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Freeman Keller

Home made Les Paul

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Subscribed! I'm planning to do an LP build next year. It will be my first one. This is already a great resource. Thanks!

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Thanki you all for your wonderful enthusiastic comments and support. What I'll try to do is post a few pictures each day of one stage of the build - that way we can talk about it but it won't become so unwieldy that we can't navigate thru it.

 

After the glue was dry on the top to body I trimmed the overhang back with a flush cut router bit and filleted the back with a round off bit. I used both in my new router table which I bought just for this project (told you TAS was bad). Unfortunately I don't seem to have any pictures of those operations, but they are really pretty simple.

 

In retrospect what I did next is probably out of sequence. What I think I should have done was to first drill and route the pickup cavities, then do the 4 degree angle of the upper bout for the neck and then route the neck pocket. The reason I say that is that at this point the top and upper bout would have been nice and flat to stick the templates on - you'll see what I mean as we go on.

 

Instead I jumped right into carving the top. First step was to make two cuts with the router - one at the final depth of the edge (the recurve) and the other a "contour" on the carved portion of the top. I made a little back stop for the edge of the body on the router table, tyrapped the dust collection hose (my shop vac) and set the bit to the depth I wanted

 

IMG_0643.jpg

 

Again, no good pictures of actually doing it (my hands were pretty full) but when it was done it looked like this

 

IMG_0645.jpg

 

Carving between those three datum points with a variety of planes and chisel

 

IMG_0646.jpg

 

IMG_0647.jpg

 

(I love that little plane on the right - it is from Grizzly and I use it all the time)

 

IMG_0648.jpg

 

Once again, I'm very sorry about the lighting on those pics. Here is measuring the angle for the neck (4 degrees)

 

IMG_0652.jpg

 

Planing it flat

 

IMG_0651.jpg

 

and laying out the center line, neck pocket and pickups

 

IMG_0653.jpg

 

Seems like a reasonable place to quit for the night, more tomorrow.

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Well, lets make some holes in the top. In the last session we shaped the top and layed out the location of the neck and the pups.

 

IMG_0654.jpg

 

I made a simple little template for the neck pocket out of MDF. Usually I would have just used double sticky tape to hold it in place but there wasn't enough surface area so it took a couple of clamps and a screw

 

IMG_0655.jpg

 

Drilled out as much material as I could - the blue tape is a crude depth gauge

 

IMG_0656.jpg

 

Routed out what was left

 

IMG_0657.jpg

 

Checking the depth, I want the pocket just a hair deeper than the tenon will be

 

IMG_0658.jpg

 

Moving on to the neck pickup, this is a commercial template from StewMac

 

IMG_0662.jpg

 

and the bridge pickup cavity (like the neck I removed as much as I could with a Forstner bit first) Also notice that I've got a clamp on it - there just wasn't enough flat area to trust double sticky tape

 

IMG_0663.jpg

 

When it was done it looked like so (thats an oops from the Forstner bit, I told you the depth gauge was crude)

 

IMG_0664.jpg

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This is extraordinarily fascinating. I've taken on some big jobs, but this is out of my scope of ability. It's really inspiring. Thank you for posting such great pics...I look forward to following your progress.

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Dang, sometimes I wish I owned a woodshop. I'll just have to live vicariously thru your thread.


Don't mind me, carry on, you're doing fine.

 

My "woodshop" looks amazingly like a garage.

 

Shop.jpg

 

My dream (nightmare to my wife) is to actually build a shop off the garage, I want better control of temperature and humidity and more room for TOOLs

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I tried to make a guitar once about 20 years back in high school. I recall starting off with a strat sized blank and ending up with something the size just under a steinberger, lol. I can appreciate your skill.

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