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  1. #1
    Les Paul Forum Member jimmi's Avatar
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    Conversion Refinish

    I finally got around to having my '55 conversion refinished. Judging by several features it had when I got it (thick finish on the face, tailpiece placement etc) I am guessing it It has a great top and curl that was pretty much hidden by the thick ambered clear that you could see with the right light. All work was done by Tom Standler out of Nashville.

    Anyway, a few pictures of it before:





  2. #2
    Les Paul Forum Member jimmi's Avatar
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    Re: Conversion Refinish

    Stripping and prepping :






    redoing the plugs:





    Adding the base yellow:


  3. #3
    Les Paul Forum Member jimmi's Avatar
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    Re: Conversion Refinish

    Finished product:


    Before:


    After:






  4. #4
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    Re: Conversion Refinish

    That looks awesome! Really like the top on it! Cool to see the flames pop after the yellow base coat

  5. #5
    Les Paul Forum Member jimmi's Avatar
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    Re: Conversion Refinish

    Quote Originally Posted by Cyphex View Post
    That looks awesome! Really like the top on it! Cool to see the flames pop after the yellow base coat

    Thanks. The main reason I wanted to do it was th great original top was being hidden by the opique finish. Tom did a great job with the colors. Has a great green hue in natural light with tea to reddish coloring under artificial light. Happy with the result.

  6. #6
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    Re: Conversion Refinish

    That was the rite thing to do, Very nice! Thanks for documenting the process and shareing.

  7. #7
    Les Paul Forum Member mistersnappy's Avatar
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    Re: Conversion Refinish

    Much better, IMO. Nice Lester!
    "That's what I love, man, to hear that backbeat popping, that damn bass plonkin' down. Jesus God!"-Duane Allman

  8. #8
    Les Paul Forum Member Truss Rob's Avatar
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    Re: Conversion Refinish

    Quote Originally Posted by jimmi View Post
    Finished product:


    Before:


    After:






    in the words of a Fantastic Four.. FLAME ON! Nice work!!!!

  9. #9
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: Conversion Refinish

    Fantastic , great work and I love it !

  10. #10

    Re: Conversion Refinish

    Just great - looking much more realistic now. I also dig the peekaboo flame.

  11. #11

    Re: Conversion Refinish

    I'd be happy with that.

  12. #12
    Les Paul Forum Member ourmaninthenorth's Avatar
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    Re: Conversion Refinish

    New colour is superb.

    Nicely.
    Shakespeare walks into a pub, the Landlord says "get out, you're Bard"

  13. #13
    Forum Moderator T.Allen's Avatar
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    Re: Conversion Refinish

    Awesome James! It looks like it can breathe again.

  14. #14
    Les Paul Forum Member zhivago's Avatar
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    Re: Conversion Refinish

    Looks spectacular!

    Guitars: '56 Les Paul Custom, '63 SG/LP Custom, '61 Jazzmaster, '43 000-28, '15 ES-345,
    Amps: Matchless Lightning, Zvex Nano amp
    Pedals: Centaur, BJFE, Analogman, Zvex, Maxon, Way Huge

  15. #15
    Les Paul Forum Member sws1's Avatar
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    Re: Conversion Refinish

    Quote Originally Posted by zhivago View Post
    Looks spectacular!

    That looks like a photo from Carters. Will this be up for sale soon?

  16. #16
    Les Paul Forum Member jimmi's Avatar
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    Re: Conversion Refinish

    Quote Originally Posted by sws1 View Post
    That looks like a photo from Carters. Will this be up for sale soon?
    No....I don’t do the pump and dump 😜. Tom just got the photographer to take a few professional pictures.

  17. #17

    Re: Conversion Refinish

    Looks way better now!

  18. #18

    Re: Conversion Refinish

    I think I liked it before - but it looks great now! Sometimes that ‘70s/‘80s ‘Burst conversion look is very cool. It’s never historically accurate, but it has a mysterious vibe that often appeals to me. That being said, I agree with the comment “it looks like it can breathe again.” Well done!

    Has the sound changed in any way? Is it still the same guitar, so to speak? Has the playability been affected?
    Last edited by brandtkronholm; 06-08-19 at 05:32 PM.

  19. #19

    Re: Conversion Refinish

    Quote Originally Posted by brandtkronholm View Post
    I think I liked it before -
    Has the sound changed in any way? Is it still the same guitar, so to speak? Has the playability affected?
    I agree, I thought it looked better before, but maybe it's just the original camera angles that accentuated the appearance of the flames... lol!

