So I decided to revisit and old guitar I had in storage for about 6 years. I purchased a Kay Les Paul copy from a flea market. I originally bought it figuring it would need a little work to make it shine. I never really got around to much except pulling all the hardware off.

So here I am again looking to finish where I left off. I attempted to research the origins of this thing, but there is much to be desired on the net when it comes to Kay guitars. I have no idea when it was made, what wood is used (although it sure looks like plywood).

The condition of the guitar itself is fair. The body is in good shape, it does have a carved top. The neck is missing the nut, is missing the inlay on the headstock, has poorly laid inlays on the fretboard, the frets are poorly worn, the 12th fret is damaged and loose, part of the wood at the 12th fret is separated. So, I suppose it *could* be repaired. It seems to be it would be easier to replace it. As far as the hardware, I'd like to start over with fresh chrome and pickups. That leads me into the next concern.

The measurements on the tail stop and bridge don't accurately match the dimensions listed for replacements online. So I don't know what replacement hardware is available for this. If there isn't, it's either not worth restoring or I'm in for some serious work working. Here is a diagram I drew up in Illustrator showing the dimensions of this particular tail stop/bridge setup.

Any input from those that have worked with Les Pauls or these Kays???

Thanks in advance.
Quote by Zuka
The picture isn't very happy.

I apologize. Illustrator didn't wanna export it to JPEG correctly I guess. Fixed it.
Quote by Ippon
Just a thought, until the pros or savvier builders can chime in, have you considered just filling the holes and installing what's available?

Good Luck! Looks like a fun restoration!

Yes, I have considered that. I wasn't sure if that was the best option or not.

I'll get some pics of the actual guitar to show you what I'm working with.
tell me that you loosened the truss rod when you took the hardware off.

do a cherry sunburst, they are nice.

that or transparent red
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Quote by woodenbandman
tell me that you loosened the truss rod when you took the hardware off.

do a cherry sunburst, they are nice.

that or transparent red

It was 6 some years ago when I first got this thing. I am pretty sure I did, but can't say for certain.

As far as the finish, I've got a concept in my head that I'm partial to keeping secret at the moment.
So, for the sake of curiosity... Here are photos of the guitar in it's current condition. You can click on each for full-size version. I apologize now for the quality of these. I didn't put a lot of effort into getting perfect shots on this as it sits. =]

The carved top has been slightly sanded down. You can also see the creme binding. Also, there are three blemishes in the wood. One at the bottom left-center, one around the top left post hole and lastly to the right of the lower pickup hole.

More of the binding, discolored even.

The back has also been lightly sanded.

Last edited by thomasgrant at Jan 14, 2007,
This is a 1" hole that was covered by a square plate with the output jack. I just don't like this at all. I'd like to fill this hole (I assume with a dowel rod) and redrill to accommodate a recessed outlet with no plate. Opinions?

Here the inlay is missing from the "K" in the headstock.

More inlay missing from the 7th fret.

And the busted up fret and wood at the 17th fret (previously stated 12th fret)

Last edited by thomasgrant at Jan 14, 2007,
I used a digital caliper and tape measure to take some measurements. These don't seem to match (although close) to the measurements I've found online as "standard".

Number of frets: 23
Scale: 25"

Nut width: 41.8 mm
Heel width: 52.2 mm

Neck pocket depth: 24.5 mm
Neck pocket width: 55.0 mm
Neck pocket height: 75.5 mm

Nut -to- center of tail piece: 25.25" (641.35 mm)
Nut -to- Heel: 18.25" (463.55 mm)

I understand that the placement of tail piece and bridge are dependant on what scale neck is used, is this not correct?