The Definitive Top Carve Thread

nuance97

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So I printed the pdf version to 160% and it measures 13 1/16" which is right in the ballpark. Thanks!
Check out the PDF. I went back and added it to the 1st post.
 
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ExNihilo

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Dear Daniel,

I want to thank you so much for this thread. In my opinion, this should be a sticky. I also want to offer my sincere apology to you all and the many builders who have used my templates over the years thinking they were making a dead on accurate burst carve. I never intentionally meant to lead people astray. I attempted to make the most accurate templates I could, based on the information I had back it 2010. I had hoped that they would have been a help to get new builders started in the very fun hobby of building guitars.

I spoke with Daniel on the phone yesterday and mentioned that I lamented the idea that so many people have thought the templates, and my knowledge, was more than it actually ever was. I had hoped for years that more information would have been brought to light and my templates would be officially corrected (and/or replaced). I am so thankful that Daniel has now done this and has made it all public and free. For me, it brings the spirit of the forum back to the “open source” joy of the 2008-2009 years. The other thing that makes this such a specail joy to me is that Daniel has always been around from those early years.

As for the creation of the original carve templates. They took me a great deal of time to make. They were made from the two sources I had at the time: (1) Magnus Melkersson’s 3d model he made in early 2009, and (2) the Stewart Mac plan’s contour lines. By comparing cross sections of the model in the software program “Blender 3d” to the Stew Mac lines, I worked out a compromise between the two. I then built my own 3d model and derived the elevation lines from it for the templates. I still use my original set of templates, but I made new templates for steps #1 and #2 which are closer to what Daniel has (but still not as perfect like Daniel’s). I also reshaped some of my original steps to be rounder. I mentioned these changes on my “Les Paul Carve Template Tutorial.” I never went back to the computer to draw up a new set of templates. Again, I am very sorry friends if that original set turned out to be a disappointment.

I am sure everyone has their own specific ideas about what they want most in a Les Paul. For me it is (1) Body outline, (2) carve contours (particularly the re-curve at the pickup switch), (3) the open book head stock shape (that has to look just right), (4) cellulose nitrate inlays (that material just looks so much better than anything else. Things that don’t matter to me much are things like (1) if the pickup cavities are routed at 4.x degrees (I do it, but I don’t really care about it, because its hidden under pickups). (2) a tradition truss rod (I prefer double action rods). Etc.

Frank Pine kindly sent me a trace of his burst (#9 1152) back in 2017 and I have used that as my outline template for the last three guitars that I have made. I am pretty sure that the outline of Daniel’s plan matches 9 1152’s outline, with perhaps the slightest difference in the horn. 9 1152 has just a tad skinnier horn which must be a peculiarity in its manufacturing.

Again, thank you Daniel. The MyLesPaul Luthier’s Corner owes you a debt of gratitude for what you have done. Personally, I would like nothing more than if my name and “ExNihilo” be forgotten, my templates deleted from the internet into oblivion, and your templates posted as a Sticky post for all to use.

Freddy G and Frank Pine are also two giants to be thanked for the tremendous help they have contributed by sharing their information with Daniel.
 

nuance97

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Dear Daniel,

I want to thank you so much for this thread. In my opinion, this should be a sticky. I also want to offer my sincere apology to you all and the many builders who have used my templates over the years thinking they were making a dead on accurate burst carve. I never intentionally meant to lead people astray. I attempted to make the most accurate templates I could, based on the information I had back it 2010. I had hoped that they would have been a help to get new builders started in the very fun hobby of building guitars.

I spoke with Daniel on the phone yesterday and mentioned that I lamented the idea that so many people have thought the templates, and my knowledge, was more than it actually ever was. I had hoped for years that more information would have been brought to light and my templates would be officially corrected (and/or replaced). I am so thankful that Daniel has now done this and has made it all public and free. For me, it brings the spirit of the forum back to the “open source” joy of the 2008-2009 years. The other thing that makes this such a specail joy to me is that Daniel has always been around from those early years.

