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beginner needs help!

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Ive have recently been given a pretty beaten up les paul replica. I dont think its really up to much as not receieved much love by the looks of it. I already have a Tele which I am very happy with, but figure it could be interesting to try and restore this one. However I really know nothing about about it....

My first issue is that there is damage to the actual screw holes and fittings which I would need to repair. There are numerous screw holes around the pickups which have no thread left and so the pickups aren't held in place very securely. Also, the bridge tail piece is very loose - practically pulled out on one side.

Is there any way damage like this can be repaired - some kind of wood filler or other method which can be used, and then maybe re-drill the holes? it seems to me that if not then restoring it to any decent standard will be difficult.

Also, as I am just starting on this, iwhat is the best way to tell whether it is in a a condition which is worth restoring - ie whether the neck is warped, etc - is it just common sense and how it sounds/feels when played?

Any help appreciated!!



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