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Les Paul Style Guitar Build

Josh and I are building a Les Paul style, single-cut electric guitar with some custom styling. The two-piece body is mahogany and maple, the neck is mahogany, and the fretboard is purpleheart.

Pocket Time | December 9, 2017

The neck pocket is cut into the body to accept the tenon on the set-neck.


Two Halfs = One Whole | November 11, 2017

In this post, we bring the two halves of the body together, as well as surfacing the headstock down to final thickness.


Three Frets Forward, Two Frets Back | October 28, 2017

A couple posts back, you may have gotten the impression that the fretboard was done. Well, nothing, it seems, is ever that easy. When we went to install frets, we discovered the slots were too thin and the frets just wouldn't go in. In the process of trying to recut the slots with the binding in the way, I basically wrecked the board. Here's the new board.


Tuning Up the Body | October 18, 2017

As the neck gets closer to being ready in install on the body, we need to be sure the body is going to be ready at about the same time. So we’ve gone back to finish some of the tuning that we had previously left for a later date.


Fretboard Binding and Inlays | October 12, 2017

A traditional ivory binding goes on the fretboard, and we experiment with different inlay options. Ultimately, we go the conservative route, with just a little flair for the 23th fret.


Neck and Fretboard | October 8, 2017

With a final trim of the sides, the neck is ready for a fretboard. So what should we do next? Why, let's make a fretboard. In this installment, we cut it, slot it, radius it, and slot it again. (Spoiler alert... this won't be the last time we do this).


Neck Tenon and Truss Rod Channel | June 27, 2017

The next major steps with the neck takes shape in this update as we cut the tenon where the neck will be secured into the body. We also route the channel in the neck for the dual-action truss rod bringing the neck just about to a point that it's ready for a fretboard.


Rough Cutting the Body | June 18, 2017

This week, using our nifty router planing jig we get the mahogany body blank surfaced flat and to final thickness. Then we get the rough body shape cut out at the band saw.


Rough Cutting the Neck | May 28, 2017

In this update, we get the mahogany neck and headstock rough cut to approximate dimensions.


More Necking | May 15, 2017

This weekend’s work on the Les Paul focused on the neck, and played out in three main accomplishments: Convert the pencil drawings to computer drawings, select a board and glue up the blank, and make router templates.


Body and Neck Progress | May 8, 2017

Despite the rare Southern California thunderstorm we enjoyed this weekend, we did make some progress on the LP build. This week’s focus was on the mahogany, and this board that we picked up from Cherokee really is a beautiful piece of wood.


Declamping and Weight Reduction | May 1, 2017

An update on the maple top, which is out of the clamps, and a quick look at our strategy for reducing the weight of this instrument. The mahogany tends to make this a heavy guitar, so we want to address that early in the build.


Buying Wood for The Les Paul Build | April 30, 2017

Today was field trip day. We spent some quality time this morning at Cherokee Wood Products in Upland, CA looking at hardwoods. Man, Cherokee is a great place, and the guys there took great care of us.


Introducing the Les Paul Style Guitar Build | April 23, 2017

We just started a new guitar build in the studio that we’re really excited about. The plan is to build a Les Paul inspired guitar that takes most of its cues from the 1959 design, and adds some more modern elements as well as a few of our own design preferences.