Other Guitars

2018 Les Paul Junior headstock refin

1

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.

2

Wow, nicely done! Was it difficult?

3

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.

Rob


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