Filler, Primer, and Binding Questions

Beebe

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Sounds like things are not going as smoothly as you would like. A few random comments

- I had never seen that ultimate scraper thing until I followed your link. Looks pretty, well, ultimate. I have some nice cheap card scrapers that I bought somewhere (maybe Grizzly) and one very nice quality cabinet scraper that was gifted to me by a cabinet maker. I clamp them in a vice, flatten the edge, then roll the burr as is shown in a bazillion videos. I put more aggressive burrs on some for carving wood and less aggressive for final smoothing just before finish. Mine aren't ultimate but they work pretty darn well.

- I do have the StewMac floating binding router jig and the cradle, but I wouldn't use them for a tele. A tele can be routed either on a router table or with the router sitting on top of the body - either works, each has advantages. If you ever decide to build a guitar with something other than a flat top you'll want the floating gizmo - there just isn't another good way. I've modified the cradle for smaller bodied guitars and yes, some cutaways are pretty tight.

- A router table is handy for some other things so its good to build (or buy). Just doing truss rod channels paid for mine.

- I don't allow any wax (or silicon or oils) near my guitars. They simply ruin any chance of spraying any of the finishes that I use. I know there are wax finishes, I've never used them. For polishing I use wax and silicon free commercial products.

Definitely not going smoothly, but I'm learning a lot. My goal has been to standardize so I can build really nice T (and E) styles in various colors, really efficiently and using only all natural finishing products. This project is a perfect example of how one customization (binding in this case) can add an exponential amount of time and cost to a project.

I think the basic StewMac binding scraper might work more like a cabinet scraper, taking advantage of the burr. It seems like an art getting these dialed in. If going the cabinet scraper route, I would probably pick up the StewMac burnisher... just to tighten the learning curve.


Carnauba wax is quite hard, but I understand the concern of having it on a router table top where you will be rubbing the workpiece around. Because I only work in spirit varnish it shouldn't be an issue.

Edgar Russ, a violin maker living and teaching in Cremona Italy, actually uses shellac that has not been dewaxed. When he started he searched out the highest quality dewaxed shellac. After years of building, he now uses the bottom of the barrel stuff, and believes the small amount of wax can actually improve the finish. He discusses it here (and gives away his secret formula, similar to mine):



I also just came across this piece of info that I need to do some research into. My finishes are sensitive to alcohol and turpentine so this interests me:

"Carnauba wax can form solvent resistant superhydrophobic films from selfemulsifying mixtures with alcohol emulsions. These films are resistant to solvent etching by chloroform, toluene, acetone, and alcohols [6]."

 

Beebe

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More in this tangent:

It appears the making of a solvent resistant carnauba wax coating may be as simple as mixing molten carnauba wax with boiling ethanol... Definitely a double boiler type situation.

"Thirty mL ethyl alcohol was brought to boiling in a constant temperature water-bath at 85 °C. Then, 0.3 g of carnauba wax flakes were slowly added within 3 min and the mixture turned into a pale yellow clear solution after the complete melting of the wax."

My last step in finishing is usually spraying a flash coat of diluted spirit varnish. Maybe I can do a flash coat of this on top of that to increase resistance to solvents. Maybe even add some clear Mica for increased durability and luster (something else I've been toying with in clear coats).

 

Beebe

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Router table is almost built just waiting on delivery of my 2" Forstner bit.

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I'm going to attempt my first binding job on this project that I never fully finished. It's a ToneBomb body that was warped and that I sanded down thinner almost removing the rollover. So it never had a uniform rollover.

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My plan was to use black binding with the green. So I ordered some. Then I got thinking about changing the body color. There were only a few finishes that looked good with black binding to me: natural and brown stains, white, dark red, and gold sparkle...

So I'm giving a gold sparkle a shot. I decided to spray it over black. I have gold Mica in several particle sizes. It'll probably end up somewhere between pearl and glitter.

Here is my primer coat. It's Roman Black mixed with a Pewter like Mica. Under 12000 lumens and in regular ceiling light.

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Beebe

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First time routing for binding turned out pretty good as far as I can tell at this point... No tear out or chipped finish.

The bearing did damage the finish I sprayed two days ago though (I was testing out some glitter pigment).

I wanted the finish to be a little soft so it wouldn't crack (I didn't remove any finish from the previous color, so there is a lot of clear under this). Well it didn't crack, but it was too soft I guess.

Putting a little artist oil on the sides helped.

My binding is perfectly flush on the sides with this bit, so maybe I can get away with using some really thin tape to protect the finish from the bearing... next time I want to route soft finish.

Other issues:

The cut did go ever so slightly too deep where the bearing slid into the jack hole when doing the top. I had previously sanded a lot of material off the top of this one, so it might not be an issue with other projects, but I'll definitely check.

My plan is to bind, mask sides, spray color, and scrape this practice piece before routing the main project.

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ChicknPickn

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- I don't allow any wax (or silicon or oils) near my guitars. They simply ruin any chance of spraying any of the finishes that I use. I know there are wax finishes, I've never used them. For polishing I use wax and silicon free commercial products.
Ain't that the truth. I once used aerosol silicone on some bike gearing in my garage. Where I paint. I had a body in primer there. I should have taken a picture of the fish-eyes later.

