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Old 10-27-2011, 10:40 PM   #1
Boysie8
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Lightbulb Les Paul Build

Hey folks, it's time for build number two. For those who missed my last, it was a Rimu Thinline Tele.

I figure it's time to step things up a notch, so this time round it'll be a Les Paul with all the works. The basic specs are:

Mahogany Body and Neck
Carved, Spalted Maple Cap
22F Rosewood Fretboard
Twin Seymour Duncan APH-1 Humbuckers (still to be confirmed)

I'm also building a Taylor T5, SG and Strat, I'll update the links as I go:
Taylor T5

Here's a quick forecast of the LP:



So today I took the first step and picked up the mahogany - 1.9 metres-worth. It's one nice looking piece of timber too.



But it is not light - 40kg not light to be more accurate. I can't claim all of this though, some will be going to another builder. I should still be able to get two full guitars out of it though, if I'm feeling that ambitious.



I've also ordered the spalted maple cap - here it is, in all of its figured glory:



And finally, the parts so far (from Stew Mac). I'll be working again in a matter of weeks, so should be able to buy the rest of the gear before too long. Roll on graduation!



That's all for now, but I'll be back with more updates in a couple of weeks.

Last edited by Boysie8 : 11-07-2011 at 04:20 AM.
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Old 10-27-2011, 10:56 PM   #2
Pikka Bird
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Cream binding around a natural finished maple cap? I see your mock-up has multi-ply binding with contrasting layers, but I don't see the material for that in your package...

The last one was very well made, so I shall be following this for sure.
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Old 10-27-2011, 11:01 PM   #3
Boysie8
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Yeah I bought the binding with a stained flame-maple top in mind, then fell in love with the spalted top. The inner binding will be the same mahogany as I'm using for the base. Not sure yet how I'm going to follow the horn - I may have to use mahogany dust in epoxy resin to make a paste. Still got plenty of time before I cross that bridge though.
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Old 10-27-2011, 11:22 PM   #4
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I can't believe I've never heard of spalted maple before. This is going to be beautiful.
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Old 10-28-2011, 07:27 PM   #5
Boysie8
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So I got to play around with a couple of toys yesterday: a Gibson LP, and a laser scanner. After buggering around for half an hour with masking tape (because laser scanners don't like reflective surfaces, apparently), I got a rough enough map of the contours. Imported into SolidWorks:



You can see the different passes with the hand-held scanner by the overlapping sections. Unfortunately the scanner is inherently inaccurate, so each pass could be plus/minus 1mm. Sectioned every 2mm, you can see this difference between passes:



Next comes the fun part: trying to interpolate a contour map from the sections.
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Old 10-28-2011, 08:39 PM   #6
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Hey boysie, I'll come grab some of that maho off you next week yeah? Maybe thursday morning?

As per the carved top, have you seen this before?

http://pdfcast.org/images/s/729/carve-template-set.jpg

I have a autocad dwg of it too if you want it, could save you a bit of trouble
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Old 10-28-2011, 08:57 PM   #7
n1ckn1ce
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Stickied.
Nioce top, BTW.
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Old 10-28-2011, 09:23 PM   #8
Boysie8
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LBMk2, Thursday's good for me. And I had seen some carve profiles but none of them looked that good. That one looks like it could work though, I might give that a try on some MDF first - cheers.
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Old 10-28-2011, 09:43 PM   #9
moscaespaņol
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how did you make that preview? looks clearer than anything Kisekae ever produced...

looks great, anyway
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Old 10-28-2011, 10:10 PM   #10
Boysie8
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It was in SC Guitar, it can do LP's and SG's. Similar to Kisekae, but much nicer as you said.
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Old 10-29-2011, 01:07 AM   #11
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This site is AWESOME!!!!Had lot of fun playin with it :P
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Since when do you fingerpick?

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Old 10-29-2011, 04:06 AM   #12
GandalfWh1te
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Great to see a Les Paul build, by a fellow kiwi as well. Awesome. (I will be building one soon myself, got all the wood from ashcustomworks)

One question. How long did it take for stewmac order to get to NZ??
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Old 10-29-2011, 05:29 AM   #13
Boysie8
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For my order it was cheaper to get the express shipping than regular, so it was here within a week. Even with shipping cost though, it was cheaper than buying it in NZ. I'll look forward to seeing your build come along too then Gandalf, your strat build is looking good so far. Hopefully you can avoid my mistakes (which will be numerous, I'm sure) when you build your LP.

