Gibson 1950s Les Paul Junior Barnfind

There's a buzz around the recent discovery of a severely battered Gibson Les Paul Junior from the early 1950s left in a barn

This Gibson 1950s Les Paul Junior Barnfind was found in a sorry state. Guitar enthusiast Matthew Scott takes on an ambitious restoration project.


It turns out it is a 1954 Gibson Les Paul Junior!

Gibson 1950s Les Paul Junior Barnfind

In the world of guitar aficionados, there’s a buzz around the recent discovery of a severely battered Gibson Les Paul Junior, believed to be a vintage gem from the early 1950s.

Musician and YouTuber Matthew Scott stumbled upon this relic during his travels to Wichita, and, in his words, it’s “the worst condition I’ve ever seen.

This find promises to be a challenging restoration project that has captured the attention of the guitar community.

Gibson Les Paul Junior 1950s Barnfind


The Gibson Les Paul Junior, a single-cut electric guitar, has endured decades of harsh exposure and neglect. Leaving its original sunburst finish virtually obliterated.

The neck and headstock have also suffered, With the iconic Gibson Les Paul decal barely visible through the remnants of the finish.

Battered Gibson Les Paul Junior 1950s Barnfind

Botched Repairs

But the damage goes deeper. The original nut has been replaced with aluminum foil.

Plus, the controls are snapped off, and the tuning machine buttons have rotted away.

Most shocking is the repair attempt that involved drilling four bolts through the body and into the neck at the neck heel.

Gibson Les Paul Junior 1950s Barnfind with bolts through body repair


While the instrument’s history remains largely a mystery, Matthew Scott plans to unravel its story as he embarks on the daunting task of restoring this vintage treasure.

As he quickly discovered, this guitar was far from plug-and-play. Although he managed to coax some sound from it during an initial inspection. A replacement tuner and new strings were just a temporary fix.

The action measured almost half an inch, highlighting the need for a comprehensive overhaul.

Battered Gibson Les Paul Junior 1950s Barnfind

Early ’50s

What adds a unique twist to this tale is the guitar’s potential vintage status. Scott speculates it might be an early 1950s model, possibly a first-year release from 1954.

Clues pointing in this direction include the absence of a serial number on the back of the headstock. Suggesting it might have been stamped onto the wood rather than impressed.

The presence of a painted serial number would loosely place it within the 1954 to 1961 timeframe.

Other indicators include real pearl dot inlays, characteristic of ’54 and ’55 models, and the single-line Kluson tuners. However, the exact year remains uncertain until Scott dissects the guitar in future episodes of his YouTube channel.

Follow Matthew Scott’s restoration journey and stay tuned for updates as he delves into the heart of this vintage mystery. For guitar enthusiasts, this promises to be an exciting adventure in bringing a piece of musical history back to life.

It reminds us of the tornado-damaged Gibson 1952 Les Paul Goldtop restored for Jared James Nichols. Thankfully, that one is up and running again.

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