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  1. #1
    Les Paul Forum Member FlyingFred67's Avatar
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    How a beat up early 1969 LP Std became "The Swan" The Story of 53774X

    Hi LP Forum Fellows,
    thought I might share this with you!
    In early February 2015 I could get hands on a very early 1969 Les Paul Standard Goldtop
    Still a small Headstock Guitar with 68 Specs such as a one piece Body & Neck.
    The guitar was heavily modified though:
    It was converted to Humbuckers, the Gold Top was refinished and a former owner tried to "Stratify" it,
    giving it some odd Body Contour Routings. Also it had a big Stereo Input field routed in the lower Body Side
    But the neck was great with no Breaks or repairs, the back still had itīs original finish and hey this thing was really a bargain.
    I immediately brought this poor Les Paul to my favourite Luthier Mathias Schindehuette who removed the refinished Goldtop for me without sanding it.
    Well what we found below the finish was not very amusing too: It had a filled third PU routing and a Battery compartment routing under the pick guard area...So I decided ok this would be the perfect Burst Conversion candidate. I found a very old piece of Flamed Maple and decided to do a re-top. After 5 Month of great restauration work of Mathias I got the guitar finally yesterday. Well what I can I say ?
    First of all thanks to Mathias Schindehuette for an outstanding work, Robin Walter for help in Electronics and Detlef Alder for the pics and the support! Enjoy:[IMG][/IMG]

  2. #2
    Les Paul Forum Member corpse's Avatar
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    Re: How a beat up early 1969 LP Std became "The Swan" The Story of 53774X

    That is a besonderes schon piece of maple. Great top.
    Yes- sometimes the decisions are hard- there is nothing else left to do but retop.

  3. #3
    Les Paul Forum Member Progear's Avatar
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    Re: How a beat up early 1969 LP Std became "The Swan" The Story of 53774X

    Very Very Nice Fiddle, I real like the color ... Enjoy ...
    Music for me.

  4. #4
    Les Paul Forum Member MapleFlame's Avatar
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    Re: How a beat up early 1969 LP Std became "The Swan" The Story of 53774X

    Love it
    Top carves are sexy

  5. #5
    Les Paul Forum Member Reno_1ted's Avatar
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    Re: How a beat up early 1969 LP Std became "The Swan" The Story of 53774X

    Really nice! How does it play and sound? Were the holes all refilled before retoping or does it have some chambered space?

    The perfect candidate for a retop
    56/59 LP Standard (Conversion)
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  6. #6
    Les Paul Forum Member Micky Mojo's Avatar
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    Re: How a beat up early 1969 LP Std became "The Swan" The Story of 53774X

    Very nice any before pics?
    _____________________________________________

    www.heavymod.co.uk

    -2007 R8 Plaintop
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    -2010 335 block

  7. #7

  8. #8
    Les Paul Forum Member Ed Driscoll's Avatar
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    Re: How a beat up early 1969 LP Std became "The Swan" The Story of 53774X

    That looks awesome -- I love the 'Burst coloring as well. First class!

  9. #9
    Les Paul Forum Member FlyingFred67's Avatar
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    Re: How a beat up early 1969 LP Std became "The Swan" The Story of 53774X

    Quote Originally Posted by Reno_1ted View Post
    Really nice! How does it play and sound? Were the holes all refilled before retoping or does it have some chambered space?

    The perfect candidate for a retop
    It sounds awesome very resonant and is also on the Lighter side for a LP Std from that period (4,09 Kg = 9,02 lbs)
    The neck has a perfect wide and chunky profile great playing feel.
    I put a set of late 57 early 58 Long magnet PAFīs in which are perfect match for this Les Paul.
    All Holes in the Mahogany Body had been refilled with old Mahogany so no weight relief in this case.

    Cheers yourīs
    Flying Fred

  10. #10
    Les Paul Forum Member FlyingFred67's Avatar
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    Re: How a beat up early 1969 LP Std became "The Swan" The Story of 53774X

    Quote Originally Posted by Micky Mojo View Post
    Very nice any before pics?
    Yes the whole restauration process was documented with pics which I will provide in this thread as soon as possible.

