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Old 02-10-2013, 02:32 PM   #1
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How can I achieve this effect on my les paul copy?

I have what I believe to be an Aria pro ii les paul in black. I've had it for some time now off a mate who used to own it (I say own, I think he used to use it as a door wedge) and naturally the finish is very poor. So, I plan to modify it. How I really want it to look is like this:

It seems like on my guitar there is a top layer of different wood, but on closer inspection it all looks the same type of wood:

I dunno what quality it is. Possibly ash? I want a quilted maple finish and understand this is impossible without a maple veneer if it doesn't already have a maple top. Is it possible to put a veneer over the top or would I have to take the top layer of wood off somehow first? Or is it just best selling this guitar and saving the hasstle and start on a new body? :P
Cheers guys
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Old 02-10-2013, 02:42 PM   #2
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If you have the time and skill you could do it. You'd need the veneer and have to sand the whole top of the body down to the grain. Then you'd cut the veneer out to the body shape and all the hardware slots so they match up. Then you'd glue it on and clamp it down. Leave it be and then after a little, remove the clamps and apply a stain on top of it. The stain could differ on color unlike what it's labeled so always test it on scrap.

O I forgot, does your current guitar have binding? You'd need to route that out too then on the veneer to apply it, along with filling the current binding track in with something.

And I make it sound 100 times easier then it is, unless you're skilled and done it before.

My honest advice would be too, look at the guitar, forget how it looks, sit down, play it. Does it feel right? Does it play how you want? Does it achieve the sound you want? If yes to all then I wouldn't recommend changing the cosmetics unless you said no to something. Then you might as well while you're fixing it to your taste. If all you're after is the cosmetics, then I'd just buy a guitar you like the looks and sounds of. Then you have two guitars then fit your playing and tastes.

It's all up to you though, just throwing my two cents. Oh, and in the end it may cost more to revamp this then, for example, buying an Epiphone Les Paul with what you want or close to what you want.
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Old 02-10-2013, 02:59 PM   #3
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Thanks for the response. I understand that it's gonna be a lot of work if I go ahead with it. It already needs a bit of work to it, the neck is at the wrong angle (easy fix), machine heads need replacing, the electrics need work done to them since it's buzzing so I'll probably have to find the source of that buzz, probably dodgy earthing. I just thought if I'm going to be doing stuff on it, I might as well change it cosmetically too. But I'm starting to think it's going to be a pain in the ass.
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Old 02-10-2013, 03:59 PM   #4
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a pain in the ass it will indeed be

however if you go for it, and pull it off, then major major respect and several hundred kudos to you.

i'd take the challenge on myself, after all, if everyone who looked at something and thought "nah that looks too hard" nothing would ever be done and we'd all still live in mud huts.
Belief is a beautiful armour but makes for the heaviest sword.
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Old 02-10-2013, 05:23 PM   #5
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You wont be able to put veneer on a carved top.
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Old 02-10-2013, 10:27 PM   #6
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It would indeed be pretty cool if I could do it. But apparently not possible with it not being a flat top. It's a shame because that colourscheme on a Les Paul looks stunning. Maybe I'll buy a pre-made maple top body and still have a go at it.
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Old 02-10-2013, 10:32 PM   #7
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With whatever you end up making, you'll probably want both a black and a blue dye. The black dye will need to go on first, then once it's dry you'll need to sand it back so that only the grain lines are dark, then add the blue over the top of that. Like this. It will make the lines stand out and give the finish more depth.
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