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Gibson J50 Binding Replacement and Repairs

This 1975 Gibson J50 came in with its tortoise binding completely rotted out. This is a common problem with that era of guitar and binding. The only real solution is to remove the old binding and replace it with new. This is a tedious process and difficult to do without damaging the existing finish.

Gibson used a fairly thick binding on these guitars and currently there does not appear to be a good source for exact replacement. The original purfling was White/Black/White, so I opted for using a thinner tortoise binding and making up the difference with an additional black/white purfling band using plastic for the black and holly veneer for the white. Having white behind the tortoise is important for making the coloration stand out.

The guitar was also in need of a neck reset which made the binding replacement a bit easier. Some older Gibsons are notorious for using difficult glue on the dovetail. Luckily, this one came out easily. Hot hide glue was used for the reset.

Ready for another 50 years of life!


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