse does when you light it, rapid and up in smoke. Needless to say, I made a new fretboard and glued it on. Success this time... and I didn't put side dots on both sides this time haha. I've also got my hardware slightly aged by giving it a fog bath of muratic acid to take the shine off. Worked great. I'm waiting on some mohawk grain filler. My dyes are here and mixed so I'm about to start experimenting.... exciting.

I learned that i will now be gluing my fretboards on with a straight edge. Ideally id like to glue them on with a slight up bow in the neck like I've seen Stewmac Dan do. I'll need to make a little vice jig to do so, but it will save me the time and hassle of having to redo it, and possibilty of throwing an almost good guitar across the room because of frustration. Maybe an axe chop instead... I dunno. lol
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fatdaddypreacher

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looks like to me, you'll have some fine guitars when done. who knows, maybe your teacher will want one. these are some of the best first builds i've seen. nice work.
 

nuance97

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These cellulose inlays are flammable! When applying heat with the gun, I got too close and those things started going off like a fuse does when you light it, rapid and up in smoke.
Haha! Yes they are quite flammable!

Excellent save! Really nice job man
 

Shea

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looks like to me, you'll have some fine guitars when done. who knows, maybe your teacher will want one. these are some of the best first builds i've seen. nice work.
I believe he will :) Thanks man, Im getting pretty psyched to finish one.
 

Shea

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Testing begins!

The Stewmac spray gun I have seems to be doing well, except for when I have a highly thinned color mix. It wants to drip out of the nozzle area. Seems like a leak? And it dripped onto my test piece in a few places, which probably would not have happened if I had the piece hanging instead of propped against something. Ruined my potential clock. lol I'm worried about the yellow aniline fading completely out. On my first test piece it went back to natural in a couple hrs of sun. I sprayed more on this one so we'll see. I'm considering mixing some color tone yellow with the aniline yellow.
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