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A customer brought in an early 70's Gibson that needs "tortoise shell" binding work - is it possible to re amalgamate the stuff with MEK or acetone, or encapsulate it with epoxy or other adhesive,  or is that out of the question?

Tags: binding, celluloid

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Well, I've tried the scribing and heat gun method, as mentioned. The lacquer was lifting and the binding was so crumbly that there  was no plasticity left to soften the binding to "peel" the binding out of the rabbet, soooo here's what I came up with:

1. quick brush on of acetone on binding, being sure to get the two joint lines wet.  Let it dry WELL. I feel that this helps slightly soften the lacquer and help reduce lacquer chipping when scribing and when removing binding.

2. scribe both joint lines with Sloane purfling cutter - this also removes a lot of the "crumb"

3. Find a spot where binding has lifted - using a syringe, drop amounts of acetone in the rabbet, being careful to avoid spill over onto the back, top or side  - if it happens , leave it to dry!

4. using a dog leg carving chisel seen below with progress pic of binding removal.

I am generous with the acetone and keep it puddled in the rabbet as I work - when the binding lifts I apply more acetone making sure not to leave a dry spot in the rabbet - this guitar at times seems to have two layers of binding to make up the .075 + - thickness or it could just be the original .075-.080 de laminating.  It's slow work, but the results are clean, Nice plywood back, huh??

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