Quyen found this 2013 Les Paul Custom Lite on Craigslist, and purchased it from a church musician. The instrument was everything he wanted, except the controls were not the traditional Les Paul controls that he was familiar with. Could the Unbrokenstring Crew make the control configuration a little less ‘ghetto’? Let’s see what we can do!
This instrument is really top-drawer. Bound neck and headstock, gold hardware, totally pimped out! The body is thinner, partially hollow, and the back of the instrument is contoured to feel a little more comfortable.
Here’s the rub. The coil splitting duties are performed by this mini-toggle switch, which takes the place of the second tone control. The owner wanted the ergonomics of the Custom Lite instrument but with two tone controls.
To preserve the ability to go single-coil, a tone control with a push-pull pot is evaluated. Here, a drawing is made of the actual cross-section of the guitar body at the instrument cavity, and the exact dimensions of the push-pull pot is recorded in the notebook. Making this modification fit properly will require some careful gun-smithing.
The center of the hole where the mini-toggle switch originally lived is in the correct location for the second tone control. Here, a stepped bit is used to carefully enlarge the bore in the body to accommodate the push-pull pot.
Pushing on the felt tip of the pen dispenses black lacquer. This step is not entirely necessary, because none of this will be visible, but there is no sense in leaving bare wood exposed to Houston humidity. And I’m OCD.
The threaded portion of the push-pull pot is long enough to work in a Les Paul body. However, the switch portion is nearly too long to fit under the control cover. Likewise, we will use another nut to get the control knob height to match the height of the other three knobs. We have some fiddlin’ ahead of us.
To tie the switched potentiometer body to common ground, I am soldering the ground wire to the interface between the pot and the switch. That is a weak place that can use all the support it can get. Just looking at the long haul, folks.
Thanks for reading all the way to the end!
CONTACT – David Latchaw EE