So I have a Martin d-18 acoustic guitar and the Binding at the waist of the guitar is peeling away. Now usually this is caused by humidity and or temperature changes in the guitar so the best way to prevent this from happening is to keep your acoustic guitar at a consistent humidity and temperature. now I have a Planet Waves Sound Hole humidifier that I keep in the guitar every time it’s in the case, and I also have this custom-built humidifier that I keep in top of the case. This is just a travel Q-tip case that I drilled some holes in and then put a sponge into to give me some extra humidity control, however I usually only use that extra one in the winter when it is really dry out. Now even though I’ve taken these steps I still have some peeling binding. I usually bring this guitar places about twice a week so twice a week going outside in the Chicago Summers and Winters for a couple of years has caused some wear and tear on this guitar, this isn’t the end of the world but it is something that we need to address and fix.
What we’re going to use to glue this binding back to the guitar body is what’s called cyanoacrylate glue or CA glue for short. The CA glue that most people are familiar with is super glue usually it comes in this kind of toothpaste tube and it’s pretty thick and I don’t think I’ve ever been able to use it without either squirting it out the back of the tube or just getting it everywhere and gluing my fingers together and making a huge mess, so we’re not going to use that and I don’t recommend using it. What you may not realize is that you can get different viscosities of the CA glue, so usually people always get the thick stuff in common super glue tube but they also make a medium that I use most around the house gluing plastic parts together and things like that. but for this purpose right now I recommend getting the thin CA glue.
I picked up this kit off of Amazon and it comes with the bottle of glue some nozzle tops and these handy little super thin straws that are going to help us get that glue right down in the crack and not anywhere else.
Before I start gluing I need to check that The Binding can in fact push all the way up tight against the guitar waist. I think that this came loose from just repeated seasonal changes in the guitar humidity but if it popped loose from the guitar being neglected and fully drying out way too far then the waist of the guitar might have shrunk so much that you can’t push the binding all the way tight. You don’t want to force it back into place because you could end up cracking the binding and that that point you will create more problems for yourself and probably have to remove the whole binding and replace it with a new piece. So before you glue the binding you want to make sure that the guitar is at the appropriate humidity. I know that this guitar is around 50% humidity (Ideal guitar humidity is between 45-55%) right now and I know that this binding can easily be pushed back tight against the guitar so I am ready to start the glue up.
I’m just going to use the little extension straw on the thin CA glue and I’m going to squirt it down into this crack and then I’m just going to hold this tight for a couple minutes so the glue can set up. you could try and clamp it with some painters tape or something like that but I think it’s just as easy to hold the binding tight while the glue dries to make sure everything stays nice and tight. I want to be careful not to put too much glue in the crack to prevent it from squeezing out, and I want to keep it off the finish as much as possible, otherwise we could end up with a big sticky mess.
And with that is all it takes to fix guitar binding. Now obviously you can see that there’s a crack in the finish and it’s not a perfect like the day it was made repair, but this guitar has a couple other blemishes and cracks in the Finish anyways as this is my main acoustic that I play so I don’t care about making it a museum piece. All I care about is making a functional repair that’s going to keep this guitar playable and stop it from getting any worse. Hopefully you don’t have this problem on your own guitar, but if you do then you can fix it in the same way that I have here.
Watch the video here to further see how the repair was made: