Premier Guitar features affiliate links to help support our content. We may earn a commission on any affiliated purchases.
Reader Guitar of the Month: Parquet Paul

A woodworker shares his favorite build: a neck-through Les Paul copy constructed of Honduran mahogany, purpleheart, and walnut.


Name: Mike Kobel

Hometown: Chandler Heights, Arizona
Guitar: Parquet Paul

I enjoy making things and have been working with wood since junior high. Over the years, I’ve built a few guitars (Tele-style, Strat-style, etc.), but this time I wanted a guitar with the neck through the body, so I decided to copy a Les Paul.

The body and neck are Honduran mahogany with two strips of purpleheart. I chambered the body to make it lighter. The top is walnut, which was cut into 3/4" cubes and then glued together in

a parquet pattern. When working with this wood, I tried different color stains but found that just using a clear coat looked the best for my taste, so that’s what I went with. The fretboard and headstock are ebony with pearl inlays. I used a Gibson Tune-o-matic bridge and tailpiece, Grover tuners, and the pickups are a Gibson ’57 Classic and a ’57 Classic Plus.

I got into music around the time I started in the wood shop, but my first instrument was drums. I played in small groups for a few years, then picked up the guitar. I started making guitars in the early ’80s. The first one was like a Gibson ES-335, only smaller. My current tone preference is either a Gibson Les Paul or Thinline Tele into a Fender Twin. Some of my favorite players are David Gilmour, Ronnie Earl, Albert Collins, and Robben Ford. I love the blues: I love to hear a humbucker through a Twin with a little distortion—you know, that Robben Ford sound.

Woodworking and guitar playing are what I love to do, so they came together naturally. It’s a real treat to make music on an instrument you made yourself!

Send your guitar story to submissions@premierguitar.com.

Looking for more great gear for the guitar player in your life (yourself included!)? Check out this year's Holiday Gear Finds!

Read MoreShow less

Created in collaboration with legendary guitarist George Lynch of Dokken and Lynch Mob fame, the Mr.Scary Mod adds an adjustable tube gain stage and an onboard Deep control, which together are designed to enable an amp to have increased sustain while still retaining note definition and dynamics.

Read MoreShow less

October Audio has miniaturized their NVMBR Gain pedal to create two mini versions of this beautifully organic-sounding circuit – including an always-on gain device.

Read MoreShow less