    Cheers yourīs
    Flying Fred

  11. #11
    Les Paul Forum Member Reno_1ted's Avatar
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    Re: How a beat up early 1969 LP Std became "The Swan" The Story of 53774X

    Quote Originally Posted by FlyingFred67 View Post
    It sounds awesome very resonant and is also on the Lighter side for a LP Std from that period (4,09 Kg = 9,02 lbs)
    The neck has a perfect wide and chunky profile great playing feel.
    I put a set of late 57 early 58 Long magnet PAFīs in which are perfect match for this Les Paul.
    All Holes in the Mahogany Body had been refilled with old Mahogany so no weight relief in this case.
    Superb. A nice choice of pickups !
    56/59 LP Standard (Conversion)
    68 Les Paul Standard (conversion)
    69 Les Paul Standard
    94 LP Standard
    73 SG Standard
    91 Explorer

  12. #12
    Les Paul Forum Member FlyingFred67's Avatar
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    Re: How a beat up early 1969 LP Std became "The Swan" The Story of 53774X

    Ok here we go...The first 2 Shots show the guitar fromn the first owner before the guy I bought it from had routed it for Humbuckers. Unfortunatly I forgot to make a shot in that state before I started the restauration....
    [IMG][/IMG][IMG]

    And after starting to remove the refin Gold finish the catastrophy came out:


    To be continued...

    Cheers yourīs
    Flying Fred

  13. #13
    Les Paul Forum Member FlyingFred67's Avatar
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    Re: How a beat up early 1969 LP Std became "The Swan" The Story of 53774X

    THE RESTAURATION PROCESS OF Burst Conversion 53774X
    After having made the decision that a retop would be the only way to save the wounded lady,
    the first challenge was to remove the long tenon neck without creating any damage to the guitar.
    (If you want to see the pics big just click on the thumbnail)
    [IMG] [IMG][/IMG][IMG][/IMG]

    This is how a detached original 68/69 LSLP long tenon neck looks like:
    [IMG][/IMG][IMG][/IMG][IMG][/IMG]

    Next step was to remove the poor old maple top and to fill the holes with old Mahogany. It was interesting to discover that this late small Headstock Feb/March 69 Gold Top already had the Maple "Sandwich" Layer right under the Body Binding (see 2nd Pic):
    [IMG][/IMG][IMG][/IMG][/IMG]

    To be continued
    Last edited by FlyingFred67; 07-05-15 at 02:50 PM.

    Cheers yourīs
    Flying Fred

  14. #14
    Les Paul Forum Member FlyingFred67's Avatar
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    Re: How a beat up early 1969 LP Std became "The Swan" The Story of 53774X

    3rd and last part

    THE RESTAURATION PROCESS OF Burst Conversion 53774X

    MG][/IMG][IMG][/IMG]
    Fortunatly we found a very old plank of nice North American Flamed Maple still uncut:
    [IMG][/IMG][IMG][/IMG][IMG][/IMG]

    Starting the Nitro Cellulose lacquering process. First I wanted to make it Cherry like 9 0875 on page 158 of the Beauty of the Burst Book, but as the top has such a nice grain I decided to try a faded Honey Burst instead. The cool thing was that I had the possibility to check colors of some original 1958-60 Burst LPīs in Detlef Alderīs Guitarpoint which had the advantage that I didnīt had to take burst book pictures as the guitars look different in "person". (Cam Pics always show the red much more intense..) I choose a faded 1958 and I think it turned out pretty well on my conversion:
    [IMG][/IMG][IMG][/IMG][IMG][/IMG]

    At the end I put a set of 1962 Centrallab Pots with 2 original 59 Bumble Bee 0,22 MFD Caps in the electronic cavity and took a pair of late 1957 early 1958 long magnet PAFīs that were in my beloved 67īFlying V for over 10 Years before. The result is an amazing sounding Les Paul Standard which is pretty light (perfect "Burst" weight 9,02 lbs) and comes pretty close to some of the original Bursts I had the chance to play.

    Thanks again to the great Luthier Mr Mathias Schindehuette who also provided the pic documentation above and Mr. Robin Walter who did the electronics work plus finally Detlef Alder who threw in his experience and some of the rare existing original Bursts for reference.

    [IMG][/IMG]
    Last edited by FlyingFred67; 07-05-15 at 02:53 PM.

    Cheers yourīs
    Flying Fred

  15. #15
    Les Paul Forum Member duaneflowers's Avatar
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    Re: How a beat up early 1969 LP Std became "The Swan" The Story of 53774X

    Beauty!
    Tone To The Bone!
    LP=[(CC*8)+(Sig*5)+(R9*2)+R8+R7+R6+(R4*2)+(50sT*2)+Stu D+LPX]+[(EpI*19)+(EsP/Ed*6)+(ToKi*3)+(Ba*3)+(Fe/Bu*2)+(ObG)+(CMS)]

  16. #16
    Les Paul Forum Member Progear's Avatar
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    Re: How a beat up early 1969 LP Std became "The Swan" The Story of 53774X

    Thanks for an insight into the rebuilding process...
    Music for me.

  17. #17
    All Access/Backstage Pass Progrocker111's Avatar
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    Re: How a beat up early 1969 LP Std became "The Swan" The Story of 53774X

    Great photos and procedure.

