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52-59 Burst Conversion

boogieongtr

Member
Joined
May 16, 2006
Messages
902
I scored this 52 Goldtop a couple weeks ago off Ebay and am doing a conversion to 59 Burst specs.

2.jpg



The guitar has a 70's neck and it has to go. I first remove the fingerboard by using a heat blanket. Next I get the depth of the neck and mark my drill bit with some tape.
SN3.jpg


I need to bore several holes along the glue line so I can steam out the neck. Check out the added shim in the neck pocket.
SN4.jpg


Before I steam the neck I strip the finish around the neck joint and with a razor blade I break the joint.
A004.jpg


Add a little steam..
SN5.jpg


And the neck pops right out
SN6.jpg
 

MapleFlame

Active member
Joined
Jul 3, 2005
Messages
14,011
Good thing is, you saved the neck and can resell to restore a 70's Norlin. LOL. Yeah look like a great project. Will be interesting to see what's under the hood, I see a little flame with the finish off by the mortice.
 

pinefd

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 22, 2004
Messages
3,042
Alright, another conversion project! I love these, Jim! Can't wait to watch this one unfold.


Frank
 

boogieongtr

Member
Joined
May 16, 2006
Messages
902
I went into this project knowing I was going to do a retop. I know some of you think this will have a negative effect on the tone. IMOP the majority of tone is from the mahogany. The mahogany Gibson used in 1952 was some of the best tone woods. So off with the old top. First I'll run it thru a planer.
PlaneSandTop001.jpg


And then finish it off with a drum sander.
PlaneSandTop002.jpg


This is what a 52-53 body looks like. Notice the ground wire channel that runs into the control cavity.
PlugBody1.jpg


I'm going to plug the P90 routes and other holes with some mahogany. I use a jig and router and then glue some mahogany into the routes using hide glue.

PlugBody2.jpg


I also glued some mahogany into the neck pocket so when I route out for the neck I have a nice tight fit.

PlugBody4.jpg


Here is what the end looks like from the trap and bigsby.
EndGround1.jpg


While the top is off I'm going to do a repair to hide the 3 holes made from the original trap. I use a sharp chisel to notch out a small section. I'll leave the 2 extra holes made from the Bigsby and plug them with some mahogany.
EndGround2.jpg


End plug looking good.
EndGround3.jpg


I have 500 bd ft of Michigan flame maple that was harvested in the 80's. I have been saving a top for myself for a special project. The top is vintage looking but off the charts in color, flame, 3-D.... First get the hide glue ready to go.
NewTop2.jpg


New top glued and clamped
NewTop1.jpg
 

boogieongtr

Member
Joined
May 16, 2006
Messages
902
Continuing on with the new top. I trim the maple with my OH pin router.
NT3.jpg


I always thought my 1957 Goldtop has a great top carve.
9.jpg


So I made a dummy blank to use with my builds.
TopCarve1.jpg


I use the dummy top carve blank to carve the new top.
NT4.jpg


Ten minutes with a sander and the new top is looking good.
NT7.jpg
 

frazettafan

New member
Joined
Oct 28, 2006
Messages
4,072
Great stuff - very interesting to see how you are doing this - thank's for sharing it. That top looks great!!
 

Coda

New member
Joined
Aug 17, 2010
Messages
115
A fascinating project. I wish I had your skills (+ home wood work shop !).
 

boogieongtr

Member
Joined
May 16, 2006
Messages
902
Thanks for all the kind words. Yesterday I worked on the neck angle and pickup plane. I use a 1.2 degree for the pickup plane and a 4 degree neck angle just like my 1960 Burst.

60PUAngle.jpg


To get the exact 4 degree angle I use a jig that I made. It's basically a box with a piano hinge at the one end. First I set both sides to a 4 degree angle.
NA2.jpg


NA1.jpg


Next I take a router mounted to a piece of 1/2" plywood with a 1/2" x 4" straight cut bit and pass over the neck area of the body.
NA3.jpg


The end result is a perfect 4 degree neck plane.
NA4.jpg
 

sapi

New member
Joined
Mar 7, 2007
Messages
1,292
Amazing! Thank you for this interesting project info!
 
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