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1959 Les Paul Build

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by preeb, Jan 14, 2010.

  1. Mojotron

    Mojotron Poster Extraordinaire

    Dec 21, 2008
    Seattle
    I have read that a lot of woodworkers use urea in their hide glue - which I think is a rather funny development in the history of woodworking. Perhaps 'back in the day' it was tough to take a break - what are you going to do...

    I think I will try salt.
     
  2. preeb

    preeb Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

    Age:
    50
    Sep 10, 2008
    Sonoran Desert
    Same thing really... salt is more earthy though... (-;
     
  3. Dizi

    Dizi Banned

    716
    Mar 27, 2009
    Yorba Linda, CA
    This thread really works up an appetite.
     
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  5. Scott Auld

    Scott Auld Tele-Holic

    Age:
    46
    577
    Nov 5, 2007
    South Florida
    Wait till he gets to the pickups and sandwich!
     
  6. redddog

    redddog Tele-Holic

    543
    May 7, 2008
    Rochester, NY
    Can't wait for the sandwich.
     
  7. preeb

    preeb Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

    Age:
    50
    Sep 10, 2008
    Sonoran Desert
    OK. I'll do the sandwich thing.
     
  8. preeb

    preeb Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

    Age:
    50
    Sep 10, 2008
    Sonoran Desert
    Neck is dry. I sand the mahogany to the binding line first

    [​IMG]

    I'll shape the neck manually. Mahogany is the easiest to shape by hand and it's been a while since I last did this so I feel like doing it this way (-;
    I draw a center line and split the halves in half on back and sides

    [​IMG]

    I use a fast cutting file that eats through the mahogany like butter. It only takes a few strokes to connect the lines.

    [​IMG]

    Since average 59 necks are perfect elliptic I repeat the above a couple of times

    [​IMG]
     
  9. preeb

    preeb Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

    Age:
    50
    Sep 10, 2008
    Sonoran Desert
    like that

    [​IMG]

    I then roughly blend it and move to the heel switching to a bigger and softer file

    [​IMG]

    Like that

    [​IMG]

    Note that I still keep away from the edges of the neck. 59 LPs had a short heel that usually looked like that

    [​IMG]
     
  10. preeb

    preeb Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

    Age:
    50
    Sep 10, 2008
    Sonoran Desert
    I now verify the rough shaped neck is symmetrical

    [​IMG]

    and smooth it all up with the orbital. I stay away from the center line to keep the back spine straight

    [​IMG]

    The basic back shape is done

    [​IMG]

    Time for the transitions... etc...
    I rough the famous 50's headstock transition

    [​IMG]
     
  11. preeb

    preeb Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

    Age:
    50
    Sep 10, 2008
    Sonoran Desert
    and extend the transition curve down to the edge. I blend the binding edge at the same angle all the way down to the heel

    [​IMG]

    sanding up to 150 grit for now and checking for any little bumps and regularities... it's OK

    [​IMG]

    A couple more shots of the HS transition

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  12. Citizen_Insane

    Citizen_Insane Tele-Meister

    383
    Mar 9, 2009
    Iowa
    Damn Preeb, that's looking awesome!
     
  13. preeb

    preeb Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

    Age:
    50
    Sep 10, 2008
    Sonoran Desert
    I do the same at the heel transition area aiming for the 59 size and shape

    [​IMG]

    more smoothing

    [​IMG]

    and 150 grit sanding...

    [​IMG]

    I play a little "air guitar" making sure it feels like a vintage 59 neck.
    0.89" @ 1st fret
    0.98" @ 11th fret
    Chunky but super comfy with just the right soft slope running from the edge for that vintage feel. Great neck.
     
  14. Buckley

    Buckley Tele-Meister

    102
    Jun 2, 2007
    England
    Why do you have to make it look so easy? I'm now fooling myself into thinking that maybe I could build a 59...

    If I had one tenth of your talent, maybe I could give it a go. But I haven't, so I won't.

    This is truly exceptional, Preeb. Can't wait to see the finished product (and the sandwich.)
     