As for the creation of the original carve templates. They took me a great deal of time to make. They were made from the two sources I had at the time: (1) Magnus Melkersson’s 3d model he made in early 2009, and (2) the Stewart Mac plan’s contour lines. By comparing cross sections of the model in the software program “Blender 3d” to the Stew Mac lines, I worked out a compromise between the two. I then built my own 3d model and derived the elevation lines from it for the templates. I still use my original set of templates, but I made new templates for steps #1 and #2 which are closer to what Daniel has (but still not as perfect like Daniel’s). I also reshaped some of my original steps to be rounder. I mentioned these changes on my “Les Paul Carve Template Tutorial.” I never went back to the computer to draw up a new set of templates. Again, I am very sorry friends if that original set turned out to be a disappointment.

I am sure everyone has their own specific ideas about what they want most in a Les Paul. For me it is (1) Body outline, (2) carve contours (particularly the re-curve at the pickup switch), (3) the open book head stock shape (that has to look just right), (4) cellulose nitrate inlays (that material just looks so much better than anything else. Things that don’t matter to me much are things like (1) if the pickup cavities are routed at 4.x degrees (I do it, but I don’t really care about it, because its hidden under pickups). (2) a tradition truss rod (I prefer double action rods). Etc.

Frank Pine kindly sent me a trace of his burst (#9 1152) back in 2017 and I have used that as my outline template for the last three guitars that I have made. I am pretty sure that the outline of Daniel’s plan matches 9 1152’s outline, with perhaps the slightest difference in the horn. 9 1152 has just a tad skinnier horn which must be a peculiarity in its manufacturing.

Again, thank you Daniel. The MyLesPaul Luthier’s Corner owes you a debt of gratitude for what you have done. Personally, I would like nothing more than if my name and “ExNihilo” be forgotten, my templates deleted from the internet into oblivion, and your templates posted as a Sticky post for all to use.

Freddy G and Frank Pine are also two giants to be thanked for the tremendous help they have contributed by sharing their information with Daniel.
I appreciate the kind words, but you certainly have no reason to apologize! Those templates make a beautiful carve, and without them I don’t know where us hobbyist Les Paul builders would still be struggling to carve a top with any kind of accuracy and ease. We all stand on the shoulders of giants and learn from those who have selflessly shared when they didn’t have to. You are a giant around here, and I don’t know what this place would be without your inspiring builds that taught us all so much
 

pshupe

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I like that there are so many people passionate about this stuff and kudos for the amount of time Daniel and Scott and countless others here have spent in this endeavour.

My background is in CAD drawings related specifically to Architectural buildings. More recently, the last 5 years or so I have been using laser scanning technologies and working with CAD/CAM. TBH unless someone scans a burst and creates a 3d model and supplies it to the forum. I doubt anyone can say it is the exact shape of a burst carve. Both Scott's and Daniel's carve templates will get you to "the spirit" of a burst carve. Personally I know of one person who has done this and they sell CNC'd tops, and at one time made replicas from this scan.

IMO by using the 7 steps and a sander to take out the steps you are introducing differences in each top that far out weigh any slight variations between someone's measurements, or lack there of, of any real burst or 50's carve top.

I have seen some pretty awesome top carves using Scott's carve template and I myself have used it, as well as a 3d model created from a similar method on my CNC machine. I know what I like in a top carve and I have seen pictures of 59's and a couple in person that have been substantially different. Even to my untrained eye.

I'm not trying to crap on anyone's work but I do not believe the "exact" burst top is out there and even less likely to be definitively obtained using 7 steps from measurements and sanding to the lines.

Cheers Peter.
 

nuance97

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I like that there are so many people passionate about this stuff and kudos for the amount of time Daniel and Scott and countless others here have spent in this endeavour.

My background is in CAD drawings related specifically to Architectural buildings. More recently, the last 5 years or so I have been using laser scanning technologies and working with CAD/CAM. TBH unless someone scans a burst and creates a 3d model and supplies it to the forum. I doubt anyone can say it is the exact shape of a burst carve. Both Scott's and Daniel's carve templates will get you to "the spirit" of a burst carve. Personally I know of one person who has done this and they sell CNC'd tops, and at one time made replicas from this scan.

