Resurrection Build


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Jan 24, 2010
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I built my first guitar in the winter of 1982/83 as a project in shop class. It was a Walnut pancake single cut Les Paul Jr. style guitar with a bolt on neck. I knew very little about guitar building and even in a pretty nice wood shop, I didn’t really have access to the specialized tools needed to do it right. I made a maple neck (bolt-on) but used a rosewood fingerboard from an old cheap “Strat-style” guitar.

I knew enough to know that using that fingerboard, I had to make it a Fender scale guitar instead of a Gibson scale. At that time I only knew about Carvin Guitars selling parts so the electronics and hardware came from Carvin. Towards the end of the build I did find Stewart-McDonald and believe I bought the tuners from them.

It turned out okay but never really reached the level of quality that I wanted and over time I quit playing it since, by that time, I had better guitars. I ended up tossing the neck (which had no truss rod) and putting the body on a shelf and the electronics and hardware in a box.

A couple of years ago, I had seen some “resurrection” threads and thought I would do the same with this guitar. Since it was a 25 ½” scale originally, nothing was really in the right spot so I filled in the neck and pickup cavities and made it a double cutaway. I had some ½” flame maple so I glued a top on and made it a carved top body.

I couldn’t find any pictures of the original guitar, but it was just a 2 pickup, bolt-on neck, single cut LP JR style body in walnut.

Like so many things, this build took a back seat to some other projects and has been back on the shelf. Well, my shop is now heated, so I am going to take some time and rebuild it 39 years later.

Before I put it away last time, I started the carve on the top, put some binding on and put a round over on the back edges. I am still refining the carve right now but thought I’d show some progress.

I also did the belly carve. You can see the control cavity is much larger than I need it now (Master Volume, Master Tone & 3 Way Switch) but the original guitar had the old Carvin layout, 2 Vol, 2 Tone, 3 Way Switch, 2 switches for coil tap and one for phase reversal. It also had two output jacks for stereo.

While I work on refining the carve, I will also be building the neck blank out of Curly Maple and Mahogany. That way I can get the neck and bridge set so I know where I want the volume knob. The rest of the build should go fairly quick after that.

As for the finish, I am planning on Tru-Oil for the neck and a PRS Black Gold Burst style finish on the body.

I don't get a lot of time to work on these projects, so it will probably take most of the winter.

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