A week or so ago I picked up an Epiphone Les Paul Junior guitar from a classified ad. It was a package deal from a guy selling his sons abandoned rock dreams. I got a 10 watt Crate amp, a guitar stand, leather strap, brand new braided cord and the guitar for $100. It is a 2008 LP Jr and came with thick brown/black sunburst finish. I did not even plug it in, I just took it apart.
One full day of sanding revealed a 16 layer pancake body of mohogany and alder wood. The alder top was nicely grained but thin. the edges were particularly rough so careful sanding was needed.
Day 2, I wet wiped and tack clothed then applied a coat of prestain conditioner, 1 coat of natural stain, and 3 coats of lemon yellow concentrated stain color from StewMac’s. Day 3, I wasn’t happy with the pancaked laminate sides so I masked and painted a binding strip around the sides, followed by another coat of lemon yellow stain.
Day 4, Sanding and buffing, 400, 600, 800 grit sanding and 1200,2000 grit polish pads. Buffing with a cotton wheel in a hand drill. Next I installed a pickup left over from another LesPaul project, a “Hot Bridge Classic Humbucker” circa 2009 which is hot it ohmed out at 14.6 . I also switched the tone cap for a .022uf orange drop.
Assembly came next. Gold Grovers from prior LP project, brass screws from Home Depot, and an adjustable brige from StewMac. I had to drill tuner holes to 10 mm for Grovers. The bridge was tricky because of the new height. I had to countersink the studs slightly to get the action down to my preference and still allow for height adjustment. I strung and unstrung the the bridge three times before I had it right, lowering stud holes each time. Strung up, tuned, and intonation set this is a fine guitar. I think it might benifit from a .045 uf tone cap but that will be later. Played through the 50 watt 2×12 Vox it has a good spread of tone throughout the volume and tone pots. The pup is has a great overdrive with good definition of string notes, while rolling off to a nice rich clean and full sound.
In 2-3 weeks, once the finish has cured completely, I will wet sand and apply either a nitro clear or oil rub to the body to make it gloss out.