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Projects: Loose Martin binding

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A common problem on Martins made around 2015 is loose binding, especially around the waist or cutaway. Although modern binding is less prone to shrinkage than traditional celluloid types it is still best to deal with it promptly.

These three Martins - a 000, a D-28 and a DC-Aura GT - all came in with binding problems within a few days. The most dramatic was the DC-Aura - as well a some separation at the waist, the entire cutaway binding had come loose and a short piece around the heel area had been lost altogether.

Because of the compound curves involved these repairs can take a variety of long-reach clamps, plus wooden wedges, shaped perspex cauls (the perspex also the repair to be monitored closely as presssure is applied), and tape. On some of these repairs I used fibreglass tape which is very strong and allows the binding to be pulled into place nicely, but it can only be used on instruments with lacquer in very good condition. On an older instrument, low tack tape or long rubber bands would be a safer option. After gluing, there is always some lacquer repair to be done - these instruments are quite new and their condition means that a visible crack in the lacquer isn't acceptable. So it's a slow and quite expensive repair.

Martin binding repair

Martin binding repair

Martin binding repair

Martin binding repair

Martin binding repair

Martin binding repair

Martin binding repair

Martin binding repair

Martin binding repair

Martin binding repair

Martin binding repair

Martin binding repair

Martin binding repair

Martin binding repair