The Workbench

Gent binding replacement, capturing the process.


Is it at all feasible to hire a junior or an apprentice or the like for the binding removal work?

I'm sure there is a zen and therapeutic nature to your own quiet space.

– knavel

I love my alone time, I'm happy to pass along the how to so they can have at it themselves AND I'm not holding back anything. I watch some of those StewMac videos and I'm like, what happened to steps 6-9?


Video #3 wasn't very good so I added some closeup video.


Just for posterity what cement do you use to put the binding on? Do you use acetone to mesh the two bindings together?


Cool to have these videos. I might learn something.


This provides a good clarification of what’s involved and why the cost is what it is. Thanks


This has been a truly fascinating study in the method and effort involved in re-binding Curt and it begs the question, what is the cost for this work? I ask because our site is often asked and the members commenting on a guitar needing re-binding and if it's worth it, given the cost of the guitar.


These are very eye-opening videos! Thank you for going through the trouble of making and posting these. I'll be taking notes for sure!


What does it cost? More than you’d expect and less than it should.


Your binding removal technique is identical to my own, down to the size of the chisel! Where we differ is in the application of the new binding. I had seen a video of Jimmy D'Aquisto applying multiple layers of un-amalgamated binding at once by threading it between his fingers, putting it on a few inches at a time and painting acetone between the layers one or two seconds before pressing the layers together. I asked you about it, and you basically said oh hell no, that's a recipe for disaster unless you have his level of experience. I thought that was very sound advice, but I ignored it anyway. I more or less aped the D'Aquisto approach, except that I put the innermost black layer on first, which is tricky because it's recessed and can't be taped. The next three layers went on simultaneously, effortlessly conforming to the tightest curves in ways that amalgamated binding cannot possibly do without heating and pre-forming. The whole process took an hour and forty minutes for the front and back of the body.

Your advice was good, though. I don't recommend that anyone else try this approach.


I always say do whatever works. The D'Aquisto method works perfectly with unfinished guitars and he set the depth and width of the channel. Way easier to work on a new unfinished guitar.

I believe you used ABS which can be stretched and bent which you can't do with celluloid. I just did some repairs to a section of ABS and I might change to it for ease of use and how easy it is to scrape. If only it had the depth.

Even laminating the thick outer layer of white to the thin black wants to buckle on tight corners, two completely different animals celluloid and ABS.

The issue with heat and celluloid is that once it's heated you have seconds to match the channel contour otherwise it becomes solid as a rock and won't conform around a corner. The other issue is celluloid can catch on fire and it's invisible for a couple seconds which destroys the binding.


You're absolutely right; I used ABS. I've never tried it with celluloid.

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