Not again!! Elpee Standard to replace the one that got away.

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by Engraver-60, Dec 26, 2018.

  1. Engraver-60

    Engraver-60 Friend of Leo's

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    OK - you might remember me, I am the guy that starts builds that never get completed. i.e., MiniStrat Teles for the kids, (http://www.tdpri.com/threads/cad-files-for-necks-for-mandocaster.140308/) that are languishing in the garage after some 8 years or so.
    '
    But with the kindness of fellow TDPRIers (Adirondak5, Guitarbuilder, etc.) and the fact I sold my 2001 LP Std GT to pay some bills, and the fact I've been hoarding guitar wood for 14 years, I am going to start a build thread for the LP that got away.

    Backstory: In 1976 or so, I decided I needed a Gibson, because I had traded off my '69 SG Standard , '63 sunburst Strat, Echoplex, and Wah-Wah pedal for a 1976 Martin D35. Dumb me - I kept amplifiers, but had not electric guitar to play through them. I was born and grew up in Motown, so I scoured the classifieds until I found an odd LP for $175. It was a Goldtop, but the neck was unseated (luckily hide glue breaks clean upon impact - somebody had stumbled against the LP leaning against a Twin Reverb at a gig). Being a lapidary and jeweler, I reset (glued) the neck with Hughes Labs Epoxy 330 - perfectly. Well the bridge pickup coil had been caught and broken by the high E string. I took the guitar to a place the seller recommended - Pyramid Guitars on Grand River, in Detroit. They replaced the pickup with a pretty hot dual rails Pyramid, did a coil tapping on the neck, and added a mini toggle to split the coils, between the volume knobs. Later when I moved to Nashville TN I met Joe Glaser (then not too famous luthier), and he installed another mini toggle between the tone knobs to get that out of phase sound of a Strat (think "Bell Bottom Blues").

    Well, being a dumb hippy kind of person, and playing and partying - someone who hung around with the band decided since I worked during the days, he'd break into my house and steal my Martin and the LP, along with tools, guns, archery equipment, etc. Lester was gone, and no trace to be found. That guy served 7 years in TN State Penitentiary for stealing rich peoples' stuff and getting caught with the goods. My guitar was not among the goodies.

    I went to all of the local pawn shops, and even to George Gruhn's in Nashville, when he was in the pawn shop area of lower Broadway. He informed me that based upon the serial number, I was in luck - good and bad. That was a 1959 LP, and was probably worth $5k then, and was probably already gone to Japan where they were scarfing those guitars up. I've been "Pining for The Fjords" ever since. No other guitar got those sounds so perfectly. It was like playing in a dream. It had very low action, and a noticeable burl in the 10th fret space. Most likely it had a Brazilian Rosewood fretboard, because of the that swirling grain is not too often a characteristic of Indian Rosewood. The sick part is this, about 10 years ago George Gruhn's Guitars sold a similar '59 GT Std for $380K. And Carter's Vintage Guitars has told me a GT in '59 was probably custom ordered and factory painted over a burst. Double OUCH.
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2018
  2. Engraver-60

    Engraver-60 Friend of Leo's

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    Continued - I have been sent the templates that Herb (Adirondak5) used to build his Elpee, and Marty (Guitarbuider) had sent me a parcel of left overs many years ago, which contained some fret boards of rosewood. I recently bought a 4x3x40 inch QS African Mahogany blank for 2 necks from Bell Forest, and a slab of mahogany 13x2x48" from the local Woodcraft store. I was going to commence on this project in earnest over this week of vacation, but sidetracked by Christmas gift making, and hand engraving a custom 18KY wedding band.

    My plan is as follows:
    1) Use the carving templates on the tele I never finished, to learn how they work.
    2) Make a scrapper LP from pieces I already had, to get techniques understood, and perfected,
    3) Then make the real deal - Keeper '59 BURST.

