Sunday, December 30, 2012


I know it's the holidays and people are buckled down to recoup financially, but despite that fact I'm trying to move some guitars out of my possession. My Dad saw this guitar and thought the Japanese Imperial Flag pickguard was a detractor; while cosmetically and aesthetically it's cool, anyone with actual ties to the war and the era could be offended by its presence and prominence.

So, I fabricated another pickguard out of aluminum. Some snips, a hammer, my Dremel for engraving, some drilling, hardware, paint, and finish- and a new pick guard tribute to the Arizona and the lives lost onboard.


I found this Bradley Les Paul in a thrift store. It looked great, and had all of its hardware... perfect for a renovation. The price was right, so I asked the staff if they could bring it over. I wanted to check to see if it was solid wood or not (it's not worth spending time on plywood that no one wants) so I asked to borrow a screwdriver. I removed the cavity covers and found that it seemed to be solid wood! So, I grabbed it and took it home.

When I got it home, I stripped the hardware and finish; in the process I found that the body was solid pieces of a mahogany species which I was fine with, but the top was a bizarrely arched plywood- chintzy, and it cracked when I was pulling out the bridge stopbar posts. Great- an easy project complicated. I was going to turn it into a Goldtop Gibson, but that idea quickly went out the window. Time for another theme guitar!!

I chiseled off the top, used a belt sander to level it, went to Woodcrafters for some mahogany, came back with a mahogany species (sapelle), split it, glued the pieces together to make a wide enough piece,  cut the rough body shape, and glued it on. Once it dried, I used a belt sander to even it out with the rest of the body.

I carefully routed out the neck and pickup holes, and re-drilled the bridge posts according to the scale length. I also started the development of a special pick guard.

Here is where the guitar stands now; nothing close to what it will be. Hint: wood burning, leather stamping, victorian woodcarving.