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paddybrown

2005 Les Paul Double Cut Faded restoration

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A while back I found this thing in a local second hand guitar shop. It started life as a 2005 Les Paul Double Cut Faded - essentially a Les Paul Special with a tuno-o-matic and stopbar rather than a wrapover bridge. A previous owner had repainted it white, replaced the P90s with EMGs, wired a master volume and a master tone control, leaving two knobs that did nothing, and chopped up the pickguard. I decided to have a go at restoring it.

104573990_10156992258431184_345301971490

I started by stripping off the finish. I tried to take off the white paint and leave the original cherry finish, but that didn't work, so I sanded it down to the wood.

58543323_10155906644876184_3342205629757

Then I forgot about it for a while. Recently I acquired a pair of mini-humbuckers and thought they'd suit this guitar - after all, mini-humbuckers fit in the same routs as P90s.

104688454_10156992258291184_416316589278

Unfortunately, the previous owner chiselled the routs a bit wider to install full-size humbuckers, so the cavities are uneven, and the screw holes for the humbucker mounts are visible. Also, one the screws on the bridge pickup is above the channel for the pickup wires, so won't go in without cutting the channel wider and gluing in a bit of wood. So I've ordered some mini-humbucker rings that I hope will allow me to fit them and hide the unevenness of the cavities. We'll see how they look when they arrive.

MLPMR003-2T.jpg?v-cache=1527580733

Next question is how to finish it. I like transparent finishes that show off the wood, but there are visible screw holes, and some visibly filled screw holes. Anybody who's done this, if I fill the holes with mahogany sanding dust and glue, will they still be visible under a transparent finish?

After that, the electronics. What value of pots are best for mini-humbuckers? I'm also considering a treble bleed, and wiring the tone pots as bass roll-off.

I'll try and keep the forum posted. Any advice would be appreciated.

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19 hours ago, paddybrown said:

A while back I found this thing in a local second hand guitar shop. It started life as a 2005 Les Paul Double Cut Faded - essentially a Les Paul Special with a tuno-o-matic and stopbar rather than a wrapover bridge. A previous owner had repainted it white, replaced the P90s with EMGs, wired a master volume and a master tone control, leaving two knobs that did nothing, and chopped up the pickguard. I decided to have a go at restoring it.

104573990_10156992258431184_345301971490

I started by stripping off the finish. I tried to take off the white paint and leave the original cherry finish, but that didn't work, so I sanded it down to the wood.

58543323_10155906644876184_3342205629757

Then I forgot about it for a while. Recently I acquired a pair of mini-humbuckers and thought they'd suit this guitar - after all, mini-humbuckers fit in the same routs as P90s.

104688454_10156992258291184_416316589278

Unfortunately, the previous owner chiselled the routs a bit wider to install full-size humbuckers, so the cavities are uneven, and the screw holes for the humbucker mounts are visible. Also, one the screws on the bridge pickup is above the channel for the pickup wires, so won't go in without cutting the channel wider and gluing in a bit of wood. So I've ordered some mini-humbucker rings that I hope will allow me to fit them and hide the unevenness of the cavities. We'll see how they look when they arrive.

MLPMR003-2T.jpg?v-cache=1527580733

Next question is how to finish it. I like transparent finishes that show off the wood, but there are visible screw holes, and some visibly filled screw holes. Anybody who's done this, if I fill the holes with mahogany sanding dust and glue, will they still be visible under a transparent finish?

After that, the electronics. What value of pots are best for mini-humbuckers? I'm also considering a treble bleed, and wiring the tone pots as bass roll-off.

I'll try and keep the forum posted. Any advice would be appreciated.

That was a rather interesting  setup with the EMG's.

That natural mahogany looks nice--if there is a way to carefully blend/match the screw holes, maybe you could go with a darker finish.

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Well, I'm committed now. Started rebuilding the pickup cavities with wood filler. I'll see what it looks like when I've built it up and sanded it flat, but it looks like it'll have to be an opaque finish. Or perhaps a kind of reverse burst where it's dark in the middle and lighter on the outside. Or maybe I can make a custom pickguard that'll hide it. We shall see.

 Image

I've also discovered and ordered some mini-humbucker rings where the screws go in the opposite corners, which will alow me to install the bridge pickup even with the wiring channel being where it is.

s-l1600.jpg

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Yes sadly you will probably still see the screw holes unless you paint it a solid colour.....  Because the glue wont take the finish in the same way as the bare wood does (if you see what I mean). I would just put a scratch plate over that...

I, oddly enough did a similar thing when I got a 2005 DC Special...  In my case the previous owner had only sanded the top off of a faded red finish... So I had too colour match the top and sides/back..  Which I did in the end with some red stain and some red tinted nitro paint..

I probably have pictures somewhere if you are interested.

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Well it was like this when I bought it.. 

If they hadnt just done the top and sanded the whole guitar I may have left it like that. But I decided to match the top instead.

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So I sanded the finish off and was using a Cherry Red Trans Nitro paint..  Problem was it for some reason wasnt going dark enough

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In the end I found a cherry red stain and used that and got pretty much spot on

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I've ordered two different styles of pickup mount. The flat chrome ones arrives first. I quite like the look. The standard mini-humbucker mounts with the diagonal screw holes are still on their way.

thumbnail-20200625-174344

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The new diagonal mounts have arrived, and they fit rather well. I think the double-cut deluxe is the way forward. A little more work needed with the wood filler on the top edge of the bridge pickup rout, then final sanding, and then I have to choose a finish.

 

thumbnail-20200626-124024

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On 6/22/2020 at 5:13 PM, Rabs said:

Yes sadly you will probably still see the screw holes unless you paint it a solid colour.....  Because the glue wont take the finish in the same way as the bare wood does (if you see what I mean). 

 

I've come up with another possibility. If I fill the screw holes with mahogany dust and glue, then spray the whole thing with clear sanding sealer, then the colour will take the same way all over because it'll be taking to sanding sealer and won't actually touch the wood. Hopefully that'll work.

I have spray cans of clear cellulose sealer, cherry red colour and nitro clear coat on order from Amazon, I know where I can get wet/dry sandpaper locally, and I have some Virtuoso cleaner and polish to get it nice and shiny. All I need now is to rig up some kind of spray stand in the back yard.

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