    1) For the tele, I had found a very Plain Jane maple board at HD that has a little bit of flame. I may make a laminated mahogany and maple neck so I can understand how to do a set neck with the angles. For that fretboard I have some waterfall bubinga material that I traded maple with Robt57 way back when he lived in Nashville area.
    2) For the Scrapper LP - I have 1.75: thick x 7" wide Mahogany board for the back (2 piec body) and more of the mahogany laminated for the neck, the fretboard I the other waterfall bubinga fretboard piece;
    3) For the Keeper LP - I have the 2" mahogany for the boy, and a piece of Flame (quilt) maple 4/4 x 7.5" wide (too thin to bookmatch I think, but 55 inch long.) and the QS Mahogany for the neck. The fretboard will probably be one of the pieces that Marty sent to me.

    That the plans - picture to follow soon.
     
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  3. Zepfan

    Zepfan Poster Extraordinaire

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    I had a similar friend that broke into my place while I was at a game so he could get more crack. He took off for Florida afterwards which kept me out of jail.;) Luckily, my gear was at my parents house at the time, but I lost some good stuff that was never seen again. It really sucks to have someone you know and reasonably trust do you that way.

    Hope your build goes well and turns out as awesome as your lost guitar.
     
  4. Engraver-60

    Engraver-60 Friend of Leo's

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    Thanks, everyone, for the likes, and comment Zepfan. I had to run errands today, so I stopped by GC and measure a couple different LP's and 12-3/4 to 12-7/8" was the widest dimension across the rear bout, so I should be fine without having to join the big slab. I have been wanting a nice flame maple top burst, sort of Lemon or light Tea Burst. But wow, that Blue Burst LP Standard really makes me want to - BARF!!! How gross is that? Better than the BFG or Zoot Suit that Henry was pushing, but hopefully that'll be the end of the crazy train. I sure hope the new management at Gibson goes back to the Good Ol' Days. They sure made some great guitars back then.
     
  5. Zepfan

    Zepfan Poster Extraordinaire

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    I liked the 3 color Burst(called Fire Burst a couple years ago) and the Red-Black Burst the did back in the day. The Tea Burst are nice. The Root Beer/Tiger Burst are fantastic.
     
  6. Engraver-60

    Engraver-60 Friend of Leo's

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    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Lemon on top of Tea - how appropriate!!

    In order to get the same sounds (which at that time, I did not know was the Jimmy Page scenario. ), I'll probably go with Push-Pull on 3 of the 4 pots, for split coils and phasing. That way it'll be easy to make regular if I don't like it. I did track down the fellow that actually made the Pyramid rail pickups, he lives in Traverse City, MI. I have been meaning to call him and see what the formula was for that bridge pickup.
     
  7. BluesBlooded

    BluesBlooded Friend of Leo's

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    This is going to be fun to follow! Hope you capture the essence of that lost treasure.
     
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  8. oldrebel

    oldrebel Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    Sounds like you have a good plan. I'll be watching closely. An LP is on my list of guitars that I want to attempt to build one day.
     
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  9. Barncaster

    Barncaster Doctor of Teleocity

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    If he’s not winding anymore, see if he’s willing to discretely share the specs and we can make something happen.
    Rob
     
  10. R. Stratenstein

    R. Stratenstein Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Can’t wait to see this one get to making sawdust!
     
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  11. adirondak5

    adirondak5 Wood Hoarder Extraordinaire

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    This is gonna be fun ;)
     
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  12. Engraver-60

    Engraver-60 Friend of Leo's

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    Thanks, Rob. I'll try to contact him, and get info or maybe an old pickup.
     
