1961 SG Standard build

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Silvertone, May 19, 2020.

  1. Silvertone

    Silvertone Well-Known Member

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    Good afternoon. I have been building a few SGs lately and have always been interesting in vintage Gibsons. So I thought I would build myself a replica of the first SG, which was actually named the Les Paul.

    I'll be asking for help with any info that the knowledgeable people on this forum would like to share. I've measured a few early 60's SGs and will start compiling drawings, sketches, and 3d models to aid in my pursuit.

    I want to thank you in advance for any and all help given. Thanks.

    Regards Peter.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2020
  2. Silvertone

    Silvertone Well-Known Member

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    My background is construction documents for Architects and Engineers, so I like to draw CAD drawings of all my builds. I started doing drawings of SGs a few years ago. One of the first starting points was a model posted on the MLP forum by user GooCart. Magnus, I believe, is an industrial designer and friends with the twin brothers who have a Guitar museum in Sweden. He created a model and shared it in the forum of a 1963 SG JR.
    1576936580996.png

    I pulled apart this model and imported into my CAM program.
    CNC_preview_front.jpg


    Then I used the outline and carves and filled in all the other holes and will use it as a starting point for my CAM model. That way I can keep this as the master body for different types of builds. SG JR, Standard, Custom etc and even different years that may have slightly different dimensions.
    Fusion01.JPG

    Fusion 360 is what I use for CAM and design and it also does drawings -
    drawing04.jpg


    Cheers Peter.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2020
  3. Silvertone

    Silvertone Well-Known Member

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    I measured up a '65 SG that a friend had and cut a couple bodies as tests for that design. I used the dimensions from that guitar for the pickup locations and depths as well as the "swimming pool" control cavity route that had a brass shielding insert.
    Fusion05.JPG

    Fusion04.JPG

    Here are a couple bodies I cut as tests -
    bodies.jpg

    Cheers Peter.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2020
  4. Silvertone

    Silvertone Well-Known Member

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    So on to my CAD files as I am creating a neck in my CAM software as well and want to make sure it is all laid out properly.

    First question - scale lengths for 61 Les Paul (SG) - All the info I could find on scale length was that it is 24 3/4", now is that a literal measurement? 12.375" at the 12th and 24.750" at the bridge? (non-compensated).

    Gibson seemed to use a lot of different scale lengths all around that dimension and they also seemed to create a lot of guitars that were off slightly, from an improper template?? The Les Paul Standards back in the day were rule of 18, which is around 24.536" also there was the modern vintage scale of 24 9/16" (24.5625") and then the more common modern scale of 24 5/8" (24.625").

    I have drawn a 24 9/16" (24.5625") drawing as I had a nice EI rosewood board to that scale and frankly it doesn't make that much difference for the neck or the body dimensions. Obviously just the fret spacing.

    Capture.JPG

    I also updated my control cavity to a drawing that Dan at mojoaxe sent me from his 61 SG. The neck measurements were taken from a bunch of drawings I purchased or downloaded from the web and also the measurements from the '65 SG I measured up. Basically the nut is a bit thinner and the profile is also slimmer than an LP Standard.

    I created a Fusion 360 model for the neck as well.
    Capture3.JPG

    and put it together all into one model with some pickups etc. I even modeled a Bigsby B5
    Capture.JPG

    Cheers Peter.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2020
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  5. Silvertone

    Silvertone Well-Known Member

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    So the first full guitar I built with these CAM models was with the spalted figured maple body and a 5 piece laminated mahogany maple neck. EI rosewood fret board with cellulose nitrate inlays and neck binding.

    IMG_6004.JPG

    This my friend really liked the completed guitar and his wife purchased it from me as a gift for Christmas last year. Here it is finished up.

    IMG_6798_lo.jpg

    Cheers Peter.
     
  6. Von Trapp

    Von Trapp Well-Known Member

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    That's an interesting project!
     
  7. Daniel Carneglia

    Daniel Carneglia New Member

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    Subscribed. The ‘61 Les Paul and the ‘67 are my favorite SGs.

    BTW, you can also make a 3pups Custom version out of the 67.

    I can send the custom pickguard drawing if needed.
    B313B3A7-D135-4B50-B65B-01B0DDDFF889.jpeg
     
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  8. Daniel Carneglia

    Daniel Carneglia New Member

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    BTW, do you have more info regarding the shielding plate? I couldn’t find repro parts on the market, just original vintage ones but “vintage” expensive...
     
  9. Silvertone

    Silvertone Well-Known Member

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    I measured the size of the cavity but didn't take any info on the shielding plate. It was pretty simple. Like this -
    The-Guitar-Magazine-gear-29_01-7-696x1043.jpg

    Cheers Peter.
     
  10. nanchy

    nanchy New Member

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    Hi!
    Nice project.

    Could you share those cam files?
     
