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FDP Forum / Guitar Mods, Repairs, and Projects / Another les Paul junior project

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M Tracy
Contributing Member
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Lafayette IN

Jun 24th, 2018 07:00 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I play in the praise band at church and last Sunday this old guy comes up after we play and says he has an old Gibson he'd like to see played again. It’s been in his basement for 40 years, he said his parents bought it used 60 years ago.
The neck is off but it’s clean, I assume the glue failed years ago. It’s straight and the frets are tarnished but pretty much untouched above the 5th fret.
The buttons are gone but the tuners still turn by hand.
The bridge is tilting forward. The electronics work.
Serial number 4 4541


M Tracy
Contributing Member
*********

Lafayette IN

Jun 24th, 2018 07:05 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I’m not scared of anything as far as fixing it up again but I’ll wait for some tips here. I can’t get any pictures to upload tonight, I’ll have someone smart help me tomorrow if I can’t figure it out.

rockstar_not

USA

Thank God for guitars!
Jun 24th, 2018 07:05 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

They made Les Paul Junior's 60 years ago?


Pinetree
Moderator Emeritus
(with many stars)

NW Pennsylvania

Jun 24th, 2018 07:15 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Yes, they did.


It was actually introduced in 1954.


BlondeStrat
Contributing Member
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Las Vegas NV

Can't complain but sometimes I still do
Jun 24th, 2018 08:16 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Silly question and maybe none of my business, but …

Did you buy it? Did he gift it to you? Are you just fixing it up for him?

As I said, maybe none of my/our business. ;)

My curiosity is getting me after reading your post. It's quite a find. :)

M Tracy
Contributing Member
*********

Lafayette IN

Jun 24th, 2018 09:08 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

He said his parents paid 150 for it used but the amp and case are gone so wouldn’t take less than 50. I’m just going to fix it and we’ll all take turns playing it. I’m leaving it with the church. We told him it was worth a lot more but he just wants it played so the band decided to have me fix it and just keep it at church. Should be fun playing a guitar at church that’s older than my mom.

M Tracy
Contributing Member
*********

Lafayette IN

Jun 24th, 2018 09:22 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Here’s a crappy front picture

Front

M Tracy
Contributing Member
*********

Lafayette IN

Jun 24th, 2018 09:23 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

And the back of the

Headstock

Peegoo
Contributing Member
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Ooo that sandwich

is gonna get et
Jun 24th, 2018 09:46 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Sweet! Totally repairable for very little cost in materials (glue, new buttons).

You can heat the tuner posts with a soldering iron and press the replacement plastic knobs on. Do this with the tuner strips off the guitar. Have a glass of water standing by to dunk the tuner strip into to cool it after you press each knob on.

Make sure the truss rod works before you glue in the neck.

If you decide to use Titebond to reset the neck, be sure to remove all the hide glue from the neck and neck pocket.

Pay attention to the neck angle when attaching it. Most Juniors have a distance of about 1/2" at a point on the face of the body between the bridge ferrules and a straight edge rested on the fret tops.

wrnchbndr
Contributing Member
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New Jersey

I'm back with the otters again
Jun 25th, 2018 08:19 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

The white or black buttons from Allparts work perfectly for these tuners. Spend a little time with some 600 grit sandpaper cleaning up the mold marks. Put them in a coffee can of with old rusty nuts and bolts and shake before you install them. If you haven't used these before, buy a few extra buttons. I use a butane torch to heat up the tuner shafts (off of the guitar). Heating them up to the right temp -- heat applied to the shaft for the right amount of time, is the key to getting these to install perfectly.

wrnchbndr
Contributing Member
**********
**

New Jersey

I'm back with the otters again
Jun 25th, 2018 08:21 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

These are gloriously awesome guitars


M Tracy
Contributing Member
*********

Lafayette IN

Jun 25th, 2018 02:21 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Thanks for the tuner fixing tips. That seems easy enough. I’ll clean off the old glue and check everything before I do anything with the neck. It fits really well right now so I’m not too worried about that. I’ll use hide glue, just to be safe, it’s a bonus that it pisses off the vegans.

