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Another question re: my Ibanez AK85 (175 clone)...it has kind of tacky creme plastic binding (for lack of a better term) around the perimeter of the inside of the f-holes. The plastic is bonded to the body and covered in poly. I would love to remove the plastic but it seems like a very difficult job. How difficult would it be? I suppose one would have to scrape the plastic off the wood and then do a touch-up on the finish. Removing the plastic and leaving just the wood f-holes would look so much better.

Any one?

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Seriously Dave I would leave it alone. If you really cant stand the look I would check the Ibanez catalog for a model that doesn't have it, sell yours, and buy one of those. If you go through the hassle of removing the binding and then decide you want to sell the instrument most people are not going to look on your work as an improvement. The holes would be quite a bit bigger in surface area and might look out of proportion then. Check Robert Benedetto's book on building an archtop guitar for better info.
Good point on the f-hole size. The binding is maybe 1/8" wide, so I'm not sure if that's going to make the holes that much bigger. But yeah, it could look kind of weird. The love my guitar otherwise, and have done quite a few mods. I'll never sell it.
I have always been sorry I sold my old Ibanez Artwood. It was the 335 clone and would beat the pants off any 335 you ever heard. Not just my opinion. I sold it to a friend of mine who was a professional player and borrowed it to use while his 335 was in the shop. I have first rights on it if he ever sells it but I'm not holding my breath after 25 years. He did sell the 335. Still, check out Bendetto's book, there is a bunch of good knowledge in there and some F-hole diagrams for bound and unbound holes. Was just thinking you could trace around the outside of the binding and cut out some black paper covers to go over the holes to give an idea what it would look like if you did remove the binding.
Kind of interesting...I came across this website (www.dougsplugs.com) that makes f-hole covers out of a type of foam material to help reduce feedback. I don't have an issue with feedback but the covers actually look pretty good and might cover up the creme binding on my guitar. The covers are cut to fit precisely inside the holes and a little larger on the outside so that they don't fall into the guitar. $60/pr. seems a little steep, but...
I'm sure it's just a matter of saving you the time to find the stuff and make some...DIY with a hot wire and some contact cement. Foam should be around just about anywhere. Boats ,surfboards, Aircraft....lots of places to find it.

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