Les Paul Double Cut Away Style Build
A customer brought me a guitar that was custom built from a small shop. The bulk of the work was done, frets in place, pickup and electronics cavities routed, guitar finished throughout with tung oil. Now all that needed to be done, was put it together!
This guitar features:
- Mahogany Body
- Spalted Maple Top
- Flame Maple Neck
- Ziricote Fingerboard
Those of you who have been by my shop have seen a few basses I’ve built with spalted maple tops like this one. I will say, they look cool, but they’re basically rotting pieces of wood, thus flimsy and difficult to work with. With a guitar like this, I’d recommend using a hard finish, like Minwax over something like tung oil. Depending how hard the guitarist plays, after a few months of strumming, the top of this guitar can start to wear away from pick scraps… But this is all hindsight and I’m merely playing devil’s advocate.
This guitar also had a discrepancy in the bridge. The manufacturer of the guitar drilled the bridge posts to fit a standard tune-o-matic style bridge. The customer bought a Stewart MacDonald tune-o-matic that could adjust forward or backwards with a set screw where the bridge mounted on the posts. The issue, was the under side of the bridge was concave and spaced differently that was was drilled into the body. So an extra step of doweling the existing holes and re-drilling a few centimeters closer was necessary.
After wiring this beauty with some Seymour Duncan humbuckers, Schaller locking tuners, graphite nut and strap locks, it was ready to be shipped.
No guitar build goes off without a few bumps when there are multiple parties involved from start to finish. The big guitar manufacturer companies are no different in their research and development. They just have the deep pockets to try again and again until they get it right. I don’t have that luxury running the small operation I do, but luckily, with a little patience and know-how, I was able to put the finishing touches to this guitar to live on for years to come.