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PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 4:44 pm 
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Good Day Members,

I have a 1980 Les Paul Custom that I am restoring (PHOTOS ATTACHED ARE NOT OF MY GUITAR BUT USED AS A REFERENCE). The entire top binding needs to be replaced. I found the binding at Luthiers Mercantile. The binding consists of three separate strips. 1st strip (starting from inside) consists of the colors white/black/white. 2nd strip consists of the colors black/white/black (each color is .020 thick) and the final outer strip is solid white (.070 thick) for a total thickness of .190

The problem is the binding from Luthiers Mercantile is 1/4" (.250) tall. This is standard I assume. This is ok as the binding around the Les Paul "top" is slightly less than 1/4" tall (.250) EXCEPT for where it attaches around the cutaway. At that point it is nearly 3/8" (.375) tall. It was suggested that I "stack" the binding to obtain the necessary height at this location. That solution may work for the inner bindings (since they will be covered by the final outer binding) but the outer "white" binding will have a horizontal seam showing where the two-halves were stacked. The original white binding was not stacked (as far as I can tell) unless there is a method to make the seam disappear.

Any ideas on where I can obtain taller binding OR the proper way to stack 1/4" binding to obtain a final height of 3/8" in the cutaway area? Please see photos of original "stock" binding on a 1980 Les Paul Custom. As you can see in the photos attached, most of the top is all 1/4" tall binding except for the cutaway where it gradually rises to 3/8" tall.
Thank you for your time.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 5:36 pm 
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If the binding is celluloid, it will dissolve in acetone. It is possible to weld two pieces of celluloid binding together such that the seam disappears.

If it's not celluloid, that won't work. I assume the original binding started out wide and there is no seam, but offhand I don't know where you would get any wide binding.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 7:18 pm 
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Hi MaineGeezer,

The binding available from Luthiers Mercantile is called, "ABS" - Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene.

I was told to purchase PBI3, PBI6 and PBIW. A total of three strips to complete the binding pattern.

http://www.lmii.com/products/mostly-not ... /white-abs


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 7:37 pm 
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There are any number of people selling ABS sheet on EBay, for example http://www.ebay.com/itm/WHITE-ABS-PLAST ... SwN81WC~I3

You might be able to cut a strip off something like that to use for the wider binding. I assume it is more or or less the same stuff. At $3.90, it wouldn't cost much to experiment with it.

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There are lots of people who mistake their imagination for their memory. - Josh Billings
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2017 1:41 pm 
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How can I tell the difference between the various binding types?

ABS (Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene)
PVC (Polyvinyle chloride)
CAB (Cellulose Acetate Butyrate)
Boltaron (an extruded ABS/PVC Alloy)

Luthiers Mercantile says all 4 compositions above behave similarly and can be used with their adhesives (FCA and FGW).

Ideally I need to identify what the composition is on my 1980 Les Paul Custom binding as much of the original binding is still in place and in great shape. I need the top binding (that I am replacing) to "match" the back body binding and headstock binding.

See photos below from Luthiers Mercantile Int'l.


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Last edited by Sunset on Wed Sep 06, 2017 2:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2017 2:01 pm 
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The original may be celluloid. To identify that, put a drop of acetone on an inconspicuous spot a let it sit a minute or two, then try scraping the spot. If there are indications that the material is dissolving, it's celluloid.

Another way, if you have a small scrap that has broken off and can't be saved, is to try setting it on fire. If it burns with great vigor, it's celluloid.

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There are lots of people who mistake their imagination for their memory. - Josh Billings
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2017 3:02 pm 
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Found this celluloid binding for sale at Axiom Inc. Looks like it would work on my Les Paul Custom but apparently the shipping costs send the price into outer-space due to the fact that it is classified as a hazerdous material.

Axiom Inc. Says:
"All common carriers and freight forwarders such as UPS, Fed Ex, etc. require that Haz/Mat regulations be followed when shipping any hazardous material."

www.axinc.net/Black_White_Binding_Strip_p/cbw.htm

See photos below from Axiom's website.

Ironically, I still need to identify the composition of my 1980 Les Paul Custom binding.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2017 9:27 pm 
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Yeah, that HAZMAT surcharge tends to make one re-think the idea of using celluloid.

If it turns out it's what is on the Les Paul, I would be inclined to match it, though. Are you within reasonable driving distance of any supplier?

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