Binding 101

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by Freeman Keller, Jan 24, 2020.

  1. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Friend of Leo's

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    I’ve been thinking about doing a thread on binding for a while and suddenly there are multiple threads about it and one of my friends sending me e-mails. Plus, the weather is crappy outside and its too cold in the shop – maybe its time to talk about binding.

    First, my normal disclaimer. I am not a luthier, just an average amateur guitar builder. I’m not a pro, I don’t sell them, I’ve made many of the mistakes but there are still a lot to make. The fact that I am not a pro maybe is fitting for this group – I’m like a lot of you.

    I’ll show you things that have worked for me, things that I have learned from far better builders than I’ll ever be. However there are many other ways to do binding – you need to decide the best for yourself.

    I’m also not a finishing expert. If and when we talk about finish it will again be the way I have learned to do it but there are many many other ways. We have a whole subforum at TDPRI devoted to finishing – I suggest you consult the many great threads there.

    OK, with that taken care of, what is binding and why do we do it? Binding is some sort of protective and/or decorative material put around the edges of a guitar. Originally binding was used on acoustic instruments to protect the delicate end grain of spruce or cedar or other sound boards. That might not be as important on an electric guitar but its really important on an acoustic. Binding can hide the seam between the top and sides and in some cases strengthen it. And binding can be decorative – it can add contrast, different materials, and/or tie themes together.

    A couple of brief definitions – I’m going to refer to “binding” as the single piece of material on the outside of the edge of the guitar. I’m going to call any additional lines or inlays or mosaics inside the binding “purfiling”. Frequently you will hear both binding and purfling taken together called just “binding” (as in a Martin guitar with herringbone binding) – that’s OK but I like to use the separate terms and will here. When I talk about binding, if I refer to its “side” that will be the long dimension that is parallel to the side of the guitar, the “top” will be the short dimension parallel to the top. Bottom and back should be obvious.

    Binding can be lots of different materials. In days gone by it might have been turtle shell or elephant ivory – you can’t do that anymore. During the 1930’s and 40’s it might have been celluloid plastics, these haven’t lasted very well and we use more modern plastics now – mostly PVC (like water pipe, it will last forever). Wood is often used as binding, usually with its long grain running around the edge of the guitar. I will refer to wood and plastic binding here because they are most common, but there are others.
     
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  2. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Friend of Leo's

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    Before we dive into how to install binding, let just look at some examples. These are all from my collection so I can talk a bit about what they are and how they were installed. I have numbered each instrument just so we can refer back to it – someone might want to know what glue was used in number (4) – with luck I can remember. I might show several pictures of one guitar, particularly when there are different bound parts. I’ll try to give a brief description of the guitar, woods and binding materials.

    (1) Les Paul clone, maple over mahogany. Traditional cream plastic binding on body, neck and head. I’ll comment on that gap on the side of the head (if I remember to)

    IMG_5389.JPG
    IMG_5391.JPG

    (2) ES-335 clone, laminated maple body, mahogany neck, ebony f/b head plate, pick guard. White plastic binding on top and back, neck, head, f-holes, pick guard and even the truss rod cover.

    IMG_3421.JPG

    (3) “An acoustic guitar that looks like a ES-175” Built for a friend, Lutz spruce over mahogany, ebony f/b, headplate and p/g. White plastic binding with some bwb purfiling – again, bound body, neck, head, p/g, f-holes…

    IMG_2117.JPG

    IMG_2119.JPG

    (4) My personal tele. Maple cap on a mahogany body, rosewood binding to match the rosewood f/b, pickup ring and knobs.

    IMG_5365.JPG

    (5) A LP sorta guitar with Spanish cedar top and head plate, mahogany body and neck, rosewood binding on the body and head to match the f/b

    IMG_2135.JPG

    IMG_2134.JPG
     
  3. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Friend of Leo's

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    (6) Typical of my acoustics. Cedar over cocobolo, mahogany neck. The binding is all coco with a thin maple line. The top purfling is designed to mimic the rosette.
    IMG_5364.JPG

    IMG_5363.JPG

    IMG_4415.JPG


    (7) Flamed koa guitar with mahogany neck and koa headplate. Binding is all flamed maple – body, head and neck.

