I’ve decided to embark on a journey to try to build my version of a Les Paul style guitar. I am anticipating that most of the time on this project will be spent making various jigs and just trying to figure out the best construction sequence.
My hope is to make a number of these guitars. I figure that it’s going to take several attempts before I get good at this. For that reason I’m proceeding on the basis that this is not a “one & only” type of build.
Day 1. (Only about an hour)
The billet of Claro Walnut arrived today. ($70). It was about 2-1/4” thick x 8” wide x 20” long. The task for today was to square everything up and split the billet into two halves for book matching.
At the end of this session I clamped the two boards to let them settle out over the next week or so and hopefully they will stay reasonably flat. Next time I’ll glue the book matched boards together.
Day 2 (about 2-1/2 hours)
Today I wanted to begin work on the neck blank. I had some walnut and a bit of maple kicking around the shops so I decided to laminate it up as Walnut / Maple / Walnut / Maple / Walnut.
I found it useful to sort through my lumber pile using the top and side template for the Les Paul neck (bought from http://www.guitarbuildingtemplates.com/ for $80 or so. They have been cut by laser and look pretty darn good.)
I’ll let things dry for a day.
Day 3 (about 1hour)
After work today I squared up the neck blank. Completely by luck it looks like I’ll be able to bandsaw out 2 necks from this glue up.
The next task is to glue up the book matched top of the body.
My rosewood rough sawn fretboard arrived so I’ve spent a couple of hours sanding it down to a hair thicker than 1/4”.
The jig to sand the 12” radius also arrived today. It looks great and since I’m lucky enough to have a drum sander, I’m really hoping for a good result on forming the radius. The jig was purchased from luthiersuppliers.com at a cost of $200.
Also managed to glue up the book matched top. Once that dries and I sand everything flat and true, then this stage of the build will be over.
Finally finished getting the core lumber parts milled flat.
Now onto the next part of the build!