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Epiphone 1966 Les Paul Gold top - Long post photos!

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This is a long story! Lots of photos!


Part 1:



Around 1973 I was rebuilding a 1959 Grestech Duo-Jet and bought a used 1966 vintage Gibson humbucker for it from Ray Hennings Heart of TExas Music in Temple, TX for $15.




They had a bunch of humbuckers - nice ones were $20, not so nice ones were $15. Since I was poor soldier and couldn't afford a new one I got one of the not so nice $15 humbuckers.


Here's the '59 Grestch Duo-Jet that held the humbucker from 1973 to Feb 2013:




It stayed in the Gretsch until a couple of months ago when I bought a set of TV Jones Classic Filtertrons for the Gretsch. Also on the Gretsch was a 1968 Rickenbacker Toaster pickup that I put into an Epiphone S-310. Story of the Ric Toaster is here:





Now I needed to find a home for the mid-sixties humbucker.


I had been thinking about a single pickup Les Paul ever since I had seen this Les Paul a few years ago:




Not having a matching vintage humbucker I decided to build a nice single pickup 'vessel' for my '66 humbucker. Since the cover has never been off of the humbucker it could be a 1965, 1966, or 1967. I assume it's a 1966. It's been in my posession since 1973 so I know it's authentic. I have no intention of ever taking it apart to look at the bobbins.








The notes on the back of the pickup are mine.


I found a 2001 Epiphone Les Paul Standard in black off of eBay for a resonable price. It's made in Korea. Nothing fancy - it has had it's share of bumps & scratches but over all was in good shape:











It was missing the truss rod cover; everthy ting works fine, neck was set up great. End of Part 1

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Part 2:


First thing I did was to strip it down.




I then plugge the pickup switch hole and two of the corntrol holes.






Next was to chisle out a place for a patch over the neck pickup hole.




I fitted the block of wood in and glued it in place with Tightbound glue.






Using a hammer and chisle I carved the oak wood patch down to a rough fit.




Then I sanded the entire top smooth.




I did a couple of coats of sander sealer and then primed it with Reranch White primmer.




I then sprayed a can of Reranch Gold onto the top followed by two cans of clear.




End of Part 2

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Part 3


I replaced the bridge with GraphTech NV1 bridge and the NVT tailpiece






These items are made from an aluminum alloy and are close to the bridge type that were used on the '59 Les Paul. I also installed a Tusk nut.






For tuners I bought a set of Grover Keystone:







I installed CTS pots and a .022 PIO cap. I wired it using the '59 Les Paul 'vintage' wiring diagram:




I had Terrapin Guitars make a custom pickguard and truss rod cover for it. I insatlled a set Schaller Stap Locks to keep her safe.





All put together:








I named her Brenda after my wife of 40 years who was with me way back in 1973 when I bought that used Gibson humbucker in Texas.


So that's how I got a 1966 Epiphone Les Paul Gold Top. Too bad that Gibson never made a Les Paul in 1966 but if they had, it would sound like my Epiphone '66 Les Paul which is - FANTASTIC!

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Great story and great job.

This is one of the reasons I gravitate to this forum as often as I do.

I wish I had a workshop to do guitar work in.

But if I ever do, I know I have an extended family here for advice and help.

Again, great job.



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