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Les Paul Design Question


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Q1 Does anyone know if the 57 Les Paul Jr (single cut ) body outline is the same as a std Gibson Les Paul?

Q2 what is the neck angle of a Les Paul Jr?

Q3 What is the body thickness of the Les Paul Jr?

Thanks in advance for any answers.

Cheers ....Kev

This for the guitar you're currently building?

Seems to me the LP Jr uses the same mahogany as an LP, just that they leave off the maple top. I don't know this for certain, it just makes sense to me. It was supposed to be their entry level guitar--so why would they use a more expensive piece of wood?

It also make sense that they used the same body shape, to avoid having to make new templates.

Here's a quote from guitarattack:

I had to get the neck angle to a more Junior-like 2 degrees to be able to use a Tune-a-Matic bridge and stop tailpiece setup.
He also points to the pages in the Hickock book where he talks about Gibson neck angles.
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thanks guys I thought the body shape was the same however after playing a custom shop 58 reissue I suspect the neck angle is more than 2 deg . maybe upto 4.

I don't know the proper means for determining the neck angle on an existing guitar, but I took some measurements of my Melody Maker (which replaced the LP Jr as Gibson's entry level guitar after all and has the same wraparound bridge)...

I measured about 6.5 mm at the edge of end of the fretboard (not the center of the fretboard) and 6 mm at the point where the neck leaves the body. Drew a horizontal line then these two points above that, then drew a line using the two points to where it intersected with the horizontal line...and took the angle from there.

Don't know if that makes any sense, or if it's the way it's done, but the angle I get from all that is 3 degrees.

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Thanks guys , No this question is because my son has asked me to make a vintage correct 57 LP jr sunburst single cut . I guess the controling factor for the neck angle would be the bridge hight. As for the shape , again I thought it would be the same as the LP std but again not 100% sure. Body thickness I guess at 44mm, 1 13/16 = 46mm so that would be about right, Thanks again.

I have donated so as to use the download stuff so I hope to find some usefull outlines there.

:D ...Kev

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The info I gave above (1 degree neck angle with raised fretboard, extra thickness in cutaway) is from John Catto - this is vintage correct info taken from 50's juniors. The thickness of 1 13/16" is taken from the a LP Jr doublecutaway by Kevin Green, who produced the MIMF's plans. I assume the 2 are the same thickness.

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Thanks people

To summerise then; Wrap around bridge fitted LP Jr has neck angle around 1deg to less than 2 deg , the later LP Jr and specials with tuneomatic / stop tail the neck angle must be increased to around 4deg.

Body thickness FROM BEAUTY OF THE BURST BOOK for the mahogany bit on a Les Paul STD is 43mm and Setch gives LP Jr as 46.03mm.

The outline is the same except that there is a 1/4" bit of body wood along the treble side of the neck in the cutaway forming the neck pocket.

Thanks all..Kev

Edited by thirdstone
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Thanks people

To summerise then; Wrap around bridge fitted LP Jr has neck angle around 1deg to less than 2 deg , the later LP Jr and specials with tuneomatic / stop tail the neck angle must be increased to around 4deg.

Body thickness FROM BEAUTY OF THE BURST BOOK for the mahogany bit on a Les Paul STD is 43mm and Setch gives LP Jr as 46.03mm.

The outline is the same except that there is a 1/4" bit of body wood along the treble side of the neck in the cutaway forming the neck pocket.

Thanks all..Kev

+1 Thirdstone and all responders, thanks for the info. I was just in the download area but did not see any LP Jr (single cut aways) plans in there. You answered all of the questions I had for the one I am working on currently except for one.

What is the tenon width? Thanks

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The tenon is fullwidth - ie: it has the same dimensions as the fretboard.

Really?!?! I'm surprised. I could see that they wouldn't want the glue line of a long tenon to show, but I'm surprised that they wouldn't just do a short-tenon.

Do you know if all Juniors are like this, or only '50s?

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I don't know for sure, but I suspect they are all done this way. The fretboard sits proud of the body, so if you don't use a full width tenon you need to cut small pieces of mahogany to fit between the fretboard and the body, or have a big, ugly gap.

Besides, if they used a regular tenon they'd no longer need the extra 1/4" in the cutaway, not that they really ever *needed* it at all.

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Yep full width tenon, Just rout the slot and drop the neck right in. Put the angle on the neck tenon and your laughing. Another thing of intrest that I was not aware of is the there is no extension of the neck tenon past the fretbord. Ie no extended tenon into where what would be the neck pup area if ther was one (which the LP Jr don't have.).A bit Like a strat neck glued in .I didn't realise this untill I saw a 57 LP Jr with out the scratch plate fitted. You could, of course extend the neck into this covered area. Would it improve tone? LP Jr sound fine without it .

Very early LP jr had the pup closer to the bridge. I think this was changed around 57-58.

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Here's a photo of my Melody Maker's neck joint, in case anyone's wondering (I'm routing my neck pocket today):

th_mmneckpocket4Large.jpg

Looks like they used a narrow tenon --it's difficult to tell because the sides of the pocket are filled with gunk (looks like dripped finish). At least the tenon appears to sit against the bottom, but as you can see, there's a huge gap between the end of the neck and the end of the pocket.

Other info: the neck thickness (minus fretboard) is 26.6 mm --the body is 33 mm.

I've been fussing around trying to set up for an angled neck pocket, but I'm thinking of going with angling the neck itself instead. Except I've got a long tenon on there...right now I'm practicing on a piece of pine...

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