Les Paul Relic: Part 1 |Go Figure
Be careful if you're buying a Greco or a Tokai with a flamey or figured maple top. Unless it's one of the high-end models - in which case you probably shouldn't be thinking about stripping and re-finishing it anyway - that figure will probably turn out to be a thin maple veneer over a maple cap. It will look tremendous, but you'll have to take extra care when you're stripping and sanding to make sure that you don't go through the veneer.
Our guitar's top didn't appear to have much figuring, but through the dark opaque varnish I could tell that it was quarter-sawn in the centre and graduated to flat-sawn at the edges, with a fairly attractive grain pattern. The seller was extremely honest and accurate in his description and I wasn't particularly concerned by the lack of figure. In The Beauty Of The Burst book, Yasuhiko Iwanade states that ‘the percentage of the ones with any figure on the top is less than one third'.
1. Les Paul Relic: Part 1 | Introduction
2. Les Paul Relic: Part 1 | Long Neck Tenon
3. Les Paul Relic: Part 1 |Go Figure
4. Les Paul Relic: Part 1 | Back, Neck and Binding
5. Les Paul Relic: Part 1 | Stripping Off