Anyone ever strip a Les Paul Goldtop?

Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by johmica, Sep 30, 2020.

  1. johmica

    johmica Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    525
    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2011
    Location:
    Berea, KY
    The title pretty much says it all. I'm just curious to know if anyone has ever stripped the face of a goldtop. What does it look like under there? Multiple pieces of maple glued together?
     
    dasherf17 likes this.
  2. theprofessor

    theprofessor Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    5,313
    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2016
    Location:
    Chattanooga, TN
    Subscribed. I haven't done this, but I hope to hear from people who have. The idea of it makes me sad, though, because I really like the gold finish. And there's normally a reason for which bodies get opaque finishes...
     
  3. johmica

    johmica Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    525
    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2011
    Location:
    Berea, KY
    Yeah, I completely agree. I'm not entertaining the idea at all. I'm just curious to see what it looks like under there, when Gibson knows that the grain, etc. will never see the light of day. I would kind of expect a good bit of wood filler . . .
     
    Piggy Stu likes this.
  4. Boil

    Boil Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    925
    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2011
    Location:
    B.C.
    I would be willing to bet a lot of people did that in the '70s followed by removing the p90s and putting in 3 DiMarzio Super Distortions.
     
  5. posttoastie

    posttoastie Tele-Holic

    Age:
    66
    Posts:
    551
    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2020
    Location:
    orange county,ca
    Neil Young did with his Old Black Les Paul.
     
    stepvan, johmica and theprofessor like this.
  6. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    9,564
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2014
    Location:
    Lions & Tigers oh Mi !
    .

    I've heard of some very nice tops being revealed. I thought there would be a pile of youtube videos stripping back to do bursts but I saw more modded and abused guitars put back together and then gold-topped to hide repairs than anything the other way with factory guitars.

    .
     
    dasherf17, johmica and nojazzhere like this.
  7. 985plowboy

    985plowboy Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,260
    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2012
    Location:
    South Louisiana
    As I understand it, goldtops were among the early LP offerings and as such are somewhat highly revered for tone, etc...
    If someone does strip one and find a multi piece, knothole wood filler situation, is that going to throw us all for a loop?
    Knowing that good tone can’t come from a guitar like that.
     
    Jlwctn, Deeve, johmica and 2 others like this.
  8. Fretting out

    Fretting out Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    28
    Posts:
    5,902
    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2019
    Location:
    Land of Mary
    Mines got a center seam (2006) and I guess all the modern ones do too

    As far as vintage it’s usually two pieces but the seam can be off center
     
    Flakey, johmica and nojazzhere like this.
  9. archetype

    archetype Fiend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,787
    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2005
    Location:
    Williamsville NY
    I've seen some over the years. Older ones, stripped, usually show a 2-piece top that could range from fabulous to ugly. In the 70s, some were 2-piece, but I'd say that more were 3-piece for using up maple that would otherwise be scrap.

    There are a few images on Google.
     
    theprofessor likes this.
  10. naveed211

    naveed211 Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,426
    Joined:
    May 16, 2009
    Location:
    wisconsin
    Goldtop is the best color so that’s a crime in my eyes, but I’ve seen pictures of ones from the 50s that had super nice flame tops, and ones from the 70s that were multiple pieces and ghastly.
     
    ieatlions, Maguchi, dasherf17 and 5 others like this.
  11. JJLC

    JJLC Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    549
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2014
    Location:
    Midwest
    I striped an older Burny RLC-60, black, 2 pickup, all mahogany custom.
    I did it old school with sandpaper. :eek:

    that is a LOT of damn work but a LP custom has a lot of bindings & I wanted everything intact when I was done.

    front row, second from right, before surgery :)
    Gibson types - 11.jpg

    body back with black finish & seal coat fully removed
    RLC 1.jpg

    Body end with black finish & seal coat fully removed (naphtha on the three body joins to highlight)
    Notice the two main, center pieces are nearly perfectly grain matched; weird for a black paint job
    RLC 3.jpg

    Body side showing (left to right) bare Mahogany, seal coat, and black finish
    RLC 7.jpg

