It’s been a while but I wanted to send some pictures of my LP build now that it’s finished. This was quite a learning experience with a lot of mistakes but I persevered and very happy with the results.
I used hot hide glue for the neck which fit perfectly. Next, oil based pore filler from Guitar Re-ranch was used for the mahogany. I tinted the filler with cherry aniline dyes which gives it a nice antique look with fading. The top was then stained lemon yellow followed by sanding and a coat of tinted lacquer with a few of ‘clear’ coats. This step was the most interesting and fun. I used Behlen lacquer and set it out in the intense summer sun for a week or so which turned it a beautiful amber shade and seemed to lower the viscosity. The top cherry shading was the same aniline dye as used in the pore filler along with a little blue to get a more pronounced and deeper color (I was shooting for a washed cherry fade with a dirty-green lemon). The aged lacquer gives it a nice dirty lemon hue all around and I did a light top coat with the pristine lacquer. The guitar was then wet sanded from 400 up to 2000 grit followed by buffing using the foam pads from stewmac. The top and back are starting to fade slightly and the pics more or less capture that effect, especially the lower bout that now has a nice antique-y amber tone. I kick myself now for not documenting the whole process since it was an incredible transformation and a very rewarding experience overall.
Aside from the finish work, I put in Throbak PG102’s with luxe capacitors and faber hardware. The bridge studs are the new faber ABR-nashville adaptors, which are a nice upgrade. The result is a very lively and resonant guitar that plays and sounds way better than the reissue’s costing around $3K or higher. The guitar is also super light (~8 lbs) which seems to go very well with the PG102s. In particular, the neck pickup along with the out of phase middle position are scary good in this guitar (amazing clarity and punch, notes bloom like crazy)! Together with the thinner and harder lacquer finish and the buttery neck (somewhere between 59 and slim 60 with small shoulders) the feel and playability are absolutely superb. I don’t think it could have come out any better than it did. A real gem.
Lastly, I still can’t get over how cool the old looking top is with all the flecks and subtle curly pinstripe flame that really pop with the finish (so much for being in the ’ugly’ top category!!!).
Thanks very much for all of your help in making this happen!