1959 Les Paul Build

jdm61

Tele-Holic
Joined
Jan 6, 2010
Posts
691
Age
60
Location
St. Petersburg, FL
You know... the best steel available on the market today is made from recycled WWII battleships.
Not true. Perhaps the "coolest" and most unique steel, but not the best. Boker made a run of damascus bladed knives using that Tirpitz steel as part of the mix, but it was strictly a gimmick. The stuff doesn't have enough carbon to make a really high performance blade on its own just like gun barrel stel doesn't. I have a huge stack of steel in my shop that is better. A lot of it is brand new, but my special stash was made for GM about 15 years ago and they don't make the type in the Us any more. And the only thing that makes it more special than the other stuff that I have is that the way it is alloyed allows you to get stilla killer hamon if you are making Japanese style blades and, contrary to popular opinion, it will outperform any blade made from that other mythical steel, tamahagane.:D
 

preeb

Poster Extraordinaire
Vendor Member
Joined
Sep 10, 2008
Posts
6,771
Age
55
Location
Sonoran Desert
Just cleaned the rings a little and buffed them on a dirty buffing wheel I use for aging plastics...
They look totally real. For the life of me... They could fool me easily...
Only thing left is to add a special ingredient to the mix to cause them to be UV responsive so they will shine under black light... I'll get it soon and post the test.

DSC03183.jpg


DSC03184.jpg


DSC03185.jpg


DSC03186.jpg
 

preeb

Poster Extraordinaire
Vendor Member
Joined
Sep 10, 2008
Posts
6,771
Age
55
Location
Sonoran Desert
And with the real deal PAF and cover to check the fit (and show off a little too... (-; )

DSC03189.jpg


DSC03190.jpg


DSC03192.jpg


A family shot

DSC03193.jpg
 

Moggl

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Jan 27, 2008
Posts
1,938
Location
+
Not true. Perhaps the "coolest" and most unique steel, but not the best. Boker made a run of damascus bladed knives using that Tirpitz steel as part of the mix, but it was strictly a gimmick. The stuff doesn't have enough carbon to make a really high performance blade on its own just like gun barrel stel doesn't. I have a huge stack of steel in my shop that is better. A lot of it is brand new, but my special stash was made for GM about 15 years ago and they don't make the type in the Us any more. And the only thing that makes it more special than the other stuff that I have is that the way it is alloyed allows you to get stilla killer hamon if you are making Japanese style blades and, contrary to popular opinion, it will outperform any blade made from that other mythical steel, tamahagane.:D

The steel from those sunken battleships is sought-after for a very different quality: Ships that sank before Hiroshima and Nagasaki have a notable lack of radioactive pollution, and with later events like Chernobyl etc., overall surface radioactivity has increased even more.
This less-polluted steel is required for scientific probes and instruments where as little 'innate' radioactivity as possible is needed go get useful results. :)
 

helectrix

Tele-Meister
Joined
Dec 14, 2004
Posts
318
Location
Belgium
incredible, the amount of detail and effort you put in everthing you do! thx for the good pictures.

I've never read one book on guitarbuilding, it's exactly topics like these I learn from,
keep going!
 

Engraver-60

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Jan 6, 2008
Posts
4,359
Age
69
Location
Brentwood, TN
I just caught up to this thread, and all I have to say is WOW!! Gil, you are the extreme GURU of guitar building, and all things related. I am very impressed with your variety of skills, and the mastery with which you pursue your endeavors.

Now here's a question: Are you also going to make your own vintage style knobs? This I have to see. Thanks for so much.
 

jdm61

Tele-Holic
Joined
Jan 6, 2010
Posts
691
Age
60
Location
St. Petersburg, FL
The steel from those sunken battleships is sought-after for a very different quality: Ships that sank before Hiroshima and Nagasaki have a notable lack of radioactive pollution, and with later events like Chernobyl etc., overall surface radioactivity has increased even more.
This less-polluted steel is required for scientific probes and instruments where as little 'innate' radioactivity as possible is needed go get useful results. :)
You just made that up.:D
 

preeb

Poster Extraordinaire
Vendor Member
Joined
Sep 10, 2008
Posts
6,771
Age
55
Location
Sonoran Desert
I just caught up to this thread, and all I have to say is WOW!! Gil, you are the extreme GURU of guitar building, and all things related. I am very impressed with your variety of skills, and the mastery with which you pursue your endeavors.