  13. Engraver-60

    Engraver-60 Friend of Leo's

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    1227181258_Burst01.jpg 1227181305a.jpg 1227181329a_Burst01.jpg 1227181333.jpg 1227181343.jpg I actually started to make progress - sawdust under the band saw. My Scrapper-Lester pieces were too narrow to make the 13" width, so I cut a nice piece of mahogany to fit in the center. My camera battery was dead, and my phone doesn't talk to my laptops, so I am emailing the pics as I write. Hang on.
    The 1st is to show the big Mahogany plank - 48 x 13 x 2
    Next - How Herb's template fits (the template seems to be a bit larger than the 12.875" plank)
     
  14. Engraver-60

    Engraver-60 Friend of Leo's

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    I rummaged through a few Sterlite containers and found my original Tele build parts. The 3/4" thick maple top (f-hole already cut), and I laid out Herb's contour templates to see where this was going to have to go. Tele's and LP's are not even close to the same shape but I guess I can start to contour and see where I need to modify. If I remember correctly, Guitarnut (up in Evansville, IN) made a few contoured top Tele's. Maybe if he's watching this he can guide me.

    Question for Adirondak5 (Herb): What are the depth increments per contour? 1/16"? HELP.

    [​IMG]
    DSCN0885.JPG

    One question for you fellow builders: How deep of a box for router planing should I build? I'll have to plane both faces of the Scrapper body, and I figured while I am at it, I'll mount it on a couple of hinges to allow the pickup angle cuts and also the neck angle cuts later. I could try to use my Vintage Wagner Saf-T-Planer, which does work quite well. What thinks y'all?

    As an aside: We had a heck of a thunderstorm here in Nashville. One lightning strike was so close that books fell out of the bookshelves, and a curtain came off the wall. It actually reverberated thru the ground. Must've been in a creek bed or a tree very close to our house. It knocked out our Internet cable for 6 hours.
     

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  15. Crafty Fox

    Crafty Fox Tele-Afflicted

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    I built a couple of LPs a few years ago and got info and inspiration from a blog called "The Accidental Luthier" and also "The Beauty Of The 'Burst' book by Yashiuko Iwanade.
    There was another blog but I'm sorry, I can't remember what that one was called.
    I'm very much looking forward to seeing this project evolve, and dare I say it, completed.:rolleyes:
    Cheers, Ken.
     
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  16. adirondak5

    adirondak5 Wood Hoarder Extraordinaire

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    Mark , from memory and I could be wrong I believe there is a 1/16" step up on the terraces , but I can't remember what I started at for depth on the first terrace template . I'll look over my old ElPee thread and see if I mentioned it .
     
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  17. RickyRicardo

    RickyRicardo Friend of Leo's

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    You may have this but I thought I would pass it on. I got it a few years ago in hopes of someday building an LP.
     

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  18. Engraver-60

    Engraver-60 Friend of Leo's

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    Yes, that seems correct. With 7 different terraces at 1/16" each (7/16" total) from the 3/4" board I have , or 5/8" slab that's called for on the Bartlett plans, that would leave 3/16" (Bartlett) or 5/16" (my board) at the edges. Herb I don't see any screw holes on the contours. Did you double sided tape them, or free hand the terraces?
     
  19. Engraver-60

    Engraver-60 Friend of Leo's

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    Copied from MuzikP (James') Goldtop thread. He started at 0.4375 deep along the outside, small routes because that's a lot of material to remove. Then 1/6" progressively less thru the terraces. Youz guyz are the gems of DIY world. Thanks for sharing all of these techniques.

    Because I am starting with the Everything-caster (all techniques rolled into one guitar, to learn), I have to take a bit of time and re-think the final outcome of this chunk of wood. Must have more coffee. this cup is empty and old. Caught on day one in NICU at Vandy. She just turned 16 on Halloween.
    1228180900[1].jpg
     
  20. adirondak5

    adirondak5 Wood Hoarder Extraordinaire

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    I used double sided tape Mark , I drew the center lines on the body to correspond with the center lines on the terrace templates for alignment .

    I use this brand from Lowes , works great .

    https://www.lowes.com/pd/Shurtape-1-88-in-Duct-Tape/3014450
     
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