Gibson Guitar Board: Is it possible to 'add' neck binding to an already finished guitar ? - Gibson Guitar Board

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Is it possible to 'add' neck binding to an already finished guitar ?

#1 User is offline   EuroAussie 

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Posted 21 July 2011 - 09:30 AM

Say you already have a J-45 and want to make it more SJ'ish by 'adding neck binding ?

Could you take it to a luthier and have it done, or is it something that can only be done at the orginal construction phase ?

Im asking because I'm somewhat keen to have this done to my Les Paul Studio. I just really like the neck binding on Les Pauls, to me its one of the signature visual features on this model.

I was thinking of taking it to my local luthier to see if it he could add the binding, as luthiers in this neck of the woods dont charge an arm and a leg. He's also a guitar builder, not just a tech.

However, first wanted to check if such a modification would be possible on my Les Paul Studio.

What are your thougths ?

cheers.
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#2 User is offline   Jeremy Morton 

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Posted 21 July 2011 - 09:38 AM

After having the work done you would be half way there $$ in getting the guitar you want. Doing modifications like that will likely hurt the value of your instrument and cost a small fortune.

#3 User is offline   EuroAussie 

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Posted 21 July 2011 - 09:47 AM

Losing value on the guitar is not an issue for me. However would it really be such an expensive job, its just such a small part of the overall guitar ?



 Jeremy Morton, on 21 July 2011 - 09:38 AM, said:

After having the work done you would be half way there $$ in getting the guitar you want. Doing modifications like that will likely hurt the value of your instrument and cost a small fortune.

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The Big Fat Lady 02' Gibson J-150
The Squares 69' Gibson Hummingbird, 11' HB TV
The Slopeys 11' Gibson SJ (Aaron Lewis), 02' AJ
The Pickers 43' Gibson LG-2, 09' Furch OM 32SM (custom) , 02' Martin J-40
The Beater 99' Cort Earth 100
The Lonely Electric: 95' Les Paul

What we do on weekends:
http://www.reverbnat...oubleshotprague

#4 User is offline   Gibson101 

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Posted 21 July 2011 - 10:03 AM

 EuroAussie, on 21 July 2011 - 09:47 AM, said:

Losing value on the guitar is not an issue for me. However would it really be such an expensive job, its just such a small part of the overall guitar ?

Probably wouldn't hurt to ask him, at minimum it will require a new fret job and refinishing the neck along with routing for the binding. Doesn't seem worth it to me.

#5 User is offline   BigKahune 

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Posted 21 July 2011 - 10:09 AM

.
You could always get out the pinstriping tape to see how it looks before you drop a load of cash.

I'm with Gibson101 - Whatever a refret job costs in your area, that's just a start cost wise as the binding channel has to be routed and then the neck will have to be resprayed with nitro. Sounds expensive to me.
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#6 User is offline   TommyK 

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Posted 21 July 2011 - 10:13 AM

I suppose it's possible. Finding a capable luthier is another story. Cost may be through the roof. To do it right, the neck should be removed, frets and fretboard removed,then the freboard re-sized,..... Money might be better spent on a new guitar.
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#7 User is offline   j45nick 

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Posted 21 July 2011 - 11:12 AM

I think you could do it without removing the neck, but it's a tricky job. You would remove the frets and build a leveling jig for the router to offset the transverse arc of the fretboard. It certainly gets tricky at the fretboard extension over the top, depending on the neck set.

The typical binding is about 1mm wide, and the binding would be the depth of the board. The big risk is grain tearout both on the top of the board and perhaps on the side where the board is glued to the top of the neck. A neck re-spray would probably be required to clean up the joint between the binding and the neck. I've seen Gibson videos of the binding being scraped after installation, and it's a picky job.

I'm betting the whole job would cost $750-$1000.

It may be a small part of the guitar, but think of it like building part of an automobile from the individual parts, assembled by hand. Not as efficient as the assembly line, whether it's Detroit or Nashville.

#8 User is offline   EuroAussie 

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Posted 21 July 2011 - 12:39 PM

OK, thanks for the input, much appreciated. I think ill probably drop the idea based on your feedback. Seems like a costly exercise, especially given how little I play it..
___________________________

The Big Fat Lady 02' Gibson J-150
The Squares 69' Gibson Hummingbird, 11' HB TV
The Slopeys 11' Gibson SJ (Aaron Lewis), 02' AJ
The Pickers 43' Gibson LG-2, 09' Furch OM 32SM (custom) , 02' Martin J-40
The Beater 99' Cort Earth 100
The Lonely Electric: 95' Les Paul

What we do on weekends:
http://www.reverbnat...oubleshotprague

#9 User is offline   dhanners623 

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Posted 21 July 2011 - 03:26 PM

I'm no luthier, nor am I a repairman (although I've had plenty of guitars repaired) but I just don't see how you could add binding to an unbound fretboard without removing the fretboard -- even on a Les Paul Studio. Even if you found a repairman willing to do it, there would be a lot of refinishing work involved on the neck. The new fretboard/neck joint would have to be sanded to smooth in the binding. So you'll be sanding the neck, which means refinishing and new clear coats.

