G'day all, hope someone can help me out... I am doing some work to a Kentuck KM650 mandolin on which the fingerboard extender has been broken off and lost. I have searched for buttery yellow binding to match the existing binding on the neck with no luck, I assume it has aged to that colour. Does anyone have any suggestions where I might find some or must I get white or cream binding, cut it down to the right size (as all I have seen is at least 2mm to deep) and paint it to suit. Also, do you guys recommend shellac refinishing of the top of the body or laquer??

Hope someone knows!!!

Tags: binding, mandolin

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More likely the first coats of finish had yellow color in them to simulate age. I'd do the same to the replacement binding; switch to clear lacquer when the tint looks right. Are you refinishing the whole top as well? Lacquer will match the rest of the instrument better than shellac.

Yes, thats what I suspected, there is a writeup on this on I think where they matched the colour by painting the binding to suit. I just really don't want the hassle of doing it the hard way!! I am thinking of not putting binding on the new piece at all, just stopping it at the break, but I am not sure whether it will look OK. I should say that I am not a player, as yet! and that apparently only good players get up to that section of the fretboard, so it really is a cosmetic repair.

also, yes I am refinishing the whole top, in the process of filling in dings and sanding back now... its mainly a green colour now, i think it has either gotten wet or been in the sun!! should i upload pictures do you think??

it was only a $5 garage sale pick up.

thanks for your help

I have just added some pictures of what I am doing!!

I brush mine w/Behlen Rockhard Tabletop Varnish.Works for me'cause I'm opposed to spraying.

$5!!! What a terrific score! Leon is a lucky guy! Keep us posted. Good picks too.

Check Siminoff Banjo and Mandolin Parts they have binding called ivoroid might be an appropriate color.

New to forum didn't  notice this project might be done by now.

Ivoroid probably would have been just what I was looking for Marek, thanks mate. However the project is finished now!! I have attached some photos to show people. It didn't turn out that well I think, I will get back to it at some point. The finish, as you might be able to see, came up with that orange peel effect from the underlying surface, so the whole top needs to go back to raw timber and re-coloured I suspect. Also, the re-fretting and re-binding is really hard to get right!! And I have already broken a string!! Oh well, my first effort so lessons learned.

Thanks for everybody's help


Ivoroid would'nt have done it : it's not a uniform color, somewhat grainy. You definitely need aged white or cream binding. Orange peel can be lightly sanded and respray. If you get orange peel, chances are that you sprayed a "not diluted enough" lacquer. To get a slick and shiny finish, you'll need to polish the varnish once flly hardened.

Respraying is one of the hardest repairs.

G'day Pierre, thanks for the info about the ivoiroid, I'll keep it in mind... As for the orange peel, I am not so sure! I used a laquer in a can from memory, I'll have to search for it. The water damage to the top, under the stained colour,  I think is the problem. Having said that I will try sanding it back lightly to see if it will come out. I hope you are correct, I have been wrong before!! Thanks for the feedback. You are definitely right about respraying being a hard repair, and so is re-fretting and re-binding...

Yes they are, indeed... but keep on trying! Fretting and "re-binding" are manageable, and you can improve easily with some good readings, appropriate tools and correct understanding. Spraying is... well, even with perfect pro tools and good knowledge, it can still be a pain in the butt....


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