ES335 Possible Neck repair?

DinoDownuder

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Hi,
I'm looking at buying a 2005 Gibson ES335 Dot and was sent a number of photos. One stood out as I've never seen a neck binding with a pink line in between like this.
Does this look like a repair or its nothing to be worried about?
Thanks
 

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ARandall

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That's simply the red tinted nitro line. They tape the binding to spray the initial tint, but often they err on the side of taping off less. So you get a small sliver of coloured binding
 

strömsborg

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Isn't it just sloppy masking or scraping? The color coat extends up onto the binding.
 

LtDave32

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Hi,
I'm looking at buying a 2005 Gibson ES335 Dot and was sent a number of photos. One stood out as I've never seen a neck binding with a pink line in between like this.
Does this look like a repair or its nothing to be worried about?
Thanks

that's fairly par for the course on a lot of Gibsons. Nothing to worry about.
 

Oranjeaap

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Well first time I see it this clearly.

Anyway, you think they sprayed the dye too high or the clear coats too low?
Think you can really tell where the clearcoat starts, like they just ripped the masking tape off after final clear coats and just left it like that.
 

Michael Matyas

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I've seen lots of guitars from various makers that sport that red (or maybe brown) edging on the binding. It's just tinted lacquer, nothing to worry about. But I did notice, if you look very closely, that the binding appears to have faint vertical cracking at the center and left-hand side dots. Maybe you could point that out to the seller and try to get a better price?
 

DinoDownuder

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I've seen lots of guitars from various makers that sport that red (or maybe brown) edging on the binding. It's just tinted lacquer, nothing to worry about. But I did notice, if you look very closely, that the binding appears to have faint vertical cracking at the center and left-hand side dots. Maybe you could point that out to the seller and try to get a better price?

Thanks for that. I didn't notice the vertical cracking of the dots from looking more at the red edging.
They're asking around $2100 USD so yes, I might go take a look and offer something a little less on both points.

I don't have a lot of experience at searching for the right Gibson so its really great to get this info.
 
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Brek

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Was that the only thing about the neck that made you ask? If so I think it not something I would look at of evidence of a neck repair, I mean, if they were good enough to leave no sign of join where it broke, I think they’d manage to mask the binding better than that.
 

mdubya

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100% normal as is the cracked binding caused by fret sprout which is normal 100%.

That is a beautiful guitar based on the single photo. Buy it.
 

cmjohnson

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Not at all unusual, except the scraped line is a bit higher than normal. Gibson has a busy production schedule so their standards must be aimed at keeping that schedule. So....the line is straight and even, and that's good enough. And they don't tape off the binding because it's faster to scrape than to tape...if an experienced scraper does the job.

Having been there and done that, binding scraping after paint, that is, I think that scrape job is good if a bit on the high side. Scraping is not easy. And it's very hard on the fingers.
 

Michael Matyas

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The cracks in the binding have nothing to do with the fret ends, as they are located at the side dots, in between the frets. The reason for these cracks is that the binding is shrinking faster than the side dots. Something's got to give, and in this case the binding is starting to split. Most plastics are going to shrink over time, and that's that.

BTW, there is no such thing as "fret sprout." Frets protrude because the fingerboard wood shrinks over time. This is the result of drying out because of low ambient humidity. You can water your frets every day, but they are never going to sprout.

Looking again at your photo, it appears that the frets look pretty flat on top. If you buy, you may need to have the frets leveled and crowned. You might want to find out what that will cost in your locality, and discuss that with the seller.
 

Kennoyce

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BTW, there is no such thing as "fret sprout." Frets protrude because the fingerboard wood shrinks over time. This is the result of drying out because of low ambient humidity. You can water your frets every day, but they are never going to sprout.

I'm pretty sure that everyone here knows that the frets don't actually sprout. Doesn't change the fact that "fret sprout" is common term for the phenomenon of wood drying out and shrinking causing the fret ends to poke out the side.
 

smk506

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Fret sprout sounds better than wood shrink to me :eek2: ...
 

Michael Matyas

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The reason I dislike the term is that it is often accompanied in posts with terms like "normal" and "no big deal." It is a very big deal. Your playing surface is shrinking, and your binding can crack or get pushed right off the neck. If it's severe enough it can end up needing replacement of binding, a total refret, and finish work on the neck. "No big deal"? I don't think so. I know I was being sarcastic, but my point is that the term tends to minimize a potential money sinkhole when buying a used guitar. When a novice potential buyer asks for advice, I feel it can be a disservice for more experienced members to make light of something that could end up costing the guy a bundle to put right.