    IMG_5372.JPG
    IMG_5373.JPG
    IMG_5475.JPG


    (8) Hollow body jazz guitar, spruce top, flamed maple back and sides. Rosewood fretboard, headplate, pick guard, p/u rings. Flamed maple binding with rosewood line
    IMG_5371.JPG
    IMG_3607.JPG

    IMG_5370.JPG
    IMG_5473.JPG
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2020
  4. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Friend of Leo's

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    Those photos seem to be awfully large but I really don't want to take the hassle of resizing them, sorry...

    (9) Spruce over Mad rose parlor guitar. Rosewood binding with abalone purfling. I’ll show you how to do this….

    IMG_5380.JPG
    IMG_5382.JPG


    (10) F5 mandolin, spruce over flamed maple. White plastic binding with some bwb purfling

    IMG_5383.JPG
    IMG_5384.JPG
    IMG_5388.JPG

    I've got to show this one because its just too cool. This is a 1932 Stella (yes, 90 years old). The body is birch with a "pearloid" fretboard (sometimes called Mother of Toilet Seat). The binding is matching but it has this really interesting sparkly gold boarder. No idea of how it was done but I had never seen anything like it

    IMG_5762.JPG
     
  5. Treadplatedual

    Treadplatedual Tele-Holic

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    Beautiful work, looking forward to this thread!
     
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  6. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Friend of Leo's

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    How do we do all of this? First we need to cut a channel in the guitar the same size as the binding. By far the easiest way is with a router and a bit which follows both the top and the side at the same time. The most popular bit is the set that StewMac sells,

    https://www.stewmac.com/Luthier_Too...ers_and_Bits/Bits/Binding_Router_Bit_Set.html

    They are expensive, yes, but they work. I bought my set when I made my first guitar about 15 years ago, they have routed over 20 guitars to date. The set consist of a bit slightly smaller than 1 inch diameter and 8 or 9 ball bearings that fit over one end. The size of the bearing sets the depth of the cut into the side of the guitar, adjustment of the router sets the depth from the top. Here is my little laminate trimmer with the bearing set.

    IMG_1107.JPG

    Probably time to jump up on my safety bandwagon. Remember, routers are scary dangerous powerful nasty machines. They don’t care if they are cutting mahogany or flesh. They can grab your guitar and throw it across the room. The can take away your fingers. Treat them with the almost care and respect and they will do wonderful things for you, forget that respect and they will hurt you.

    ALWAYS UNPLUG YOUR ROUTER ANY TIME YOU ARE CHANGING BITS, BEARING OR ANY THING ELSE. NEVER START IT WITH THE BIT IN CONTACT WITH WOOD. THINK ABOUT THE DIRECTION OF ROTATION AS YOU FEED IT INTO YOUR WOOD. REMEMBER THAT IT WILL KICK BACK AS IT STARTS. Need I say more?

    The very easiest guitars to route and bind are ones that are completely flat on top – teles are perfect. With them you can just choose a bearing that will make the depth of cut into the side of the guitar and you set the base of the route to control the depth from the top

    B4.JPG

    You can also use a router table with the top of the guitar resting on the table, it’s a little harder to see but works fine

    IMG_4657.JPG

    One problem with acoustic flat top guitar is that they aren’t flat on top. Or bottom. They are built with a slight dome to the top and back which means that the plates meet the sides at an angle – maybe two or four degrees – and the router does not sit square with respect to the sides. An easy way around this is to slightly shim the base of the router – in this picture I have a couple of little 5 degree wedges taped to the base. As I go around the guitar I keep turning the router so its sitting on those wedges.

    IMG_1108.JPG

    When doing combinations of binding and purfling you often end up with a series of channels in kind of a stair stepped fashion. Route the top (deepest) one first, that way the bearing can ride on the side – if you do the main binding channel first the bearing doesn’t have anything to support it

    IMG_4978.JPG

    Also, I try to set the depth from the top so the binding and purfling just barely stands proud of the top itself, maybe a couple of thousands. It is much easier to scrape binding back level with the top than the other way around.

    Last trick, with soft woods like spruce and cedar paint a bit of shellac or sealer around the edge that you are going to route – it will help prevent fibers from tearing out of the wood. It also helps when you tape the binding in place, that will come later.
     
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  7. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Friend of Leo's

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    Routing the channels in a flat topped instrument is really pretty easy, it gets a whole lot harder with things that aren’t flat. There are, however, several ways to approach this. While the instrument is still flat on top you can use the router or router table as before and just make the depth of the cut enough that the binding will be exposed after you carve it. In this case I have routed two channels, one for the binding and one that represents the top of the recurve

    IMG_1952.JPG

    When it comes time to carve the top I simply stop at the recurve line

    IMG_1953.JPG

    IMG_1954.JPG
    Here is another way to route a carved top guitar. I made a little thingie for my router table that supported the edge of the guitar with the center of the top sitting on the table using the same SM bits. The thickness of the little guide is the same as the carve of the top

    IMG_0695.JPG
    IMG_0696.JPG

    I had built a couple of carved and arched topped guitars with the above methods but when I got into laminated guitars with arched tops and backs (ES-335 style) I decided that my mickey mouse methods had to go. I broke down and bought this floating router setup (from StewMac of course)

    IMG_2588.JPG



    The guitar sits in a little cradle that I can slide around my work bench, the router rides up and down on cam followers in a channel bolted to the work bench.

    IMG_3337.JPG

    It uses the same SM bit set but there is a little UHMW donut that rides on the edge of the guitar top.

    IMG_2587.JPG

    It will just (barely) route the insides of cutaways, some guitars might require a little hand work. One variation on the floating router is a pantograph device that allows it to move up and down but not tilt. The StewMac thing works so well that I now use it for all my guitars, including “flat top” acoustics

    IMG_4977.JPG
     
  8. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Friend of Leo's

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    There are other ways to cut binding channels. When I did the mandolin (10) above I bought one of these and the appropriate bit

    https://www.stewmac.com/Luthier_Tools/Tools_by_Job/Tools_for_Binding/Binding_Router_Guide.html

    It worked OK, I guess about as good as you could expect for all those tiny little scrolls but there was a heck of a lot of hand clean up. I haven’t used it since – 75 bucks for one shot doesn’t make much sense.

    Another method is a “gramil” which is a traditional hand cutter using a sharp blade and guide. These were used by violin makers two hundred years ago – its an option if you want to use only hand tools. Robbie O’Brien has a nice video of how to do it

    https://www.lmii.com/binding-tools/2624-schneider-gramil-and-blade.html


    Before we go any further a brief comment about materials. You can buy all sorts of plastic binding from all sorts of sources – StewMac, LMII, whatever. Most of it is ¼ inch tall and various thicknesses. 40 to 60 thousands seems to be good thickness for most applications. I buy all of my wood binding from LMII or StewMac – for three or four bucks a stick it makes no sense to try to make it. I buy a lot of binding with a contrasting color on the short (bottom) side – that makes the nice single purfling line that sets the binding off from the wood

    https://www.lmii.com/401-binding/s-144/subcategories-wood_binding

    https://www.stewmac.com/Materials_a...nding_and_Purfling/Natural_Wood_Bindings.html
     
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  9. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Friend of Leo's

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    However you do it, the first step of binding your guitar is to cut the channels. Second is to prepare the binding. Plastic is pretty easy, preshape it into the channel using a little heat to coax it around the sharper bends

    IMG_0697.JPG

    Wood is a whole lot trickier, it needs to be perfectly bent to the same curve as the sides. The easiest way to do that is the same way you bent the sides (assuming you did). For my acoustics I bend sides in a machine designed by Charles Fox that uses a heating blanket and something that looks like a cider press.

    IMG_4903.JPG

    At the same time I bend the sides I do the binding and just put them away until needed (taped to the mold). I bend all four pieces of binding at the same time – tape them together to make a flat sandwich, pop them in the machine, and presto

    IMG_4908.JPG

    Unfortunately sometimes you need to bend binding and you are not making sides or the Fox machine just doesn’t work. In that case I break out my hot pipe. I have two, one heated by a charcoal lighter, one with a blow torch.

    IMG_3504.JPG

    Basically you put a wet rag over the pipe, work the dampened wood back and forth until it reaches that semi plastic state where you can work it into some sort of mold while it cools

    IMG_3505.JPG

    You break binding. The tighter the curve and the more figure to the wood the more you will break. I bend a few spares

    IMG_3499.JPG

    However you do it, make it fit.

