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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2018 10:05 pm 
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Mahogany
Mahogany

Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2015 7:39 am
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Saw this for AU$65 and couldn’t resist!

According to the shop the truss rod works still and they reckoned it was factory finished in poly rather than nitro... my lacquer thinner disagreed!

The headstock did not come with it, nor did any hardware. From the vestigial peg head it looks like it had had a few very poor repair attempts. The previous owner also stripped the top of the upper bout as you can see - maybe to see what was underneath? Strange though because it’s finished in translucent wine red (possibly the worst Les Paul colour of all time IMO!).

I’ve just bought some ex-Studio pickups and switch for it, am keeping an eye on a bridge and tailpiece up for auction, and have also ordered the correct decals.

I’m doing this one properly but on the cheap as much as possible.

Plan so far is to make a new headstock and top half (first few frets worth probably) of neck with a scarf joint between top of the neck and headstock.

This may sound like a bodge but it’s an educated one; I’ll scarf the headstock at 17° as per factory, and will then join the new neck section to the old with a 45 mitre joint cut with a mitre saw. My Makita cuts super clean and accurate and I think this will work the best. I’ve seen people hand cut the slice around the truss rod, and am in awe of this, but I plan to remove the fretboard and truss rod and do it as above.

The fretboard has a few bad tear outs that I’ll need to address and my initial thinking is I may harvest small pieces from the underside of the board, or even bind it so I can cut off strips either side of the board. This will remove some of the damage on the side of the board anyway, and give me scrap to repair the rest with.

The body will be resprayed Black, probably with pre-cat nitro, and most likely over the wine red - I’m flipping this one, while using it as a training exercise.

I was also thinking of doing PRS-style fake binding on the body as unbound Les Pauls have always looked odd to me.

Fret are junk as well because some clown has sloped the ends so they’ll act like a nice smooth exit ramp off the edge of the fretboard!

That’s my thinking so far anyway.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2018 10:14 am 
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Koa
Koa

Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2010 1:46 pm
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First name: Freeman
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I think its going to be a nightmare doing the scarf joint with a truss rod in the way. I'll be interested in seeing how you do it


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2018 11:26 am 
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Walnut
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Location: Staten Island, NY
First name: David
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Freeman wrote:
I think its going to be a nightmare doing the scarf joint with a truss rod in the way. I'll be interested in seeing how you do it


He said he’s removing the fretboard and truss rod.

That’s a good excuse to replace it with a modern double action rod.


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These users thanked the author DavidSchwab for the post: Bosco Birdswood (Wed Apr 25, 2018 3:41 pm)
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2018 3:51 pm 
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Koa
Koa

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First name: Freeman
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I guess I would try to get the old neck out of the pocket - it would be so much easier to work on without that big heavy body attached. I also guess that if you are going thru that much work why not just make a new neck and know its good.

Anyway, I'll enjoy watching this


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2018 6:54 pm 
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Koa
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City: Escondido
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I’m with Freeman. I would make a new neck. The hardest part would be steaming the old neck off and taking off the fretboard.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2018 8:43 pm 
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Cocobolo
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If you get the neck off, it wouldn't be too much farther to strip the body. :P

I agree about les pauls with no binding, and about the color of these studio les pauls. I do like the wine red better than the blue they did though. A nice transparent dark brown finish with the PRS style faux binding around the top would look pretty sharp.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2018 10:21 am 
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Brazilian Rosewood
Brazilian Rosewood

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I would just make a whole new guitar :D


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2018 9:02 pm 
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Koa
Koa

Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2010 1:46 pm
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First name: Freeman
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My understanding is that the Studio is budget body with some pretty good electronics - the argument is "in the studio who needs bling". So good but not showy wood, no binding, satin finish, good hardware and pickups. This could be an interesting opportunity or could be a real nightmare. Since you are planning on refinishing it anyway (and have to if you scarf a new head on it) why not at least take the neck off so it will be easier to work with. If there is some damage you can patch that and finish over it.

