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Minor repairs on an early 70s Les Paul case


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Thought I'd ask here before I got started since I was on the forums.


I'd recently managed to acquire a period-correct early-70s case with purple lining for my 1974 Les Paul Custom, and got the guitar moved over from a Custom Shop case (more on my problems with that case in the Gibson Gear folder).


This early-70s case needs some minor repairs though:






Tolex is peeling at the edges, not unusual for an OHSC of this age. Fortunately it's a "clean" peel with no tears in the tolex. Lining is also peeling at the bottom strap-button and jackplate area, also no tears.


Decided not to send the case back because I thought these should be easy to fix, and if I did send it back it will probably take a long time before I find another case close to this condition, even longer wait for one that is in even better condition. I'm sure most of y'all will agree with me on that.


Now, would regular Super Glue be fine for these, or should I be looking at some other type of glue? Also, would it be a good idea to prep the surfaces with Isopropyl Alcohol, or should I avoid using it on tolex?


Appreciate the advice guys, thanks.

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Guest Farnsbarns

I wouldn't use superglue. Get some scrap cloth, put a drop of super glue on it, let it dry and then try flexing it, the cloth will crack. I'd find a flexible rubber cement. Uhu make one.

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I'd find a flexible rubber cement.


What the Tolex and lining of cases are assembled with is "contact cement". This is more or less industrial grade rubber cement as stated above. You apply to both pieces to be bonded together, let it dry to a tack, then stick it together.


The factory grade product is known as Con-Bond Red, you've probably seen red overspray inside speakers cabinets and such, and usually only available to haz-mat licensed manufacturers, but....


... most hardware stores or paint stores should have a small can of a consumer grade product. Read and follow directions.

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Thanks for the replies. Just so happens I'd bought a tube of contact cement recently for these plastic ribbons on my girl's favorite pair of shoes that had fallen off [biggrin] Works the same way, apply on both shoe and ribbon, wait for 10 minutes, then stick them together. First time I tried it I left the shoe alone for about 12 hours after sticking the ribbon on, she wore the shoes after that and the ribbon fell off in the first half hour. Second time I used a clothespin to clamp both parts together and left it for 24 hours - ribbon stays firmly on now [laugh]


How about prepping the surfaces with Isopropyl Alcohol? Anyone can tell me if I should use it or is it bad for tolex?

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