Routing for binding on knotty pine body

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by yelemusic, Feb 28, 2016.

  1. yelemusic

    yelemusic TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    66
    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2012
    Hi there.
    So I got myself one of those knotty pine bodies that Stewmac is selling. I just think those look so cool! I've attached pics.

    Since I have never done that before, I'm planning on binding the body.
    However, since the wood is rather knotty (and as one can see, on the back side there's already a small piece chipped away) I was wondering what's the best way to go about this.
    I do have a dremel tool, the Stewmac router base as well as the binding router guide and this router bit also from Stewmac.

    I believe this binding router guide will probably be the tool of choice, since I don't have the edge guide, that can also be purchased for the router base.

    It's probably wise to start on the back, so if anything goes wrong while I'm still learning, it doesn't matter as much as if it was on the front.

    But what do I have to avoid, what's the best way to do it, in order to get a nice clean route? How fast should my dremel spin, is it the right router bit, or should I use a different one? Or is it better to use a manual tool for the job?

    Looking forward to your replies :)

    Thanks!
     

    Attached Files:

  2. I_build_my_own

    I_build_my_own Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,868
    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2012
    Location:
    New York
    It can be done with a drehmel. You will shave of quite some years of lifetime of the drehmel with that. I did that once and regret it. I'd get a router bit with a bearing if you have a full size router.
     
  3. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    20,418
    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2003
    Location:
    Ontario County
  4. Meteorman

    Meteorman Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    882
    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2012
    Location:
    State College PA
    Not so much guitar bodies, but I've run a router on a lot of wood.
    I'd say make sure your bit is new/sharp, and slow way down when you get to those edge knots - if you see/smell smoke you're going too slow...
    Either way, with knots, it seems fate is mostly in the hands of the wood gods on whether it chooses to chip or not.
    I'm speaking about a regular router - not the dremel thing.
     
  5. yelemusic

    yelemusic TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    66
    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2012
    Even if I go VERY slowly? Only taking away very little each round? I don't have a scrap piece of wood, so I can't try...

    I could get hold of a full size router though, not a great one, but it should do what it's supposed to. But it will probably make a hell of a mess in my kitchen :( Hm, I'll probably have to try before I can be sure.
    Are these special router bits designed for routing bindings, or can these be found in any hardware store?


    I wish I could use a router table. But there's simply no way. I'm working in my kitchen :(
    Do you mean the Stewmac Dremel Router Base or that other little thing? The router base is kinda nice, I've done a couple of inlays with it, and it worked nicely. The other thing however I haven't used before, except yesterday on an old piece of scrap wood that used to be a book shelf. This BTW worked nicely, but there were no knots, so I can't tell if it works equally well on that knotty pine body.
     
  6. I_build_my_own

    I_build_my_own Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,868
    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2012
    Location:
    New York
    Even with the drehmel you can only do it when the rest of the cohabitants are not around it will be messy

    You could buy a dedicated router bit with bearing from a well know guitar supply store or from somewhere else. The bearing diameter needs to be 2 times x smaller than the bit with x being the thickness of the binding. If you have a common 1.5 mm thick binding then you could buy 1/2 inch bit with bearing and a 5/8 inch bit with bearing. Then you use the 1/2 bit as a bearing donor and put it in the 5/8 bit. These sizes are pretty common and all u need to worry is buying them from the same brand and that the screw holding the bearing is the same diameter. If u shop around you can get 2 of these standard bits for a fraction of those sold in guitar supply specialty stores
     
  7. yelemusic

    yelemusic TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    66
    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2012
    I was indeed thinking about that too. Much more work, but probably way more control over the wood. And once it's done way more satisfaction :)
    Thing is, I'm in Germany, so I will have to find a place in Europe selling this stuff. Seems much harder than in the US. You guys have a much better supply of everything guitar over there!

    Another option would be to ask the local luthier to do it for me, but that kinda defeats the purpose of DIYing a guitar. I'd have to ask him how much he'd charge (probably more than usual because of the type of wood)

    Hm...
     
