#1
Let me start by saying I love everything about a Gibson Les Paul.. the look, the sound.. the feel.. what I don't like is the price.

Yea, I suppose I could save my gig money in a cookie jar and one day have the jack to bring home a $2500 Les Paul o' my dreams.. but then i'd have a guitar that I wouldn't ever want to take anywhere.

I play in a rock & roll bar band 6 to 8 nights a month. My gear gets beat up, knocked over, flung around, drinks get spilled on 'em, drunks trip and fall into 'em.. not the kind of venue i'd be real comfortable leaving a $2500 guitar sitting unattended while I go to the can or up to the bar during breaks.

The solution? Buy an Epiphone and replace the tuners, nut, bridge, pickups, and switch. The only problem with that is I just can't stand that Epiphone 'Maxi Pad' headstock shape.. plus I hate to have to buy a perfectly good guitar and saw it up and strip it.

So after thinking about it for awhile, I started googling to see if anyone had tried something similar.. which is how I found this place and this thread. which thru this la bamba fellows research suggested that there was plenty of 'meat' on the headstock to reshape the EpiPad headstock shape into a Gibsoid shape.

So I scored a Epi Les Paul off fleaBay with a busted off headstock.. that kind of break is common with both Epi's and Gibsons... and an easy fix with some Titebond II and a clamp or two.

Here's the before pic..



And here's the 'after' pic.. with the headstock re-attached, reshaped, and a new veneer on it. Nut pictured is just laid in place for illustration.. still waiting on the mailman to deliver my Tusq nut.



I'll finish her off with a nickel covered Seymour Duncan SH1 '59 in the neck, and a SH4 JB in the bridge. Grover 'Gibson Deluxe' tuners, a 'real' 3 way switch, and switchcraft jack.

My original budget was $400.. I ended up going over a bit.. including shipping, I was able to score all the parts for a grand total of $455.50

Will it ever be exactly like a $2500 Les Paul? Probably not.. but there ain't going to be no $1994.50 worth of difference between the two, either.
#2
I have a Gibson Les Paul and its taken its fair share of a beating, as all guitars do, and it copes rather well with it all. I take it to gigs and obviously some things happen to it that I'd rather not. Having said that though, nothing lasts forever no matter what you do with it.

I wouldn't buy a substitute but thats just me, I'm old fashioned like that. Just keep it in a case whenever your leaving it alone and it'll have a long enough life and the sound you get from it is more than worth it (plus all the extra attention you get weilding such a weapon)

Thats just my view though
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#3
oh my god that looks wonderful

This is something i would do. im in the same boat where i want a LP but dont want my pocket empty.
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#4
If i was drunk, I'd think it was a real Gibson Les Paul. I'd probably think it was a real one even if i wasn't drunk! Nice work!
#5
After 20+ years playing in bar bands, i've discovered that unless you're playing some kind of furry ZZ top style guitar, 99.975% of the people in the crowd couldn't tell the difference between a '59 Les Paul and a '79 Hondo II.

The only people who notice your rig are other musicians.. they're the guys sitting at a table critiquing your playing because their band couldn't get a gig that night somewhere else.

IMO, there isn't any guitar out there worth $2500.. just like there isn't a pair of socks out there worth $180.

I've owned several Les Pauls in the past... I like 'em.. they're just too freakin' expensive.. and i'm a working musician.
#7
Thanks guys.

Here's a shot of the back of the headstock..



The back of the neck and headstock from the factory is stained.. since I had to plug the original tuner holes and re-drill, not to mention fill in a few chips here and there from the break line, I couldn't just re-stain the back.. because the dowels I used for plugs and the putty used to fill in the small chips would stick out like a sore thumb.

Since this is going to be a 'players' guitar and not a museum piece, I just shot the headstock and break area with rattle can brown paint.

Hopefully once I hit it with the clear gloss poly the transition between stain and brown will even out a bit more.. but if it doesn't, oh well.

If I had it all to do over again, i'd probably have been a little more picky with the color brown I chose.. or maybe even mixed some paint and airbrushed the color on the back.. I just don't have that kind of patience.

Here's what the headstock looked like when I got it..
#8
How much would it have cost to get a used Agile?

What model epi is that guitar anyway.
#9
This was supposed to be a Epiphone Les Paul Standard Plus Top.. but my research suggests that the 'plus' top guitars are all book matched flame maple veneer over maple top.

This guitar has a lightly figured one piece quilt maple top veneer.. so my best guess is that this guitar started life as a Epi Les Paul Standard Plain Top.

I'd thought about finding an early Agile LP.. back when they had Gibson-esque horns. Not to mention some of their higher end models have real figured maple caps.. but by the time i'd found one and paid the shipping, i'd probably be close to the $500 mark right there.. and still have to buy pickups, switch, tuners, etc.

I scored this Epi body delivered to my door for $152.
#10
thats some amzing work
thats an epiphone i would acutally consider buying
#12
Quote by JagStang5246
anymore pics of the body and full length pics? that would be sweet.