So, cleaned every surface, stripped the body back to bare wood, crossed my fingers that I wouldn't run into any more silicone. Big learning experience.
 

ChicknPickn

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First time routing for binding turned out pretty good as far as I can tell at this point... No tear out or chipped finish.

The bearing did damage the finish I sprayed two days ago though (I was testing out some glitter pigment).

I wanted the finish to be a little soft so it wouldn't crack (I didn't remove any finish from the previous color, so there is a lot of clear under this). Well it didn't crack, but it was too soft I guess.

Putting a little artist oil on the sides helped.

My binding is perfectly flush on the sides with this bit, so maybe I can get away with using some really thin tape to protect the finish from the bearing... next time I want to route soft finish.

Other issues:

The cut did go ever so slightly too deep where the bearing slid into the jack hole when doing the top. I had previously sanded a lot of material off the top of this one, so it might not be an issue with other projects, but I'll definitely check.

My plan is to bind, mask sides, spray color, and scrape this practice piece before routing the main project.
My hat's off to you. I haven't tried binding yet.
 

Beebe

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The binding went on pretty ok on my test body.

I did the top first with Bind All. It was pretty much the same disaster others have had with it. It also softened my finish, so some sections tore out while sanding.

I did the back with thin CA glue and it was a much better experience.

I have a bending iron and a heat gun, but I prefer heating the binding with a lighter. I didn't heat it enough for the horn though and got a few white stress lines.

Because the body I started with wasn't perfect, and because of the finish tear out, I have some filling to do.

I also had to remove a lot of binding material on the top, back, and sides so I think I might need to go with a different bearing on the router and adjust the bit for a slightly deeper cut.

I still haven't gotten scraping down. I keep ending up with chatter. I'm have better luck with sanding.

I started sanding with 120 because I had a lot of material to remove. I followed up with 220 and 400. I did do some scraping.

This is a test guitar, so I didn't go the extra mile to remove all the sanding scratches from the binding. I want to see how visible they are under the finish to get an idea of what grit should be used.

I also made a 1/32nd rollover radius scraper out of one of these name plate blanks. It works ok, but I'm not sure I'm going to use it. I got the idea from this banding scraper I came across.


Here's mine.
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You can kind of see the burr here that makes these work as scrapers. The aluminum is soft so less aggressive... It won't go through CA glue for example. Anyway I'm having better luck scraping with it than anything else I've tried.
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I put some clear on it to protect the binding and to start getting it ready for filling and for masking the sides.

I was able to use binding dissolved in acetone to fill a small gap where the back binding met on the side of the heel facing the horn. Turned out seamless.


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Beebe

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Also a little tip for ya. If you are binding the back of a Tele, start bending this part first.

I started on the other side of the heel and ended up chopping off a few inches and restarting here.
PXL_20220927_193423178.PORTRAIT~2.jpg
 

Beebe

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I decided to mask the sides and faces. I have just a bit of cleaning up to do on the faces. I'll probably leave a little more to scrape next time, but I was able to follow the curves pretty well by pulling tension on the tape and putting down a few mm at a time.

I didn't make it perfectly flat before spraying color because this is just a practice body and I was anxious to get working on the binding.

I also decided to go with Falu Red over black. I got a huge 3lb bag of the pigment for about $40 from this site below. It's a byproduct of the Swedish mining industry. Traditionally it's mixed with linseed oil, linseed oil soap, and water to paint barns and preserve timber.

I thought it would look good with the black binding, black pickguard, and Maple neck with black dots.

I'm pretty happy with it for my first time binding, and I learned a lot.


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Beebe

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Scraping the edges of the paint worked out really well.

I don't like scraping the binding flush with the wood. I'd rather sand it, or even install it flush to start with and maybe sand the primer or wood back a little. I think this would be different with Acoustics or hollow bodies.

I didn't plan on scraping the sides, but it was looking so nice on top I realized it has to be done on the sides as well.

I knew there wouldn't be enough binding under some spots because I taped it so close, and because so much binding was removed unevenly when leveling it to the body, but I scraped anyway for practice.

I was able to remove the paint without removing all of the clear below it in most spots. The scratches left melt away with subsequent coats.

Masking both the top and sides and leaving just a little to scrape will be my method.

My paint chipped a tiny bit in a few spots at the edge, so I'm going to experiment with adding more plasticiser (Elimi resin).

...and move on to the main project. I feel pretty confident now after this one.
 

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Silverface

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I'm finishing my first bound body (Pine, Inca Silver, and Parchment double binding) and finding myself concerned about sanding the binding thinner on the sides while leveling the surface using the process I normally use for unbound bodies.
I haven't read the whole thread so if this is redundant please excuse me!

If it's your first bound guitar You should rout curves and practice on scrap wood first. Also, lacquer systems are VERY thin - just a few thousandths of an inch - so the it's much delineation to deal with later

But do your sanding sealer and filler work prior to binding
 

ChicknPickn

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Some people use microscope slides.

It is good to have the body work done before routing for binding.

After you are happy with the binding mask the sides and put the put the color on.

Clean up the binding and then do your clear
What a great idea! Just got my box today. MUCH better than the metal scrapers I've used, which often have uneven burrs and scratch the finish.
 




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