#1
So, I got a job working for a luthier in Healdsburg, CA, (just cleaning stuff and helping out, so I can learn things here's the website: http://www.ribbecke.com/) and a guy who works there offered to help me build my own guitar. I've wanted a Les Paul for some time now, but I can't see spending 600 for an Epi, and well over 1000 for a Gibson, so I'm planning on my own deal, plus it'll probably be pretty nice, cause the guy knows what he's doin.

Body: Mohagony

Neck: Maple???

Fretboard: Ebony

Pickups: something les pauly????

I'm putting this up so UG can give me some opinions and help on mainly 1. different Neck materials and 2. different pickups,, but please give suggestions or anything else.

Also set neck or thru-neck? I'm leaning towards set, but thru can look really cool.
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#2
As far as I know, Les Pauls usually have mahogany necks and mahogany bodies with a maple top on the body.

For pickups you can look at Seymour Duncan '59s or Alnico Pro IIs - also check out the Seymour Duncan JB. As for frets, I would personally recommend 24 frets in case you want to play some shred stuff in the future.
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#3
good call on the 24 frets, I hadn't even thought of that. (I'm not going to use it for shred or anything, just might look cool.

One of the guys workin at the shop said that mahogany necks are too soft really, I don't know about that, I'm thinking maple might be a good choice though (cheaper for one thing I think).

SD pickups are pretty expensive, I was looking at something cheaper, but thanks!, may end up with that anyway!
If Rock is a lifestyle, then Metal's an addiction

"People don't kill people with giant boulders"
"They will if you take away their assault rifles"

Quote by Gee-tar-eist
I wouldnt give a ****, i would gladly play music for people to steal it!
#4
mahogany has been a popular neck wood for years. they use it on les pauls, acoustics and a lot of other types. on a budget, hard maple or mahogany will work fine (i used single piece mahogany for my first build) or you could get three 3/4" wide strips of wood, lam them together and make a neck that way... that's probably the strongest way to do it... and then either scarf joint the headstock (recommended), single piece with a volute (still pretty strong) or scarf with a volute (volutes FTW!!!).

but try pao ferro on the fretboard... or madagascar ebony... both very vibrant, resonant fretboard woods and they look pretty cool, too

EDIT:

if you do a thru neck, the 3 or more lam neck would look awesome exposed on the top... check my king v build
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#5
Yea, that looks really cool! But I'm trying to minimize time whilst maximizing awesomeness on my guitar, because I'm going to have to borrow some of this guy's time (because I havn't the faintest clue what the f#*k I'm doing) and I"m trying to get it all done through the course of this summer.
It looks like I could get ebony for the price of pau ferro, and the guys at the shop already have a bunch of ebony, and they regularly get it, I don't wanna push my luck having them order it for me, cause that'd kinda be a pain in the ass thing to do.
I was talking to a guy who was saying how solid black ebony is hella hard to get, like the REALLY good stuff, because the floods, and other worldly whatnot, but I'm fine with just normal ebony, it still looks pretty sweet polished and stuff.
If Rock is a lifestyle, then Metal's an addiction

"People don't kill people with giant boulders"
"They will if you take away their assault rifles"

Quote by Gee-tar-eist
I wouldnt give a ****, i would gladly play music for people to steal it!
#6
Mahogany's beautiful for bodies, and if you could get a bookmatched maple top, and leave it natural, i'd probably cream all over it. black hardware on a bookmatched maple top, it's one of the best things i've seen on a Les Paul.
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#7
Bookmatched maple looks pretty cool, but I think I'm just going to be leaving the mahogany on the top, solely because it would probably be easier than putting any kind of top on it. also, I can't remember ever seeing a nicely finished mahogany guitar (where you can see it on the top). I'm thinking it might look like a coffee table, but that's kinda what i"m looking for.
Coffee table les paul. Probably gold hardware, but yea, all natural finish and stuff.
If Rock is a lifestyle, then Metal's an addiction

"People don't kill people with giant boulders"
"They will if you take away their assault rifles"

Quote by Gee-tar-eist
I wouldnt give a ****, i would gladly play music for people to steal it!
#8
i still say go lam neck. if you get the stuff surfaced you can buy them and laminate them asap then from there you just work it like one big piece. lam necks rock
Support your local luthier!

Timpson Guitars and TDM Pickups rock ;D

I make guitars and pickups. I also make sh*t that'll blow you the f*k up as well as things that will rebuild you - I have the technology
#9
A few months ago I replaced the pickups and implemented a new wiring scheme on a Les Paul style so I have some pickup advice. I recommend getting them from Bill Lawrence. In the 70's, Bill managed the pickup department at Gibson and now he and his wife Becky handmake their own designs. They only sell direct, so check http://www.billlawrence.com/
Bill and Becky are very knowledgeable and helpful if you call them and helped me figure out exactly what I wanted and sent me schematics for a special wiring plan. (note that Bill Lawrence USA is NOT the same company)

I have a 500R in the neck and 500XL in the bridge. They are certainly the best humbuckers I have ever played. The tonal range is great, I can get smooth, clear jazzy sounds or nice crunch. The responsiveness and clarity are incredible, whatever you play really comes through . And they only cost $60 each. If you have any other questions, I'll be happy to try to offer insight as I've become pretty familiar with the electronics of LPs lately.
#10
Great man! I'm figuring that the electronics will probably be the easiest part of my building this thing, because I've had some experience with them already, but I havn't done much work on LP style wiring setups, so I'll probably be sending you some type of message when I get around to that stuff.
also, 60 bucks is a really reasonable price, considering SD's are like 80 - 100. Is 60 exactly the price? like with shipping and everything?


EDIT: stupid question, where do I get les paul plans? I saw that guy's spanish cedar lp, and he had a picture of plans for the body, where do you get those?
If Rock is a lifestyle, then Metal's an addiction

"People don't kill people with giant boulders"
"They will if you take away their assault rifles"

Quote by Gee-tar-eist
I wouldnt give a ****, i would gladly play music for people to steal it!
Last edited by strat212 at Jun 28, 2008,
#11
$60 is the price for for each pickup. I think shipping would probably be about $8, so your total cost is likely to be around $130 (but I see your from Cali, so there might be sales tax added). Regardless of what pickups you chose, you should consider wiring them so you can split the coils. It's so simple to do, I don't know why all guitars with humbuckers aren't wired to split coils. And if you want to get real creative you can also wire it for switchable series-parallel for even more tonal possibilities!
I can't offer any advice on body plans, unfortunately. Someday maybe... I already have a job building furniture, so I probably have the woodworking skills.
#12
Yea, I was looking into wiring the last guitar I was working with with coil tapping, but I ended up having to use a "stained glass' soldering iron, and it was too big to go ****ing around with, I was pretty much lucky just getting the pickup to work, but yea I think I'll coil tap this les paul . I want it to be pretty nice, like you know to be able to be the guitar i use all the time.

That's a deal on those pickups if they sound as good as your saying though, I think I"ll probably go with at least one of those (because I already have a spare epiphone pickup from a sheraton that doesn't sound like total crap, well at least in the neck, in the bridge it sounds like ass.)
If Rock is a lifestyle, then Metal's an addiction

"People don't kill people with giant boulders"
"They will if you take away their assault rifles"

Quote by Gee-tar-eist
I wouldnt give a ****, i would gladly play music for people to steal it!