I had a headless banjo a while back and considered building a new head for it but in the long run it was so much easier to just reneck it. I think its worth while trying to take the f/b off and scarf a new head on, if it works, great. I think trying to repair that fretboard will be a whole lot of work, but again try and see. You'll have some interesting little problems to solve on the new head - how do you make the bearing surface for the truss rod nut for example - but if it doesn't work the ace in hole could be just making a new neck.

Gibson used lacquer and if that is the original finish you should be able to shoot lacquer over it. If not, strip it to bare wood and start over. I would certainly pull the ToM studs. I haven't done the PRS masked faux binding but it seems like it would be figity - frankly if I had the neck off I would just route the top for standard plastic binding and be done with it. Get a set of 498T and 490R pups and you should have a new restored Studio.

Whatever you decide to do, please post pictures, I want to see how it comes out.



These users thanked the author Freeman for the post: Bosco Birdswood (Fri Apr 27, 2018 2:44 am)
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2018 2:49 am 
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Mahogany
Mahogany

Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2015 7:39 am
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Freeman wrote:
My understanding is that the Studio is budget body with some pretty good electronics - the argument is "in the studio who needs bling". So good but not showy wood, no binding, satin finish, good hardware and pickups. This could be an interesting opportunity or could be a real nightmare. Since you are planning on refinishing it anyway (and have to if you scarf a new head on it) why not at least take the neck off so it will be easier to work with. If there is some damage you can patch that and finish over it.

I had a headless banjo a while back and considered building a new head for it but in the long run it was so much easier to just reneck it. I think its worth while trying to take the f/b off and scarf a new head on, if it works, great. I think trying to repair that fretboard will be a whole lot of work, but again try and see. You'll have some interesting little problems to solve on the new head - how do you make the bearing surface for the truss rod nut for example - but if it doesn't work the ace in hole could be just making a new neck.

Gibson used lacquer and if that is the original finish you should be able to shoot lacquer over it. If not, strip it to bare wood and start over. I would certainly pull the ToM studs. I haven't done the PRS masked faux binding but it seems like it would be figity - frankly if I had the neck off I would just route the top for standard plastic binding and be done with it. Get a set of 498T and 490R pups and you should have a new restored Studio.

Whatever you decide to do, please post pictures, I want to see how it comes out.

I luckily found a set of Studio pickups on eBay with pickup rings and pickup selector switch so that base is covered.

The difficulty with the faux binding will be that by the time I’ve scraped the old finish off the edge of the cap, and then shot new finish over the edge there will be a reasonably big step in the finish. Essentially no finish on the edge of the maple and two finishes on the mahogany! I suppose I could carefully brush un-thinned lacquer over the edge of the maple to build it up, flatten it, then clear over the whole thing.

Anyone know if you can shoot pre-cat nitro over Gibson factory nitro btw?

Will be sure to post pictures of progress :)


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PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2018 5:46 pm 
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Mahogany
Mahogany

Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2015 7:39 am
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I’ll preface all of this by saying I bought this as a learning experience/ training exercise. And that it has been! I’m sure reading the below most of you will be biting your nails, pulling your hair out, and sitting on the edge of your seats!!!

In retrospect I should have left the frets in place to hold the iron off the inlays, or maybe used a damp rag over the fretboard because as soon as I touched the cellulose inlays with an iron they started to melt. I quickly changed tack and used a heated separating knife but this wasn’t getting enough heat into the glue so I ended up starting to tear out the neck timber.

I then moved on to cautious use of a heat gun which combined with the separating knife worked a treat. Except for with the cellulose inlays... which spontaneously combusted.

Anyway, the tear out is now repaired so the neck is good, I’ve steamed the fretboard back straight as it curled up due to the heat gun heat, and have ordered a set of pearl inlays for the board which will be much nicer anyway. ImageImageImage


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PostPosted: Sat May 05, 2018 6:06 am 
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Mahogany
Mahogany

Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2015 7:39 am
Posts: 75
I have two questions for you all.