    Body top showing progression of work on the two sides :D
    RLC 5.jpg

    Body top with a lot of black gone, and a bit of the seal coat gone around the bridge pickup
    This is a 5/8" thickness, 3 piece Mahogany top :D The joins are difficult to see but they are there
    The 4 piece back & the 3 piece top makes a 7 piece body but it sounds like a champ :cool:
    RLC 8.jpg

    Look close enough & you can see the added neck heel piece here.
    This shot shows removal of all the seal coat.
    RLC neck 2.jpg


    Removing all of the seal coat at the body/neck join was the most difficult removal job.
    This required an excessive amount of patience; I was glad when it was done. :D
    RLC neck 4.jpg
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2020
    RobRiggs, Tommy Biggs, nomadh and 9 others like this.
  12. jfgesquire

    jfgesquire Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    53
    Posts:
    1,015
    Joined:
    May 23, 2018
    Location:
    Lake View
    George Harrison's "Lucy" was a 59? Gold top that was stripped and refinished cherry by Gibson before Clapton owned it. It has the seam off center, WAY off center...

    1959_gibson_Les_paul_standard_guitar_cherry_finish_lucy_george_harrison.jpg
     
    tintag27, eldeorazio, drlucky and 2 others like this.
  13. kookaburra

    kookaburra Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,825
    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2012
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ, USA
    I know Mick Ronson did it to his LP back in the Ziggy days, I think it was a Custom, don't know the original color. He also removed the cover of the two humbuckers.

    It looked pretty nice, actually. Nothing odd in terms of wood. Some decent pics of it on his Play Don't Worry album.
     
    Maguchi, posttoastie and johmica like this.
  14. tubegeek

    tubegeek Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    60
    Posts:
    3,757
    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2020
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    Aren't stripped Gold Tops often the basis of the 'burst forgeries we hear so much about?
     
    Flakey, drlucky and JJLC like this.
  15. djh22

    djh22 Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    1,483
    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2012
    Location:
    VA
    I think Old Black is a goldtop that was simply repainted black prior to Neil's trade with Jim Messina
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2020
    John C likes this.
  16. JJLC

    JJLC Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    549
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2014
    Location:
    Midwest

    BINGO .............
     
    drlucky likes this.
  17. jayyj

    jayyj Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,346
    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2014
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    The original 50s ones could have anything under the top - at best, highly figured with a seam somewhere approaching the middle (almost never dead on the centre), butt often the seam was well off and three and four piece tops were common. Many were stripped and reworked into Bursts in the 70s and 80s, sometimes veneering or even replacing the top if the original figure wasn't deemed attractive enough.

    70s Deluxes and Stds were multi piece and again figure ranged from fairly nice to completely plain, although they tend towards the plain. This is my '74 with the top stripped - it looked quite nice but didn't clean up well enough to want to go with the grain showing so it's opaque again now.

    https://www.instagram.com/p/BtL-LUTHizJ/?igshid=li12pdt7nzls
     
    dasherf17 and johmica like this.
  18. dogmeat

    dogmeat Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    69
    Posts:
    1,886
    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2017
    Location:
    Alaska
    a bandmate did it in 1969. it was nice blond wood (don't remember which) and had good looking grain. it was rubbed out with linseed oil
     
    radiocaster, johmica and JJLC like this.
  19. PARCO

    PARCO Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    288
    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2008
    Location:
    VA
    A friend of mine had a (I think) '72 gold top. He had it refinished as a sunburst a few years later. There was actually a small knot in the top wood but he didn't seem to mind.
     
  20. Deaf Eddie

    Deaf Eddie Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    3,167
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2003
    Location:
    Beautiful Idyllwild, CA
    I stripped a black Les Paul Custom back in the seventies (I believe it was a 73-74 reissue). It had a ho-hum maple cap, as I recall, about like a modern Classic. I shot it clear and played it that way for ten years or so. Early in its abused lifetime, I also opened it up and put in the third (middle) pickup, coil shunts for each pup on mini-toggles... as seen here:

    just the LP.jpg

    Don't ask about the costume...

    After I reshot it black, I installed one of the Gibson Kahler vibratos...

    upload_2020-9-30_11-17-19.png

    It's still hanging in the rack in the music loft...
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.