  20. #20

    Re: Conversion Refinish

    Great job, Love the color. I'm curious also, did the tone change????

  21. #21
    Les Paul Forum Member Musicman's Avatar
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    Re: Conversion Refinish

    Well done congrats!

  22. #22
    Les Paul Forum Member jimmi's Avatar
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    Re: Conversion Refinish

    Quote Originally Posted by brandtkronholm View Post
    I think I liked it before - but it looks great now! Sometimes that ‘70s/‘80s ‘Burst conversion look is very cool. It’s never historically accurate, but it has a mysterious vibe that often appeals to me. That being said, I agree with the comment “it looks like it can breathe again.” Well done!

    Has the sound changed in any way? Is it still the same guitar, so to speak? Has the playability been affected?
    Quote Originally Posted by StreetPreacher View Post
    I agree, I thought it looked better before, but maybe it's just the original camera angles that accentuated the appearance of the flames... lol!

    So I get what both of you are saying and I have another conversion (actually the first vintage guitar I ever owned that I bought from a customer while working at a music store when I was a teenager) that was converted in the 60s. I would never think of refinishing it....but while not correct, it has a vintage looking and feeling finish that doesn't hide the wood and feels like a vintage finish. The finish on this one was so much thicker and murkier. You could see the flames when hit with the right light but really had to look for the grain etc. Here are is a picture similar to one I took of it next to an amp (as a bonus, one of my daughter's toys in one of the shots). THe before picture is really in better light and you can't really see the wood very well at all. That is pretty representative of how it looked if the light didnt hit it just right.




    Here is my first conversion. It was one of my main guitars when I was younger and still regularly gigging in Nashville. Its finish isn't "correct" but has a lot of mojo and just has the look and doesn't need anything....also a great sounding guitar with its own tone. I can always tell if I am playing it when I hear recordings from 30 years ago.




    The two side by side for comparison:

    Last edited by jimmi; 06-10-19 at 07:48 AM.

  23. #23
    Les Paul Forum Member jimmi's Avatar
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    Re: Conversion Refinish

    Quote Originally Posted by boogieongtr View Post
    Great job, Love the color. I'm curious also, did the tone change????
    Quote Originally Posted by brandtkronholm View Post
    I think I liked it before - but it looks great now! Sometimes that ‘70s/‘80s ‘Burst conversion look is very cool. It’s never historically accurate, but it has a mysterious vibe that often appeals to me. That being said, I agree with the comment “it looks like it can breathe again.” Well done!

    Has the sound changed in any way? Is it still the same guitar, so to speak? Has the playability been affected?
    Acoustically? yes. It is a bit louder and brighter. A little more like my first conversion which has a very thin sunk in finish. Through the amp I am not sure yet exactly how much difference it has made as the pickup adjustment isnt right since they have been out and back in the guitar (I am kind of picky in how I like to do this and it takes a while for me to get it like I want it) and I havent had an opportunity to crank it yet with the wife and kids home every day during the summer. So far, I think it is probably a bit brighter there as well.

    Another professional picture:


  24. #24
    Les Paul Forum Member jimmi's Avatar
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    Re: Conversion Refinish

    a few more pictures showing the change in color with lighting which ended up very close to vintage. You can clearly see the wood and flame better than it was......Finish also black lights. Keep that in mind when buying vintage. Black light isnt always a good tell.




  25. #25

    Re: Conversion Refinish

    That looks glorious James

  26. #26

    Re: Conversion Refinish

    Gorgeous stuff

  27. #27
    Les Paul Forum Member jimmi's Avatar
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    Re: Conversion Refinish

    Quote Originally Posted by Jumping@Shadows View Post
    That looks glorious James
    Thanks Yukki. Wish I could say I did the work. I picked the general look and Tom did the rest. This is the guitar I bought out of Philadelphia several years ago I think you looked at also. Last thing I am doing to it besides playing it. If I can get the kids and wife out of the house long enough, I will post a clip with it cranked through a Marshall or old Ga-20 I have.

  28. #28
    Les Paul Forum Member jimmi's Avatar
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    Re: Conversion Refinish

    Quote Originally Posted by iknowpeanuts View Post
    Gorgeous stuff
    Thank you

  29. #29
    Les Paul Forum Member MapleFlame's Avatar
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    Re: Conversion Refinish

    Love it, thanks for sharing. I'm sure it opened up with a thinner finish.
    Top carves are sexy

  30. #30
    Les Paul Forum Member Ed A's Avatar
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    Re: Conversion Refinish

    Looks absolutely stunning now!
    Climb down off the hilltop... Get back in the race.
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