The Definitive Top Carve Thread

Pablo erco

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Oh I almost forgot one key detail! The neck/pickup plane component.

The neck angle is in the 4-4.4* neighborhood. That is unchanged from our well beaten path, but the pickup plane is not on any of the examples I’ve seen 1.2* or 1.5*. It’s literally half of that. Somewhere around .6*.

An angle this shallow can’t start as we have all assumed-directly at the end of the fretboard. The shallowness of the angle makes it necessary to start this angle just and I mean JUST inside of the neck pickup cavity on the bridge side. The hump left after routing the shallow angle will be removed when routing the cavity.

Neck plane in red. Pickup plane in blue
View attachment 434946
*EDIT* I feel like I should recommend that people bump this angle up to .7-.8* just to be safe. It’s hard to know how precise other folks will be when routing the steps, and erring on the side of caution might be better

One final note. The tops were all thinner than the assumed 5/8” (.625”). They were closer to .59 or a touch less. The mahogany (measured in the cutaway where it was exposed) was thicker than the accepted 1.75” by .030-.035”.

That’s all I have for today. Have fun
Hi, i'd like to know why in the new template the lines are the same on both sides of the guitar while in the picture where you show the pickups and neck planes, the lines on the cutaway are like the ones made by Scott Wilkinson. I'm new here so i hope i'm not breaking any rules. Greetings from Argentina
 

nuance97

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Hi, i'd like to know why in the new template the lines are the same on both sides of the guitar while in the picture where you show the pickups and neck planes, the lines on the cutaway are like the ones made by Scott Wilkinson. I'm new here so i hope i'm not breaking any rules. Greetings from Argentina
I had several different versions...I didn’t use this one, but it was one option. The newest version (drawn by Scott Wilkinson) is symmetrical.
 
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trovador

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I had several different versions...I didn’t use this one, but it was one option. The newest version that will be available soon (drawn by Scott Wilkinson) will be symmetrical.
View attachment 440189
Wait, is there another definite template coming? I was about to use the most recent one you published. What are the differences with this newer one? Are they significant or just nuanced?
 

trovador

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There’s another one coming. It is mostly very similar, but the lower bout is significantly changed. The most recent incarnation will be much easier to dial in the lower bout area. Surprisingly what seems like would be the easiest part was the trickiest
Cool. I'll wait then.:dude:
 

ExNihilo

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The drafts that are being posted are just that-drafts. They are meant to show you our progress. This project is being put together by Daniel, myself, and Frank Pine. As you see some of these updates, realize that as we glean more information from the actual vintage guitars that we are studying, we will be modifying the plans as needed. When we are satisfied that we have put together the most accurate set of plans we can achieve, we will post them for you.

Also, we are working on plans for making jigs for you too.
 

trovador

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That's awesome that you guys have put your collective knowledge into this. I love this forum group! All my builds have been influenced by things I've learned here.
 

shtdaprdtr

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Ive examined the topcarve of 3 vintage les pauls in the last couple years..one was a 56, a 57, and third was a burst (could have been a vintage refinish/conversion. I noticed on all the that there was no recurve in the waist area..just a very slight slope...very flat-like..but the recurve was real heavy down at the bottom by the lower strap button under the tailpiece..like a heavy slope from the tailpiece down to a recurve by the edge...that was just my observation of 3 vintage les pauls.
 

Jer

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Thank you so very much for doing all of this work you guys. It is very important work. I am just starting my luthier training and this specifically is what motivates me. Now if I just had some tools...
 

ExNihilo

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The body plans are done and are ready to be posted. We want to delete this thread and replace it with a new sticky thread called: "Free Gold Standard Vintage Les Paul Plans."

I don't know who to talk to to request this, but this is the intention. You guys are going to love these plans!
 

nuance97

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The body plans are done and are ready to be posted. We want to delete this thread and replace it with a new sticky thread called: "Free Gold Standard Vintage Les Paul Plans."

I don't know who to talk to to request this, but this is the intention. You guys are going to love these plans!
@LtDave32
 

nuance97

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You are a lucky guy that guitar is awesome, I bet it plays itself almost!!!!
It’s a cool guitar! I wish it was mine.
The frets on those pre-1959 Les Pauls are very small....070” wide, and very low (on this one at least). Obviously it’s had a lot of play wear over the years so I don’t know how low they were when new, but for me it would have to be refretted. The narrow width doesn’t bother me, but I like a higher fret for sure!
 


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