    IMG_3509.JPG

    Whew. We’ve got our binding prepared and channels channeled. I usually don’t do much with purfling – I bought one of those StewMac UHMW laminators – it was more trouble that its worth. Before I show you my trick, I’ll show the traditional way of gluing binding in channels. You need to choose the appropriate glue – for plastic that is some variation on acetone or an acetone based plastic glue like Ducco. Some people make their own by dissolving bits of their binding in acetone – its called “glop” I think. I used Ducco on my first couple of guitars – it works by melting the plastic when then sticks to the wood of the channel. The idea is to squeeze some glue into the channel, position the binding, some how hold it in place, keep moving down the channel. The “somehow hold it in place” can be done by wrapping rope around your guitar, big rubber bungie cords, or little pieces of masking tape.

    Wood binding is the same except that you use wood glue – usually AR like Titebond. But same process – some glue in the channel, position the binding and any purflings, tape them in place while the glue dries. One other glue you will see suggested for both wood and plastic is medium viscosity super glue – but same drill, a bead of glue, position the bits, clamp in place.

    I have to take a moment at tell a little story here. When I made my Lester it was the second time I had bound with plastic. I had not liked the Ducco cement that I used on the first one so I thought I would try the medium CA. I got everything ready, binding is bent, pieces of tape ready, got my wife to help as I knew I would need four hands.

    IMG_0697.JPG

    Put on my latex gloves, squeezed some CA in the channels, positioned the binding and promptly glued my blue gloves to the side of the guitar. The more I fought to get them loose the more pieces got glued on. My wife war rolling on the floor laughing her ass off. She reminds me of that whenever I tell her I’m going to bind a guitar.

    That happens to be guitar (1) in the gallery. One thing that is significant is the gap in the miter on the bass side of the headstock. That resulted from this whole fiasco of trying to hold a springy piece of plastic in place while the CA kicked off – it didn’t quite work and there is a gap as a result,
     
  10. JuneauMike

    JuneauMike Friend of Leo's

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    Awesome thread. I've got ambition to scratch build a baritone electric one day so this is right on time.

    As you know, the prime directive that all routers operate under is to destroy your work and physically harm the builder. Jigs and fixtures keep those little gremlins in check, but they still manage to throw us some curve balls no matter what. Can you talk a bit about correcting mistakes; tear out, inconsistent grooves, etc.?
     
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  11. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Friend of Leo's

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    Mike, thank you, and a very good tutorial comes with the router bits from StewMac. Here is a link

    https://www.stewmac.com/How-To/Onli...sing_the_Binding_Router_Bit_and_Bearings.html

    They recommend doing four "climb cuts" where the bit is pulling itself into the work. You will read a lot of discussions on climb cuts - what I know is that this seems to work for me and I have never had bad tear out.

    I also don't try to do the whole channel in one pass, I find it better to route once around without a whole lot of pressure into the side (still holding the router tightly of course), then come back and make another light pass to clean it up.

    I always coat soft woods like spruce or cedar with a sealer around the edge, I still get tear out and little fuzzies. Mostly that can be cleaned up with a sanding stick.

    As far as correcting mistakes, its best to not make them in the first place. But if you look closely at any of those pictures you will see mistakes - lots of them. The most common is that you simply don't have a nice tight fit and little gaps appear. My work has dramatically improved by the gluing sequence that I use, which I will discuss in an upcoming panel. I'll also do a panel on finishing, if I can remember I'll try to include gap filling. But its really like any other part of building - the better the fitment the less gaps.

    One thing I have learned about inconsistant grooves is that it is better to let the sharp bit cut the channel than trying to clean it up with sandpaper and chisels. You have to keep a very sharp corner in the back of the channel or the binding just doesn't fit tightly.

    Anyway, stay tuned, there is a lot more to come.
     
  12. JuneauMike

    JuneauMike Friend of Leo's

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    Golden, I'm keeping this one! Thank you.
     
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  13. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Friend of Leo's

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    Lets do one more part of this before I have to go to a friends for a house concert tonight. There will be more tomorrow.

    I said I would show you the traditional way. Here is my first home made guitar, about 15 years ago. I carefully routed the channels

    8-Top after routing.jpg

    Squeezed a bead of Ducco cement around half the guitar and taped the binding in place

    9-Top binding.jpg

    It worked, was messy and had some gaps, and in the 15 years I've been playing in a couple of sections came loose.

