Binding A Raised Center

Foxburrow2022

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This forum has been a great deal of help to me over the years, but this is my first post. I have a question I can’t seem to find the answer to.

I have always wanted to bind a guitar with a raised center. My body style I normally build has a 1/2” tall center portion on the top, and 1/4” on the sides. How would I go about installing binding on this?

During my build process, I have a flat top guitar body fully routed and drilled for pickups and hardware, I set up a jig and route the sides down from 1/2 inch to 1/4 inch.

So my question is. Should I either..

1. Cut the channel and install binding on the 1/2 inch flat top, and then use my router to bring the sides w/ binding to proper thickness? I worry that the router will bust the binding or melt it beyond repair.
Or
2. Cut a binding channel after routing my sides down, install a binding tall enough to reach the top on the raised center portion, and hack off all the excess above the top of the sides with a blade?

Any and all help/advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
 

Jupiter

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I did it once on a 335-type body the way Gibson does/did it in a video I saw once: I made a little collar out of corian for the hole in my router table, about the height of the arch.

To tell the truth, it's a kinda scary procedure, but it actually went smoother than I thought it would! Of course, ya wanna avoid tipping it right or left as much as possible, but the collar really does make it pretty easy. The guy on the Gibby video was ripping those puppies out in like 15 seconds each...

When I flush cut the edges, I taped little corian scrap stand-offs around the recurve of the body, just to force it to be flat, but for the binding channels I didn't even bother. I just put some masking tape on the face of the body to protect it from scuffs on the router table.

*One other important trick you can see in that bottom pic was that I stuck a MDF cap over the end of the neck pocket area to make sure the binding channel didn't mess up the pocket. Of course, mine was a set neck and I hadn't cut the mortise yet; how you deal with that will depend on the neck joint.

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Foxburrow2022

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Thanks for all the input so far, the guitar’s top I’m building is basically a more pronounced firebird style, I didn’t know if the techniques suggested would work with that, I just don’t whether to size the top before or after I route a binding channel?

Here is a picture of what I’m doing, I’ve been doing faux bindings so far and I just hate the look and would like to get to where I can do actual binding. Thanks for the input so far!
EF8EFC06-0549-47AB-8083-AE85102BA0C7.jpeg
 

Freeman Keller

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I only build a few guitars with flat tops and they are easily routed for binding using either a router table or simply resting the router (laminate trimmer) on the top.

When I build a "flat topped" acoustic guitar the top and back really aren't flat, but they are close enough that I can tape a little wedge shaped block to the sole of the trimmer which puts the bit at the right angle.

IMG_1108.JPG


Everything else has a significant dome or arch to the top - carved tops or 335's or whatever and I simply broke down and bought one of the floating router jigs and cradles. I adapted my Ryobi trimmer to fit (it is set up for the Bosch Colt) and it works beautifully

IMG_7117.JPG


There is one other technique that can work pretty well with a carved top. Route the binding channel before you start carving the top and a second channel that will become the edge of the guitar at the top of the binding (normally the recurve). Do all your carving down to that top route.

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There are a few binding tricks that might help you here

 

Freeman Keller

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Thanks for all the input so far, the guitar’s top I’m building is basically a more pronounced firebird style, I didn’t know if the techniques suggested would work with that, I just don’t whether to size the top before or after I route a binding channel?

Here is a picture of what I’m doing, I’ve been doing faux bindings so far and I just hate the look and would like to get to where I can do actual binding. Thanks for the input so far! View attachment 983289

Binding the inside of the horn on something like that (assuming it is carved like a LP) can be tricky because the binding goes up vertically into the horn. There are a couple of approaches to this - if you have that problem I can comment.
 




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