Other Guitars

2018 Les Paul Junior headstock refin


Finished my refin of my 2018 Les Paul Junior from the pre-war Gibson logo and the wrongly applied "Les Paul Special" script to something a little more vintage correct. Probably totally unnecessary, but I enjoy doing these things and it now has the look I want. Should get my new harness and P90 from Electric City pickups this coming week.


Wow, nicely done! Was it difficult?


No, pretty straightforward. Ordered the gold silkscreened waterslide decals, and while I was waiting for them I sanded to headstock face clean of the previous finish (down to the fiber board facing). I then sprayed a couple of coats of nitro as a base for the decals and polished it glassy smooth- critical for the decals to properly lay down. Once the decals were positioned properly and blotted, they were left to dry for 24 hours. I then sealed the decals with amber shellac sprayed through my airbrush. Why amber shellac, one might ask...? As beautiful as the decals are, they are a little to bright of a shade of gold when compared to vintage pics. On the real deal vintage guitars the Gibson logo is a water slide decal and the "Les Paul Junior" is silkscreened, and they are a different shade of gold than the Gibson logo. By applying varying amounts of amber shellac as a "filter", I was able to get the shades I was looking for. It also helped to hide/bury the edges of the decal film. The shellac does not appear to shrink much when it has cured, and it is impervious to nitro lacquer. This means that I don't need to apply as many coats as nitro, which cuts down on the cure time. Otherwise, I would have needed to apply enough coats of nitro over several sessions to "bury" the decals, and then once cured several weeks-at the very minimum, I would have to level the finish. Anyway, once the nitro was wet sanded out, I polished it out with some polishing compound. I replaced the tuners with aged three on a plate tuners, vintage style conversion bushings and a plain black truss rod cover. It sounds onerous, but it's not that bad to do, really. Just take your time.

Hope this helps.



Fantastic! I have a Gibson All American II (Melody Maker variant) that is getting an entire refinish - the two areas I regret obliterating are the headstock logo (exactly the same as this one) and the American flag on the back of the neck - I've looked everywhere for either a stencil or correct decal without luck; would you mind sharing where you ordered your waterslide decals from?


Which pickup did you choose from Electric City?


I chose the EP-90 60s pickup. Also replaced the PCB board with their harness with bumblebee cap. Sounds great.


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