I thought i'd share, for anyone that might be interested, how I build my DC Juniors. They are based on an original 1959 Gibson Les Paul Junior that I owned (twice!). It was such a great sounding and playing guitar, I decided it would be a perfect blueprint so I set about measuring every last detail. If this gets a bit 'cork sniffy' I apologise.
I did set out to build an exact replica but over time and after studying 5 different Juniors and a Special the one thing that become consistent, was that none of them were consistent, they were all slightly different! Now, it's worth mentioning here that a lesson I soon learnt and one to bare in mind was that, even though we now covet these vintage Juniors as Golden Era instruments, while they are fantastic and one of the best guitars Gibson ever made IMO, they were in fact literally thrown together student models, being knocked out for $150 bucks.
So I decided, while I would stay as close to vintage as possible with modern materials, I would need to take averages where necessary and just try and make the best guitars I can so there are a few subtle changes, nothing major (in fact you'd probably never notice if I didn't tell you!) , just little things which I feel make for a better guitar.
Much of this will be done in real time, I already have the bodies cut, thicknessed, routed and sanded so i'll document that first.
So it all starts here:
Enough African Mahogany for 10+ bodies so I need to manhandle that home and cut it into manageable sizes...
Once I no longer need a block and tackle to moving the lumber around(!), I start by rough cutting the DC body shape out of the 1 piece blanks:
And then over to my thickening jig to bring it down to 45mm. The originals were mainly 1 3/4" so this will give me a little extra for final sanding:
Then tidied up on the router table. I've also routed the first route of the P90 cavity. This route is 15mm deep as per vintage Gibson:
At this point I have selected which bodies have the best grain for TV Yellow and which will look nice in Cherry Red. Next I start to hog out the neck mortice with a forstner bit and we get, what I like to call, the frightened rabbit....
Then I clean up the neck mortice and route to 35mm:
I also route the P90 'shelf' (where the baseplate of the pickup sits) at 7mm.
Next I drill the pot holes from the front about 30mm into the body (once the cavity is routed this gives me a nice, clean hole edge), flip it over and hog out the control cavity then route this to a depth of 40mm which is very slightly deeper than vintage to allow for the CTS TVT pots I use.
The jack hole is also drilled out with a 25mm forstner bit at this point.
Next up is the body round over. There are a few options here. A '58 single cut, has a much tighter roundover than a '59, almost like a 50's Tele. The '59 had a much smoother body edge so I set my roundover bit to cut slightly lower than normal and then feather out the edges by hand to meet it, like this:
This leaves us with a '59 DC Body:
More in a few days!