14 April 2016

Custom Les Paul w/ Gibson Epiphone neck

I guess it was the summer of '14 when a frend of mine sold me an custom Telecaster. The guitar had a superheavy body which had cracks here and there, a genuine Floyd Rose (LINK) tremolo that was missing some parts, and a Epiphone by Gibson (LINK) neck.

Well, most of the scavenged parts are still waiting for future projects , the body got a really nice treatment by my wife (LINK) and the Epiphone neck found a home in this here project.

So having a bolt on neck I needed to find a good body - here I utilized muusikoiden.net (LINK) a Finnish website where musicians sell their instruments, perephrials  and instrument parts.

I found a custom made Les Paul body that had been constructed or modified for a bolt on neck.
It had seen better days, but it was in good enough shape. I just needed to fill in the huge gap between the neck pocket and the front rout. From there on give the body a lot of love and even more sanding.

As I decided to just go with one volume pot, I needed to fill the two extra holes in the body.
For filling a wooden plug would have been an ideal solution, but as I didn't have such available I went for some basic epoxy which is easy to apply and dries fast.

The neck needed very little work, I just removed the original tuning machines and filled the old screw holes by gluing ends of toothpics in them. After I sanded the ends down I gave the neck a layer of spray varnish.

It's starting to be a classic already, but for the tuning machines I went to Planet Waves again, this time golden. The new Planet Waves Auto-Trim tuning machines (LINK) fit the old holes perfectly and I just needed to drill holes for the screws that secure the machines.


With the neck ready the body needed again some more work, this time painting.
Again I used my go-to tools, Maston (LINK) spray paint and gave the body a golden bottom layer.

I painted the body gold 2-3 times and sanded the surface between the layers. Once satisfied with the result I shielded the sides and the back of the body with masking tape and painted the top with satin black spray.

Again I applied 2 layers of black and sanded the top between the layers. Then I removed the masking tape and sprayed on varnish.

After the painting I got on with the fun part - applying the hardware.
First I hammered in the studs for the bridge and for the tailpiece, being a Les Paul the holes were fabricated for a Tune-O-Matic bridge and tail. While I used a Generic , gold, Tune-O-Matic  bridge with rollers I really wanted to do something fun with the Tailpiece. so I aquired a gold Les Trem II by Duesenberg (LINK).

The mics I selected for this build were from my privat stash of odd-scavenged humbuckers that, to my suprise, have quite a nice sound. I also had a couple of black tilted humbucker frames waiting to be used.
The clean gold/black look is perfected with the single pot topped off with a gold barrel knob and black Schaller style strap lock pins.

Finally with hardware and mics applied I could string this elegant beast with my trusty Ernie Ball Super Slinky (LINK) strings.

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