    Interesting, that there is even on early 69 the extra maple layer just under the maple top. I always thought that it first appeared in mid 69, not earlier.
    My diagnosis is: Hiwatt and Norlinphilia


    2014 Gibson Les Paul Junior 1957 Custom Shop
    1972 Hiwatt DR103, 1972 Hiwatt SE4122

  18. #18
    Les Paul Forum Member Reno_1ted's Avatar
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    Re: How a beat up early 1969 LP Std became "The Swan" The Story of 53774X

    Great thread! Thanks for sharing the pictures. Ended up with an amazing looking guitar.
    56/59 LP Standard (Conversion)
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  19. #19
    Les Paul Forum Member FlyingFred67's Avatar
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    Re: How a beat up early 1969 LP Std became "The Swan" The Story of 53774X

    Quote Originally Posted by Progrocker111 View Post
    Great photos and procedure.

    Interesting, that there is even on early 69 the extra maple layer just under the maple top. I always thought that it first appeared in mid 69, not earlier.
    Yes I thought the same but as I have seen hundreds of original Guitars disassembled in the past 3 years I have learned that everything has happened and is possible specially during the transitional periods. Itīs the same as my January 1969 Les Paul Custom # 534478 which has a transitional (shorter) Neck Tenon and I have seen LP Customs up to Serial 561xxx (Around May/ June 69) that still have a long Neck tenon. Not anything written in the literature is always 100% true and safe.

    Cheers yourīs
    Flying Fred

  20. #20
    Les Paul Forum Member moonweasel's Avatar
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    Re: How a beat up early 1969 LP Std became "The Swan" The Story of 53774X

    The extra layer of maple is truly bizarre. Shows up when the cavity route change happened in early 69. Ages ago if I recall correctly, someone at the LPF measured the thickness of the mahogany, and it was the same in 68 into early 69, and the maple just goes on top. So weird. Would add extra time and money to production, and why? A mystery.

  21. #21
    Les Paul Forum Member moonweasel's Avatar
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    Re: How a beat up early 1969 LP Std became "The Swan" The Story of 53774X

    Fred, is it ok if I use some of your tenon pics on my site at some point? I wont include your serial number other than the first three digits. Its a really unique opportunity to see the neck joint disassembled and the routing channels without the maple in the way. It's ok to say no.

    Secondly, did your luthier observe whether or not hide glue was used from the factory? I don't see the type of residue that would have been left by modern wood glues, but I am NOOOOO expert.

  22. #22
    Les Paul Forum Member FlyingFred67's Avatar
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    Re: How a beat up early 1969 LP Std became "The Swan" The Story of 53774X

    Quote Originally Posted by moonweasel View Post
    Fred, is it ok if I use some of your tenon pics on my site at some point? I wont include your serial number other than the first three digits. Its a really unique opportunity to see the neck joint disassembled and the routing channels without the maple in the way. It's ok to say no.

    Secondly, did your luthier observe whether or not hide glue was used from the factory? I don't see the type of residue that would have been left by modern wood glues, but I am NOOOOO expert.
    Shure you can use the pics! It would be a honour for me to provide some new facts to your extensive LSLP research! Regarding the serial you can use it too. Funny as the last Digit isnīt readable for shure anymore.
    For the hide glue I will ask Mathias cause I donīt know either honestly..

    Cheers yourīs
    Flying Fred

  23. #23
    Les Paul Forum Member Marcel M's Avatar
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    Re: How a beat up early 1969 LP Std became "The Swan" The Story of 53774X

    Wow! You picked a killer top, it looks great! Thanks for sharing all the pics and the story. I really enjoyed going through it.
    Let it bleed!

  24. #24
    Les Paul Forum Member bossaddict's Avatar
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    Re: How a beat up early 1969 LP Std became "The Swan" The Story of 53774X

    That turned out fantastic! Congrats and thanks for sharing the details!

  25. #25
    Les Paul Forum Member moonweasel's Avatar
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    Re: How a beat up early 1969 LP Std became "The Swan" The Story of 53774X

    Quote Originally Posted by FlyingFred67 View Post
    Shure you can use the pics! It would be a honour for me to provide some new facts to your extensive LSLP research! Regarding the serial you can use it too. Funny as the last Digit isnīt readable for shure anymore.
    For the hide glue I will ask Mathias cause I donīt know either honestly..
    Cool Fred! I got your email too, thanks. It might be a while as I am busy with other things right now, but keep an eye on the site from time to time. Thank you.

