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  1. #1
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    Nov 2011
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    Default HSC Major Work build for first time builder assistance

    Hey there everyone I am brand new at guitar making, though I love the guitar, and for my year 12 Timber Major Work for the HSC I am making an electric guitar. I have planned a single cutaway Gibson Les Paul body shape, with two Humbucker pickups, one volume knob, two tone knobs, a three-way pickup switch, a wrap-around bridge stop tailpiece. So far I have done the neck angle, routed the truss rod slot, installed the truss rod and am soon to attach the fretboard. I just have some small questions for some experienced builders:

    1. How thick is a Gibson guitar neck?
    2. What type of finish can I apply on a guitar so that it comes up as a brown-maroon colour. Not a dark red per se, just a really rich brown, similar to mahogany colour (I am using mahogany for body)
    3. I want to retain fretboard, headstock and neck's original colours (Indian Rosewood for fretboard and headplates and Queensland Maple for neck), so what kind of finish can I put on that to make it all shiny?
    4. How do I put the groove in the top timber of the body for binding?

    That's all for the moment. I appreciate any answers given Thanks!

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  3. #2
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    Dec 2008
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    Niddrie Melbourne
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  4. #3
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    Feb 2011
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    NSW, Australia
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    Default

    Did you end up finding all the answers you need mate? If not what are you still stuck on?

  5. #4
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    OK measured my Les Paul 1st fret .793 In 7th fret .939 in 12th fret .983 in was .888 to top of strings and strings .095 over fretboard 1.073 and .134 1.133 and .150 Hope that helps.

  6. #5
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    there are plans available
    there are books availaible
    there are posts on forums that go through les paul builds in minute detail
    posts by some of the most renowned builders on the planet

    you will learn much grasshopper by making google your friend

    there is no such thing as standard size for a les paul neck
    there are many models that have been built by gibson
    they have been building them for 55 years

    the les paul is a difficult and demanding project
    a telecaster or les paul junior project would much easier to achieve for a first build
    ray c
    dunno what's more fun, buyin' the tools or usin' em'

  7. #6
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    May 2011
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    Default Carved tops

    Old Picker is right on the money Riku and like he said the LPJs' and Fender Strats,Jags and Teles have a flat body profile while the Les Paulverisers have a carved top like an archy or fiddle and are harder to make.

    Steve
    Last edited by kamusur; 6th Jan 2012 at 07:11 PM. Reason: Spelling

  8. #7
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    Nov 2011
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    Hey

    Sorry I should've clarified certain aspects. My mistake.

    After much research (and a lot of helpful things from walcen, thankyou ) I have several definitives:

    1. This make will be a flat top, because personally I don't like carved tops
    2. My neck will have a slightly modified v-neck profile, and I have measured it out with my 24 3/4 scale fretboard, and allowed sufficient room for a headstock carve.
    3. I will be using a single piece of figured mahogany for the body, so it will not have a top and hence no binding. The body will be outfitted with humbucker pickups, of brand I am not certain. I heard Seymour Duncans are pretty good.
    4. The controls will be modelled similar to the Les Paul Special double cutaway, and my plan has changed to a double cutaway style guitar.

    So as you can see I have differed my plan, but I have, as old_picker said, made Google my friend. I have made sufficient progress on the neck, and all I have left to do in the way of the actual construction is to carve the neck contour and cut the headstock to shape. So all I really need is some assistance on the body. Well really all I need is a control template, however I was unable to find one on Google, and am short of money after buying the body template. An unfortunate oversight on my part, but if anyone has a template it would be very helpful. I understand they are slightly more spread out on the DC Special than the traditional LP.

    Again sorry about my rather small explanantion of my desired outcome. Thankyou _fly_ for the specifications, they really helped out in the neck department. Also, for the HSC folio that must be presented with the project, you must provide a timeline through photos. Should I post my progress on the forums so you can get a better idea of what I'm trying to achieve?

    Again, thankyou to all who have attempted to help me and my first build.

  9. #8
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    control rout does not have to be the same as a manufactured guitar
    making your own control template[s] is not a difficult project -

    they should be drawn out to scale, [cad] printed and stuck to a sheet of 12mm MDF you can then carefully shape your templates - i assume you have access to a well equipped wood work room at school and computers with CAD
    you will need 3 templates:
    control route
    cover plate recess
    cover plate

    when you are done you will know how to make templates for any purpose

    if you are happy to strip things back to a bare minimum - selector switch, master tone and master volume is enough for many players and can all be mounted telecaster style in a 25mm x 142mm rout around 38mm deep. many guitars don't have a tone control
    a stripped back bare bones rock monster needs only a bridge pickup

    heres a couple clips with one pickup guitars
    scroll down on this first one to get to the vids

    Rock n Roll Relics Sixty-One TV

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ntfdmMgLa3k"]Fabulous Thunderbirds - Look Watcha Done/Wrap It Up - YouTube[/ame]

    as this is your own build there is no need to copy what has been done before - you can mix it up and maybe come up with an original idea

    as far as pickups go i know a great bloke in south aust who will make you a set that will cr@p all over seymour duncan - his name is mick and his website is here:
    Brierley Guitar Pickups Home Page

    dont waste your money on cheap pickups and cheesey hardware - it really does make a huge difference - especially the pickup [s] - the heart and soul of any guitar
    ray c
    dunno what's more fun, buyin' the tools or usin' em'

  10. #9
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    Oct 2005
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    Bagdad Tasmania
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    as far as pickups go i know a great bloke in south aust who will make you a set that will cr@p all over seymour duncan - his name is mick and his website is here:
    Brierley Guitar Pickups Home Page

    dont waste your money on cheap pickups and cheesey hardware - it really does make a huge difference - especially the pickup [s] - the heart and soul of any guitar[/QUOTE]

    I will second that Ray, Mick is a great guy and everyone raves about his pickups they are going in my new custom build.
    Regards Bob

  11. #10
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    Dec 2008
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    Definately don't buy cheap pickups. They usually all suck. I have tried a few cheaper ones that are actually pretty good though. Guitar heads pickups in America are really decent for the money. They don't come close to dimarzio and such though. Haven't tried brierley pups myself, though I've heard good things. I just threw some dimarzio crunch lab and liquifires into an Ibanez Rg and theyre definately my new fav pickup

  12. #11
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    Aug 2007
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    I know a few people who absolutely swear by kinman pickups too.
    The other day I described to my daughter how to find something in the garage by saying "It's right near my big saw". A few minutes later she came back to ask: "Do you mean the black one, the green one, or the blue one?".

  13. #12
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    Oct 2005
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    My sixpence worth re pickups..for Les paul build.. I recently installed a pair of STEWMAC Parsons St humbuckers and the neck pickup is the best sounding Humbucker I've used...better than my factory LP and I prefer it to DiMarzio's I've used.

    I like my Fralins but they're in a jazz semi acoustic..anyway, if you try the Parson St I'm sure you will be happy with the sound & the cost.

    For the record I'm more a single coil fan & rate my Fralin neck tele the best I have followed by S Duncan Phat Cats..both are sweet & clear.

    Bit of a rant...sorry.

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