  8. Count

    Count Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,771
    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2009
    Location:
    Tenterfield, Australia
    Do you really have to bind it? I would be inclined to leave it unbound because the binding will put an artificial division in the flow of the grain. I think it would look better unbound. Additional to that I think, from bitter personal experience, that you will get a considerable amount of chipping, even with the utmost care and skill, when routing that body for binding.If you have not done such a job before I would recomend trying out the techniques on a straighter grained guitar body first before tackling a body with cranky grain.
     
  9. macaroonie

    macaroonie Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,288
    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2009
    Location:
    Loch Lomond Scotland
    Oberfräser is a router bit. That should get you started.
     
  10. yelemusic

    yelemusic TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    66
    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2012
    Those are valid points.
    At first I was going for that "old barn" look, but the more I look at it, the more I like the idea of adding binding and finishing it with lacquer instead of an oil finish.
    Have you tried the oldskool way too, with a purfling cutter as in the link above?
    Those blades might not even go through the knots. Who knows.
    Leaving it alone will certainly be the cheaper option :)

    Hm, guess it's time to make big decisions...
     
  11. I_build_my_own

    I_build_my_own Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,868
    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2012
    Location:
    New York
    The oldschool way with the purfing cutter might be challenging with the knots - just my guess - never used one. Even with the router bit I would take several shallow passes before full binding depth is reached.
     
  12. yelemusic

    yelemusic TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    66
    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2012
    Oh, I'm aware of that :rolleyes: But thanks anyway :p

    There's not so much a language barrier but a "supply barrier" :neutral:

    I think the closes thing to Stewmac here in Europe is Crimsonguitars in the UK. They seem to have a decent selection of tools.

    But the more I read and write about this, I'm starting to accept that this project doesn't exactly lend itself to learning how to make a binding.

    Looks like I'll have to plan for yet another guitar, though I'm having three different guitars in three different stages on my bench right now :eek:
     
  13. I_build_my_own

    I_build_my_own Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,868
    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2012
    Location:
    New York
    Come on :lol: don't give up. "If there is a will - there is a binding" . No specialty tools needed for a binding! You can put a make shift box around a router table to keep the mess in the kitchen in check. Position a friendly helper with a vacuum close by.
     

    Attached Files:

  14. yelemusic

    yelemusic TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    66
    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2012
    Yeah, you're probably right, I shouldn't give up just yet. I'm not in a hurry, so I shall take my time to make a decision.



    Another thing: This knotty pine wood is actually rather soft. So I was thinking, since it needs grain filling anyway, I might try the epoxy way of filling, which should make it more durable in the end.
    Plus there's a small chip on the bottom that needs to be filled anyway, and I'm already collecting sanding dust, which will be mixed in with epoxy to make a nice filler.

    Even if I decide to not do a binding I will still go for a lacquer finish. (Some amber staining before maybe?)
    I just love the look of a polished guitar finish! Especially with its rustic wood underneath.
    What you think? Is Epoxy cool, or is it a hell of a mess?
    I was thinking of doing one side at a time, spreading the stuff with an old credit card. Those work great for spreading stuff!
    Just a thin coat, nothing that needs days of sanding flat afterwards.
    Should be fine, shouldn't it?


    Anyway, THANKS so far to all of you! Even talking about things is of great help, because it makes you think things through :) (oh boy, what a sentence!)
     
  15. Count

    Count Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,771
    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2009
    Location:
    Tenterfield, Australia
    Looking at the photos closely you seem to have three main danger areas where chipping is almost certainly going to happen if you take too deep a cut. On the lower arm at the back and the the base top and bottom. You are going to have to do some filling anyway with a couple of the knots so you might be able to fill any chips that happen when routing. If you do rout out for the binding I would suggest several passes with shallow cuts rather than a single pass with a full depth cut. The more the blade digs in the more probable is chipping. Others might prefer a single pass, it's all a matter of preference and depends a lot on skill levels and equipment. I certainly would not attempt your project with a hand router (non powered).
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.