  11. Silvertone

    Silvertone Well-Known Member

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    I might be back at this project soon. I will be going to a friend's place soon to measure up a few vintage early 60's SGs to develop a comprehensive set of construction documents. I've been collecting parts for my first build. I always like to have all the parts before I start building. In this case I want to have them so I can check that my drawings will accurately work with NOS or reproduction parts for the exact guitar I want to develop. I purchased a bunch of stuff from Dan at Mojoaxe. I have used Dan for a while now and have always been impressed with the quality and his general customer service. Here is my most recent parcel of goodies. I have everything I need currently except for pickups, which I may be leaning toward Thro-baks.

    parts-lo.jpg

    I also purchased a pre-wired harness from Cream Tone a while back. Also impressed with their quality.

    IMG_0170.JPG

    I should be able to get onto the drawings and update my CAM models in the next couple of weeks.

    Cheers Peter.
     
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  12. pancake81

    pancake81 Well-Known Member

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    Wow. Out of curiosity, what would you charge a fella for a build, assuming you would take a project on?
     
  13. Silvertone

    Silvertone Well-Known Member

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    I should be building 2 or 3 of these. Shoot me a PM and I could give you a quote. I'm starting to build in cycles, so I can do multiple guitars at once. There's some economy of scale that way. This one is mainly for me right now so it will be pushed towards the back of my other builds.

    Looks like you are in Canada so no export/ import issues, which is nice.

    Cheers Peter.
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2020
  14. Reuben

    Reuben New Member

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    Peter...Thanks for the data... I was looking for the SG body dimension so I knew how large of a working block I needed for the body. I have a CNC router and built a nice Fender Telecaster model two years ago (first shot at building solid body as a "companion" for my Les Paul custom (mid 80's). Are you milling your beveled edges manually or via a router? I have several options including "manual" but would prefer a automat cut via a .25" round nose bit with my router.... Any insight would be most appreciated.
     
  15. Silvertone

    Silvertone Well-Known Member

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    I use my CNC machine to do all the bevels and use a 1/2" endmill for the roughing passes and then a 1/2" ballnose with a small step over for the fine carve. It barely needs sanding off the CNC machine but I am looking at modifying my model and have recently laser scanned a 62 Standard and modelled with sharp bevels instead of the radii on the bevels which was resulting in some weird machining.
    These are the bodies right off of the machine -
    bodies.jpg

    These have all been built up into guitars and I have two other bodies left as well.
    bodies_low.JPG

    I've cut quite a few of these, which were based on the 3d model of a 63 JR that I downloaded from a friend that had posted the body for everyone to use. I have modified it to suit a Standard and can basically make any guitar with that body. JRs, P-90s, etc etc.

    Cheers Peter.
     
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  16. Huntroll

    Huntroll Active Member

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    Has Gibson contacted you with a job offer yet ?
     
  17. Silvertone

    Silvertone Well-Known Member

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    LOL - more likely a C&D letter. Hoping to get a call from Mark Agnesi. :rofl:

    Cheers Peter.
     
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  18. PermissionToLand

    PermissionToLand Well-Known Member

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  19. Silvertone

    Silvertone Well-Known Member

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    Gibson used rule of 18 on their early electric guitars. I've never heard they kept using that method beyond the late 50's early 60's. I have measured quite a few vintage instruments and find they all seem to line up somewhat with the standard scale lengths I mentioned earlier. Although they do seem to wander a bit and rule of 18 is somewhat close to 12th root, depending on actual scale length. It would probably be hard to tell whether the jigs were slightly off or arbours worn vs the differences between the two methods.

    I realize the 65 had a more narrow nut. That is also about the year they made lots of other changes. It also seems that the SGs have a slimmer neck and profile. I just laser scanned a 62 Les Paul (SG) Standard and have a couple of others on hand for measurements. I should be back on this build soon as I wanted to have the scans and resultant model and drawings completed before proceeding with the build.

    These drawings will be offered up for sale as soon as I complete the construction drawings from the 3d laser scans of the actual guitar.


    Cheers Peter.
     
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  20. Silvertone

    Silvertone Well-Known Member

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    Not much progress on this build but I have been doing some pretty cool stuff with some vintage SGs lately. I have laser scanned a 1962 Gibson Les Paul (SG) and created a 3d model. Here is a pic.


    [​IMG]


    This 3d model was created from the raw scan data. I am working with Tom Bartlett on this. Tom is selling MDF templates and plans based on this exact guitar. I'm not supplying a link as this isn't a sales pitch. I just thought people may be interested in this cool way to document an existing vintage guitar. I'd like to X-ray this thing as well. It's got such a thin neck that I think it may have a curved truss rod slot. I think this was about the time that Gibson switched to the curved slot? I know the 58 - 60 LP Bursts had the straight slot. I think Gibson might have changed when making the double cut guitars to get a slimmer neck. Happy Thanksgiving to everyone.


    Cheers Peter.
     
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