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Old 12-08-2013, 12:46 AM   #1
DRMguitar
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Getting an old Les Paul fixed up

I was given an '82 Gibson Les Paul Standard as a graduation gift from my uncle, but it had seen some wear over the years. For example, the headstock was cracked when one of my uncles friends stepped on it, but was repaired by my grandfather (my uncle's dad) who was a woodworker, but by no means a luthier. Other things include scratches, chips in the paint, chips off the gold hardware, and a wobbly jack. Luckily, the guitar plays great and stays in tune well, but I can't help but feel like it could be improved. It seems like a stupid question, but is there a way to get a replacement neck that is marked with the logos of Gibson, Les Paul, and Les Paul Standard, the MADE IN USA stamp, and the original serial number? I just want to keep the credibility of the Serial Number and Manufacturer, with a beautiful new neck. And I feel like all the hardware could be replaced, hopefully with the same kind of golden hardware, because that seems relatively easy to do. Also wiring could probably be redone in the jacks, pots, and pickups to make that baby sing like never before. Last but not least, is there a way to repair the chipped paint/scratches/damaged finish? Just to make it VERY clear, I wouldn't be doing this work, because frankly, I don't think I am qualified, and certainly not confident enough to repair it on my own. Also note that I will not be selling the guitar, so I am not completely concerned with age correct parts or things that would be completely accurate with the original guitar. They would be nice, but they are not the priority. So would my best bet be to take it to a nearby Luthier? Or maybe if there are companies that fix up old guitar to make them like new? Also I would like to know how much it might cost!

One of the questions I can't leave unanswered is about the replacement neck. I really want to have a new neck, but I want to keep the serial number, MADE IN USA, and Gibson/Les Paul/Standard trademarks, but it seems like it wouldn't be possible.
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Last edited by DRMguitar : 12-08-2013 at 12:49 AM.
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Old 12-08-2013, 01:05 AM   #2
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You don't need a new neck. The whole guitar can be refinished, the hardware can be replaced. It's not going to be particularly cheap and most of the parts you have now can be replaced with age-correct bits. It depends a bit on where you are, but wander over to the MLP forums and scout up BCRGreg. Or get Gary Brawer in San Francisco on the horn. Before you do that, however, get some good non-phone shots of the guitar and its details and be prepared to email them to both.
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Old 12-08-2013, 01:07 AM   #3
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I don't think you're going to have luck replacing the neck- one of the disadvantages of the set neck or neck-through designs.
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Old 12-08-2013, 01:09 AM   #4
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you don't have to replace the neck to fix the headstock where it broke.

here's a pic of my broken ones undergoing a repair. my local shop is doing this repair for $450 as reference but other shops can cost up to $600.
this work is being done in chicago by chicago fret works.

















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Old 12-08-2013, 01:31 AM   #5
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They refinished that pretty well, there, Gregs!
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Old 12-08-2013, 01:45 AM   #6
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Okay, since replacement is out of the question, I am really just hoping that the crack itself would be covered over. And replacing the hardware doesn't appear to be cheap, but it is possible. Because the guitar still plays fine with the cracks, I would be happy to just have it covered or maybe fixed with very simple processes. Now it seems as though getting the guitar completely refinished really seems like the most expensive of all the items on the agenda.
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Old 12-08-2013, 01:48 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dspellman
You don't need a new neck. The whole guitar can be refinished, the hardware can be replaced. It's not going to be particularly cheap and most of the parts you have now can be replaced with age-correct bits. It depends a bit on where you are, but wander over to the MLP forums and scout up BCRGreg. Or get Gary Brawer in San Francisco on the horn. Before you do that, however, get some good non-phone shots of the guitar and its details and be prepared to email them to both.


Also, I am unfamiliar with the "MLP forum" and would appreciate some clarification.
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Old 12-08-2013, 02:56 AM   #8
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Just leave it. If you get it refinished it will just get banged up again—nitro finishes aren’t durable. And new hardware would look bad on chipped paint. Get the jack fixed, replace the pots if they need it, otherwise just let an old guitar be an old guitar.
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Old 12-08-2013, 03:31 AM   #9
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Yeah I figured it would be expensive to do the complete restoration, but not the amount of money that it would have costed. So maybe I will just save for a new Les Paul.
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Old 12-08-2013, 10:44 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DRMguitar
Also, I am unfamiliar with the "MLP forum" and would appreciate some clarification.

MLP is "mylespaul.com"

we also refer to it as mylilpony sometimes.

bcrgreg works for brcmusic in PA. he is well known as one of the best headstock repair guys in the US. he's fixing the other broken lester of mine.

can you post some pics of the repair on your les paul? if it's holding, it should be fine.

to have a shop touch up the surface area and refinish that area, it's probably about $100.

to have it fixed correctly by greg or another shop, the repair i posted will cost between $450 and $600.

but if the guitar plays, take it to a luthier and get it set up properly. that should only be about $110 with a fret level. (that's what it costs in chicago anyway).


good luck. post pics dammit.
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Old 12-08-2013, 12:36 PM   #11
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Quote:
bcrgreg works for brcmusic in PA. he is well known as one of the best headstock repair guys in the US. he's fixing the other broken lester of mine.


Damn, Gregs...the "Brokai" AND a Lester? What are you DOING with your guitars?
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Old 12-08-2013, 12:47 PM   #12
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Necks are removed from Les Pauls all the time. Historic Makeovers takes the neck out, resets it with hide glue, removed the fingerboard and truss rod replacing the FB with Brazilian RW and installs a "historically correct" rod. The point here being that anything is possible if you have enough money.
I would simply repair the guitar and clean it up. Refinishing it will cost big bucks and never be reflected in the resale price or value.
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