IMO by using the 7 steps and a sander to take out the steps you are introducing differences in each top that far out weigh any slight variations between someone's measurements, or lack there of, of any real burst or 50's carve top.

I have seen some pretty awesome top carves using Scott's carve template and I myself have used it, as well as a 3d model created from a similar method on my CNC machine. I know what I like in a top carve and I have seen pictures of 59's and a couple in person that have been substantially different. Even to my untrained eye.

I'm not trying to crap on anyone's work but I do not believe the "exact" burst top is out there and even less likely to be definitively obtained using 7 steps from measurements and sanding to the lines.

Cheers Peter.
The point of this is just to get us closer. No more no less. I agree without a 3D scan of an actual burst and a CNC to reproduce the carve perfection is highly unlikely.

One would increase the odds substantially if you make yourself some profile gauges, and work the top till they all fit
 
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pshupe

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The point of this is just to get us closer. No more no less. I agree without a 3D scan of an actual burst and a CNC to reproduce the carve perfection is highly unlikely.

One would increase the odds substantially if you make yourself some profile gauges from the StewMac plan which is out there in PDF form for free if you look for it.
How do you know it is indeed getting you closer? I guess what I am saying is even if you have one, or two, or three, guitars that you have measured. Take those and create your outlines. Take those outlines and create a top carve. Is it exactly a copy of those, let's say three, real 50's carves? Or because of the nature of the inaccuracy built into the process, is it closer to Scott's carve, or one of the other hundreds, maybe thousands, of slightly different 50's top carves.

I just cannot see how you can definitively say it is closer, or that others are not accurate. That's it in a nutshell and I won't muddy up the water here any more. Again kudos for the effort.

Cheers Peter.

PS - sorry I had to sneak in a PS. It would be really interesting for multiple people to use the contours to create tops and then see how close they are. I would even like to do one from Scott's and one from Daniel's and see how they differ.
 

nuance97

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How do you know it is indeed getting you closer? I guess what I am saying is even if you have one, or two, or three, guitars that you have measured. Take those and create your outlines. Take those outlines and create a top carve. Is it exactly a copy of those, let's say three, real 50's carves? Or because of the nature of the inaccuracy built into the process, is it closer to Scott's carve, or one of the other hundreds, maybe thousands, of slightly different 50's top carves.

I just cannot see how you can definitively say it is closer, or that others are not accurate. That's it in a nutshell and I won't muddy up the water here any more. Again kudos for the effort.

Cheers Peter.

PS - sorry I had to sneak in a PS. It would be really interesting for multiple people to use the contours to create tops and then see how close they are. I would even like to do one from Scott's and one from Daniel's and see how they differ.
What do you mean “how do I know?” I have carved 2 tops now using these contours, and after a lot of sanding fussing and scraping (all the while using contour gauges fit to the actual ’56) I came out with a carve that matches extremely well. Is it perfect? Well I’m not a machine so it probably varies here and there a bit, but it’s good enough for me.

Certainly one cannot simply sand off the steps and call it perfect. The step with the contour gauges is vital.

In the end can I definitely say it’s closer? I think it is personally, but as is the title of this thread “you can be the judge.” Clearly you’ve decided.
 
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trovador

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Dear Daniel,

I want to thank you so much for this thread. In my opinion, this should be a sticky. I also want to offer my sincere apology to you all and the many builders who have used my templates over the years thinking they were making a dead on accurate burst carve. I never intentionally meant to lead people astray. I attempted to make the most accurate templates I could, based on the information I had back it 2010. I had hoped that they would have been a help to get new builders started in the very fun hobby of building guitars.

