Shaftesbury Les Paul: The next project

Inspired by Pipes and Jacko’s recent tales of their guitar refinishing projects, I decided to dig out an old Les Paul copy that has languished in the attic since 20th October 1998. I can be very specific about the date because it got put up there when we moved over to the Wirral and has been there ever since. Actually, I persuaded my daughter to grab it for me while she was up in the attic getting her suitcase for her holiday.

The guitar is a Shaftesbury Les Paul copy that I bought from an old school friend in the early 80’s. It served me very well for a couple of years but, since my Telecaster came along, it has spent most of the time in the case. Time for a resurrection I think.

My initial thought was to just tidy it up a bit and get it back into working order, but this guitar has been horribly hacked about over the years, by yours truly, and it is never going to be able to get it back to anywhere near original. It is also an average mid 70’s Les Paul copy. Hardly a classic. It is going to have to be the more radical option.

I’m going to plan it out in more detail over the next couple of days but my initial thoughts are to make it into a single neck pickup jazz machine. Not sure of the colour yet but something sparkly. Not sure of the pickup yet. I’ve got the three humbuckers that came out of it. Two of these are the original rather uninspiring humbuckers. The third is a DiMarzio PAF. It’ll probably be this one, although I’ve got a hankering to finish it in metallic gold and bang in a cream P90.

Anyway, here are a couple of pictures straight from the case.

So after stripping everything off, with the exception of the bridge and stop tailpiece studs, this is what I’m left with.

So some of the things that I’m definitely going to do are:

  • Reshape the headstock;
  • Fill in the pickup selector cavity on the upper bout. I never liked this location on the Les Paul and was forever hitting it when the strumming went wild. The pickup selector switch, if needed, will go down next to the volume and tone;
  • Fill in all of the little body holes, nicks and dings;
  • Move the strap pins. The one on the upper bout has got a sheared screw in it so I’m going to fill that in and redrill a pilot hole nearer the neck. At the tail end of the guitar I like two strap pins so that it is more stable when standing;
  • Change the control layout and fill in the unused holes. I’m probably going to go for a simple volume, tone and selector switch layout. If it ends up being a single pickup machine then it’ll be just the volume and tone.

One thought on “Shaftesbury Les Paul: The next project

  1. What a great idea! Looks to be a fantastic project guitar for sure, I can’t wait to see what you make of it!

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