1961 Les Paul (SG) Custom Colours

crashbelt

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Hi - Its been a while since I've posted but I would really appreciate some advice on a restoration I'm planning.

I've inherited a 1961 Les Paul (SG) Standard. It was customised by John Birch in the 70s. Fortunately the pickups, wiring, pickguard, 'Les Paul' truss rod cover, control knobs, jacksocket, strap buttons and ABR are original. The Vibrola is gone but thats OK as I have a nickel stop tailpiece that's period correct. Its got newer Kluson double ring double line tulip tuners that I'll keep too. The worst bits are a dark green thick poly neck and body refinish - its truly awful and has to go. Also a fine tuning tailpiece which must go - its low down and will leave holes.

A really nice point is that Birch sanded off the serial number but it was written down so I'll have that put back by the restorer.

My dilemma is what colour to have it done in a lightly aged nitro finish. I don't want to do the standard see through cherry finish as the filled holes will show so I want to do a solid colour that could have been used on a 61. I've seen an authentic polaris white one on the internet and I might consider black, but couldn't find an image of an original old one. I wouldn't be surprised if the odd custom order was black as a few black 335s from that period have surfaced.

I would really appreciate it if you guys could point me to any original solid colours that have surfaced over the years on 61s.

Thanks in advance and I will post before and after pics later on.
 

flognoth

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My understanding is that there were a few custom orders done in black in '61 & '62. I'm not sure if there were any other factory custom colours around then.
 

bossaddict

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EDIT: just realized it was a Standard instead of a Custom, so my comment was dumb. ;)
 

Plan Zero

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I almost choked on my coffee when I saw that pic. Excellent.
 

crashbelt

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Thanks for your advice. I've decided on a lightly aged polaris white finish. I'll get some aged repro tuners, ABR saddles, poker chip, new nut, and tailpiece.

All the rest is ok I think - it was a very tense moment when I pulled the pups and found to my relief the PAF stickers. The neck pup is just amazing, and I have PAFs in other guitars to compare against. But the bridge PAF sounds weak so i'll need expert help with the best solution to that.

I've tried in vain to load an image to show the nasty green to black burst thick poly finish but keep getting file too big message. Will try again later before the restoration.
 


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