Workshop: Just-In-Time Binding

My friend Rob has been waiting forever for me to get to binding his old Gretsch and I'd told him, "I'll get it done before Xmas." So, with about 10 hours to spare, he picked it up this afternoon.

I tell folks who want me to re-bind old Gretsches this: "I only do it for friends or celebrities." It's a joke but it's close to the mark. It's always a nightmare to do the work. Fortunately Rob had done most of the grunt work himself, chiseling all of the old rotten celluloid off (and only leaving a few minor scars) so that I just had to do a final prep and clean and then bind it.

The job is not perfect (you can't get this perfect unless you're refinishing/overspraying, for what it's worth, in my opinion -- and the instrument itself is well-aged anyway...) but it's especially gratifying to see this instrument not look like a sunken wreck dredged from a reef somewhere.

As you can see, the in-process bit uses half a roll of blue tape to get it all on there.


daverepair said…
Nice job Jake! Binding replacement is tedious and challenging!
Rob Gardner said…
Boy, what a Christmas miracle to get this old girl back in such beautiful shape. I wish we had pictures of the original binding which had mostly crumbled away, leaving tattered, ratty pieces behind like broken teeth and corroding all the old gold metal work in the process. Beautiful job, Jake thanks very much and Merry Christmas to your handsome Vermont family.