Silver Supporting Member
- Feb 25, 2009
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Wow, I’m glad I stumbled upon this. I have a ‘53 Les Paul that’s being stripped as we speak. It was refin’d and had some work done on the top by the bridge pickup. It looks intact, but I am by no means, an expert.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.
I have some more contours to show for comparison
View attachment 443311
View attachment 443312
These are contours from two 1959s, a ‘55, and on the very bottom a ‘53 (not my ‘53, but a separate one). Pretty darn similar
View attachment 443313
These demonstrate the amount of variation a ‘59 on the top and a ‘53 under. The ‘53 had a much deeper recarve at the widest point of the lower bout, but the centerline at the tail end was practically identical
Nice looking guitar man!Wow, I’m glad I stumbled upon this. I have a ‘53 Les Paul that’s being stripped as we speak. It was refin’d and had some work done on the top by the bridge pickup. It looks intact, but I am by no means, an expert.
Hope to compare your ‘53 measurements to mine.
Edit: Found and ordered a contour gauge. Should be here soon.
I received the contour gauge. I can confirm the the concave recurve. My ‘53 Les Paul is an early to mid 1953 due to the grounding cavity for the trapeze tailpiece. It has that distinct recurve up to the binding.A note concerning recurve. There are 2 kinds of recurve present on these old tops that I have observed. There is flat recurve (essentially 90* to the sides), and there is concave recurve that subtly dips below the binding height. The pic below will try to visually describe what I’m saying.
in blue - flat recurve
In red - concave recurve
View attachment 434337
I’m guessing you took that contour from just below the the bridge pickup cavity...between there and the bridge anyway
Negative commentary of previous poster removed
That is all fine, but I (and I know I’m not alone) joined this - a Les Paul forum - for the sole purpose of learning to build Les Pauls. This thread is for them.
sure. I have moded on to the neck now. Once I have it modeled I'll post some more pics...Can I see more of this please? It looks really neat. Thank you.
sure, anything in particular?Can I see more of this please? It looks really neat. Thank you.
It would definitely be hand work with contour gauges. No router. I’m sure it could be done...or at least something closeView attachment 521309
Would it be possible to re-carve a completed modern Gibson Les Paul's top? I'd like to get a Studio 50's tribute (any color) and strip the paint, carve the top to get close to a real 50's then repaint it with correct gold paint and lacquer, front and back to make an all gold 50s Tribute Studio with a killer carve. I don't see how it could be done with a router because the top isn't flat to start with. Probably be hand work with contour gages. Is there enough "meat" to start with or has the factory already taken too much off the top. Obviously you'd be dishing it out more along the edges. Anyway, just an idea but kinda serious about trying it. Thanks!