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I figured this might be the best place to get some information on this.

I have a Les Paul Studio that I've had for a long while (my first REAL guitar) and it doesn't get played as much as it used to. Over the years I've used it to practice my wiring skills and I even shaved the neck in a fit of silliness. The guitar itself has a tremendous sentimental value (gift from my father) and I'd love to bring it back to a somewhat pristine condition.

My main problem with refinishing is that either I can't afford it (12th Fret lists prices so high my brain can't understand) or I'm too afraid to do it myself (it's a real Gibson!). The only real issue is that I've shaved the neck, but when I did so I made sure to get the advice necessary to make sure I didn't mess up anything if I wanted to do a refin.

All I want to do is to refin the guitar into a black LP standard-ish look. Right now it's a white LP studio, so all that needs to be done is for it to be stripped, painted black and binding to be added. I know binding a neck can't be done without a refret, but I can live with that.

Can someone suggest a good way to go about this myself or perhaps recommend someone in Canada/Ontario who does work like this at an affordable rate?
 

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This is a tough question. The problem is that doing a good re-fin is a really tough and time-consuming job. It'll take a few coats in a completely dust-free environment with lots of sanding in between coats and all this means time. To get binding added to the neck will cost a fair bit too - a standard refret without getting the binding added will usually run from $200-300. If you're really patient you can get some pretty decent results yourself to save on the cost. Check out this link to get an idea of how to do it yourself: http://reranch.com/basics.htm - I haven't used their products, but did follow much of their advice in trying to refinish my first guitar. I never did finish it due to the smell factor since I have very young kids in the house - the fumes from real lacquer are strong and dangerous. I'm sure this probably isn't what you wanted to hear, but it's the truth as I know it. Good luck and let me know what you end up doing - if you find a good deal on refinishing I'd love to hear about it!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Baconator said:
This is a tough question. The problem is that doing a good re-fin is a really tough and time-consuming job. It'll take a few coats in a completely dust-free environment with lots of sanding in between coats and all this means time. To get binding added to the neck will cost a fair bit too - a standard refret without getting the binding added will usually run from $200-300. If you're really patient you can get some pretty decent results yourself to save on the cost. Check out this link to get an idea of how to do it yourself: http://reranch.com/basics.htm - I haven't used their products, but did follow much of their advice in trying to refinish my first guitar. I never did finish it due to the smell factor since I have very young kids in the house - the fumes from real lacquer are strong and dangerous. I'm sure this probably isn't what you wanted to hear, but it's the truth as I know it. Good luck and let me know what you end up doing - if you find a good deal on refinishing I'd love to hear about it!
These are concerns I have as well. I don't have a properly ventilated area to do the refinish, so I'd prefer to get it done by someone with experience. I've heard I could go to an auto shop and get it sprayed, but this is my Les Paul so I'd like to get a proper job done. It's just that a proper job costs soooo much.

Yeah, an LP studio does not have binding on it. I played around in the Kiskae guitar maker thing and I liked the way an LP looked with binding on the body and not on the neck. Also it saves me from getting a refret.
 

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It just so happens that a similar thread was just started in thegearpage forum (although apparently not by you) - http://thegearpage.net/board/showthread.php?t=202018 . The coolest thing to come out of that thread IMHO is that you could try scraping the finish off the sides near the top so that the sides of the maple top are exposed. I've seen a black PRS McCarty like this and it is a good look. Of course you've still got the refinishing cost to deal with, but by avoiding the body-binding job you can probably save a few hundred. One of the posters at TGP suggested the work to convert a studio to a standard would run about $700 :eek: . As for the back of the neck where it's shaved you should try using Tru-oil - it's a rub-on finish that penetrates the wood and hardens. There are plenty of builders that use oil finishes instead of lacquer because it has the feel of an unfinished neck - I believe that's how Ernie Ball necks are finished and they feel great.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
That's a really cool thread, and definitely an option I would go for. I just know myself, and I'm afraid I'd lose patience at some point and make a massive mistake somewhere.

The project that shows up in that thread is pretty well done, and it'd be much easier for me as I really just want it to look like a black standard. I want to go for the look of a poor man's Peter Frampton LP.
 

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Call Mike Spicer.

He worked at the Guitar Clinic in Hamilton, and is an excellent Luthier and he does excellent finish work as well. He now has his own shop called the 'Peg Head'.

I used to work at the Guitar Clinic with him and I've seen him do incredible things.
 

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Hamm Guitars said:
Call Mike Spicer.

He worked at the Guitar Clinic in Hamilton, and is an excellent Luthier and he does excellent finish work as well. He now has his own shop called the 'Peg Head'.

I used to work at the Guitar Clinic with him and I've seen him do incredible things.
There definitely are some incredible instruments that came out of Guitar Clinic - just take a look at the Guitar Clinic Les Paul copy for sale at Capsule Music for $5800 :eek:. I've seen some pretty glowing reviews of his work from the guys at 12th fret and they definitely know their guitars!

Does Mike have a website?
 

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Hamm Guitars said:
Call Mike Spicer.

He worked at the Guitar Clinic in Hamilton, and is an excellent Luthier and he does excellent finish work as well. He now has his own shop called the 'Peg Head'.

I used to work at the Guitar Clinic with him and I've seen him do incredible things.
I used to own a tele thinline that Mike refinished in Daphne Blue nitro that looked amazing...he definitely knows his stuff.
 

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Baconator said:
There definitely are some incredible instruments that came out of Guitar Clinic - just take a look at the Guitar Clinic Les Paul copy for sale at Capsule Music for $5800 :eek:. I've seen some pretty glowing reviews of his work from the guys at 12th fret and they definitely know their guitars!

Does Mike have a website?
No I don't think he does. I'll go down and talk to him and see if he wants to set one up. Here is the info on his company:

http://www.inform.hamilton.ca/business/details.asp?RSN=7795
 

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Discussion Starter #12
david henman said:
...try this guy:

http://www.offthewallaudio.com

brian stensrud, my former bass player. lives in oshawa.

email: [email protected]

-dh
Thanks for the link! I will definitely drop him a line. Does he do guitar repair work as a hobby? Do you have any idea how much he would charge?

Hamm Guitars said:
Call Mike Spicer.

He worked at the Guitar Clinic in Hamilton, and is an excellent Luthier and he does excellent finish work as well. He now has his own shop called the 'Peg Head'.

I used to work at the Guitar Clinic with him and I've seen him do incredible things.
Sounds like a real pro! I'll definitely give him a call, thanks for putting up that contact info. That Guitar Clinic LP on Capsule's site looks really intense. If Mike Spicer worked at the place pumping out those LP's, I'm afraid to ask what he'd charge to redo my silly little LP Studio. It'll probably cost my future first born child.

Scottone said:
I used to own a tele thinline that Mike refinished in Daphne Blue nitro that looked amazing...he definitely knows his stuff.
If you don't mind me asking, how much did that refin set you back? I know an LP is going to cost more to refin than a Fender body, but any idea in regards to pricing would be awesome.
 

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I can't speak for the finishing work that The Peghead does yet, but I have had two of my Guilds set up there and a bridge reglue. Lynn did the work for me, she is another luthier at the shop. Excellant work!

I want to inquire about some custom inlay work there, I don't know if they do it or not.

Great shop!
 

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screaminking said:
If you don't mind me asking, how much did that refin set you back? I know an LP is going to cost more to refin than a Fender body, but any idea in regards to pricing would be awesome.
A freind of mine had it done before he sold it to me. I'll ask him how much he spent and post it up later
 
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