1959 Les Paul Build

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

  1. preeb

    preeb Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

    Age:
    53
    Posts:
    6,638
    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2008
    Location:
    Sonoran Desert
    Oh.. no trouble at all. I go there all the time to buy hobby materials for the girls.
    That's how I found that powder... There was that gold painted Cabasa in the corner and I almost flipped when I got closer and saw the color and texture.
    You can scan the net and search for years while missing what's right under your nose (-;
     
  2. melomanarock

    melomanarock Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    542
    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2010
    Location:
    Argentina
    I know.. I have a problem.... Hi, my name is Carlos and I talk to myself all the time..

    the gold looks awesome!!!

    do you know the bronze/aluminum ratio?
     
  3. Stout

    Stout TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    21
    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2009
    Location:
    Sweden
    Preeb, where do you get the plastic for the pick guards?
     
  4. jonal335

    jonal335 Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    658
    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2011
    Location:
    vancouver island bc
    Another great lesson professor!
     
  5. preeb

    preeb Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

    Age:
    53
    Posts:
    6,638
    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2008
    Location:
    Sonoran Desert
    Thanks Carlos (-;
    No idea about the ratio but it looks more "gold" than #256 (which is too green) and #255 (which is too copper).
     
  6. preeb

    preeb Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

    Age:
    53
    Posts:
    6,638
    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2008
    Location:
    Sonoran Desert
    Tel Aviv.
     
  7. preeb

    preeb Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

    Age:
    53
    Posts:
    6,638
    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2008
    Location:
    Sonoran Desert
    The professors are mostly gone by now... I'm just trying to be a good student and do my homework properly. I also copy from other great students (-;
     
  8. frails

    frails NEW MEMBER!

    Posts:
    2
    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2009
    Location:
    Arizona
    Great stuff! Those P-90 covers look fantastic. Where can I get some?
     
  9. Travst

    Travst Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    542
    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2008
    Location:
    Birmingham, AL
    I very much enjoy your builds. The attention to detail is amazing. I appreciate your taking so much time to share this information.
     
  10. Ron Garson

    Ron Garson Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    74
    Posts:
    2,308
    Joined:
    May 18, 2003
    Location:
    UK
    Simply stunning!


    Again! :)
     
  11. sasparilla

    sasparilla TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    35
    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2010
    Location:
    Germany
    Hi!

    Iam going to rout the big Flat rout for the Humbuckers on my Build.

    I have here some measurements and need to know if they are correct for an exact 1959 replica.

    Bridge: ears: 1,384“
    flat:1,015-0.971“
    Neck: ears: 1,463“
    flat 1,097“

    Because especially the rout for the Flat big Cavity (Bridge) seems too deep if i look at the following pictures.

    If i would rout that deep(1") there would show much more Mahogany up than seen on the original bursts. (iam using an Bartlett CNC Top, so maple thickness should be correct at this point)

    The Maple Top is around 1/2 inch thick, so the 1" rout seems to deep?


    Thanks for you help,I appreciate it very much.


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
     
  12. preeb

    preeb Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

    Age:
    53
    Posts:
    6,638
    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2008
    Location:
    Sonoran Desert
    You need to remember that the PU routs were done on a pin router with an angled template base so it has nothing to do with the neck angle range of the period (4°-4.3°). Some have the PU's sitting lower than others depending on the neck angle and string/PU setup action.
    The only way to get a very accurate routing jig and setup is to measure from the back of the original guitar because the tops were slacked slightly different.
    Anyway... to keep things simple, for a 4.05° neck angle that I use, from the neck plane, it's about 15/16" and 1 5/16".
     
  13. preeb

    preeb Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

    Age:
    53
    Posts:
    6,638
    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2008
    Location:
    Sonoran Desert
    Thank you!
     
  14. Mack Guitarwork

    Mack Guitarwork TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    37
    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2011
    Location:
    Budapest
    Dear Gil,

    How deep should the straight truss rod chanel routed at the nut?
    I routed it straight, 3/8" at the nut, 1/2" at the body joint.

    Awesome GT, can't find words.
    Arpad
     
  15. sasparilla

    sasparilla TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    35
    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2010
    Location:
    Germany
    thanks for the reply,
    So if i understand that right, if i use a template with follows the neck angle, i have to measure the depth always starting from the underside of it , so that the bridge flat rout will not the full 15/16" deep because the template is on a higher level there?

    Is that the same with the ears?

    Because after watching some burst on the burst serial, they seem to have about the same depth in both, the bridge and the neck.

    Thanks!
     
  16. preeb

    preeb Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

    Age:
    53
    Posts:
    6,638
    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2008
    Location:
    Sonoran Desert
    Hello Mack Guitarwork and welcome.

    1/2" on the nut
    ~9/16" ('56) , 5/8" ('59) at the tenon
     
  17. preeb

    preeb Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

    Age:
    53
    Posts:
    6,638
    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2008
    Location:
    Sonoran Desert
    Exactly!
    Same with the ears.
    Never saw one with the same depth... but I never say never (-;
     
  18. Mack Guitarwork

    Mack Guitarwork TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    37
    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2011
    Location:
    Budapest
    Gil, thank You for the answer!
    I'm infected by your work.
    Thank You for these information.
     