1. Given that my headstock will be black all over and will have the Gibson gold decals rather than an inlay, and also given that the headstock grain will be parallel to the surface and all one piece with no wings, do I need a head plate veneer? Or can I simply grain fill the mahogany, shoot black lacquer, apply decal directly to it and then clear?

2. Does anyone have any experience with shooting pre-cat nitro over Gibson nitro? I don’t know if they used full nitro or some sort of hybrid back in the 90s.


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PostPosted: Sat May 05, 2018 10:49 am 
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Koa
Koa

Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2010 1:46 pm
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First name: Freeman
Last Name: Keller
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
Since your grain will be running at the same angle as the head it will be stronger in the place where they usually break so you won't be adding any strength. As far back as yours is broken the veneer wouldn't be crossing the break so it doesn't add any strength there either. The veneer does add a nice little edge for the nut to sit against (altho some people don't like that edge). I would say no (but personally I would probably do it anyway)

I have no idea how pre catalyzed lacquer will work but I have successfully sprayed ordinary solvent lacquer over stock Gibson finish with good burn in (I'll be posting some pictures of a repair on a black LP in a day or two). My guess is that the Gibson stuff was ordinary lacquer - you could shoot some on a piece of scrap, let it cure while you are doing the rest of the repair, then shoot your pre cat over it to see how it works. Brian is obviously the one to ask.



These users thanked the author Freeman for the post: Bosco Birdswood (Sat May 05, 2018 12:16 pm)
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PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2018 7:50 am 
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Mahogany
Mahogany

Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2015 7:39 am
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After much consideration about the best way to attach the replacement headstock I decided to do a somewhat awkward 17° scarf joint which required creating a 13° wedge to increase the effective mitre on my bandsaw fence from 60° to the required 73°. Bit of a hack but worked very well! The scarf starts at around the 2nd fret.

I hand cut and planed the neck mitre, and then used a table saw to cut the 5.4mm (probably some imperial measurement!) truss rod channel in the headstock graft.

Is anyone else here fearful of their table saw?! As soon as I’ve flipped enough junker Les Pauls I’ll buy a Sawstop!

ImageImageImage



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PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2018 5:08 pm 
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Mahogany
Mahogany

Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2015 7:39 am
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Hey guys does anyone have a Gibson Les Paul headstock template PDF available? Struggling to find something reliable.

Alternatively can anyone with a Gibson Les Paul and some calliper measure the width of the headstock at its widest part and the height / length?!

I’m restoring an LP Studio and the measurements I’ve found online seem to vary quite a bit and differ from my 90s LP Classic which measures 44.7mm wide - this seems to be narrower than what is suggested in the diagrams I’ve found online. Did Gibson do narrow headstocks as well as wide ones maybe?!

This is where I’m at so far.ImageImage


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PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2018 10:07 pm 
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Koa
Koa

Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2010 1:46 pm
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First name: Freeman
Last Name: Keller
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
I have the StewMac '59 flame top plans, I could scan and send you the pdf. I also have plans for several other Gibson electrics but I'm thinking the SM are the most accurate. PM me an e-mail addy if thats what you want.


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PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2018 10:50 pm 
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Mahogany
Mahogany

Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2015 7:39 am
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Freeman wrote:
I have the StewMac '59 flame top plans, I could scan and send you the pdf. I also have plans for several other Gibson electrics but I'm thinking the SM are the most accurate. PM me an e-mail addy if thats what you want.

PM’d!


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PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2018 7:52 am 
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Mahogany
Mahogany

Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2015 7:39 am
Posts: 75
ImageImage

We have a headstock! Now for neck carving, binding, scraping back false body binding, prepping, filling, respray, refret, new nut etc etc


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PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2018 2:01 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
Brazilian Rosewood

Joined: Tue May 13, 2008 10:44 am
Posts: 3587
You are indeed learning a lot and looks like you are doing a stellar job of it too.



These users thanked the author jfmckenna for the post: Bosco Birdswood (Fri May 25, 2018 4:54 pm)
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