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Once the binding was in place, we had to focus attention on providing a cool finish.
Here is a shot of the FM3's top with about three coats of white BINs shellac primer from Lowe's.   Because of the damage on the top, it was critical to get a proper base coat prior to the gold topcoats.

This is a recommended step in the ReRanch instructions, and I couldn't agree more.  Be sure to feather the shellac down near the binding to ensure that the white doesn't shine through after you're done scraping.

Here is a shot of the guitar with a few coats of gold ReRanch paint.  The white primer made the gold look very "alive".  Use the Mr. Lester instructions on ReRanch -- you can't go wrong with it.

Notice I "counter-sunk" the bridge bushings.  The Stew-Mac bushings have a flange that sit flush with the top.  Using a mill file and some sandpaper (with my Delta Drillpress), I ground the flanges down and discovered a more Gibson-like appearance -- don't forget to ground the bridge!

Note: My luthier mentor Jim Grainger has told me the horror stories of trying to clean a spray gun full of goldtop bronzing powder.  This is an alternative for anyone wanting to spare themselves the cleanup duties.

As noted in the photo above, I painted over the binding on purpose.   While you'll see some folks use thin 3M tape on the top binding, I didn't use it here because I wanted a uniform binding width around the guitar, and the tape kind of screwed-up another guitar I was working on.

This is personal preference, but the paint came off of the binding very easily, and as you can see in the next photo....

...The binding looks pretty uniform.

Two critical tools for binding:   the "indexed razor blade" and the good old single edge blade.  Very inexpensive tools for making your binding look "bootiful".

The indexed blade is a piece of cardboard superglued to a razor blade.  The cardboard keeps the scraping surface of the blade at a uniform depth around the guitar, thus providing an even appearance for the binding.

Clean-up any leftover paint with the regular razor blade.  Remember -- if you don't take your time here you may be asking for a complete strip and respray of the top.

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