  26. #26
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    Re: How a beat up early 1969 LP Std became "The Swan" The Story of 53774X

    Hey Fred, that looks fantastic I think that I sold you that ABR-1 that is on your guitar. I have a nice set of tuners that you might be interested in. PM me for details if you want and enjoy your "new" guitar

  27. #27
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    Re: How a beat up early 1969 LP Std became "The Swan" The Story of 53774X

    You could not save the original binding, I guess ?

    What did you choose as binding material ? You did the binding the 50īs style or the wide late 60īs way ?

    Very nice work ! Congrats

  28. #28
    Les Paul Forum Member FlyingFred67's Avatar
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    Re: How a beat up early 1969 LP Std became "The Swan" The Story of 53774X

    Quote Originally Posted by neuroy View Post
    You could not save the original binding, I guess ?

    What did you choose as binding material ? You did the binding the 50īs style or the wide late 60īs way ?

    Very nice work ! Congrats
    I choose to do it 50īs style with the original same ABS material. It went pretty well but as the body binding routing was already there it is slightly thicker than an original 50īs Binding.

    Cheers yourīs
    Flying Fred

  29. #29
    Les Paul Forum Member FlyingFred67's Avatar
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    Re: How a beat up early 1969 LP Std became "The Swan" The Story of 53774X

    I just couldnīt resist...

    [IMG][/IMG]

    Cheers yourīs
    Flying Fred

  30. #30
    Les Paul Forum Member FlyingFred67's Avatar
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    Re: How a beat up early 1969 LP Std became "The Swan" The Story of 53774X

    The only 2 Guitars that I have left but I think I donīt need more..Left 1969 Std 53774X Right 1969 Custom 534478
    [IMG][/IMG]

    Cheers yourīs
    Flying Fred

  31. #31
    Les Paul Forum Member GuitarDean's Avatar
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    Re: How a beat up early 1969 LP Std became "The Swan" The Story of 53774X

    Fantastic work... I love seeing and reading about stuff like this. One day I am going to find a truly beat to hell LP and do a total restore on it in my workshop. Just really great work guys and congrats all around. Play it with love.
    Link to our music and the October 2013 Guitar Player Magazine article on us.
    http://www.reverbnation.com/ulmermcf...wamericanhoney and click on the "Hear This Now" picture


    or my Facebook at
    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Dean-U...o/448425305623





    ahh, uh ...like.... link us, Man!

  32. #32
    Les Paul Forum Member sidekick's Avatar
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    Re: How a beat up early 1969 LP Std became "The Swan" The Story of 53774X

    Looks really great and (all the relative things considered) what an outstanding restoration ...

    Play and enjoy in good health.


  33. #33
    Les Paul Forum Member Ed Driscoll's Avatar
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    Re: How a beat up early 1969 LP Std became "The Swan" The Story of 53774X

    Quote Originally Posted by FlyingFred67 View Post
    I just couldnīt resist...


    ISWYDT.


  34. #34
    Les Paul Forum Member FlyingFred67's Avatar
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    Re: How a beat up early 1969 LP Std became "The Swan" The Story of 53774X

    Last Sunday I first played it live at a Bluesfestival WOW Sounds really amazing!
    [IMG][/IMG]

    Cheers yourīs
    Flying Fred

  35. #35
    Les Paul Forum Member Progear's Avatar
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    Re: How a beat up early 1969 LP Std became "The Swan" The Story of 53774X

    Still love the color...
    Music for me.

  36. #36
    Les Paul Forum Member hogy's Avatar
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    Re: How a beat up early 1969 LP Std became "The Swan" The Story of 53774X

    How did you fix the belly cut on the back?

  37. #37
    Les Paul Forum Member riscado's Avatar
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    Re: How a beat up early 1969 LP Std became "The Swan" The Story of 53774X

    Quote Originally Posted by barbarossa View Post
    How did you fix the belly cut on the back?
    I was wondering the same, but then looked at the photo and I'm not entirely sure that it is a belly cut, or even carved at all. Might be the photo...

  38. #38
    Les Paul Forum Member FlyingFred67's Avatar
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    Re: How a beat up early 1969 LP Std became "The Swan" The Story of 53774X

    Quote Originally Posted by barbarossa View Post
    How did you fix the belly cut on the back?
    I left the whole backside as it was as I didnīt care about the belly cut which isnīt very big fortunatly.
    Also I wanted to save most of the original back finish as possible.
    At the End it is also very nice having the guitar strapped while playing.

    Cheers yourīs
    Flying Fred

  39. #39
    Les Paul Forum Member DanD's Avatar
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    Re: How a beat up early 1969 LP Std became "The Swan" The Story of 53774X

    Great pictorial and a great save!
    "In Heaven all the interesting people are missing."

  40. #40
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    Re: How a beat up early 1969 LP Std became "The Swan" The Story of 53774X

    Outstanding Fred, danke!

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