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Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com

red color bleeding into binding?

Discussion in 'Finely Finished' started by old wrench, Sep 1, 2017.

  1. old wrench

    old wrench Tele-Meister

    I've wondered about this and never got a straight answer -

    I've seen this condition on Gibson guitars in particular where the cherry red color of the back of the neck bleeds over or into the the white or ivory colored binding along the fretboard. Is this just sloppy painting on Gibsons part or is there something more insidious going on? For some reason it seems to be more prevalent at the headstock end of the neck. If it's just sloppy painting, I should be able to scrape or sand the reddish stuff off, no?
    But if it is truly something more insidious at work here . . . :eek:

    I recall reading something on the LP forum where people were convinced that it was some kind of a mysterious transfer of the red finish caused by the heat of the fretting hand, but that sounds more like voo-doo than science. I've heard of "hot" players, but that doesn't quite sound like a reasonable explanation. I know there are some experienced and informed finishers here, what do ya'all think?

    Best Regards,
    Geo.
     

  2. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Age:
    65
    Mar 2, 2003
    Lawndale CA
    In some cases it's tannic acid bleed from the mahogany of the neck. You don't see it on the body because the binding is attached to maple. In other cases it's dye. Either one is difficult - or impossible - to remove because it's actually in the binding - a penetrating "stain". "Difficult" stains are in the very top portion of the binding and can be removed with cabinet scrapers - but generally only during complete refinishing.

    There's not a factory finish material I've seen do that because it would have to happen during application - where it would be corrected. But cases I have seen have been very minor and nothing I'd bother with. Just the normal kind of variable encountered when working with this weird material called "wood".
     
    Flakey and old wrench like this.

  3. old wrench

    old wrench Tele-Meister

    Thanks Silverface.
    It's just a cosmetic issue, but I've seen it on many older Les Pauls and some ES-335's. For some odd reason, it seems to be most prevalent at the headstock end of the neck. I'm not too sharp on finishing and finishing issues and problems (but at least I am learning from my screw-ups; even us old dogs can learn a new trick or two ;)) so I wanted to get some input from some of the more knowledgeable forum members.

    The guitar is a older R9 and it's such a great player as it is now, red bleed and all. It spent all of it's previous and earlier life locked away in a case which is such a shame. I suppose it was an "investment". I believe in playing guitars; take good care of them, but play the hell out of 'em - that's what they are made for.

    Best Regards,
    George
     

  4. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Age:
    65
    Mar 2, 2003
    Lawndale CA
    Especially the very top where the end grain is exposed - more stain or dye collects there.

    Halleluja! A buddy of mine is a vintage broker and owns a real '59 and a '58 335 - both get played regularly.
     
    old wrench likes this.

  5. Vizcaster

    Vizcaster Friend of Leo's

    Sep 15, 2007
    Glen Head, NY
    I've seen it on Historic Reissues and not on production Gibson-USA 'Standards.' I believe its the red dye component of the grain filler which bleeds up into the clearcoat over time. Have you ever had dye bleed up into the clearcoat and when you sand you get colored powder? Same thing going on here, not sloppiness just adherence to vintage correct (or nearly so) choice of materials.
     
    old wrench likes this.

  6. old wrench

    old wrench Tele-Meister

    This sounds like the most plausible explanation. Now that you mention about "vintage correct materials" (and methods, I might add), I do recall someone selling a re-issue 9 and describing it as having "the very desired red bleed at the neck binding, just like the original '59s" !!!
    It doesn't make make much sense on my part to think it might be the result of sloppy work when Gibson wants to put a $5,000 or $6,000 price tag on these guitars.
    Thanks for the info.

    Best Regards,
    Geo.
     

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