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Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com

50's Style Les Paul build

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by TenaciousP, Apr 22, 2016.

  1. TenaciousP

    TenaciousP Tele-Meister

    381
    Apr 1, 2016
    Arkansas
    Hello Everyone,

    I am a new member here. I have been lurking around this site for many years and have enjoyed reading a lot of great build threads during that time. After having completed 5 guitar builds over the past 6 years (including 2 Tele's and a PJ bass) , I finally decided to join the forum and post a build of my own. I feel a little strange posting an LP build on a Tele forum as my first build thread. However, I really enjoy this site and I have been wanting to build an LP for quite some time. This build may take a while so I hope you all will bear with me. I have been working on it for a few weeks already. I wanted to get it to a point where it actually resembles a guitar body before posting because I didn't know how long it might be between updates and I didn't want to bore anyone right from the start. So anyhow, lets get started.

    I have had this huge slab of Honduras Mahogany for about 4 or 5 years. I have been waiting for a special build to cut in to it.

    DSC04160.JPG


    After a bit of cutting with a circular saw and a jig saw, I have a piece that can actually fit on my band saw table.

    DSC04165.JPG

    A few minutes of band sawing and I have a roughed out body blank ready to be planed.

    DSC04166.JPG

    I don't have a planer of my own but I have a friend who does. He also builds guitars too. We did not plane it all the way down to 1.75" at first. I wanted to make sure if it moved any after the cutting and planning, that I had a little extra left to plane it flat again. after a couple of weeks it still appeared flat so we planed it down to final thickness.

    DSC04183.JPG

    Around the same time that I band sawed out the mahogany I also cut out the two halves of the top from a piece of flame maple I had. It is only about 7/8" thick so this will not be a book matched top. From what I have read, late 50's LP tops were usually not book matched. I really like the look of the unmatched tops so that is what I will be using for this build.

    It is getting late so I think I will conclude my first post with a pic of the flame maple that I made the top from.

    DSC04153.JPG

    I have a lot more pictures to share of the progress made the last couple of weeks. I will try to get them posted in the next day or so.
     
    twr1, AlexFelix, fenderchamp and 4 others like this.

  2. Steve 78

    Steve 78 Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Age:
    39
    Oct 27, 2015
    Melbourne, Austraila
    Welcome! I'm looking forward to seeing the progress of this build. What finish are you planning?
     

  3. oldrebel

    oldrebel Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

    Oct 23, 2011
    Lynchburg Tennessee
    Welcome aboard. Looks like a great build in the makings. You are definitely off to a great start.
     

  4. TenaciousP

    TenaciousP Tele-Meister

    381
    Apr 1, 2016
    Arkansas
    Thanks, I am planning to do a nitro lacquer finish. As far as the color, I'm thinking the traditional faded cherry burst using aniline dyes. I am a bit nervous about that part as I have never sprayed a sunburst finish before. I'll definitely need to practice on some scrap wood first. I picked up a gallon of lacquer last week, it is the Sherwin Williams Promar Hibild nitro lacquer. It's a lot cheaper than the instrument specific lacquer. However, I wouldn't use it on a guitar unless you want the finish to check relatively quickly. I am not sure on what of brand of dye to get or where to get it from. But, I've got a long ways to go before I need to think about finish.
     

  5. TenaciousP

    TenaciousP Tele-Meister

    381
    Apr 1, 2016
    Arkansas
    Thanks!
     

  6. lbridenstine

    lbridenstine Friend of Leo's

    Feb 21, 2013
    Galesburg, MI
    Holy cow that is a huge board.

    Looking good so far!
     

  7. DrASATele

    DrASATele Poster Extraordinaire

    Jul 6, 2012
    North of Boston
    Man oh man, I love large chunks of wood, especially ones like that. I've been lucky enough to encounter 2 large old pine board like that... mahogany of any kind that size would be awesome... Lot's of great tips over in the Finely Finished section when you get to that part...looking very good so far!.
     

  8. s_tones

    s_tones Tele-Holic

    713
    Nov 10, 2013
    central CA
    Yep, I have mahogany envy
     

  9. Zepfan

    Zepfan Friend of Leo's

    Nov 30, 2013
    Horn Lake, MS
    You should be able to get a guitar out of that.:D
    Looks like you could get a 2 or 3 one piece guitars from that.
     
    moosie and Newbcaster like this.

  10. TenaciousP

    TenaciousP Tele-Meister

    381
    Apr 1, 2016
    Arkansas
    To everyone commenting on the mahogany, yes it is a huge piece of wood. I kinda felt bad about cutting it. It probably could make a nice coffee table or something. But, guitars are more fun!:D
    I traced one of my templates on it to see how many 1 piece bodies I could get out of it. I don't know if it will all be used for LP's, but if I stuck with roughly LP sized bodies I could actually squeeze 6 1 piece bodies from it. It's about 25" wide so they have to be nested lower bout in to waist in order to fit them all in. But it would work!
     
