1959 DC Les Paul Junior Build Thread

What's Hot
1246

Comments

  • customkitscustomkits Frets: 882
    If you just need a small amount you can heat hide glue in a microwave.
    Thanks Steve, that's interesting but i haven't even got a kettle in the shop yet and I've already run out of space, gotta find room soon though or nothings getting made
    www.danielsguitars.co.uk
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • WezVWezV Frets: 9146
    As a kid I remember my grandad had a bean tin for the glue, placed directly on a log burning stove for a minute or two 
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • SteveRobinsonSteveRobinson Frets: 1836
    miserneil said:

    ...and position it under the strings and measure the scale length. With this jig I can adjust the bridge until I get the intonation spot on and I can also make sure the strings are positioned perfectly over the P90 like so:


    Once i've checked, double checked and triple checked the intonation and position, I screw the bolts down (which I have ground to a point)...
    I think you need to line up the bridge to that the strings pass over the centres of the rear holes in the bridge, where they will emerge when the guitar is strung. You seem to have them centred over the front holes? (I.e shift the bridge to the bass side a touch.)
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • GSPBASSESGSPBASSES Frets: 1210
    miserneil said:

    ...and position it under the strings and measure the scale length. With this jig I can adjust the bridge until I get the intonation spot on and I can also make sure the strings are positioned perfectly over the P90 like so:


    Once i've checked, double checked and triple checked the intonation and position, I screw the bolts down (which I have ground to a point)...
    I think you need to line up the bridge to that the strings pass over the centres of the rear holes in the bridge, where they will emerge when the guitar is strung. You seem to have them centred over the front holes? (I.e shift the bridge to the bass side a touch.)
    I agree, if you line up the strings as shown in the photo on a wrap over bridge when you string the guitar up the strings will be over to the treble side by a few millimetres. It is best with your way of doing this to line everything with the holes in the back of the wrap over bridge as  @SteveRobinson said.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • miserneilmiserneil Frets: 5275
    edited June 30
    @SteveRobinson @GSPBASSES Thanks for the advice chaps, totally agree and I do just that, this photo was taken part way through the process, there was still plenty of fine tuning to be done 
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • Jez6345789Jez6345789 Frets: 1011
    Loving this thread
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 3reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • meltedbuzzboxmeltedbuzzbox Frets: 7856
    Loving this thread
    +1

    I check daily for picture updates
    The Bigsby was the first successful design of what is now called a whammy bar or tremolo arm, although vibrato is the technically correct term for the musical effect it produces. In standard usage, tremolo is a rapid fluctuation of the volume of a note, while vibrato is a fluctuation in pitch. The origin of this nonstandard usage of the term by electric guitarists is attributed to Leo Fender, who also used the term “vibrato” to refer to what is really a tremolo effect.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 1reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • paulnb57paulnb57 Frets: 1187
    +2 Me too!
    Stranger from another planet welcome to our hole - Just strap on your guitar and we'll play some rock 'n' roll

    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 1reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • miserneilmiserneil Frets: 5275
    edited July 3
    @meltedbuzzbox @paulnb57 Thanks for the support chaps! More Thursday eve
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • Jez6345789Jez6345789 Frets: 1011
    Thursday evening.  arrrrrgh
    two more sleeps then lol
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 1reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • cgumtreecgumtree Frets: 18
    Great thread - love following your progress @miserneil. Hypothetically speaking, if I wanted to have a go at making one myself, what's the minimum of tooling I'd need to get started?
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • meltedbuzzboxmeltedbuzzbox Frets: 7856
    Come on @miserneil show me the money!!!
    The Bigsby was the first successful design of what is now called a whammy bar or tremolo arm, although vibrato is the technically correct term for the musical effect it produces. In standard usage, tremolo is a rapid fluctuation of the volume of a note, while vibrato is a fluctuation in pitch. The origin of this nonstandard usage of the term by electric guitarists is attributed to Leo Fender, who also used the term “vibrato” to refer to what is really a tremolo effect.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 2reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • miserneilmiserneil Frets: 5275
    edited July 6
    Apologies @meltedbuzzbox, @Jez6345789 and anyone else awaiting updates, I got back last night from 5 days at Disneyland Paris with my 5 year old....need I say more!? 

    Anyway, moving on...

    A step I missed out showing in the neck building part was drilling for the tuners and also inlaying my 'logo'. I don't do the Gibson 'open book' headstock because, it's a registered trademark and, after all this work, I'd prefer not to give someone else the credit! So the headstocks still have the flare and shape of the 50's Gibson headstocks right up to the 'leaves' of the book but not the open book part.

    Regarding the logo, It's not necessarily a logo as such but an genuine Half Penny coin. The Double Cut's get a 1959 one and the Single Cut's get a 1957 coin:



    Now, I really like this (obviously, or I wouldn't do it!) and think it's a nice nod to the fact that the guitar is built in the UK and also to have a genuine vintage element to the guitar. I'm also looking at a standard 'script' style 'Ivison' recall as an option if anyone prefers.