  15. preeb

    preeb Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

    Age:
    50
    Sep 10, 2008
    Sonoran Desert
    A few words on neck to body glue joint. All 50's LP's have a little space between the fingerboard and the body top. You will see this on the originals but not on the RI's.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I never understood this thing... why on earth would they leave this gap ?!!?
    until I experimented with different hide glue techniques.
    When doing the final neck fitting with chisels and sanding the neck fits the body perfectly... but... when using hide glue there are many little tricks and methods to achieve different glue joint properties... for the neck joint Gibson used TONS of glue to make up for the gaps they had between the tenon and mortise. If you removed old necks you probably know exactly what I'm talking about.... Now, hide glue has a lot of body and gels real fast (can be used as filler too!), so normally only a thin layer is used for most gluing jobs (like I did on the fingerboard).. but not on 50's LP necks (-;
    I'm going to replicate that for two reasons:
    1) I believe it's an important part of the 50's structure and contributes a lot to "the tone"
    2) This is one of the things that set the originals apart from the RI's and I wish to preserve that look

    I'm not aiming for the huge gaps seen on some examples... just a little.
     
  16. preeb

    preeb Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

    Age:
    50
    Sep 10, 2008
    Sonoran Desert
    I cleaned the mortise well. even a little grain will cause trouble. I forgot to mention that the entry routing was done with 1/2" dia bit but the bottom (which is left after the pu routing) was done with 3/4" dia bit to match the originals. This is visible in this shot

    [​IMG]

    Final dry fit and clean up and I'm ready to go

    [​IMG]

    A lot of hide glue... it drips all over too... in this case there's time to take the shot

    [​IMG]

    and a simple single clamp... just like in the 50's.. I applied pressure and stopped when the gaps got tasteful enough (-;

    [​IMG]
     
  17. preeb

    preeb Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

    Age:
    50
    Sep 10, 2008
    Sonoran Desert
    I added 50% more water to the glue and a spoon of salt for the nut glue. I only use a little bit of the thinned glue in the slot and press the nut super tight (important)

    [​IMG]

    I'll let it cure until tomorrow.

    [​IMG]
     
  18. David Collins

    David Collins Tele-Afflicted

    Sep 28, 2009
    Ann Arbor, MI
    Looking great Gil.

    Not to put the cart before the horse, but I'm curious to see if you'll be going after replicating the old tooling marks when dressing / polishing the frets.

    10's

    [​IMG]

    20's

    [​IMG]

    30's

    [​IMG]

    40's

    [​IMG]

    50's

    [​IMG]

    60's

    [​IMG]

    I never got any employee insights as to what these tooling marks were left from, but did a fair amount of experimentation and came up with a pretty accurate reproduction.

    They undoubtedly were created after the frets were installed, as apparent from the plateaus left under the frets as the wood was dished out between them. They also do not always continue in the exact same direction across the board, indicating brush marks from a wheel run from the center out to each side.

    After a fair amount of experimentation, I found a broken-in .008" crimped brass wire wheel to do a fine job removing marks from a leveling file, and leave remarkably accurate markings on the board. Follow this with a run across a loose domet flannel wheel loaded with tripoli compound, and this did an excellent job of polishing out the wire wheel marks from the frets, while leaving the board looking just like the old ones.

    I can't say how true this is to the original procedures, as I have not interviewed any old employees about the process. Still, the efficiency and simplicity of the procedure seems a fairly plausible explanation to fit production methods at the time.

    I don't know if you plan to replicate this, as I've certainly heard arguments that view these markings as a flaw, which some consider as preferable to avoid. Still, I would be interested to hear any insight or opinions you may have on this.
     
  19. redddog

    redddog Tele-Holic

    543
    May 7, 2008
    Rochester, NY
    Oh, Mama.

    She's coming together!
     
  20. nuance97

    nuance97 Tele-Meister

    108
    Jan 26, 2010
    Georgia
    Hi Preeb,
    When you apply the glue do you spread glue on both mating surfaces or just on one?

    Thanks,
    Daniel
     
  21. Shepherd

    Shepherd Friend of Leo's

    Jan 17, 2008
    Maple Ridge, Canada
    [​IMG]1000 posts for a LP build on a Tele forum. Who whudda thought? [​IMG]
     
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