I spoke with Daniel on the phone yesterday and mentioned that I lamented the idea that so many people have thought the templates, and my knowledge, was more than it actually ever was. I had hoped for years that more information would have been brought to light and my templates would be officially corrected (and/or replaced). I am so thankful that Daniel has now done this and has made it all public and free. For me, it brings the spirit of the forum back to the “open source” joy of the 2008-2009 years. The other thing that makes this such a specail joy to me is that Daniel has always been around from those early years.

As for the creation of the original carve templates. They took me a great deal of time to make. They were made from the two sources I had at the time: (1) Magnus Melkersson’s 3d model he made in early 2009, and (2) the Stewart Mac plan’s contour lines. By comparing cross sections of the model in the software program “Blender 3d” to the Stew Mac lines, I worked out a compromise between the two. I then built my own 3d model and derived the elevation lines from it for the templates. I still use my original set of templates, but I made new templates for steps #1 and #2 which are closer to what Daniel has (but still not as perfect like Daniel’s). I also reshaped some of my original steps to be rounder. I mentioned these changes on my “Les Paul Carve Template Tutorial.” I never went back to the computer to draw up a new set of templates. Again, I am very sorry friends if that original set turned out to be a disappointment.

I am sure everyone has their own specific ideas about what they want most in a Les Paul. For me it is (1) Body outline, (2) carve contours (particularly the re-curve at the pickup switch), (3) the open book head stock shape (that has to look just right), (4) cellulose nitrate inlays (that material just looks so much better than anything else. Things that don’t matter to me much are things like (1) if the pickup cavities are routed at 4.x degrees (I do it, but I don’t really care about it, because its hidden under pickups). (2) a tradition truss rod (I prefer double action rods). Etc.

Frank Pine kindly sent me a trace of his burst (#9 1152) back in 2017 and I have used that as my outline template for the last three guitars that I have made. I am pretty sure that the outline of Daniel’s plan matches 9 1152’s outline, with perhaps the slightest difference in the horn. 9 1152 has just a tad skinnier horn which must be a peculiarity in its manufacturing.

Again, thank you Daniel. The MyLesPaul Luthier’s Corner owes you a debt of gratitude for what you have done. Personally, I would like nothing more than if my name and “ExNihilo” be forgotten, my templates deleted from the internet into oblivion, and your templates posted as a Sticky post for all to use.

Freddy G and Frank Pine are also two giants to be thanked for the tremendous help they have contributed by sharing their information with Daniel.
No need to apologize, you gave us novices a great service. I've used it on two guitars and I love the carves that came from them.
 

redking

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Dear Daniel,

I want to thank you so much for this thread. In my opinion, this should be a sticky. I also want to offer my sincere apology to you all and the many builders who have used my templates over the years thinking they were making a dead on accurate burst carve. I never intentionally meant to lead people astray. I attempted to make the most accurate templates I could, based on the information I had back it 2010. I had hoped that they would have been a help to get new builders started in the very fun hobby of building guitars.

I spoke with Daniel on the phone yesterday and mentioned that I lamented the idea that so many people have thought the templates, and my knowledge, was more than it actually ever was. I had hoped for years that more information would have been brought to light and my templates would be officially corrected (and/or replaced). I am so thankful that Daniel has now done this and has made it all public and free. For me, it brings the spirit of the forum back to the “open source” joy of the 2008-2009 years. The other thing that makes this such a specail joy to me is that Daniel has always been around from those early years.

As for the creation of the original carve templates. They took me a great deal of time to make. They were made from the two sources I had at the time: (1) Magnus Melkersson’s 3d model he made in early 2009, and (2) the Stewart Mac plan’s contour lines. By comparing cross sections of the model in the software program “Blender 3d” to the Stew Mac lines, I worked out a compromise between the two. I then built my own 3d model and derived the elevation lines from it for the templates. I still use my original set of templates, but I made new templates for steps #1 and #2 which are closer to what Daniel has (but still not as perfect like Daniel’s). I also reshaped some of my original steps to be rounder. I mentioned these changes on my “Les Paul Carve Template Tutorial.” I never went back to the computer to draw up a new set of templates. Again, I am very sorry friends if that original set turned out to be a disappointment.

