Refinishing and refretting with Gibson style binding

Electric Guitar | Gibson Les Paul
Refretting with Gibson style binding - before repair
Refinishing Gibson Les Paul - before repair

This Gibson Les Paul was brought in for refretting. The binding on both sides of the fretboard had to be replaced, as the owner asked for a Gibson style refretting.

The whole guitar was finished with clear lacquer. The guitar was in relatively good shape, except for worn frets and a few scratches caused by a belt buckle on the back of the guitar, but because the binding had to be changed for refretting, the owner wanted the whole guitar restored.

Refretting Gibson Les Paul - frets and binding are removed

The binding on the Les Paul neck was glued and shaped after the frets were installed, so the fret edges are covered by the binding, which means the binding is part of the fret on its edge. If the fretboard, binding, and neck were in perfect shape, it is possible to change only the frets without touching the binding, but most of the fretboard needed to be re-surfaced. So, there were two choices: either install frets over the binding or change the binding to the Gibson style.

It is hard to say which is better, but the choice depends on personal preference when the originality or playability of the guitar is considered. All the frets and binding were removed. After the fretboard was re-shaped, the frets were installed.

Refretted with Gibson style binding

The binding was glued and shaped in between the frets after re-fretting was completed. The binding on this model is very thick; most binding on Les Paul guitars is thinner than this. You can see the binding is part of the fret on both ends of the fret.

New frets with Gibson style binding - after repair

This guitar was not too old, so it was easier to get new parts. The guitar was reborn with new parts and a new finish.

Other posts of refretting work: Refret with new finish on a maple neck

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