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Discussion Starter #1
I moved back to Edmonton from the east coast 4 months or so ago. It’s a pretty humid climate year road there, here it’s pretty much a desert.

I noticed all my guitars had the frets starting to poke out, obviously the wood is drying, especially in Alberta in the winter. I have fret files, level, bevel, crowning tools, etc. I fixed all my other guitars, no problem, easy.

This is one of my coolest guitars(90’s fake 59 burst) and my only guitar with binding. You can see in the pics that 2 of the frets are pushing the binding away from the fretboard. One is starting to crack the binding.

Not sure if this should be a concern or not but still should I get it repaired? Remove the frets or replace all frets? I know it doesn’t look bad but I can feel the bumps in the binding and don’t really want that or like that. Plus I don’t want it to crack even more and start peeling the binding away.
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Yes, Alberta is very dry. Specially anywhere heated with wood. Any idea what the humidity level is where you're keeping your guitars? I like the 40 to 50% level.......and so do guitars!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yes, super dry but my humidifier stays steady around 50%. This one and my strat were the worst. A few weeks ago I brought those to my brothers place to jam. Left them there for a few days. Didn’t think anything of it but it’s suoer hot and very dry in his condo. That’s probably what did it.

I might drop off the les Paul copy to get frets done. Was quoted around $300 which isn’t real crazy.
 

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Yes, super dry but my humidifier stays steady around 50%. This one and my strat were the worst. A few weeks ago I brought those to my brothers place to jam. Left them there for a few days. Didn’t think anything of it but it’s suoer hot and very dry in his condo. That’s probably what did it.

I might drop off the les Paul copy to get frets done. Was quoted around $300 which isn’t real crazy.
That's what did it alright.
 

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I'd wait a while. Once you get it back to the 50% humidity of your place it should come back. The wood shrinks and the fret tang keeps the binding from shrinking back with it. I have the same issue with my home built Rickenbacker when my room is too dry. Bring the humidity back and no problems. If you look at a lot of vintage instruments they will have cracked binding at the fret ends. Same problem. If you replace the frets you may have the opposite problem when the wood expands.

Cheers Peter.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I actually have noticed since being home that the gap is now not as noticeable. I just have to get it back to a steady consistent humidity. I’ll wait a few more weeks and see.

Also yes all the actual vintage les Paul’s I’ve seen from google do have cracks, frets and/or binding that have been replaced. Still have to have a real one though.
 

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I actually have noticed since being home that the gap is now not as noticeable. I just have to get it back to a steady consistent humidity. I’ll wait a few more weeks and see.

Also yes all the actual vintage les Paul’s I’ve seen from google do have cracks, frets and/or binding that have been replaced. Still have to have a real one though.

Can we please see the rest of it?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I splurged and spent way more than I should on a ultrasonic humidifier with a 4L tank for a large room. I just put it in the middle of the room.

My cat loves water so I came home to it knocked over! It bubbles as the water goes in, he loves it so now I have it jammed in the spare room with a few of my guitars.
 

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Can you feel this when you play? That is quite the relic job. Clearly you shouldn't worry about it from a "it looks like a ding in a nice pristine guitar" point of view. Did you build this yourself? Has it been re-fretted already once? Normally a replica would have nibs and the frets would stop at the edge of the fret board. The binding looks a bit thick but that could be just the picture.

Cheers Peter.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
The only reason I’m worried about the binding crack is because if it gets worse it will effect the playability. The rest is cosmetic.

No I did not build it, it was made by Matt at GBS guitars out of Ontario in the early 90’s. I think he’s still building them today, much better has he went on. The binding doesn’t seem thick to me but it could be? Yes the frets should probably have been cut back to the edge of the fretboard not the edge of the binding.

The nibs you mentioned is what Gibson is doing now, back then in 50’s I don’t think they had the binding with the nibs, maybe in the 90’s when this was done but all the real vintage 50’s les Paul’s I’ve googled didn’t have the binding over the fret ends.
 

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The only reason I’m worried about the binding crack is because if it gets worse it will effect the playability. The rest is cosmetic.

No I did not build it, it was made by Matt at GBS guitars out of Ontario in the early 90’s. I think he’s still building them today, much better has he went on. The binding doesn’t seem thick to me but it could be? Yes the frets should probably have been cut back to the edge of the fretboard not the edge of the binding.

The nibs you mentioned is what Gibson is doing now, back then in 50’s I don’t think they had the binding with the nibs, maybe in the 90’s when this was done but all the real vintage 50’s les Paul’s I’ve googled didn’t have the binding over the fret ends.
Actually Gibson has gone back and forth over the years. I think they do what ever is simpler. The vintage LP Standard bursts had nibs on the binding and the frets ended at the fret board. But with a 60 - 70 year old guitar they were normally lost when re-fretted. It may even have been intentional to represent a road worn guitar that had been re-fretted. They had binding that was a little over 1/32" ( 1 mm), which is very thin by today's standard. I have heard of older replicas back in the 80's even but that is definitely early for a replica. He must have gotten his hands on a few, maybe more, early guitars to create a decent replica. Now you can just google most of the stuff or buy replica drawings online. I actually helped Tom Bartlett develop his most up to date set of drawings for a '59 Burst.

Cheers Peter.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I’m a fender guy but always liked Gibson, I got this in a trade a few years ago. I love it so I googled research on these burst replicas, seems Gibson has never kept anything consistent.

I did read that the famous appetite for destruction les Paul Slash used was a replica, this one I have is probably not up to par with that one but still what’s up to par with Gibson when they constantly switch back and forth with their specs.

Either way with this one I’ll wait a few more weeks and see what happens. If no changes I might have it refretted with frets that stop at the edge of the fretboard.
 

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Leave it in a humidity monitored room for about a week to ten days and see how it looks.
 
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