I am sure everyone has their own specific ideas about what they want most in a Les Paul. For me it is (1) Body outline, (2) carve contours (particularly the re-curve at the pickup switch), (3) the open book head stock shape (that has to look just right), (4) cellulose nitrate inlays (that material just looks so much better than anything else. Things that don’t matter to me much are things like (1) if the pickup cavities are routed at 4.x degrees (I do it, but I don’t really care about it, because its hidden under pickups). (2) a tradition truss rod (I prefer double action rods). Etc.

Frank Pine kindly sent me a trace of his burst (#9 1152) back in 2017 and I have used that as my outline template for the last three guitars that I have made. I am pretty sure that the outline of Daniel’s plan matches 9 1152’s outline, with perhaps the slightest difference in the horn. 9 1152 has just a tad skinnier horn which must be a peculiarity in its manufacturing.

Again, thank you Daniel. The MyLesPaul Luthier’s Corner owes you a debt of gratitude for what you have done. Personally, I would like nothing more than if my name and “ExNihilo” be forgotten, my templates deleted from the internet into oblivion, and your templates posted as a Sticky post for all to use.

Freddy G and Frank Pine are also two giants to be thanked for the tremendous help they have contributed by sharing their information with Daniel.
The contours on your guitars look killer - why apologize? I'm sure they guy that used template #2 in the Kalamazoo factory didn't sweat the small stuff if his template was slightly different than his buddy that was using template #3 down on the other end of the bench in 1959.
 

valvetoneman

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I'll tell you one thing having used Daniels carved top and looked at an original 58 plus other carved tops I know I'm a damn sight closer than most people get, I'm at a point now that I don't worry about outlines or carves, my biggest problem was where the wiring channel went which I solved by asking said vintage man to take the pickups and back plates off to get a much better idea because I haven't seen one plan showing a correct position, it's a good job the guy liked my guitars and was gratious enough to do this on such a valuable guitar
 

SlingBlader

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Dear Daniel,

I want to thank you so much for this thread. In my opinion, this should be a sticky. I also want to offer my sincere apology to you all and the many builders who have used my templates over the years thinking they were making a dead on accurate burst carve. I never intentionally meant to lead people astray. I attempted to make the most accurate templates I could, based on the information I had back it 2010. I had hoped that they would have been a help to get new builders started in the very fun hobby of building guitars.

I spoke with Daniel on the phone yesterday and mentioned that I lamented the idea that so many people have thought the templates, and my knowledge, was more than it actually ever was. I had hoped for years that more information would have been brought to light and my templates would be officially corrected (and/or replaced). I am so thankful that Daniel has now done this and has made it all public and free. For me, it brings the spirit of the forum back to the “open source” joy of the 2008-2009 years. The other thing that makes this such a specail joy to me is that Daniel has always been around from those early years.

As for the creation of the original carve templates. They took me a great deal of time to make. They were made from the two sources I had at the time: (1) Magnus Melkersson’s 3d model he made in early 2009, and (2) the Stewart Mac plan’s contour lines. By comparing cross sections of the model in the software program “Blender 3d” to the Stew Mac lines, I worked out a compromise between the two. I then built my own 3d model and derived the elevation lines from it for the templates. I still use my original set of templates, but I made new templates for steps #1 and #2 which are closer to what Daniel has (but still not as perfect like Daniel’s). I also reshaped some of my original steps to be rounder. I mentioned these changes on my “Les Paul Carve Template Tutorial.” I never went back to the computer to draw up a new set of templates. Again, I am very sorry friends if that original set turned out to be a disappointment.

I am sure everyone has their own specific ideas about what they want most in a Les Paul. For me it is (1) Body outline, (2) carve contours (particularly the re-curve at the pickup switch), (3) the open book head stock shape (that has to look just right), (4) cellulose nitrate inlays (that material just looks so much better than anything else. Things that don’t matter to me much are things like (1) if the pickup cavities are routed at 4.x degrees (I do it, but I don’t really care about it, because its hidden under pickups). (2) a tradition truss rod (I prefer double action rods). Etc.

