Repair Work - My 'Old Man's' Vintage Gibson Les Paul Custom

Repair Work - My 'Old Man's' Vintage Gibson Les Paul Custom

I do enjoy taking on set-up and minor repair work, and sometimes it arrives from closer to home. On this occasion, my Dad approached me about giving his old Les Paul Custom a much needed bout of TLC.

Gibson Les Paul Custom

Here's a photo of it before I got started, although it looks stunning there were some things that needed addressing to bring it back to life and be the guitar it deserved to be. After a few chops & changes to the wiring over the years, the cavities were looking a little worse for wears. Throughout it's time as Dad's only gigging guitar, pots had been replaced, push/pulls fitted, DiMarzio pickups installed and sadly didn't stand the test of time. Then a set of modern Gibson humbuckers were fitted a few years back (as seen in the photo above) but we both felt they we'rent bringing out the best in the guitar. So the idea was to pull all of that out and start fresh with a new harness. All of the old wiring will be kept to one side should for any reason it need to go back to how it was, not really ever going to happen but with Vintage Guitar work, it's worth doing. All part of it's history I guess. The pickups in there were Gibson replacements from about 6/8 years ago I would guess, unsure of the exact model but they were the same model Gibson were fitting to new Customs out the factory. They sounded okay, but being truthful, they certainly weren't great and didn't bring out the best in the guitar.

In comes it's replacements...

McNelly Cornucopia Humbuckers in Gold Foil

McNelly Cornucopia's in the gorgeous Nickel w/Gold Foil covers. I suggested these to my old man, as a bit of a curve ball due to the more unique look, but mainly because of the versatility of the Cornucopia humbucker model. He agreed, so these along with a full wiring harness consisting of CTS 500k pots, RS Guitarworks black case .022uF Capacitors (trying to be in-keeping with the 70s era black Sprague caps originally in the guitar), Switchcraft 3 way Short Frame Toggle switch & jack socket, all wired together with traditional 22 AWG braided wire, this should be a force to be reckoned with as well as staying fairly faithful to how it should have been originally.

Gibson Tuneomatic restoration

I set to work removing and restoring the guitars original components, like the Tuneomatic bridge. Which had a lifetime of buildup sat in the recesses, so out they came and were re-fitted all nicely cleaned up. I also spent a good portion of this job cleaning the fretboard & polishing the frets. The ebony is a stunning jet black colour, but was super super shiny. After a good clean and lemon oil it looked alive, seeing all the detail in this rare wood, the grain breathing, it was a lovely sight. Frets polished up to match and it looked perfect!

So then came the re-build, all wiring dropped in and soldered up. Hardware re-fitted and strung up with a set of Gabriel Tenorio 9s, specific for Les Pauls which suit it's low action and fretless wonder frets well.

Gibson Les Paul Custom

It came to life! Here's a few more photos, enjoy!

Gibson Les Paul

Gibson Les Paul Custom

Gibson Les Paul Custom

James.

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24 April, 2019 by James P Gascoigne