Greetings .. I've done a good number of successful neck removal/resets on old guitars with celluloid fingerboards, but recently I had a case of the 'exploding fingerboard', thanks to the typical 'ebonized' maple boards frequently used on these cheap catalog guitars.  This one crumbled just looking at it. (see photos)

So, wanting to preserve the original look of the guitar, I removed the celluloid fb pieces and plan to re-glue them on to a salvaged maple board (divots filled with CA) from another old Stella, the scale matches perfectly.  

I have a couple of questions: 

1.  What would be the best glue?  I originally thought it was glued with hot hide, but found out it's not water soluble .. 

2.  Are the celluloid pieces 'clean' enough for the glue job ahead?  Note that the bottom side is 'ridged', likely for better glue adherence.  I cleaned the ridges out with a modified dental tool .. tedious but mindless  work  ;-)  If more cleaning is needed what product is safe for thin celluloid?

Thanks all, Tom

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I generally advise not to "clean up" the old gluing surface, because I've found that celluloid is successfully RE-glued with standard Titebond if there are still remnants of the old glue and particles of substrate imbedded.

  I'd avoid solvent glues, except for  the white binding cement from LMI or StewMac.  The idea is to try to avoid adding any more solvent, which tends to accelerate the decomposition of old celluloid.

Thanks, Frank, looks like Titebond it is .. easy enough to work with.  I've learned to avoid using the white binding cement on vintage instruments, since I've had a bad experience with 'melting' original finish when re-gluing some loose binding.


Worked out fine, Titebond did the trick, with masking tape to clamp it on, then some weight to make sure all is flat.



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