Frank Pine kindly sent me a trace of his burst (#9 1152) back in 2017 and I have used that as my outline template for the last three guitars that I have made. I am pretty sure that the outline of Daniel’s plan matches 9 1152’s outline, with perhaps the slightest difference in the horn. 9 1152 has just a tad skinnier horn which must be a peculiarity in its manufacturing.

Again, thank you Daniel. The MyLesPaul Luthier’s Corner owes you a debt of gratitude for what you have done. Personally, I would like nothing more than if my name and “ExNihilo” be forgotten, my templates deleted from the internet into oblivion, and your templates posted as a Sticky post for all to use.

Freddy G and Frank Pine are also two giants to be thanked for the tremendous help they have contributed by sharing their information with Daniel.
Scott, I just wanted to drop a quick note here to thank you for all that you have contributed to this forum. I know that you have mixed feelings about your previous efforts, etc.. Let me just tell you that your profile templates and build threads were primary motivation for me to get started in this hobby. Your approach helped me to realize that I could tackle a Les Paul build. Let's face it, it's more complicated than it first appears, but you broke it down into managable chunks. That was key for me.

I'm sure that my carves are not 100% accurate when compared to an original, but I like them. They are beautiful to me and I'm proud of them. Thank you again.

@nuance97 I didn't quote any of your posts above, but you know I'm a fan, LOL. Your threads have been a source of vital information for me. :D Thank you again for your contributions, I think everyone here appreciates it!

@pshupe I also want to thank you. You're a source of great advice and have provided some fantastic templates to aid in the building process.

There are many more contributors here that I should thank but I'm rambling on like some jackass accepting an Acadamy Award, so I'll just stop. :)
 

nuance97

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Here are some pics of the dummy top I carved
860DA79F-FD41-45CB-8A51-9ECF3C863233.jpeg

EC789EBD-A238-4EED-87B3-099E543A33E4.jpeg

AD978D95-343E-4E5D-AF99-91C66D54A459.jpeg

E3418203-D412-45A2-A7CA-D7BE7731B550.jpeg

FDA5DC0F-5CE5-40F5-B39F-6E60D4B0C86D.jpeg

49B53E26-4D15-4CD2-8063-8C59BB2AD024.jpeg

914719FF-ABAD-4C45-B2FA-190FD0A14D4F.jpeg

B557010D-C82D-4966-97DE-28ED56671427.jpeg

A645712D-0B6B-4FEC-AFFB-BF4C1D52A1AE.jpeg

26587627-1E13-4762-8AC4-8287DC1E059D.jpeg

D34403B0-3261-4891-A804-A148FF4DB8AA.jpeg

50CEEC3D-6FE5-49CC-B7AD-EE97FE7097EE.jpeg

A9AA6001-50E8-4D79-84CD-AAB034B02960.jpeg

03EBB3A5-2768-45F0-BB7C-D51B24E2A3D8.jpeg

C849B721-69C8-473E-B176-EF15533405A8.jpeg

9F1A985D-09C9-4A58-BB6A-6B16DA44BBC3.jpeg

0FF4CBDD-BDC6-4249-AD43-DA65DEE68602.jpeg

6157578A-FB66-4BFA-9ABE-94D613A9A52E.jpeg

A57A055D-9165-43D1-BD7B-F18AEAEF096F.jpeg

3DEE1E9E-84AD-4029-AE1B-F77A285DCCD3.jpeg

37BD30C4-3D1E-453B-9EC2-375DCC918193.jpeg

5E6C6E5F-6883-464D-8113-0E45508F733D.jpeg

7108E7AE-B3B8-4493-8C42-B68EB2A9D703.jpeg

7DCB8CD2-8ED0-4D7F-8A15-2F721597A76E.jpeg



20DA26F2-85E3-4459-83E2-7F00643150E1.jpeg


Is it absolute perfection? Idk about that, but does it look right? For the most part I think it does...it looks quite good to me. But again you the viewer can decide


just for fun...this is what it would look like as a finished guitar
7A06110A-1B2D-4ED8-B077-05268E833B1A.jpeg
 
