1959 Les Paul Build

Sterling Sound

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An Jeff Beck Oxblood Les Paul? What a guitar!
I traded mine in 2005 for a PRS Custom, what a mistake.

But my biggest mistake was to trade my second-hand Les Paul,
that was made in 17. Juli 1977. On my birthday!!!

I'll never-ever want to sell any of my les pauls :)
Sorry for the off topic, great jobs Gil.
This is the most informative forum, thanks for sharing.

yes, a Jeff Oxblood limited edition.....with Jeff's blessing this time
 

Engraver-60

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An Jeff Beck Oxblood Les Paul? What a guitar!
I traded mine in 2005 for a PRS Custom, what a mistake.

But my biggest mistake was to trade my second-hand Les Paul,
that was made in 17. Juli 1977. On my birthday!!!

I'll never-ever want to sell any of my les pauls :)
Sorry for the off topic, great jobs Gil.
This is the most informative forum, thanks for sharing.
WOW we share birthdays - but mine was 1952.
 

Revv23

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Sign me up for one of them lefty's! Sorry to bump but I just spent the last week of my life reading this thread.

I just bought my first tele now I'm gassing a Les Paul! A Gil Les Paul!!!
 

preeb

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Got a 56 GT in the making.
Let me know if there's any interest in the process + the P90 internals + finishing... etc...
 

deaconque

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I'm definitely interested in the finish process. Or maybe some info on how to create the little green bits of oxidization on a GT relic :D
 

MRJ.

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YES! Every bit of info you would be willing to give would be so greatly appreciated. You should start a new thread on it. It'd be really nice to see a detailed thread on that. As far as I know no on has ever really gone into a lot of detail on that model, or on p90s for that matter. :D
 

preeb

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YES! Every bit of info you would be willing to give would be so greatly appreciated. You should start a new thread on it. It'd be really nice to see a detailed thread on that. As far as I know no on has ever really gone into a lot of detail on that model, or on p90s for that matter. :D

Not sure about another LP thread on a Tele forum...
I feel it's OK to add it to this thread because I will only show what was done differently in that period.
 

preeb

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OK... here we go.

Since many of the P90 equipped GT's are a little harsh on the high end and raw sounding I really wanted a more solid and sweet sounding wood combination that is more desirable (TMHO) and makes an exceptional sounding 56.
Another consideration was the "I wonder how the top looks like under the gold..." issue (-;
To get that combo achieved I selected a featherweight Mahogany body blank that has a very airy and woody tap tone, medium density quarter sawned neck blank that is stiff enough but not too bright to complement the body, medium density rift sawned Brazilian board with a nice brown/black grain swirls and reclaimed maple that is also very warm sounding.
The top doesn't look much but the flames on those old pieces of maple jump out of nowhere when finished (you'll see...)

IMG_1038x.jpg


IMG_1051.jpg


For the body I used a 56-57 template that is a hair larger than the 59 and has a slightly different channel width as well. The bodies got smaller and smaller between mid to late 50's due to template wear (the cavities got larger for the same reason as well).
The growth lines were set to "throw" the highs sideways and away from the center (bridge), once again, to get a sweeter tone.

IMG_1040.jpg


Neck blank cut and shaped the usual way except for a stronger HS thickness tapper that is more common on mid 50's GT's than the later slightly tapered bursts (This also goes hand in hand with the thicker mid 50's necks of course).

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Thicknessed to 2.27" width and routed for straight truss rod.

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Top glued to body with PF glue in a high pressure press, trimmed to final outline and thicknessed to final thickness.

IMG_1073x.jpg


Here's the pile

IMG_1076-1.jpg
 
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preeb

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Mid 50's control routs share the same pin router template with bursts but got a bit larger with the use. I used a mid 50's template for the outline and routed a little deeper then I would on a burst. Note that not all mid 50's cavities were deeper but I estimate about half of them went through down to the maple (bursts are typically left with about 1/16" mahogany layer at the bottom). I just kissed the maple for this build.

IMG_1088.jpg


Same thing with the secondary cover rout...

IMG_1089.jpg


The switch cavity was a lot smaller in 56 compared to bursts but this has nothing to do with template wear... it was that small from 1952 to 1957 and got enlarged by 1958 to allow easier switch installation.

IMG_1090.jpg


Here's a 59 for comparison

IMG_1091.jpg
 

preeb

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The top rough carving is the same as the bursts but the mid 50's GT's were slack belt sanded differently and more material has been moved to get that nice round dish with tighter upper waist.
Here's the top getting roughed on the carving jig

IMG_1093.jpg


This old maple is definitely very dry and crystallized and I feel it while I run the copy carving arm... (-;

IMG_1094.jpg


50's binding were installed before slack belt sanding and it's a common mistake to think the binding height is even around the entire body... they never are (-;
I cut the channel and install the binding a little shy to leave enough maple for the slack belt sanding to follow. The cutaway area maple top is sanded smooth and routed in a different operation (see the burst build details).

IMG_1112.jpg


Truss rod is made and installed. The cutter diameter for the nut access drill was larger up until 1958 when it got smaller on the bursts.
The one on the right is the 56 while the two on the left are 58-59.
The washer is larger too on a 56.

IMG_1115.jpg


Another thing worth mentioning is that the TR channel is a little shallower on mid 50's necks measured a little over 1/2" on the heel side. Bursts are 5/8".

IMG_1121.jpg
 
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preeb

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HS ears are glued with PF (not hide glue!). This was one of the little gluing operations Gibson did with radio wave to speed things up. PF and UF glues were used for radio (heat) curing while hide glue is melted by heat.

IMG_1122.jpg


Holly veneer... (in the case of the original Gibson HS the logo was set about a 1/4" to 3/8" lower than on bursts).

IMG_1127.jpg
 

preeb

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ABS creme binding are the same as on bursts.

IMG_1128-1.jpg


Neck is trued and HS is shaped to average 56 taper

IMG_1131-1.jpg


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The heel on mid 50's GT necks was bigger and extruded further away from the body joint.

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roughing the tenon

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Top is slack belt sanded. Note the narrow waist of the dish, it actually drops over the PU's area. Neck angle is 4°

IMG_1147.jpg


Sides are sanded flush with the binding

IMG_1151.jpg
 

preeb

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Board and fret scale are identical to bursts

IMG_1167.jpg


The correct fretwire is the narrower of course (52-58) but this particular GT is ordered with the 59 wider type.

IMG_1170.jpg


Neck binding is thin creme celluloid and is glued with acetone.
Inlays are also made from Celluloid Nitrate and have a slightly "wilder" pattern than the later 50's inlays but not as "wild" as the early 50's LP's.

IMG_1173.jpg


10.3mm pot and 1/2" switch mounting holes are the same as in the bursts

IMG_1200.jpg


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Secondary switch tilted cut is a bit shallower than on bursts

IMG_1208.jpg


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and needs to be done accurately because there's not much room in there for the switch (-;

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tested to fit well and follow the top shape as well. Note how the switch sits low in the nut.

IMG_1207.jpg


Secondary control rout is identical to bursts in shape but is about 1.5° flatter.
Same thing with the pot extension cuts...

IMG_1218.jpg


IMG_1219.jpg
 




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