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Aria Bass Headstock Binding Repair

This instrument had binding missing from the headstock, and from what I could tell it had been missing a while because the slot where it was supposed to go was kinda beat up. Not only that, but the finish was polyurethane, which is much more difficult to repair than lacquer.

First thing I did was match the color as closely as I could. It wasn't perfect, but it was close enough not to notice unless you were looking for it. Then I secured the neck to the work bench so I had a clear view of the top of the headstock. I took a plece of binding and cut it to the proper length. I cut a slot in a piece of wood the same depth as the binding on the headstock to act as a guide for trimming the new binding, and trimmed it to within about .001" of the old binding.

I started at the very top of the headstock and bent the binding with a heat gun, slowly and carefully shaping it to the headstock. When I'd finish one curve, I'd tape it down and start on the next.

Once it was bent into shape I removed the tape and filed the ends to fit the binding still on the headstock. Once it fit correctly I glued it in place and glued the ends together with acetone. Then I taped it down and waited until the next day.

The following morning I taped off the headstock with electrical tape, which super glue doesn't stick too very well, and began to fill in the gaps between the face of the headstock and the binding with black super glue, which does a pretty good simulation of polyurethane. I then set it aside to dry.

Once I was sure it was completely dry all the way through, I took off the electrical tape and began to scrape the black super glue down to the same level as the rest of the headstock. Then I took a small clamp pad and used it as a block with progressively increasing grits of sandpaper starting with 400 and ending with 12000 grit micro mesh, which brought it to a pretty good shine. Then I buffed and polished the headstock until it was as shiny as new. I re-installed the tuners and strung it up.

The repair came out very well, with just a slight difference between the colors of the new and old binding, and unnoticeable unless you're really looking for it. The client was pleased to see his bass headstock looking almost new!

The repair is barely noticable unless you're inspecting it up close. The client was extremely happy with the result, which is what really counts.

Other mods, repair, and custom work available as well.

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