    My second guitar was a classical bound in wood. Same drill, routed the channels

    DSCN1293.JPG

    Squeezed some Titebond into the channel and taped the binding in place

    DSCN1295.JPG DSCN1296.JPG

    In both cases after the tape came off (it was mostly glued to the guitar along with the binding) I had all the excess squeeze out to deal with. One thing I learned with both of these, if you leave Ducco or Titebond on any wood surface and try to finish over it you will see the glue.

    The methods I described will work and it the time honor traditional way of binding. However, what ever glue you are using, what ever binding and purfling you are trying to fit it is always a bit of a cluster. The glue is setting, its squeeze out onto wood and tape and your hands. It is really hard to get the binding tightly seated in the channel, the tape breaks as you pull it tight across the sharp edge. You see little gaps, look for clamps or some method of closing them. When you are done you have glue all over the place, the tape is glued to the top, you see gaps that weren’t there when you carefully fitted the binding.

    I did that for four or five or so guitars – if you look carefully at them you will see imperfections in the binding – gaps that have been drop filled, miters that don’t quite fit. Somewhere I heard of another technique which is what I use today – on everything.

    Basically I dry fit the binding until it is perfect. Take it out, sand or chisel or do whatever I need to do until there are no gaps, it fits tight in the channel, the miters are perfect. Then I tape it in place leaving gaps between each piece of tape. I might put an extra clamp on the waste or someplace that I was having a little trouble – point is I can take my time, look at it, fiddle with it until I’m satisfied. Here I am taping one half of the back of an acoustic – I can stop what I am doing and take a picture. The guitar is mahogany, I’ve put a rosewood center stripe down the back and am binding with rosewood, which is prebent (the picture a bit earlier). I’m putting one maple purfling line on the back, its flexible and doesn’t need to be bent

    IMG_5004.JPG

    Once the binding is taped in place (completely dry) I take a pipette with water thin CA (StewMac #10 or equivalent) and I put a tiny drop on the interface between the binding and body – right on top of the purfling. It is immediately wicked into the seam, almost none stays on the top. The I pull the tape and run a bead of CA all the way along the seam. I’ll do both the top and the side – if need be I can be very careful and not get any on the top but it doesn’t hurt to be sloppy and put lots on.

    IMG_5003.JPG

    I have become very sensitized to CA so I wear a respirator when doing this. There are a lot of fumes. The white thing is a piece of industrial plastic called UHMW, CA doesn't stick to it and I can use it to hold the binding while the glue kicks off. If I do that I usually use accelerator.

    What I’m doing is just like a welder who clamps two pieces of metal together, than tack welds them in a couple of spots, removes his clamps and runs a full bead. CA scrapes back pretty nicely

    IMG_5006.JPG

    IMG_5005.JPG


    Here is the top - it got four little purfling lines to match the rosette. After tacking them in place like the back I just flooded everything with the CA so it wicked down between all the layers

    IMG_5008.JPG
     
  14. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Friend of Leo's

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    Here is the same game on my tele, bend the binding on the hot pipe. That's a charcoal lighter inside a piece of 3 inch galvanized pipe

    IMG_4658.JPG

    Tape the binding in place leaving gaps, tack it in place

    IMG_4659.JPG

    Pull the tape and "weld" it in place

    IMG_4661.JPG

    Scrape it back

    IMG_4662.JPG

    One little tidbit here while I am thinking of it. I find it much better to bind the body before I route the neck cavity. That way the binding is supported and becomes a part of the body. If you route and try to fit it after the pocket has been routed the binding won't be supported. Here it is after the pocket has been made, you can see how nicely it fits

    IMG_4691.JPG
     
  15. monkeybanana

    monkeybanana Tele-Meister

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    Freeman, thanks for doing this thread. I just revisited your acoustic build and am working on my number two! All thanks to you.

    I bought a go bar deck, mold and have the binding jig on its way from Stew. So I’m committed...or as you said I am in trouble.
     

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  16. GeminiCG

    GeminiCG TDPRI Member

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    Freeman, thank you for sharing all the knowledge you have gained from years of building. I too personally thank you. This thread will be bookmarked on my browser for years to come. :D
     
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  17. nickhofen

    nickhofen Friend of Leo's

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    Thanks for the time and effort to make that thread and kindness to share your knowledge!
     
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  18. Captain Nutslot

    Captain Nutslot Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    :cool: This thread is extremely sticky!
     
