Neck pocket and interior body (Series 10 LP Style)
Hello out there! This is my first time here and am hoping I can find some info about this situation.
My friend is letting me use one of his old guitars to experiment and practice my new hobby as a (very) amateur luthier. I've done a lot of the basic setup work, as well as shaping nuts, acoustic bridges, wiring, pickups, etc. I'm having a great time learning and doing all this stuff, and am going to go deeper (fretwork, body or neck work), thanks to having this guitar to experiment on.
All that said, I've done extensive searching and can pretty much never find any real information about this particular guitar. It is a "Series 10" Les Paul style. Probably purchased in the early 90's. It's a very interesting guitar, especially because there's a lot of open space inside the body, but it's not a traditional hollow-body at all.
Anyway, the information I'm seeking today is as follows (I've attached pictures to hopefully help make sense of it):
1) I removed the neck and in the neck pocket it appears the wood is very unfinished/uneven. I would think it's supposed to be angled slightly towards the back, giving the neck a bit of a lift at the end of the fretboard to compensate for the body shape, but it looks more like it just wasn't finished. There is also a very small rectangular strip of plastic (I think) embedded in it. Again, I'm guessing that's maybe supposed to be a shim, but doesn't look like anything I've seen done before. My instinct is to remove that tiny piece of plastic and chisel down the wood but I thought I'd seek expert advice before doing so. Should I leave it alone?
2) On each side of the neck pocket it appears the wood is separating. I don't have a lot of experience, so any guitar I've seen open like this had solid wood on both sides, and this one seems to have layers of wood instead. Like the previous question, I'm guessing it's meant to be that way to achieve the body shape, but can't help but think it's odd. From seeing the pictures, does this seem weird, or normal for some guitars?
Thank you in advance!! I greatly appreciate any advice, and the time taken to read my long post and offer any kind of help.