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  • Freeman Keller
    started a topic Home made Les Paul

    Home made Les Paul

    First, an introduction. My name is Freeman and I don't own an electric guitar. I've been playing acoustics for fourty years or so and have built a few, but until lately I've never owned or hardly even played an electric. But that is changing

    Second, are build threads OK here? If so I'd like to share my progress - I've posted some acoustic builds at that forum and they've been pretty popular. If this stuff is boring or not appropriate or something, let me know and I'll stop.

    Next, it all started last summer when my son was visiting. He brought a couple of guitars along, including his candy apple Epi and a little amp. Plugged it in and handed it to me - I played a few of my usual thing - Dust in the Wind, Freight Train, Candy Man - they sounded pretty good but the string are sure light. My son said "dad, you should build one of those".

    A few days later a package arrived



    Then another.



    Thought the red wood might make a nice cutting board, the grain on the light stuff wasn't very straight and I thought about throwing it away. Oh, well, I traced the plans on the red wood and cut it out



    Clamped the cut off onto my belt sander so I could true up the body





    And drilled some holes



    Last steps for the red wood was a little work with the router







    I'm going to put this away for a while and see if anyone want me to continue.

  • Mark Wein
    replied
    I know this is an old thread but this is pretty stunning. I've built parts guitars but I'm always amazed when someone can build a Les Paul at home.

    Originally posted by Freeman Keller View Post
    I found my wiring mistake, and it was mine. I had installed a ground on one pot but didn't like it, removed it so I could relocate it and simply forgot. Duh.<BR /><BR />Lets call this fini for the present - I still need to make a new truss rod cover for it and the end of the month I'll pull all the hardware off and give it another buffing. But for now, i want to play some blues<BR /><BR /><IMG src="http://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f387/Freeman_Keller/Les%20Paul/IMG_0805.jpg" /><BR /><BR /><IMG src="http://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f387/Freeman_Keller/Les%20Paul/IMG_0807.jpg" /><BR /><BR /><IMG src="http://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f387/Freeman_Keller/Les%20Paul/IMG_0806.jpg" /><BR /><BR />(I really don't like that t/r cover, but it was fun to try)<BR /><BR /><IMG src="http://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f387/Freeman_Keller/Les%20Paul/IMG_0809.jpg" /><BR /><BR /><BR /><BR />I'll take some better pictures too, these are flash and are pretty hot. And once I figure out how to play it (LOL) maybe I'll post a clip or two. Thanks to everyone for all the support and nice comments<BR /><BR />Freeman

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  • kwakatak
    replied
    This has been said before but I just read through the whole thing and am humbled by your skills, Freeman. I must have had my head firmly implanted to have not noticed that this was going on nearly THREE YEARS ago. Let me add my congratulations and admiration on yet another stunning build. You sir are an inspiration and part of what kept me going as my own build languished. Thank you for sharing this journey and inspiring us with your artistry. I hope to see many more of these builds, both acoustic and electric.

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  • Preacher
    replied
    Yup, thread still delivers. Killer. Now if only I could open some of those other build threads...

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  • Ratae Corieltauvorum
    replied

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  • Axegrinder009
    replied
    Well, I happened on this thread and had to read it from the very beginning, which was nice as it had the continuity factor. I was jaw-droppingly astounded.
    I will never say I 'build' guitars again...I will henchforth use the term 'assemble', which is really what I do anyway.

    Not only are you a true craftsman and luthier, but let me say that reading your comments has impressed upon me the fact that you are a remarkable guy as well. I really admire the fact that you are out of the corporate rat-race, and doing things that you love/like rather than simply toiling to make a few bucks.

    As a fablulous luthier/builder, and as a man, you have my ultimate respect. I only wish I had your courage to do the things that I love and not be so concerned about just paying bills as I slave away for the corporation that I have worked for for 17 years.

    You are an inspiration, as well as being being very daunting in your talent and craftmanship. Thank you, sir, and God bless you and your family.

    NOTE: On the finished guitar, all I can say is "Holy fracking mackeral!!" That thing is a work of art, as well as being a musical instrument. WOW!

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  • Funkwire
    replied
    The TRC is the cherry on top of the sundae...astounding work, Mr. Keller.

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  • Grant Harding
    replied
    Some day I am going to visit your beautiful country - it has been on my list for a long time.
    Excellent! There's an Air NZ direct flight between Vancouver BC and Auckland
    that's only 14 hours. We'll pick you up at the airport.

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  • Grant Harding
    replied
    what were some of the guitar building specific tools or gauges that you feel are must have items to make this guitar? i am thinking the angle gauge for neck and tenon angle? what others
    I'd suggest you read the whole thread. Freeman goes into lots of detail, with pics. Quite an education!

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  • scottop1972
    replied
    what were some of the guitar building specific tools or gauges that you feel are must have items to make this guitar? i am thinking the angle gauge for neck and tenon angle? what others

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  • scottop1972
    replied
    were the stew mac plans complete? I cant find them on the website now.... did you use the book much? did you make the templates or did you buy them? thanks. really gonna do this!

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  • Freeman Keller
    replied
    Yes! You should get started on my chambered version of the first one asap! I'll pm you my address. If you bring it with you when you come for a holiday I'll trade you my '75 Ibanez 335 and '80 USA Strat for it, plus a guided tour of Auckland.


    Some day I am going to visit your beautiful country - it has been on my list for a long time.

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  • irishstu
    replied
    That truss rod cover looks perfect, Freeman. Excellent job.

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  • abrasive
    replied
    Depending on my mood, this thread makes me want to either get back to work on my (much less involved) builds; or give up completely, cut my hands off and move to a leper colony in Papua New Guinea.
    Amazing work. And rest assured that you're the only one that notices any mistakes.

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  • s1120
    replied
    Ahhhh... thats the right cover!!! The white band realy makes it also.

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