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1955 special to '59 conversion

philb

Member
Joined
Sep 15, 2002
Messages
259
With all the conversion talk , I thought I should post a picture of mine , too. This started out as a 1955 special that had the finish removed and had a big groove in the top . I debated whether to just have it refinished , but opted for the conversion .
It's about 9 lbs. w/the added maple cap . I used the '55 caps and pots, and the wraptail for the tailpiece. It currently has 2 black PAF's in it . Plays great and sounds great , too. Articulate , not mushy in the low end like historics I've had.
I left the logo where it was to show it's heritage. The only signs that it was a special are two rosewood dots at the 12th fret , which are hardly noticeable with the new inlays, and some added mahogany around the neck joint . I'll post clear pictures of those items when I get a chance . I'll be busy for a few weeks so it won't be happening for a while .
Brian Monty did the work . Hope you like it.http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v68/philb/55conv.jpghttp://img.photobucket.com/albums/v68/philb/convwosun.jpg
 

Tom Wittrock

Les Paul Forum Co-Owner
Joined
Aug 2, 2001
Messages
42,567
When you say "I thought I should post a picture of mine ",

you should post it! :dude:

55conv.jpg
 

burstman59

New member
Joined
Mar 10, 2002
Messages
1,753
I was always told it was really hard to convert a special to a Standard. alot of work involved and so on. How did Monty do the neck joint/tenion? Did he actually add some wood to the tenion ? and the special's cutaway differs a whole lot as well. I have had chances to do this to trashed specials before and a few builders convinced me that its not worth it but in the end yours looks pretty damn good.
 

Red Baron

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 14, 2004
Messages
6,683
You'd never guess that used to be a Special, great job, lovely top too. :jim
 

philb

Member
Joined
Sep 15, 2002
Messages
259
Hi Tom - Thanks for posting it , I only know how to set up the link.

I think he did a great job , and the maple and color is really nice , too.

I'll take pictures of the neck joint , the tenon , etc . and get them up here in a week or two . I'll be tied up with some personal business 'til then.
 
K

kiergtr

Guest
Wow!! That top is great!! I'd like some details too. This is killer!!


convwosun.jpg
 

Tom Wittrock

Les Paul Forum Co-Owner
Joined
Aug 2, 2001
Messages
42,567
Hi Tom - Thanks for posting it , I only know how to set up the link.

Quite simple.
You can click on the yellow icon with the mountain in it [on the "reply to thread" page], and insert the link there.


You can also hit quote and see the html code someone has used at each end of the link. :2cool
 

DANELECTRO

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 24, 2003
Messages
6,200
Beautiful guitar!!!:dude:

I am very curious how the neck set and tenon were handled. The neck joint on a a Special is not undercut tenon as it is a a Standard, it is the full width of the neck. Removing the extra chunk of wood in the cutaway would have exposed the side of the neck joint as well as weakened the neck. Was an undercut tenon machined into the neck and mohogany added to the body to fill the void in the cutaway?

72658lespaulspecialtvk640qf6.jpg
 

rays44

Active member
Joined
Jul 24, 2001
Messages
2,902
That's a beautiful looking guitar. Considering all the work done to it, it hardly shares any relationship to a conversion in the traditional sense. With the altered build and wood, I see it the same as a parted out Strat. If it sounds better than a great Historic loaded with original paf's, consider yourself very lucky.:salude
 

Electric Lloyd

New member
Joined
Feb 5, 2005
Messages
3,499
Great axe! I know where a '56 Special is hiding out that has been changed to a tune-o-matic & humbuckers. Wow! What a great idea!!!!
 

dwagar

Active member
Joined
Apr 18, 2005
Messages
4,299
looks really good, but I don't quite get it.
With the high $ specials are getting these days, wouldn't it be more economical, and more correct, to sell the Special and buy an old gold top with issues to convert?
 

MapleFlame

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 3, 2005
Messages
14,029
looks really good, but I don't quite get it.
With the high $ specials are getting these days, wouldn't it be more economical, and more correct, to sell the Special and buy an old gold top with issues to convert?

I was thinking the same thing. I would think a restored Special would be worth more or better. I would restore and then sell, to get a Gtop. But nun the less that guitar is very good looking.:biggrin:
 

Tom Wittrock

Les Paul Forum Co-Owner
Joined
Aug 2, 2001
Messages
42,567
looks really good, but I don't quite get it.
With the high $ specials are getting these days, wouldn't it be more economical, and more correct, to sell the Special and buy an old gold top with issues to convert?

philb said in the first post:
"This started out as a 1955 special that had the finish removed and had a big groove in the top ."

I think it depends on what issues it already has. There could always be a point where we feel it is so "boogered up" that we feel it's a toss up, as to which way will bring more "value".
But restoring does seem the better option to me.:)
 

fast ricky love

In the Zone/Backstage Pass
Joined
Mar 27, 2002
Messages
3,458
So far I think you did the right thing... I'd LOVE to play that guitar. Let's see some more pics - cutaway for sure and back. Thanks!
 

HeeBGB

New member
Joined
Aug 10, 2003
Messages
162
I considered doing that to this
DSCF0667.jpg


But in the end I came out with this
lays20001.jpg


I had no regrets until I saw yours :biggrin:

Nice job!
 

jjguitarranch

Member
Joined
Sep 5, 2004
Messages
629
That all makes sense to me, but sometimes you just have to work with what you've got. I can't remember the last screwed up GT conversion candidate I've seen.

Looking to get more information about the process and some more detailed pics.....

philb said in the first post:
"This started out as a 1955 special that had the finish removed and had a big groove in the top ."

I think it depends on what issues it already has. There could always be a point where we feel it is so "boogered up" that we feel it's a toss up, as to which way will bring more "value".
But restoring does seem the better option to me.:)
 
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