Putting a new jack plate on a Les Paul

pictures: Béla Berka

Les Paul jack plates are traditionally made of plastic on most models. Plastic is a great flexible material – until it gets brittle through ageing, that is. The jack plate on my Junior lost one of its corners recently, so it was time for a new one.

I decided to switch to a chromed metal jack plate this time, which should last considerably longer than plastic. A genuine Gibson-plate should (at least theoretically) guarantee the new plate will be a straight swap without complications.

I’d recommend you loosen the nut before taking off the plate.

A screwdriver with the correct tip will keep the screw heads in working order.

The nut is easy to unscrew with your fingers, if you’ve remembered to loosen it at the start of our little operation.

Fix the jack to the plate using only very moderate force – if you overdo it the jack might bend. It’s important to hold the jack in place to keep it from turning along with the nut. If you allow the jack to spin chances are you’ll rip off the leads in no time.

In some cases a jack will only fit into the cavity in one particular position. If the jack doesn’t fit in snugly and easily, loosen the nut a little bit and try to find the correct position.

The Gibson-plate fits like a glove, so all that’s left to do is screw it back in place.

Mission accomplished – shiny new plate on cherished old guitar!  😀

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