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My Spirit


pohatu771

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Well, I did it. Yesterday I bought the 1983 Gibson Spirit I've been wondering about for months. It's going to take some work, but in the end it'll be a real nice guitar.

 

Other than the paint, it's a great player. It may be the most resonant guitar I've ever played, including acoustics. The body just shakes when you play it.

 

When the semester ends (only a few weeks), I'll start work on it. Until then, I'm going to play it as-is. My intention is to finish the transformation into a Les Paul Special... or as close as it can get.

 

[EDIT] Sorry, pictures were huge and crappy. I'll take some better ones when I have my own camera later.

 

[EDIT 2] I resized the photos, but they're still crappy. I'll take better ones later.

 

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It looks good, but it feels terrible. I'm ninety percent sure that it's ordinary off-the-shelf spray paint. My hand feels sticky after playing from rubbing up and down the neck.

 

One thing that is interesting to me is that it doesn't say "Made in USA," as far as I remember. It doesn't show up in the photo, either.

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I don't mind the colour it is, but there are holes I want to plug that will require a touch-up... and I don't know that I can find a matching paint, since it's probably slightly faded.

 

I'm going to refinish in either Vintage Amber or Cherry, using Stew-Mac's spray lacquer. Those are "proper" Les Paul Special colours, as far as I'm concerned.

 

http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Finishing_supplies/Finishes_and_solvents/2/ColorTone_Aerosol_Guitar_Lacquer/Pictures.html#details

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The store said it started out as a black Spirit... I noticed when I take it out of the case that there are paint chips in the bottom, and it seems that the paint is wearing off around the bottom edge. I grabbed a pick and rubbed at it a second, and paint came off easily. It was bare wood underneath.

 

That makes it easier for me, I suppose... it's going to be much easier (and safer) to strip if I can do it with a minimal amount of sanding. So far, I think I could do most of it with a spatular, if I start at a worn spot.

 

I'm not a wood expert, but from the tiny bit I can see, I think it's mahogany. That's normal for a Les Paul, but what I've read is that some Spirits were actually maple.

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I'm going to see if I can fill the extra space around the P-90s, but if I can't it's not a big deal. A Les Paul Special-style pickguard should cover three out of four openings.

 

Here are some more detailed photos:

 

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Did all of that with just a guitar pick

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Paper pickguard. I can make a better template when the hardware is removed.

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