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Thread: Re-attaching an old label

  1. #1

    Default Re-attaching an old label

    Howdy. I have an old Gibson 21 A. Definitely not a looker as it has a few repaired cracks on the top, a couple on the side, and a misaligned back. Regardless, it is a lot of fun. Full of more dents and scratches than the car I had as a teen.

    The inside label has been torn in half (by a previous owner). I have the other half, and would like to attempt re-attaching it. I

    Does anyone have experience using unflavored gelatin to glue it (as described in the link below from Frets.com)? I don't have access to hyde glue, which some have suggested, and have heard mixed results with rubber cement.


    http://www.frets.com/FretsPages/Musi...bel/label.html

    Curious to hear your thoughts.

  2. #2
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Re-attaching an old label

    I'd just buy a bottle of liquid hide glue. It's a label. You'll find other uses for it. I have a bridge I glued on an old L&H parlor guitar about 20 years ago and it's still holding. I would never use rubber cement by the way.

    I used to think that you shouldn't consider replacing an original label but a well know much respected author of a book about Loar mandolins that knows more about these things than most of us ever imagined explained to me that replacing a label with a copy of the original isn't wrong. As a matter of fact he used to buy old books for the fly pages if I recall to get old paper. Files are even available to facilitate this restoration work. You're not making it something it isn't.
    "It's comparable to playing a cheese slicer."
    --M. Stillion

    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them"
    --J. Garber

  3. #3

    Default Re: Re-attaching an old label

    Thanks Mike. I was trying to avoid liquid hide glue, simply due to the fact that I lost my container and don't feel like buying more, only to have the original resurface.

  4. #4
    Teacher, repair person
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    Default Re: Re-attaching an old label

    Unflavored gelatin is similar to high gram strength hide glue. I've heard that some violin people have experimented with it, but I haven't used it.
    If you do use it, you'll have to mix it with water and heat it. Since it's high gram strength, you'll have to mix it fairly thin or the glue will gel before you can get the label in place

  5. #5

    Default Re: Re-attaching an old label

    Not exactly brain surgery, here. Elmer's is good for attaching paper to wood. Tiny amount smeared thin should be good for another 100 years....

  6. #6

    Default Re: Re-attaching an old label

    CA is good for brain surgery too. Definitely no sulfur containing glue, as e.g. rubber cement. The vintage mandolin era coincides with wood pulp paper, unfortunately, so some labels could have rotted. The mandolin I just bought has an almost unreadable one. I’ve been dropping in a bit of paper to identify a couple of the unlabeled ones that the experts here have id’d or dated. Maybe a little purchase or repair history could be useful.

  7. #7
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Re-attaching an old label

    Quote Originally Posted by jazzjune18 View Post
    Thanks Mike. I was trying to avoid liquid hide glue, simply due to the fact that I lost my container and don't feel like buying more, only to have the original resurface.
    Welcome to my world
    "It's comparable to playing a cheese slicer."
    --M. Stillion

    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them"
    --J. Garber

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