Builders: Steve and Josh Eubanks | Blogger: Steve Eubanks
In late 2017 Steve and Josh started a project to build a custom sold-body electric for Josh, who at the time was just getting serious about the guitar. Steve was eager to try a hand-carved top and Josh wanted a traditional Les Paul style guitar anyway, so the stage was pretty well set. We picked out some nice mahogany and maple stock from our friends at Cherokee Wood Products (our favorite place to browse the hardwood racks), and some wenge as well, but as you'll see later, that went by the wayside. And of course, as any good build does, this one started with templates, rough cuts and glue-ups of the major components.
Single piece, set neck from mahogany with a dual-action truss rod.
We took the Gibson "modern weight-relief" approach to remove some of the bulk from the body without loosing too much of the dense mahogany that traditionally gives LPs their great tone and sustain, then routed the final shape with the template. Then we mated the body with the maple top and routed the edges flush.
At this point we set the body aside and shifted focus back to the neck. We started a fret board with our beautiful piece of wenge with some great striped figure in it. Radiused it, slotted it by hand, bound it with traditional LP ivory ABS binding, and dropped in MOP marker dots. In an effort to get creative, we added a twelfth-fret design that came out... well... marginal. Ultimately, we didn't like it. So we went back to Cherokee Wood and poked around a little and came home with a piece of purpleheart that we decided would look better with the final color of the guitar anyway. So again, radiused, slotted, bound and markered (but nothing fancy at the twelfth this time). And, of course, the fret board gets mated to the neck (not necessarily in that order).
It's not quite time to glue the neck in, but before starting the body carve, I needed to get the neck and pickup cavities cut. Since the neck joins to the body at an angle, there were some routing and planing gymnastics involved.
This is a photo-heavy build, so to help out our fans with slower connections...