Shaftesbury Les Paul: Cleaning the old parts

There are very few parts from the old guitar that are going to be reused, but the ones that are, if only temporarily, need to get cleaned up ready to go back in. The only old parts I’m going to reuse are:

  • The neck plate and neck screws – The plate gets a bit of a polish with brasso and, whilst it has lost most of the original plating, has come up OK. The screws will be a different matter, especially the two I used for securing the 2″x1″ to the body which are now well primered, painted and lacquered. If only I’d been thinking ahead I could have used something else or at least masked them off. I’ll drop these into paint stripper and then mount them in the drill and run them up against some 600 and 1200 grit wet and dry, which should return a shine to the heads;
  • The bridge pickup and pickup ring – Neither of these will make it into the final build but will just be temporary fitments until Searcy String Works are back up and running and I can get one of Clint’s hand-wound specials dropped in there with a new cream ring. The pickup ring was washed in warm soapy water and then left to dry. The pickup was tested and then given a good going over with brasso;
  • The pots and capacitor – I’ll test the pots before they go in and clean up the old tarnished solder, but they were all working fine before the strip down and so I’ll just more or less leave them as they are.
  • The cavity covers – They’re already in pretty decent condition. They have a couple of light scratches but I’ll have a go at polishing them out with the rubbing compound;
  • And that’s it. Aside from the neck and body, everything else going on the guitar is new.

Here’s the pickup before cleaning.

…and again, with the other parts after a quick clean.

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