On a side note, I'm getting some walnut from a mate (I'm making him a body, and he's giving me enough for two bodies as payment). So it looks like I may be running two consecutive builds this summer - I'm thinking possibly a strat with Floyd Rose to get some variation in my rapidly-increasing guitar stockpile.
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Old 10-29-2011, 04:15 PM   #14
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A week is pretty good. I put an order through at general guitar gadgets and another at small bear electronics for some pedal components earlier this week (both in US), so I'm curious to see how long it would take. Will order the LP hardware and some tools from stewmac next week sometime, but for now I'm enjoying my new Strat. GFS pickups sound unbelievably good considering I paid 50 for the set!

also- Mmmm walnut. . . man I love that stuff. I have an old headboard off a bed of walnut, really want to hack it up for a gat, but will have to do it when nobodys looking, as dad wasn't so enthusiastic when I put the idea to him
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Old 10-29-2011, 08:13 PM   #15
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Are you using some fancy machine or using a hand held router for the various cavaties? I'm working on a guitar my self just now but I'm waiting on inspiration for the routering. Also fitting a floyd rose just for fun?
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Old 10-29-2011, 08:30 PM   #16
Boysie8
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Yeah walnut is a beautiful wood, but pretty solid - especially when combined with mahogany. A compressed spine is a small price to pay for such a gorgeous timber though.

Twidler, I'll be making a template out of MDF for the pickups cavities, then following it with a router. It's an incredibly common technique, and all you need is a bearing follower-bit for the router to get a perfect shape. And yeah the Floyd will just be for experimentation, I've neer really played around with one before.
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Old 10-29-2011, 08:47 PM   #17
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Cool, I did one ages ago but shaped the body first lol, now that was fun trying to router. The one I'm on just now is mahogany back with a spalted beech front, no idea how that'll effect the sound but not to bothered. I've got the neck and floyd from an eddie van halen thing I had and I'll be using them. The template is the thing right enough, I've got most of the router bits and I've got a friend with a really good router and extra long bits that can go right through for doing the bridge and yeh they have the bearing roller. The part I'm a little stuck on is getting the correct measurements from the old body to make everything a nice fit, be in tune and to line up from the nut to the bridge. I like the les paul idea though and I'll be watching this thread.



The pics I have so far are in my profile, I'll get a collection together first then do the thread.

Last edited by Twidler : 10-29-2011 at 08:49 PM.
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Old 10-29-2011, 09:12 PM   #18
Boysie8
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That spalted beech looks amazing man. The template routing guides are free to download from the Floyd Rose Website, and there's a step-by-step tutorial in the ultimate Floyd Rose thread.

I'm afraid I can't offer much help in terms of bridge-nut measurements, as it'll all depend on your scale length. The saddle adjustments are great though, they let your measurements be off by 1-2mm without any real issues.
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Old 11-02-2011, 12:25 AM   #19
Boysie8
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Ok, so this project is officially getting out of hand. I haven't even started building my LP yet, and somehow have managed to quadruple the number of guitars to build this summer. Here's the plan so far:

Using the leftover mahogany from the Les Paul, a bound strat with Floyd Rose:



A mate has asked me to build him an SG, and has given me the walnut and ash to do so:



Payment for this build is the remaining walnut (and it's a pretty decent piece), so the plan is, should time allow, to build a Taylor T5 electric (I couldn't get a mockup of this, but it should be more-or-less the same anyway):



So my summer break is looking like it's just going to be my summer... but it's not a real holiday unless you're up to your waist in sawdust and smell like rich mahogany.
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Old 11-02-2011, 12:40 AM   #20
Twidler
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That SG looks awesome, what a gorgeous grain pattern. I'm taking forever to build one and you're doing all them? Lol I expect it gets easier as you learn.

What sort of money would we be talking for the likes of the Sg without electrics and tuners etc, just built up ready for fitments? PM me if you want.

Lol not that it matters seeing as you're in NZ

Last edited by Twidler : 11-02-2011 at 12:55 AM.
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