  19. preeb

    preeb Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

    Age:
    53
    Posts:
    6,638
    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2008
    Location:
    Sonoran Desert
    P90's are very simple PU's in design and that's also the reason they are very sensitive to every nuance in the construction, both in materials and winding method.
    Gibson made them long before they came up with the LP model in '52 but in general, there are two types (the way I see it), the early ones up until the mid 50's and the later 50's.
    The older kind were fatter and warmer in tone and it's very evident if you A/B, for example, a 52 GT to a later 50's p90 equipped LP.
    I like them both but to my ears the early kind sounds better and fatter in the bridge position and the later in the neck with more clarity and definition.
    I believe the difference is a direct result of the magnet wire and possibly the winding tension since the other parts are more or less the same.
    I had both original types inspected and here's what I found:
    1) earlier version has a thinner wire insulation coating
    2) earlier version has a tighter magnet wire tension
    3) earlier version has a different traverse pattern with a sloppier number of wounds per pass
    4) The later version used the exact magnet wire found on PAF's

    As for the magnets, both my PU sets have AlNiCo 2 and most of the P90's I inspected in the past did too. It might also be AlNi 3 because the only way I could tell was by the gauss level but I assume they were AlNiCo 2 because when I tested my replicas with both, the AlNiCo 2 version sounded much closer. I have to admit that they also sound great with AlNi 3 though (-;

    I couldn't find any differences between the earlier and later magnets, poles, screws and bobbin size. The earlier soapbars had a slightly thinner base plate but that didn't affect tonality much.

    Another issue are the two "pimples" in the base plate placed under the magnets to keep them tight as the plate screws are tightened. They look higher to me on the earlier type but I don't like them anyway for two reasons:
    1) AlNiCo magnets can easily break if the base screws are tightened a bit too much
    2) There's a gap between the base plate and the magnets causing microphonic feedback in high volume

    For this build I'll do both types, the earlier for the bridge and the later for the neck.
    I'll show only one built because the construction is similar but I use different magnet wires and winding tension/traverse.

    Here's the bobbin. It's the correct thin type with the original pole spacing, inner profile and coil height.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    First thing I do is scrape clean the center molding marks inside the bobbin to prevent coil damage when winding. I use a utility blade.

    [​IMG]

    magnet wire leads are cut to length. It's the same 7 strand thin wire used on the PAF's as well.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Magnet wire is lightly sanded to remove the coating insulation and soldered to the lead

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Bobbin attached to the winder and the winder is set to CCW turning direction

    [​IMG]

    Lead wire is running through the start hole in the bobbin which is closer to the bobbin core in the center.

    [​IMG]

    Traverse range is set. I leave about 1/2mm away from the walls. The wire will find its way to fill the little gaps without creating too much warpage to the bobbin (it will get warped anyway as it is...)

    [​IMG]

    Counter reset

    [​IMG]

    and the coil is wound for this bridge PU as described above...

    [​IMG]

    I stop at 10000.

    [​IMG]

    and inspect the coil's form. It needs to be more or less even

    [​IMG]

    The coil end lead wire is soldered and the end lead will go through the end bobbin hole in the corner, like this

    [​IMG]

    I now tape the coil tightly.

    [​IMG]

    The PU measures 8.3K (DCR). The higher tension caused the slightly higher DCR of course.

    Same pole pieces as in my PAF's

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Same keeper bar as the PAF's for the soapbar P90's (dog ears sometimes come with 8 hole keepers)

    [​IMG]

    2.5" long rough sand cast AlNiCo 2's

    [​IMG]

    I like AlNiCo 2 to be fully charged.

    [​IMG]

    North is marked

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Rubber insert installed on the base

    [​IMG]

    like that

    [​IMG]

    Everything put together. Magnets are both facing toward the keeper with their South poles, lead wires are passing through the rubber insert

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Surprisingly ... the base mounting screws were 1/2" sheet metal slotted round head Steel and do interact with the magnetic flow like on early 57 PAF's!!!
    Split washers are a must to get a good pressure to hold the magnets in place even if the screws get less tight with time.

    [​IMG]

    First one

    [​IMG]

    and the second, closer to the wires gets a brass lug for the ground wire

    [​IMG]

    Side view...

    [​IMG]

    Covers are made from a mold made from an original full size (you'll see why in a second ) UC 452 B

    [​IMG]

    Gibson had many models equipped with P90 PU's and needed them in different heights. The trick was very simple money saver.... For taller PU's they inserted Mahogany spacers under the magnets to raise the bobbin and used the cover in it's full height. Any lower P90's either had no spacers or lower spacers. The covers were sanded lower to fit the correct clearance from the PU face to the base (covers sit on the little folded base wings). In order to get the right cover height for each model the covers were molded with little height marks in the inner corners

    [​IMG]

    I'm going for the 3rd mark and rough sand the cover real quick (it never was very accurate (-;)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I stop when I reach the mark

    [​IMG]

    and test the cover. Perfect. The PU mounting screws will push it down and close the little gap there.

    [​IMG]

    Main PU lead wire hot is soldered to the coil start lead

    [​IMG]

    Insulated with a cheap masking tape in the most sloppy way (Mandatory (-;) and the braided shield is soldered under the brass lug

    [​IMG]

    coil end is also grounded to the face of the lug

    [​IMG]

    It's worth mentioning that the lead is a NOS 2 strand "loose" shield wire, keeping it entirely historically accurate

    [​IMG]

    Territorial markings... (-;

    [​IMG]

    and it's done. Neck PU is 7.9K.

    [​IMG]

    Shabat Shalom!
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2011
  20. MRJ.

    MRJ. Tele-Meister

    Age:
    40
    Posts:
    153
    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2010
    Location:
    West End, NC
    Thank you so much for posting this preeb. When you charge your pickup magnets you don't put them in between the charging magnets? You just put it against the side of charging magnets like in the picture?
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.