I hadn't taken any body shots yet, just because I haven't mounted the pickups yet.. was waiting for the full size 500K pots to arrive and I was going to just wire it all up at one shot.

Here's a pic of it before the repair/reshape..



And here's a pic of her after the repair/reshape..



I still haven't resolved how i'm going to handle the truss rod cover.. real Gibsons have two screw truss rod covers, while most imports and Epi's have three screws. That's usually the quickest way to spot a fake from across the room. Right now I just have the '59 style 2 screw cover attached by the top screw.

You might notice in the latest pic, the 'Les Paul' thing is on the headstock between the tuners. It came with the decal kit along with the Gibson decal, but I wasn't originally going to use it.. I wanted to put some kind of cool graphic in that spot.. but it ended up looking like crap.. so rather than leave the spot empty, I put the 'Les Paul' decal in there.

The headstock ended up being a bit shorter than a real Gibby.. which is why the top of the truss rod cover is closer to the high and low E tuners than a 'real' Lester.
#13
Maybe you will want to keep the truss rod cover fake-looking so nobody steals your guitar

Besides, it's just a truss cover..
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#15
Yes, I bought the pickups already. I'm a big fan of she SH4 in the bridge, especially in the Gibby scale guitars.
#17
could you post a picture with the 'les paul' decal on a close up, this is really fascinating.
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#18
Quote by admbwr
could you post a picture with the 'les paul' decal on a close up, this is really fascinating.


Here ya go..



I took this one without the temp nut in place so you could see what I was talking about regarding the truss rod access area. A real Gibby would have solid wood right past the bottom truss rod screw hole.

Both the 'Gibson' and the 'Les Paul' are actually super thin vinyl stickers. A dude sells 'em on eBay in a three piece set.. you get the 'Gibson' the 'Les Paul' and a big black piece to cover the headstock that you have to cut to shape.

I found it a little strange that the 'Les Paul' sticker didn't have the word 'model' below it.. and if I were trying to make a 100 point replica i'd have probably looked for a more authentic repro logo set.. but again, I originally wasn't even going to use the 'Les Paul' sticker, and instead was going to put some cool tattoo-esque thing in that spot along the lines of something like this..



As far as the Duncan SH4.. I really wanted this Lester to be a rock and roll machine, get down, kick you in the face rock & roll punch.. ala Saul Hudson (Slash).. yea.. I know he supposedly uses the Alnico II Pro.. I find the SH4 to suit my particular tastes a bit more than the Alnico II Pro.

Besides.. the reason why Seymour Duncan sells so many different kinds of pickups is because there are lots of different tastes out there.

I have my home brew Strat for most of the 'versatility' stuff.. this Faux Paul just needs to be a one trick pony. Short scale rock & roll.
#19
hey fiddle, who was the person you got the stickers from? did they have different decals? i'm looking for a fender telecaster one for an old fender i'm restoring.

otherwise good work on the guitar
#21
I roughed out the shape with a jigsaw and a new sharp blade.. then I did the final rough shaping with a hand coping saw, and followed up with a file.

Fender decals are harder to come by.. the Fender people are real sticklers about that and generally get those auctions shut down pretty quick.

The Gibson people apparently aren't that concerned with it, or don't have anybody full time shutting down those auctions.

Do a search for 'headstock logo' on eBay and see what turns up.. you might ask one of the sellers of the the Gibson logo's if they have the Fender logos.
#22
No offense, but this kind of stuff upsets me. You may do it with the best intentions. But if it gets stolen, sold, or otherwise, it could end up being passed off as the real deal. You should absolutely engrave something on the headstock that denotes it as a copy. Trussrod wouldn't be enough as it can be changed.
#23
No offence taken.. in fact, if anything i'm flattered you think it's a good enough copy as to be mistaken for anything else but a copy upon anything better than a cursory inspection.

The truth is there are lots of guitars like this floating around.. heck, even guys like Slash have Les Pauls custom made for the by somebody other than Gibson and then have Gibby headstock veneers applied.. same goes with Strats and Teles.

I would hope the absence of any serial number on the back of the headstock would be a solid indication this was not a genuine Gibson.. since any production Gibson that would look anything like this would have a stamped serial number and Made In USA on the back of the headstock.
#25
Quote by FiddleMoor
No offence taken.. in fact, if anything i'm flattered you think it's a good enough copy as to be mistaken for anything else but a copy upon anything better than a cursory inspection.

The truth is there are lots of guitars like this floating around.. heck, even guys like Slash have Les Pauls custom made for the by somebody other than Gibson and then have Gibby headstock veneers applied.. same goes with Strats and Teles.

I would hope the absence of any serial number on the back of the headstock would be a solid indication this was not a genuine Gibson.. since any production Gibson that would look anything like this would have a stamped serial number and Made In USA on the back of the headstock.



he didnt do it to try and fool anyone its for aesthetic purposes.
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#26
Take off the les paul sticker. It looked so much better without it.