GuitarAttack: Cool looking sunburst. It makes us want to
From Doug Fick <email@example.com>
A BIG thanks to Guitar Attack and all the builders that have submitted their
stories. They were so valuable in helping me get my kit together.
I got my Les Paul kit for Christmas 2008, and started as most have
recommended, to build the guitar first. I knew that because of the slab
construction, I'd want to keep the back and sides dark. My answer to that
would be to build a copy of a 1957 gold top dark back. I was so pleased to
find that the top was such a beautiful split maple, that I changed my mind
and would attempt a triple burst. What the heck, if I screwed up the burst,
I could always shoot the gold over it.
All the parts were there, the instructions and diagrams were clear, and the
kit went together in a couple of hours. I did spend a considerable amount of
time afterwards filing the nut and getting the intonation right. I also
adjusted the neck relief a little and got the action down. Once it was all
together it played great. I was surprised how good the pickups are. I've got
a Gibson ES 339 and Epiphone Sheraton and this one holds up with the
humbuckers on both of them.
It was a shame to take it all apart, but now is when things were going to
get interesting. I got all the lacquer and sandpaper from Stewart MacDonald.
The lacquer is nasty to work with, so use plenty of ventilation. The
mahogany veneer on the back came out great with a Tobacco brown applied. I
went a little heavy on the sides and you can't tell it's a slab body. The
top started with the Vintage amber and then I made the cardboard cut out for
the bursts. First went Cherry red and then I made the cutout a little bigger
for the Tobacco brown ring.
The neck was a marbled maple, but I got it to match the back, with the
Tobacco stain. I cut the headstock in the classic Gibson pattern and shot it
with black. Next I laid down a Les Paul model decal from www.d-cal.co.uk.
Now for the clear, and I can't stress this part more! Spray the first 3 or 4
coats of clear, VERY lightly. Make sure to warm up the spray cans in hot
water a minimum of 10 minutes, and check to make sure you have a fine mist.
Any droplets and it puddles the stains together. I have 15 coats of clear,
or about 4 cans on it. I waited 3 weeks to let the lacquer harden. After
gradually wet sanding from 600 to 8000 grit papers, the satin finish started
to come out. I followed with 3M swirl mark remover, 3M Imperial hand glaze
and wax. By then I had a glass like finish.
Instead of the stock black trim, I dressed it up with the cream pickguard
and amber knobs. A new set of Les Paul nickel strings and I could not be
Thanks again for the chance to share my experience and gain from others.