The Spare Parts Les Paul

A One-of-a-Kind Les Paul!

Completion Date: Sometime in 2004!

Body: Flat two-piece mahogany body with a flat 1/8" flamed maple cap, approximately 1 3/4" thick. The cavity on the upper bout is oblong, similar to the ones found on the old mid-70's "Les Paul "55". A hole is drilled for a mini-switch in the main control cavity. It has a very deep binding channel for a Les Paul. Assessment: This is an '81-83 LP XR-II body before the P-90 cavities got routed.  For the XR-II, the Nashville factory took a Les Paul '55 body, glued a maple laminate cap on it, and routed a binding channel.

Neck: The neck is 3-piece maple, probably from a Les Paul Standard. It has a 1983 serial number stamp, and a "Made in USA" stamp. The fingerboard is bound rosewood with low, 70's style frets and dot position markers. The scale is 24 3/4". The necks profile is almost exactly the same as a new Les Paul Classic. Assessment: The fingerboard is almost certainly from a Les Paul '55. The neck is a Les Paul Standard that was probably scrapped because of the thin neck profile.  What is interesting is the size and shape of the headstock -- it is very vintage looking, and is almost exactly the same size as the one on our Les Paul Classic from 1991, but the inlay is very 70s.

Brief Description: We bought these parts in the Summer of 1997 from a luthier in Nashville. He claimed the guitar body represented a bizarre prototype from the Gibson factory (not exactly true).  He had about 20 of the bodies, but the one we bought was really the only one that wasn't pretty well banged-up. The neck had never been installed, and the nut slot was not final shaped. We've been working on this guitar for a long time!

Click here to read more about it.

This is how the guitar looked when we first brought it home.  Note that there was no binding on the body, and there were two holes burned through the tenon of the neck!

First things first -- install the binding on the body. We taped the binding to the body while the glue dried. We used the Stew-Mac brown paper masking tape.  It must be noted that the tape is the best we've used.

NOTE:  Gluing binding is a scary maneuver!  You have to be fast and meticulous.  Don't get any extra glue on that maple top -- you may ruin it!

Some luthiers spray a light coat of lacquer on the top prior to binding to keep the glue from soaking into the wood.  If you try this, keep it really light.

We used DUCO glue from Wal-Mart to put the binding on the guitar.  It is the best we've used for this purpose and it is really cheap.


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