P.S. I knew I was going to get flak for what I said. No hard feelings!
 

pshupe

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The reason I dislike the term is that it is often accompanied in posts with terms like "normal" and "no big deal." It is a very big deal. Your playing surface is shrinking, and your binding can crack or get pushed right off the neck. If it's severe enough it can end up needing replacement of binding, a total refret, and finish work on the neck. "No big deal"? I don't think so. I know I was being sarcastic, but my point is that the term tends to minimize a potential money sinkhole when buying a used guitar. When a novice potential buyer asks for advice, I feel it can be a disservice for more experienced members to make light of something that could end up costing the guy a bundle to put right.

P.S. I knew I was going to get flak for what I said. No hard feelings!

The wood does not keep shrinking. It expands and contracts based on dry to humid conditions, usually seasonal. Not sure what will be pushed right off the neck? If you want to stop it, almost completely, keep your guitar in a humidity controlled environment. There are lots of inexpensive ways to do this. Conditioning the fret board may help as well. The recommendation is to oil the board once a year usually around the dry time. To me it is no big deal.

If you are building from scratch, and not concerned with vintage correct, just cut back the tangs. This will also help to minimize.

Regards Peter.
 

ARandall

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Yes.....wood is seasoned precisely so it is fairly dimensionally stable when it gets to the point of being in a guitar.

It is not like the tuner tips on old Klusons.......wood will only shrink/expand in a limited extent based on the small changes in air moisture content.
So making this out to be some massive issue with secondhand guitars is just not accurate. Unless the guitar has been massively mistreated, where other issues like neck warp will be way more pressing than any fret sprout, its really not a massive issue.
My 75 LPC has had most frets cracking the binding due to sprout.........no playability issues especially as its old enough to have been been refretted and there are no nibs to be an issue.
 

Michael Matyas

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I stand by my earlier position: once a fingerboard has shrunk to the point where the fret ends are splitting the binding or starting to push it off the neck, you have a real problem on your hands. Wood gains moisture primarily through its end grain, which on the guitar that the OP was asking about is sealed off by the binding and the nut, so there is little chance that the wood will swell to its original size, even if it is stored in a damp environment for a long time. This does not appear to be a problem with the guitar that the OP was considering, but the plain truth is that it is a lot harder to put moisture back into a piece of wood than to lose it in the first place. Just put a piece of wood that is end-checked in your basement and see how long it takes for those cracks to close up. Cows will jump over the moon before that wood swells back up.
 

pshupe

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I stand by my earlier position: once a fingerboard has shrunk to the point where the fret ends are splitting the binding or starting to push it off the neck, you have a real problem on your hands. Wood gains moisture primarily through its end grain, which on the guitar that the OP was asking about is sealed off by the binding and the nut, so there is little chance that the wood will swell to its original size, even if it is stored in a damp environment for a long time. This does not appear to be a problem with the guitar that the OP was considering, but the plain truth is that it is a lot harder to put moisture back into a piece of wood than to lose it in the first place. Just put a piece of wood that is end-checked in your basement and see how long it takes for those cracks to close up. Cows will jump over the moon before that wood swells back up.


The issue with your statement is that you seem to say it will keep shrinking. It will not unless, as ARandall says, it is in an environment that is much more dry that it has ever been. It is just as likely that it will then expand back when the environment changes back to a more humid state. Wood also loses moisture through end grain, so similarly it takes a while to shrink. If you keep it in a "normal" state it will not get worse. I've built numerous guitars for myself. The first couple years I notice the fret sprout. I can carefully file in the dry period. I only have to do that once and I have no issues after. If I am not doing a vintage correct build I cut the tangs back and have the fret tops over the binding. I can dress the frets so I never get sprout or have cracked binding from the fret ends pushing through. Non existing problem solved.

As for the plastics, it would be rare to find a vintage guitar that did not have cracks like that in the binding. Usually at the fret ends. If you found one, expect to pay a premium. Not a discount for the common. LOL

Regards Peter.
 

Roxy13

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Even if you do put on binding with nibs, couldn't you still undercut the tangs a bit to try to prevent it?
 

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