One more question before I do something stupid. The bridge is tilted forward, any non-invasive fix for that. I’m not too keen on drilling a big hole and doweling it. It may actually be playable as is so I might just wait and see how bad it is strung up.

Leaning bridge

Mick Reid
Contributing Member
*****

Australia

American-made in Oz!!
Jun 25th, 2018 03:59 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

re: Leaning bridge

I can't think of any way of doing it properly without resetting the ferrule, and for that I can only imagine need fresh wood for it to press into.

I don't think the dowel would need to be much larger than the diameter of the ferrule, so it could be reasonably hidden when finished.

I'm sure wrench & P will have advice though.

My question is, *how* does that happen to a guitar???

Absolute sacrilege...


M Tracy
Contributing Member
*********

Lafayette IN

Jun 25th, 2018 04:30 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

How does that happen? He said it still had the same strings on it so I’m guessing at least 60 years of heavy string tension. Probably the same reason the neck is off without any structural damage.

wrnchbndr
Contributing Member
**********
**

New Jersey

I'm back with the otters again
Jun 25th, 2018 10:38 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

On anything else, I'd just use epoxy in those holes but I'm not sure what I'd do here. Drilling and doweling might actually be more destructive. To do this by the ultimate luthier approved no argument method would be to drill the hole clean and install a mahogany dowel that was cut with a plug cutter so that the grain orientation matches the body. I think a purist would argue that using anything other that a mahogany dowel in the right grain orientation would be as bad as using epoxy. On my own guitar, I would use epoxy. I'd like to think that I could come up with some sort of way for the epoxy not to adhere to the insert so I could pull it and then install a new ground wire. Regardless, remember that a ground wire must be in good contact with the insert.

Peegoo
Contributing Member
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Ooo that sandwich

is gonna get et
Jun 25th, 2018 11:35 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Agreed. Here's how I'd do it:

Pull the threaded ferrules out at the angle they're leaning. Use a dental pick to remove any crushed/loose wood fibers from the holes.

Cut two sections of dowel the same diameter and length as the ferrules.

Tape tightly around the edges of the ferrule holes and cover the entire body with masking paper because this next step is messy. Put on painter's gloves too.

Mix up some 30-minute epoxy (half an ounce will do). When it's completely mixed up, mix it for another minute. Use a Qtip to paint it into the cavities. Add a little more to help take up the space when you press the dowels in. Too much is okay.

Next, coat the dowels with epoxy and press them straight in. You want to see squeeze out. Wipe up the excess with a paper towel. The tape and paper you applied will prevent the epoxy from getting onto the guitar.

After about 20 minutes, carefully peel the paper and tape from the guitar and let it cure overnight. The next day, drill out the dowels and press the ferrules back in. You want a tight press fit.

The reason you use the dowels is to give you a reference (the center of the dowel) to re-drill in the proper location.



M Tracy
Contributing Member
*********

Lafayette IN

Jun 26th, 2018 07:14 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Thanks a bunch wrench and goo (that sounds like a morning radio show). Epoxy sounds totally doable. I think I’ll tackle this over the weekend. I’m still open to suggestions if anyone comes up with anything brilliant, but I think I have a very workable and minimally invasive plan of action.

Stratmanx
Contributing Member
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********

Memphis, TN

Jun 26th, 2018 08:33 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

That is that makeshift cover over the bridge ?



wrnchbndr
Contributing Member
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New Jersey

I'm back with the otters again
Jun 26th, 2018 08:39 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Sounds really good.

M Tracy
Contributing Member
*********

Lafayette IN

Jun 26th, 2018 09:37 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I have no idea what that cover over the bridge is. It’s apparently been there a long time. It’s coming off. I’m not worried about any cosmetic issues, I just want to make it playable while keeping whatever I can.

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FDP Forum / Guitar Mods, Repairs, and Projects / Another les Paul junior project




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