    On to the finish.

    Once the body is sanded and i'm happy all the scratches are gone, I mix up some cherry red filler using aniline dyes that I have base on the colour found under the guard of the 1959 DC that I use as a template for the DC's. As you know, aniline fades rapidly and to get the eventual colour i'm after and the 'quintessential' Gibson cherry we all know and love it needs to fade back a bit.



    If anyone is interested, here are a few test swatches of aniline red I did a few years ago and left in the window for 3/4 weeks to see how much they would fade:



    Now this stuff gets EVERYWHERE so I mask up any place I don't want cherry. I mask the cavities of all my Juniors, 1. Because I think it looks tidier and 2. Even if someone was to doctor the headstock/logo, the bare cavity will still give it away that it's not an original vintage guitar.





    **The next photo shows the exact process I use but on a @GSPBASSES body that I originally did it on 3 or 4 years ago**

    The cherry filler is applied directly to the 'raw' body with burlap - apparently what Gibson used - so I do it exactly the same:





    **Back to the Ivison body**

    First round of filler applied:



    Second application and coats of sanding sealer applied:



    I leave that to dry overnight and the following day, sand it back:



    As I want this to be a vibrant red that will fade, I then mix up some Cherry Red nitrocellulose (again with aniline dye):



    And give it enough coats over the next couple of days until I am happy:

    Half way through:



    A few more colour coats, I black the headstock face, then the clear coats and we arrive here:



    And here it is hanging with it's TV Yellow partner....





    More soon! 
    0reaction image LOL 12reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • meltedbuzzboxmeltedbuzzbox Frets: 7856
    Looks great @miserneil ;


    The Bigsby was the first successful design of what is now called a whammy bar or tremolo arm, although vibrato is the technically correct term for the musical effect it produces. In standard usage, tremolo is a rapid fluctuation of the volume of a note, while vibrato is a fluctuation in pitch. The origin of this nonstandard usage of the term by electric guitarists is attributed to Leo Fender, who also used the term “vibrato” to refer to what is really a tremolo effect.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 2reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • mlennonmlennon Frets: 5
    love the half penny inlay, the nod to the year and the uk. Great build
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 4reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • paganskinspaganskins Frets: 130
    mlennon said:
    love the half penny inlay, the nod to the year and the uk. Great build
    Seconded, looks great
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 1reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • KeefyKeefy Frets: 300
    Wow, @miserneil I am totally in awe of your guitar building skills! The fit and finish on the DC TV replica I bought from you is streets ahead of the '87 Gibson LPJ I once owned. I feel guilty about how little you charged me for mine!
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 1reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • meltedbuzzboxmeltedbuzzbox Frets: 7856
    any plans for a two pickup model @miserneil ?
    The Bigsby was the first successful design of what is now called a whammy bar or tremolo arm, although vibrato is the technically correct term for the musical effect it produces. In standard usage, tremolo is a rapid fluctuation of the volume of a note, while vibrato is a fluctuation in pitch. The origin of this nonstandard usage of the term by electric guitarists is attributed to Leo Fender, who also used the term “vibrato” to refer to what is really a tremolo effect.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • robertyroberty Frets: 666
    edited July 6
    any plans for a two pickup model @miserneil ?
    I see a couple lurking in the background here, he's teasing us: https://i.imgur.com/zXx4OCa.jpg
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • miserneilmiserneil Frets: 5275
    Keefy said:
    Wow, @miserneil I am totally in awe of your guitar building skills! The fit and finish on the DC TV replica I bought from you is streets ahead of the '87 Gibson LPJ I once owned. I feel guilty about how little you charged me for mine!
    Ah, thanks Graeme, really appreciate that! You snagged the last of the prototypes there :)

    any plans for a two pickup model @miserneil ?
    roberty said:
    any plans for a two pickup model @miserneil ?
    I see a couple lurking in the background here, he's teasing us: https://i.imgur.com/zXx4OCa.jpg
    Those two are restoration jobs, the guitar on the left is a 1959 Double Cut Special, a customers guitar which was bought as a bit of a basket case and we are returning it to late '59 spec. Its absolutely featherlight and has a pair of early '60's P90's arriving shortly, courtesy of @jumping@shadows and is going to be an absolute screamer! I know i'm going to have trouble handing that one over when I'm done....the other is a 1957 TV Special, my own guitar that I refinished once before but have now given a more accurate TV Yellow finish.

    I have, of course, taken measurements from each, the '57 in particular has an absolutely KILLER vintage Les Paul neck profile so that is definitely going to be used....I have 3 potential orders for a TV Special so, once i've finished 2 single cuts and an order for another DC TV Junior, a SC TV Special is next on the list.

    Can't wait to continue progress on this one though....full '56/57 two tone sunburst treatment ahoy! ;)




    0reaction image LOL 2reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • WezVWezV Frets: 9146
    I like the coin.  

