Sunday, December 30, 2012


I found this Bradley Les Paul in a thrift store. It looked great, and had all of its hardware... perfect for a renovation. The price was right, so I asked the staff if they could bring it over. I wanted to check to see if it was solid wood or not (it's not worth spending time on plywood that no one wants) so I asked to borrow a screwdriver. I removed the cavity covers and found that it seemed to be solid wood! So, I grabbed it and took it home.

When I got it home, I stripped the hardware and finish; in the process I found that the body was solid pieces of a mahogany species which I was fine with, but the top was a bizarrely arched plywood- chintzy, and it cracked when I was pulling out the bridge stopbar posts. Great- an easy project complicated. I was going to turn it into a Goldtop Gibson, but that idea quickly went out the window. Time for another theme guitar!!

I chiseled off the top, used a belt sander to level it, went to Woodcrafters for some mahogany, came back with a mahogany species (sapelle), split it, glued the pieces together to make a wide enough piece,  cut the rough body shape, and glued it on. Once it dried, I used a belt sander to even it out with the rest of the body.

I carefully routed out the neck and pickup holes, and re-drilled the bridge posts according to the scale length. I also started the development of a special pick guard.

Here is where the guitar stands now; nothing close to what it will be. Hint: wood burning, leather stamping, victorian woodcarving.

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