Columbus Les Paul Copy


In the 1970’s Elger Guitars, became the sole North American distributor for Japanese guitar manufacturers, Hoshino Gakki Gen.  These look alike guitars were not built to the same specifications as their American counterparts, many of them used bolt-on necks, inferior electronics, and multi-piece plywood tops. However. the Japanese instruments had personality and were faithful to the original designs.

Some of the inlays and fonts were almost identical to the original Gibson and, after much complaining, in 1977 Gibson’s parent company filed a lawsuit against the Hoshino corporation for copying their “open-book-style” headstock.

This guitar The main problem was the missing binding on one side of the neck. The frets had been cut into the binding so the problem was how to get new binding on without the hassle and expense of lifting and refitting the frets which would have probably made the job not worth it.

Columbus Les Paul

The electrics and body required minimal work except for replacing the tip on the pickup selector which was nonstandard and required the thread drilling out to fit.  In my opinion the pickups themselves had been replaced with GOTOH pickups at some stage.  One tone potentiometer had also been replaced.  The frets needed some levelling due to wear and are probably softer material than a higher quality instrument.To replace the binding without lifting the frets meant cutting out a section of the binding at each fret position before fixing.  This was done with a fine craft saw and sharp blades and was a bit fiddly.

Holes cut now it needs to be glued.

The ideal tool for holding while the glue dries.

Adjustments and trimming

Scrapping the excess off the binding.

Stringing and set-up finishes the job.

Then it just needs playing.