Now here's a question: Are you also going to make your own vintage style knobs? This I have to see. Thanks for so much.

Thanks mgdesigns. You're way too kind.
Nothing much to see there... the knobs are easy to make.
Same exact method is used for making the silicone molds but casting with transparent material + a little off white for the numbers + bronze lacquer... they can easily be oxidized as well.
I already have a stock of knobs so no need to make more of them but when I do them I promise to post here.
Bobbins are first priority!
 

Mark-00255

Tele-Holic
Joined
Oct 18, 2007
Posts
999
Location
South of Seattle, WA
I have to admit to my eyes glazing over a few pages back when the LP experts were going on and on about pickup rings. Honestly, I thought, "just buy some nice looking rings ..." Too much obsession for me! But, now that I see those finished rings, I get it. You can just see the "realness" of the rings made with quality materials and methods compared to the cheap imitations. Nicely done, and as always, your results were worth the efforts.

As to sanding the black around the logo - I did wonder about that when you filled the space with that glob! One question though - what's the point of the holly wood when it just gets painted black? Does it present a smoother finish than the Mahogany, giving you a better smooth surface for the black?
 

Slow Reflexes

Poster Extraordinaire
Joined
Nov 17, 2007
Posts
8,134
Age
119
Location
Willamette and Columbia
The steel from those sunken battleships is sought-after for a very different quality...
This less-polluted steel is required for scientific probes and instruments...
You just made that up.:D
Actually true... the scientific papers are on those sites where you have to buy the article, but there are other news reports mentioning the issue.
 

preeb

Poster Extraordinaire
Vendor Member
Joined
Sep 10, 2008
Posts
6,771
Age
55
Location
Sonoran Desert
I have to admit to my eyes ...
As to sanding the black around the logo - I did wonder about that when you filled the space with that glob! One question though - what's the point of the holly wood when it just gets painted black? Does it present a smoother finish than the Mahogany, giving you a better smooth surface for the black?

TMHO, Holly, being a non porous soft wood can serve 3 purposes:

1) Truss rod nut access and logo cut outs are easy... it's almost as soft as Balsa...

2) Gives a smooth black headstock face without pore filler or sanding sealer (although the lack of sanding sealer caused the originals to flake and chip easily...)

3) Easy to thin down to 0.03" by sanding
 
Last edited:

Scooby Snax

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Apr 26, 2009
Posts
2,409
Location
Toronto
Gil,
This is insaine, your attention to detail is most inspiring, I'm laying awake at night second guessing everything now... Is OCD contaigous? I've got to hunt down parts, materials or I'm going to regret it later I think to myself.
 

Doubletriode

Tele-Meister
Joined
Mar 23, 2008
Posts
192
Location
Geneva,Switzerland
Ooh my God!
What you are doing is scary :eek:
Nothing can stop your quest for perfection!!!

I remember reading a book about tube amps a few years ago when I was into obsessive audiophilia (I still am but shhht, don't tell my wife...)
The author was a sceptic and he argumented against the effects on sound of wire type, capacitor types, resistors composition etc...
For him, only numbers mattered.
His main argument was: even if there is an effect, it is so small it is inaudible.
This argument came in over and over again about every subject he touched. The more I read, the more I felt uneasy not knowing what to think. The scientific arguments were sound but something seemed wrong.
Suddenly I saw the light! :D
Yes, each effect may have been too small but the sum of all those imperceptible effects was audible!!!

So, I am 100% with your obsession for detail... In the end, it matters

Just ask those Formula 1 or MotoGP engineers who spend countless hours trying to gain a few thousands of a second a lap...

I look forward for the rest of the build...
 

dynamohum

Tele-Meister
Joined
Jan 1, 2009
Posts
192
Location
Liverpool
Love those rings Gil. You make it look way too easy... They obviously look quite smooth and pristine compared to the originals. Will they fade and tarnish the same way as original cream rings? I'm looking forward to how you do the electrics. I presume you'll making your own bumblebee caps?
 

mterry72

TDPRI Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2010
Posts
9
Location
Seattle area
I know its early yet and I am loving all the detail you are putting into the les Paul but have you givin' any thought as to your next build and what it might be?

I see you have done a thread on the 56 telecaster, I am in love with the "62" double bound tele (Burst of course) I'd really like to see you give that a go.
 




Top