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PierM

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TBH unless someone scans a burst and creates a 3d model and supplies it to the forum.
If you send me a burst, I can scan it for free with a Faro, an send you back whatever model you want; surface, stl, obj, whatever. :thumb:
 

pshupe

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If you send me a burst, I can scan it for free with a Faro, an send you back whatever model you want; surface, stl, obj, whatever. :thumb:
yeah me too. I have scanned a 59 burst but cannot share the data. I actually do not even have that data anymore. I have also scanned an R9 recently.

Capture.JPG

turn-table carve

Cheers Peter.
 
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Shea

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Here are some pics of the dummy top I carved with some clear shiny tape on it to catch the light like a clear finish
View attachment 434626
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View attachment 434631 View attachment 434632
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View attachment 434651

Is it absolute perfection? Idk about that, but does it look right? For the most part I think it does...it looks quite good to me. But again you the viewer can decide

View attachment 434664
just for fun...this is what it would look like as a finished guitar
Dude, Thats amazing! I'll be using these templates on my next build. Thanks so much for the time and efforts you put into making these. I always thought with Scott's templates that it was hard to get the recurf right. It was a little wider than I've seen in photos of actual 59's. I even modified them in a few areas to try and get them closer to what i thought was better. Not knocking tho because I've used his templates to make several bitchin' guitars. Both you and Scott have made it possible for me to build because of your generosity in sharing. Thank you!!:dude:

Also, Curious where you might have found that printout thats glued onto your pickup routing template.
 

nuance97

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Dude, Thats amazing! I'll be using these templates on my next build. Thanks so much for the time and efforts you put into making these. I always thought with Scott's templates that it was hard to get the recurf right. It was a little wider than I've seen in photos of actual 59's. I even modified them in a few areas to try and get them closer to what i thought was better. Not knocking tho because I've used his templates to make several bitchin' guitars. Both you and Scott have made it possible for me to build because of your generosity in sharing. Thank you!!:dude:

Also, Curious where you might have found that printout thats glued onto your pickup routing template.
One thing to keep in mind the total depth of the carve is a little less than 3/8” (.351” to be precise) from the binding rim to the peak of the carve. If you are not super precise with your step thicknesses when you go to route your neck/pickup planes you’ll think you blew it, but it will still work out. (Ask me how I know)
 
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danigalapago

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Hey Daniel, thanks again fo this amazing job!! I just downloaded the pdf and will make a set templates this weekend!! I wonder about the 10 contour lines. Can you share them with us?
Now I can already hear people screaming at their screens “BUT THE TOPCARVES WERE ALL SO DIFFERENT!!!” Let’s talk about that.
I already mentioned having the ‘56, but I also had a ‘53 on-hand as well. How and why you may wonder? Well I am kind of a psycho, and I literally bought a 1953 Les Paul for the express purpose of having one to reference for builds. That’s the level of extremes I tend to take things to.

**3rdly i coaxed a fellow forum member who owned a 1959 (the holy grail) to supply me with contours of his/her guitar as well.

**4thly member @Freddy G posted some contours taken from a 1960.

**5thly there is the much maligned StewMac plan. This plan get way too much flack for being garbage. There are parts of this plan that are wrong yes, but other parts are bang-on. The topcarve being one.

All of these different sources match up surprisingly well. Far more similar than different. The 53’s shallow neck angle makes the carve above the waste different, and the 60 seems a little flatter than the others around the waste, but they’re close
enough for me.
View attachment 434206 View attachment 434205
the top photo are the contours from the 56 on top of the StewMac plan, and the bottom is the contours under Freddy’s contours
Hey Daniel, thanks again fo this amazing job!! I just downloaded the pdf and wonder about the 10 contour lines. Not sure if you made new ones or are the same as above?
 


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