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  19. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Friend of Leo's

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    Thank you all for the nice words and likes and stuff. I truly hope this is useful. Lets carry on with some of the little fun stuff like binding on necks and heads and f-holes....

    I like bound necks and fretboards on most guitars. Binding hides the ends of the frets and can make the edge of the f/b smooth and nice. It can also carry a theme from the body to the head. Binding a neck is fairly easy but it does interject so considerations.

    First, I bind fretboards before I glue them to the neck. I can’t imagine jigging up to route a binding channel in a neck after its been built – I suppose you could but its so easy to do first. It does require very careful measurement – the sides of the fretboard must be perfectly straight and exactly the correct width at two critical spots (usually the nut and the body joint). Here is a neck set into the body but not glued, the f/b has been carefully sanded to the correct width and is not glued to the neck. There is a small gap at the end of the f/b where the binding will go next to the p/u ring

    IMG_2531.JPG


    I just clamp the binding onto the fretboard with a piece of waxed paper underneath. Two straight pieces of wood will hold the binding tight against the sides of the f/b, here I am taping the binding down so I know it is flush with the bottom of the f/b (very important if you have a purfling line. You could either be doing this with glue on the binding or you could wick the glue in just like the body - my preference is the latter

    IMG_2532.JPG

    Now wick the CA into the seam being careful not to glue the binding to the wood strips

    IMG_2533.JPG

    When its cured scrape back just like the body

    IMG_2534.JPG

    The trick to bound fretboards it the you have to fret between the binding – each fret is carefully cut to fit. This particular f/b is bound in wood, the one above was plastic.

    IMG_4046.JPG

    I do not do “nibs” – I rather think they are silly but for certain vintage instruments they are traditional. If you want to do nibs, fine, but I won’t refret your necks


    Binding heads is just like the body, channels are cut, the little pieces of binding are bent and mitered and glued into place. Sometimes there is some creative clamping required. Here is an acoustic head with a rosewood head plate being bound in rose with a single light line to match the body and the neck in the previous picture. You've seen it all before, route the channel, bend the binding, clamp it in place, wick the CA, scrape it back

    IMG_5041.JPG

    IMG_5042.JPG

    IMG_5043.JPG

    (an explanation of that last picture - the curved end of the head is taped on but to hold the miters really tight I c-clamped a block of wood to the head and used the blue clamps to pull the ends in tight. Like I said, sometimes you need creative clamping and its better to work that out before the glue goes on.

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    Last picture showing how the purfling line comes up under the nut and fades into the purfling line between the f/b and neck. Details details details

    IMG_5045.JPG

    A couple more comments about binding heads - if you plan to bind it think of a shape that will be easy to fit and clamp and miter. Plastic is infinitely easier to do all the tight bends and miters. My "standard" gibson style head does not have the little dimple in the middle - that would be particularly hard to bind. The mandolin (10) was an exercise in patience
     
    nickhofen likes this.
  20. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    74
    Posts:
    2,616
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2018
    Location:
    Washington
    Bound f-holes just shows how anal you really are. Its not too hard if you use thin plastic and a little heat to fit the curves. It is definitely best to prefit everything using tape and little wedges, then wicking CA in the seams.

    IMG_3309.JPG

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    Here is bwb, the binding stands proud both inside and outside the body and is simply trimmed back level

    IMG_1609.JPG

    I like to do them while the back is off the guitar which lets me extend the material both inside and outside, then scrape it back flush. I’ll also wick a lot of the thin CA on the inside of the top. This guitar is a jazz style archtop with a spruce top. It seems like they frequently crack around the points of the f-holes so I have reinforced that area with some surgical gauze tape and CA

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    A last trick with f-holes (and other holes in the top) is to mask them from the inside while you have access. After finishing you can break the tape off into the inside of the guitar and fish it back out thru the hole.

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    One thing to remember about bound f-holes is that if you have to fish components thru them you might want to double check that you can get them thru the hole after binding…. In the picture above I have fitted the pickups under the bridge plate while I had access. The jack is left inside the guitar with a string running out the end pin hole. There is no way I could do this thru the f holes when the box was closed

    If you really want an exercise in frustration try binding your f-holes with flamed maple, along with everything else on the guitar... (8)

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    It is possible (and kind of cool) to bind wood pickguards, truss rod covers and other small items with either thin plastic or thin wood as that picture shows. Details details details....
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2020
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