• Guys, we've spent considerable money converting the Les Paul Forum to this new XenForo platform, and we have ongoing monthly operating expenses. THE "DONATIONS" TAB IS NOW WORKING, AND WE WOULD APPRECIATE ANY DONATIONS YOU CAN MAKE TO KEEP THE LES PAUL FORUM GOING! Thank you!

Wilma; My ultimate conversion Les Paul

tom wu

Member
Joined
Apr 13, 2003
Messages
958
Ok..I hope you like this one because I'm really digging it.

About a year ago I auctioned a guitar on ebay which I thought was a refinished 54 Goldtop with a few replaced parts. I offered local pickup and 24 hour aproval and so the winner -a well known and respected member of this here forum- came down to pick it up.
Upon inspection..the weight was good ( 8.6 ) and the important parts were real but he mentioned the neck was thinner than his original one ( a gorgeous 53 which he brought to compare ) and to him it it also looked like the inlays were "too busy for a 54".
In fact, the inlays looked more like those used from '60-62 than what is usually found on a 54.
The body was def. a 54 LP, and the binding was not broken, so we ruled out a board replacement. And when we managed to remove the p90 on the neck without breaking the cover ( an art by itself ) there were obvious signs of a reneck in the cavity, something I had never thought to look for.
So the winner of the auction, who has since become a good friend, passed on it, because he wanted the fatter 54 neck among other reasons.
He did however, put me in touch with Terry Mueller, who validated the guitar as being a 54 body with a ( best guess ) 1960 neck.
In retrospect, the reason I had not converted the guitar until then was because ( I thought ) I owned an "original-minus-refin" instrument and could not bring myself to do it. However, after discovering the issues, I thought there would be no better candidate than this guitar for a conversion.
TM would be the one to pull it off.
Since the body had a off center seam as most goldtops did, a sunburst was out of the question. So I looked in the BOTB and on page 161..there it was!
A black beauty standard..and it was calling my name.
So I packed it for the long trip and, just as it was going to go out, hurricane Wilma came barreling through my home in Coral Springs, Fl and caused thousands in damage. Once that was taken care of, it seemed only appropiate to name the guitar "Wilma" and finally send her on her way.
It just came back.
Wow.
I will ask the Rev. Willie to post some pictures and take this oportunity to thank him for his help. Hey Rev. I'm glad you bought lunch instead of the guitar! You are the man.
I would also like to thank Terry Mueller for a great conversion ( and a wink to Tom Murphy for the silkscreen and light checking/aging)
I had put together some klusons using the Uncles tips and an aging proccess. The tailpiece/Abr1 are from pigtail and the rings aare the older RS type.
It all works great on Wilma.
Oh, one more thing..do you remember a thread a while back about a busted reverse zebra pup I got ? That zebra went to Jim Rolph along with the real neck PAF so he could rewind it in a way where they would be balanced.
To describe the tone from this guitar as "balanced" would be like saying that Billy Gibbons is "another guitar player" because it is so much more.
I haven't stopped playing it since I got it... Rolphy, If you are reading this, you did one heck of a job!
Anyway..it's not the Rabi Burst but it is the best and closest I have gotten in my lifetime to owning a real 50s PAF guitar. I know now what the big fuss is with old wood and why some of you ( us ) need help with the disease.
Thanks and God Bless you Les Paul freaks.
Enjoy the pics.
 

Rev.WillieVK

Active member
Joined
Jul 26, 2002
Messages
9,268
Sorry guys... I can't figure out the new Lilypix software! How do you upload pics?
 

j45

Active member
Joined
Jun 14, 2002
Messages
9,081
I'm posting these for the Rev:

Clem-blackLP-2.jpg


Clem-blackLP-4.jpg


Clem-blackLP-3.jpg


Clem-blackLP-1.jpg


Clem-blackLP-5.jpg
 

tom wu

Member
Joined
Apr 13, 2003
Messages
958
Thanx Bill for trying and J45 for posting the pics.
Sorry about the long thread..it's just that -to me- it is very exciting to play the snot out of this instrument and considering the company here, I knew you guys would appreciate another glimpse of the many great pieces of work these fine luthiers put out.
As a goldtop with p90s it played very nicely but this is a whole new thang!
 

lew81

New member
Joined
Feb 7, 2006
Messages
536
Awesome looking axe. Love the zebra, looks cool. Maybe look better with gold reflector knobs????? Rock on.
 

JJ Jones

Active member
Joined
Sep 28, 2001
Messages
1,260
Very cool guitar indeed! I like that black one in BOTB too!




:dude:
 

MapleFlame

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 3, 2005
Messages
14,034
Nice to see another option in color. Looks like it fits like a glove. That neck is a fatty. It's also great Tom to hear and read your enthusiasm for your Blackie Wilma.:blbros
 

Rev.WillieVK

Active member
Joined
Jul 26, 2002
Messages
9,268
Many thanks to J45 for the photo hosting!

TomWu - tell the story about the paint job(s) and weight loss! :biggrin:
 

burstone

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 5, 2002
Messages
6,748
tom wu said:
As a goldtop with p90s it played very nicely but this is a whole new thang!

That's what I'm talkin' 'bout! Congrats! She looks awesome! :dude:
 

burst me

New member
Joined
Feb 23, 2006
Messages
361
WAY cool! The idea to covert to black was an absolute winner, looks much better than some of the dodgy 'burst finishes you sometime see on this type of conversion. The ageing looks fantastic and the exposed zebra coils are a great finishing touch. I've never been a sucker for black Standards but that is a truly handsome beast! :salude
 
K

kiergtr

Guest
I think black looks cool with a dark back or even a lighter wood finish. I'm not crazy about all black. Especially the back of the neck....I wouldn't want that. JMTC.:dude:
 
Top