I don't mean to rain on your parade -- and I've seen plenty of repairs I've never thought were possible -- but it just seems like one of those operations that would get very costly very quickly.
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#10 User is offline   devellis 

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Posted 21 July 2011 - 07:16 PM

I'm definitely no repairman either, but couldn't you pull the frets, rout the edges of the fingerboard, fill out the space routed with the binding, and then refret with the fret ends overlapping the binding? That would put the binding on top of the neck and beside the trimmed fingerboard. But the binding itself would fill the groove created by routing and the fret ends could run right to the outside edge of the binding. The tangs would be cut under the binding so that they'd only be embedded in the fingerboard but the crown would extend over the binding.

I could be missing something here but that seems possible to me and wouldn't necessitate removing the fingerboard. The routing would be kind of tricky, I imagine.
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#11 User is offline   retrorod 

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Posted 21 July 2011 - 07:27 PM

Is it possible to 'add' neck binding to an already finished guitar ?
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#12 User is offline   stein 

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Posted 21 July 2011 - 07:37 PM

This may seem like a silly answer, but the one to ask is the one to do the work. I mean, if a competent guy says 400 bones, then there is your price. If we all say 400, and you can't find anyone to do it less than 1000, then that is the price.

I say because there ARE some talented luthiers who have techniques and abilities beyond the average. I have heard of an instance (I think from Mr. Sear?) where a guy did some outstanding thing for cheap no one thought could be done.

Personally, I think studios are cool. I like the idea of a Paul WITHOUT binding sometimes.

But, if you do do it, I might consider something tasteful and a little different than the norm (whatever that may be).

#13 User is offline   j45nick 

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Posted 21 July 2011 - 07:43 PM

 devellis, on 21 July 2011 - 07:16 PM, said:


I could be missing something here but that seems possible to me and wouldn't necessitate removing the fingerboard. The routing would be kind of tricky, I imagine.

That's exactly the method I describe above. Could be done, but not cheaply. There would still be finish work involved at the bottom of the binding, as it would be impossible to do that perfectly cleanly. The router bit generates a bit of heat as well, so there could be finish damage that needs repair. Gibson oversprays the binding, and then scrapes it off. Check out the videos on the Gibson plant on youtube sometime.

A careful person could do the binding without a re-spray, but chances are you could easily spot it.

Even the best luthier is not going to do this as efficiently as the ladies and gentlemen sitting at the bench in the Gibson plant, doing it all day. They are real artisans. A luthier building a single guitar is the equivalent of one guy assembling an automobile from scratch.

Repairs almost always cost more than new construction on the assembly line.

#14 User is offline   ezsurfer 

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Posted 24 July 2011 - 04:12 AM

Well, I agree with most of the conversation thus far, BUT... I would

1) Find a competent luthier to work with

2) Get his price, it might surprise you.

I say that for two reasons. First, I just sold off a Taylor I got in trade for a Larrivee. Once I had it, changed the strings, and instantly thought the guitar had something wrong with it, I did not appreciate it's play or tonal quality a bit. I took it to a Taylor road show, one of the best technician's I have ever met did fantastic bench "out of office" surgery, and the guitar was returned in under an hour. What a difference! It's a solid player, tons of sound, a really very good guitar.

Secondly, I have a Martin Kit guitar my father built me 30 years ago. It was always a labor of love, but certainly not a fine instrument. About 2 years ago, an accomplished friend played it and his response was, sometimes you can't fix broke. I put a tremendous amount of time into it, and in the end, there was a guitar with some potential. Still could not play in tune.

I took it to Harry's Guitar in the Raleigh Durham area of NC, where Terry, their guitar technician agreed to work the neck (Just so it is stated, I have NO affiliation, just one satisfied customer). It was a whopping $175 later, a month or so, and I now have a great sounding, fairly playable memory from my father. So, It finally is a new guitar after 30 years. The fix could have been there 30 years earlier, if I had not convinced myself any guitar so badly working would require thousands in repairs.

Best of luck with your project, if you decide to take it on.

ezsurfer

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