So we're refinishing an old ES 355 (for good reason, don't worry,) and the customer figures as long as the finish is off and he's already spending some $$, we may as well bind the F holes too. We figure that's going to be a pain in the butt, but okay.

The question is, what do you guys like to use for clamping pressure in such cases? The binding is about .070" thick and is proving a little stiff for tape. We've heated it and dry-clamped it... It'll work but we're just looking for any further ideas.


Tags: F, F-hole, Hole, binding

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fingers and ca glue
heh, that would be my plan, but for sure I would wind up sticking myself to the binding :)

If it's stiff and tape isn't enough to hold it, something tells me it could be pre-bent a little bit better so less force is required. Tape should be enough to hold a good fit in place shouldn't it?

Are you doing it in 2 passes like this?
A-men Nick.
I've repaired some F hole bindings using small wedges and a tapered peg for the round holes on the ends. I make the slope on my wedges (and peg) fairly long so there is less chance of the wedge twisting the plastic out of squarely fitting against the wood edge. You can also use two wedges with the tapers opposite one another and the square side against the plastic. I liked this because it allow me to see what I'm doing and control clean up better than tape.

Most of what I do is repair so I was usually working with plastic that was a close fit to the shape and I didn't have to apply too much pressure. I have only used it on mandolins and it could be that the larger size of a guitar's holes will not work so well with my method but I figured it was worth mentioning.

Thanks fellas.
Dan announced yesterday morning that he'd figured it out in a 2am brainstorm. The issue was the stiffness of the binding (even after heating/prebending with a heat gun) and getting really solid contact along the whole gluing surface. Paper backed binding tape was breaking from time to time because of the uneven distribution of stress. So...

Duct tape. Yep. Doubled or tripled up in spots, it held great with plenty of strength. ...There was also a lot of fingers and CA involved too. The tapered peg idea ocurred to us too, but the round areas aren't really round and... well, the other ideas just came easier.

So thanks for all your thoughts. We'll post a completed pic when finished.
All done. Thank you all for your advice. This was a wild repair and we're glad to be finished with it. Check it out. We recommend the duct tape approach. Worked great.

Vintage Gibson ES355 - Refinished, Bound, and Refretted


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