If you followed our Rory Gallagher and Blackie relic workshops, you’ll know the amazing things that can be done to a bolt-on guitar with a little skill and time. Could we achieve the same results with a Les Paul? We fed this far more difficult task to Huw Price, and he took up the challenge
Although the neck is Honduras mahogany, the three-piece back is probably made from some other variety. The two outside pieces are comparatively small compared to the centre block and it’s pretty well done, with joins that are only really visible from the sides.
The neck is no 1958 or even 1959-style baseball bat, but it’s not quite slim enough to qualify as a 1960 profile; it’s nice and grippy without being too chunky, and not dissimilar to the current Les Paul Classic neck. The 17 degree headstock rake is spot on for a ’50s replica. The headstock even has ‘wings’ and a light wood veneer, although I couldn’t say whether it’s holly. Best of all, the headstock has never been drilled to accommodate diecast tuners. Even the fingerboard is a dark and attractive piece of rosewood which could even be Brazilian, and the inlays are very tidy.
The cream binding is in great shape except for some slight shrinkage in the cutaway and waist. However, like the rest of the guitar, it was obscured by a thick layer of orangey yellow varnish. I wasn’t too worried about the shrinkage – after all, that’s what happens to old guitars.