     I am getting some new discs made up for mine.   We better make sure we both glue them in really well ;)
    1reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 1reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • miserneilmiserneil Frets: 5275
    WezV said:
    I like the coin.  

     I am getting some new discs made up for mine.   We better make sure we both glue them in really well ;)
    Ha, yes!

    I also really like your disc logo @WezV, very classy :)
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • BluesyDaveBluesyDave Frets: 303
    Love the coin, inspirational choice.  Guitars look great.  You could have the Ivison cast in to something that looks like a small silver or gold ingot.....thinking out loud  ;)
    No Darling....I've had that ages.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 3reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • miserneilmiserneil Frets: 5275
    So while we're waiting for the nitro to gas off I'll show you the other bits and pieces too.

    Here's a genuine 1959 Junior pick guard:



    Which I drew around on some scrap ply...



    ...and made a pattern of:



    Now the celluloid guard on a DC Junior (both Cherry and TV Yellow) is a BIG part of the look for me and I used to find it very difficult to find anything remotely similar, the closest I could get was to take a brown tortoiseshell sheet and spray it with a clear red and it'd be a pretty good approximation. However, just recently I have found a supply of NOS Celluloid sheet which is just like the original stuff, i'd go as far as to say it looks the b*llocks so i'm very happy! ;)







    Next up are the tuners, I use genuine nickel Klusons:



    Which I tarnish slightly and the buttons get a spray of nitro that I had mixed up specifically for gentle ageing which I call Nicotine, It just takes the bright white off them and gives them a hint of age. I'm of the opinion that ageing should be as subtle as possible to look authentic. 



    The bridge and studs I use are Faber. From some SERIOUS cork sniffing anorakory(!) I came to the conclusion (and I know @chrisv agrees) that the bridge and pickup play a major role in the sound of a vintage guitar so I was really pleased when @streethawk of this parish recommended me the Faber bridge, it's made out of the same material as the 50's bridges and weighs exactly the same too. Don't believe me? Here you go! :

    '56 wraparound bridge:



    Modern Faber:



    I should mention at this point, even the wife poked her head around the door and said "Neil. Seriously?!"

    ....then... "ARE THOSE MY BLOODY BAKING SCALES!??!"

    :D

    For P90's, I went round the houses here for a while and then, right under my nose found two of the best P90's i've heard from 2 stalwarts of the forum @Mojopickups and @TheGuitarWeasel aka Oil City. I genuinely think these are two of the best vintage voiced P90's available in the UK today and they both clean up brilliantly. I tend to use the Oil City's in the DC's and the Mojo's in the SC's, the reason being I had Marc wind me a vintage voiced P90 for a '55 single cut Junior I had that sounded brilliant and I used an Oil City Firewatch in the first DC I made and that sounded exceptional too....so i've kept that recipe!

    Here's a couple of Oil City Firewatch P90's with aged covers:



    I am investigating Tyson Tone P90's too, @chrisv recommended them to me and my pal Charlie from Blackberry Smoke has one in his TV Junior and was raving about it so I have one on order to try. 

    Pots are 500k CTS Vintage Taper, Jack is Switchcraft and I use a Sprague VitaminQ PIO cap:



    Oh, and a bone nut!

    More soon!



    1reaction image LOL 6reaction image Wow! 1reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • BluesyDaveBluesyDave Frets: 303
    Amazing attention to detail.
    No Darling....I've had that ages.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 1reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • Winny_PoohWinny_Pooh Frets: 3067
    edited July 8
    I'd be quite chuffed about those gaurds, they look brilliant.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 1reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • chrisvchrisv Frets: 239
    edited July 8
    This is currently my favourite forum thread on the whole of the internet! Awesome work @miserneil ;
    Editor, The Guitar Magazine | www.theguitarmagazine.com | www.facebook.com/theguitarmagazine | www.youtube.com/theguitarmagazine
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 3reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • WezVWezV Frets: 9146
    edited July 9

    The guards look nice.

    Mojoaxe are okay ( I would use again), but the pattern on the one I had was disappointing  compared to an original...  less colour variation and no sharpness to the patterns

    Sharp picture of a mojoaxe:

    blurry picture of an original

    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 1reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • Philly_QPhilly_Q Frets: 4962
    edited July 9
    I got a couple of Junior scratchplates from (I think) JXG a few years ago. I don't know what material they are, not celluloid but they look the part.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • miserneilmiserneil Frets: 5275
    chrisv said:
    This is currently my favourite forum thread on the whole of the internet! Awesome work @miserneil ;
    Thanks Chris, really appreciate that!

    @WezV The first guard I used was a Mojoaxe one that I used on my first GSP DC build and I thought similar to you about the pattern and it was a little too red for my Anorak ways, comparing it to the vintage ones at least. Dan makes some great stuff though, I met him and bought a '55 Junior off him when I was on tour in the states, great guy.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 2reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
Sign In or Register to comment.