1959 Les Paul Build

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

  1. BlueEbenzer

    BlueEbenzer TDPRI Member

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    Wow, this thread has been inactive for a pretty long time!
    So I am about to start with an amateur build of a '59 LP, and I reached the dilemma of African or Honduran. I'm just sharing what I think in case it would help others. So here are my reasons:
    1.) A specifics freak like Preeb has thumbs-up'ed it
    2.) I've seen those order papers of African Mahog somewhere on the internet myself.
    3.) From what I've gathered, Honduran Mahogany's grain is strictly striped in straight lines as a rule, while African comes in patterns, which sets it apart from Honduran Mahogany. You can see patterned Mahogany in all '59 LPs (maybe save one or two, because Gibson), which IMO confirms that it'd be the African kind and ONLY '50s Reissues have those Honduran straight striped grain on them (maybe except for the late 90s-2007 because apparently it got out that Gibson used African Mahogany during those years).

    Any thoughts are welcome, but please no wars :p

    Thanks,
    R.
     
  2. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I don't have one blank of Honduran that exhibits straight stripes, as it is all flatsawn. Any LP's over the years that I've owned, have exhibited flatsawn grain on the back. I myself don't care for the effect of straight grain in Epiphone LP's so I'd be more interested in anything but that. More importantly, I'd be more concerned with the weight and lean towards what you prefer it look like.


    I'm not a fan of this kind of look:

    https://www.guitarandbassbuild.co.uk/collections/b-tone-woods/sapele-tone-wood-bass/

    I'm a fan of this:

    https://www.stewmac.com/Materials_a...MI3NTGuP_H4QIVw5CfCh3TdQvMEAQYASABEgII6fD_BwE
     
    fenderchamp and BlueEbenzer like this.
  3. BlueEbenzer

    BlueEbenzer TDPRI Member

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    Yeah, okay I agree on that, the first link sucks.
    Second one is awesome and those are some amazing patterns on it. Which is weird because most of the places I've read say that African has designs which set it apart, as I said before. Maybe it depends on how it's cut? :thinking:
    But tbh that first one is a bad example because African can also look like this: https://www.hardwood-lumber.com/african-mahogany-wide-plank-butcher-block-countertop/ , and this is more of what is seen in the '50s LPs: https://www.frettedamericana.com/sites/default/files/00645_back_detail.jpg , http://www.pinrepair.com/vgi/gibson/56_lespaul_4.jpg.

    Maybe we'll never know. But I trust Gil's quote : "African can get lighter than the lightest Honduran." And they didn't have any funky stuff going on inside the body back then.
     
  4. BlueEbenzer

    BlueEbenzer TDPRI Member

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    @preeb Did the guitar you refret by any chance happen to be a stripped burst? :eek:
    I was reading up on Paul Kossoff's stripped burst and this is what I found:

    The frets were changed again in 2009, and the job was very well done with nicely rounded fret ends. The binding is original. When the fret ends were dressed and polished, some lacquer would naturally be lost, so the binding was masked off from the neck in the process and had some touch-up lacquer applied, which was very well done.

    Two '59s refretted in the same year?
     
  5. preeb

    preeb Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

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    No. original finish.
    The Kossoff burst was done by someone else and I did get the full specs and drawings from that guitar as well BTW. Not that it matters these days anyway (-;
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2019
  6. BlueEbenzer

    BlueEbenzer TDPRI Member

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    Wooaaahh. That's absolutely cool. I'm jealous :p xD
    Koss' burst is holy to me
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2019
  7. preeb

    preeb Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

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    Funny to mention.. some asked me why the horns on some of those old builds were skinny/pointier than the average and the reason was the Kossoff blueprints.
    I had 4 full blueprints of 59 LP's and 2 of them came from rather famous bursts, one being the Kossoff which had that pointy horn and somewhat off control drills by about 2-3mm, so all the ones made from that template are exact copies of the Kossoff.

    here it is with its large cutaway..

    [​IMG]
     
  8. BlueEbenzer

    BlueEbenzer TDPRI Member

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    That is sooo so coool. I discovered TDPRI way too late, if you know what I mean. :))
    Also yeah I always did notice something strange going on with Koss' bursts but I couldn't place my finger on it. Looked like the image was laterally stretched but everything else looked normal... that must've helped him a lot for the vibrato that high up. Maybe. In the videos I've seen, the only movement is from his fingers bending. Wrist doesn't move, neck doesn't move. Magical.
     
  9. gtrmaker

    gtrmaker TDPRI Member

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    Hi Gil,

    Since moving to the U.S. have you had any luck sourcing a low or no plasticizer Nitrocellulose lacquer?
     
  10. preeb

    preeb Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

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    Only way is to find pure nitrocellulose resin and mix with proper thinners. You can then add as much oil as you like or none at all.
    Note that the resin is highly flameable and illegal in some states.
     
  11. musikus70

    musikus70 NEW MEMBER!

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    365 pages full of knowledge! That's fantastic!
    But no single word about setting up the pickups!
    I'm tinkering every day with the pickups on my Les Paul to find the perfect tone.
    When I looked at the photos on Gil's guitars I noticed that he set the screws really low. Is it to make the neckpickup less muddy and the bridge pickup fatter?
     
  12. preeb

    preeb Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

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    Tinkering every day may indicate that this is not the instrument and/or pickups for you.
    It is hard to get a good guitar with a good matched set of pu's to sound bad, just as it is impossible to make the wrong guitar sound great by messing with the pu's...

    My PAF's are wound and designed to sound very clear and articulated, almost like a fat p90 which is the way i like them and also the prefered 50's tone on the old LP's. If otherwise, where PAF's are somewhat muddy or "modern" sounding, raising the poles will get them closer to a single coil and may help to clear them a little.
    On my PAF's I set the poles low to maximize the humbucking character which doesn't make them muddy or boomy due to their basic clear nature.
     
  13. musikus70

    musikus70 NEW MEMBER!

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    At first: Merry Christmas to you and your family!

    Thanks for your reply, Gil. For me you are the guitar builder hero. The guitar building process of your guitars is just unbelievable. Never heard of another guitarbuilder that goes so deep into detail as you. Just fantastic!

    Back to the topic:
    I'm using the "spirit of 59s" from Amber Pickups. These are paf'ish pickups. Low output, clear sound. I don't like the sound of hot humbucker pickups.
    My experience of lowering the screws of the bridge pickup will make the sound fatter and for the neck position it will make the sound clearer. That makes physically sense because in both cases the slug coil comes more into play.
    For neck position: slug coil is nearer the bridge. The sound gets tighter and clearer
    For bridge position: slug coil is nearer the 12th fret. The sound gets fuller.
    After looking at photos of your 59 Bursts I've noticed that you setup the screws exact this way.
    After setting the screws on my humbuckers this way now I'm very pleased with the sound and I don't think I need the screwdriver anymore

    Greetings from Germany
    Markus
     
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  14. Fred_Garvin

    Fred_Garvin Tele-Holic

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    I know I'm a couple days late but happy Hanukkah, Gil. Thanks for all your posts especially this thread. I make better guitars because of you and the others here.
     
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