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1956 Les Paul basket case Conversion.

Jumping@Shadows

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 11, 2003
Messages
1,283
Hi LPF, with the recent lockdowns there’s not been much else to do than work on old guitars, so I’ve been chipping away at a variety of projects, and the latest would be of interest to the folks here.

I stumbled on a basket case mid ‘50s Les Paul standard online, briefly panned over along side another much more presentable guitar, and while it looked a very sorry state I immediately saw the potential for a salvage mission.


The original finish and all parts were long gone, and the body had been stripped to bare wood and entirely rattle can painted over black, control and switch cavities included, as well as absolutely peppered with random gouges and chips and dings for reasons unknown.

The husk was so abused I resolved it would have to be a Goldtop/darkback, but set about seeing if I could carefully carve and sand out the black stain in the maple pores, as well as address the pocked moonscape of cosmetic wood damage, and with hard work and luck was able to salvage the beautiful well flame figured 4/5 split two piece top, with only a couple spots needing more involved wood repair.



With the top crying out for a sunburst finish and the guitar being incredibly lightweight, and as a stock ABR/stoptail guitar with Burst correct neck pitch, I resolved to do a full ‘59 Burst conversion, with a rich ‘NOS’ cherry sunburst, which will fade and mellow with time.


The completed guitar weighs 8.3lbs fully dressed and has ‘62 PAF spec PAT No’s, original late ‘56 harness, ‘50s hardware and most plastics, and will ride again!

 
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El Gringo

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Joined
Apr 8, 2015
Messages
4,470
This certainly sounds awesome to me and I wish I could see the images (blocked ) You certainly have all the right ingredients . Best wishes and I look forward to hearing more about this !
 

sweiger

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 25, 2002
Messages
1,098
Wow, fantastic job, congrats :)
A perfect candidate for burst conversion. And with all that this guitar had undergone, no second thoughts routing for humbuckers I can imagine?
The original serial no. was long gone too, I presume?
 

seafood

Active member
Joined
Jun 11, 2003
Messages
109
wow.congrats! all your work ...really ....outstanding!!!!!....what a cool les paul.
 

Jumping@Shadows

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 11, 2003
Messages
1,283
Thanks all! Here it is on its’ maiden voyage- early PAT NO’s, late ‘56 harness and all ‘50s hardware, through my mid ‘60s 18W:

 
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