    Telemaestro likes this.

  11. RickyRicardo

    RickyRicardo Friend of Leo's

    Mar 27, 2012
    Calgary, Alberta
    Awesome, I love LP builds! Is that the pile of shame under your workbench? If so, it's many times smaller than mine...:)
     

  12. TenaciousP

    TenaciousP Tele-Meister

    381
    Apr 1, 2016
    Arkansas
    No, it's not really a pile of shame. Although I'm kind of ashamed to admit what it really is. It's mostly just scrap pieces of wood from my previous builds. I just tell myself "I might find a use for this oddly shaped piece of wood some day". There are a few templates and jigs piled under there as well. I really need to clean and sort through that pile.
     

  13. Zepfan

    Zepfan Friend of Leo's

    Nov 30, 2013
    Horn Lake, MS
    How about a coffee table lap steel guitar?
     
    AAT65 and David_Maas like this.

  14. smile-4-me

    smile-4-me Tele-Meister

    109
    Apr 15, 2011
    Arkansas
    So I'm the friend with the planer mentioned in the first post. I remember when we picked up that slab of mahogony from the lumberyard. I'm excited to see it transform into an LP. Should be a great build to follow. And I wouldn't mind seeing more of that snakehead esquire in the avatar pic.
     
    nick0 likes this.

  15. Muzikp

    Muzikp Friend of Leo's

    Nov 5, 2010
    Sacramento
    Wait... Wow, I mean hold on, one piece of wood... that big, oh my!!! That is an awesome piece of wood. How much does the body weigh in it's rough cut shape? My first LP was a tank and needed this sort of treatment to get it closer to fighting weight.

    [​IMG]
     

  16. Tonetele

    Tonetele Friend of Leo's

    Jun 2, 2009
    South Australia
    Love that Mahogany. Easy to work with and creates a great sounding
    instrument.
     

  17. TenaciousP

    TenaciousP Tele-Meister

    381
    Apr 1, 2016
    Arkansas
    Yes, I'm excited (and a little nervous) to be transforming it into an LP.

    I have actually been toying with the idea of starting some other threads to share pics of my previous builds. We'll see. Right now I'm just trying to keep the LP build moving forward in my spare time.
     
    nick0 likes this.

  18. TenaciousP

    TenaciousP Tele-Meister

    381
    Apr 1, 2016
    Arkansas
    Unfortunately, I did not weigh the mahogany before moving forward with the next steps. I worked ahead a bit before I started posting. I have a bad feeling the guitars going to be a bit on the heavy side just from holding what I've got now in my hands. I know carving the top and routing the pickup cavities removes a lot of the maple plus a little mahogany. But I don't know how much weight that removes. As you will see shortly, I did not weight relieve the mahogany. Hopefully it won't break my back when I get it done. :)
     
    roknfnrol likes this.

  19. TenaciousP

    TenaciousP Tele-Meister

    381
    Apr 1, 2016
    Arkansas
    Ok, let me share some more of the progress since I Have a little bit of time this morning.

    So, I jig sawed out the two halves of the top. The flame maple board was pretty wide and I thought I might be able to get a fender style neck blank or two from the areas beside where the LP top pieces would com from. so that is why I cut out the rough LP shape right away instead of cutting the maple straight across and gluing up two rectangles like what most people do. I try to get the most out of each piece of wood when I can so I do some unorthodox things from time to time. I tried to pick out the best looking areas of flame for the top. Also, there are some large dark areas on the back side of the board that I wanted to avoid.

    DSC04155.JPG DSC04156.JPG DSC04158.JPG DSC04159.JPG
     

  20. TenaciousP

    TenaciousP Tele-Meister

    381
    Apr 1, 2016
    Arkansas
    I cut the perimeter a bit closer to the line on the bad saw as you can see in above. I let the pieces set for a week or so along with the mahogany to watch for any movement. when I was satisfied that it wasn't going to move, I ran the center seams on the jointer and mixed up a small batch of hot hide glue and glued the two halves together.
    DSC04168.JPG

    DSC04175.JPG

    I did this part in the house since this time of year it's still fairly cool in the evenings. At night is when I do most of my guitar work and I felt like it might be a little too cool in the workshop for using hide glue. I read some where that it's best for you to be uncomfortably warm when working with hot hide glue in order to maximize the working time before the glue starts gelling. So a ran a heater in our guest bathroom with the door closed for a while to get it nice and toasty in there. I also heated the edges of the wood with a hairdryer for a bit before gluing.

    DSC04176.JPG

    and here it is glued and clamped with the squeeze out wiped off.
    DSC04181.JPG
     

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