Binding 2x1,5mm tortoise
Binding is like framing your piece of art. It is not only visually attractive though, binding protects the delicate edges of your guitar. This celluloid binding measures 2x1,5x1650mm.
The most common way of making your binding channel is with using a small router, like a Dremel, and to use a router bit with a guide wheel that is that so much smaller from the router bit as the thickness of your binding.
The guide wheel follows the sides of your project, so make sure these are straight. Any bumps will translate as a bump in your binding channel.
Set the router and router bit in the right height. Excess binding can be files, scraped or sanded off, but of the channel is too deep...
It is sensible to do a test on a piece of scrap wood.
If you have a curved top, you may need to make a wedge for areas where the router would be likely to angle. If that would happen, the channel would be deeper on the bottom than on the top.
Make sure your project cannot shift while routing the binding channel and secure it for example by clamping wood around it to keep it in place. Make sure your routing area is clear and that your router is not obstructed.
When you are confident to start (been to the bathroom, taken a couple of breaths), start first with the most bended areas.
Don’t do the full depth at once, but work in portions. This will help to avoid wood chipping.
After that, follow the whole of your project in a smooth line, again, rather do 2 or 3 sessions, than trying to remove too much material at once.
When done, check the channel and clean where necessary and carefully with a small file or micro chisel.
Now for the binding!
Wooden binding can be bend with a bending iron. Wet the wood and bend it on the iron in shape with a wet teacloth to protect it.
Plastic bindings can be easily bend with just a little heat (warmth) applied to them.
Use a hairdryer or a paint burner to heat the section that you want to bend.
Make sure to keep distance from the heat (around 20cm) and to move the heat in back and forth waves over your binding.
When you feel it is softening, bend it in shape by using your binding channel as a guide.
Make sure that you do not overheat your binding, not only can it become too soft, bindings can be flammable.
Where two pieces of binding are connected, choose the type of connection that you want to make (straight, scarf, miter) and prepare one side. The other side is best cut during the gluing.
When your binding is shaped, make sure your binding channel is free from dust and grease.
Use Titebond wood glue for wooden bindings and UHU Allplast binding glue for plastic bindings.
UHU bonds the plastic on the wood securely without melting the binding and fuses the ends together through a so-called cold bond.
Put a sufficient, but not over excessive amount of glue in the binding channel and position your binding.
Work in a line while gluing in portions of around 40cm at a time.
When all your binding is positioned, fix it with either tape, but preferably with a rubber band.
Some tapes tend to take wood fibers with them when removing the tape, which is not nice.
We simple use the inner wheel of a bicycle, which is flexible and strong and when you cut it open at the air vent section (cut that out), you have quite a length.
Dry fit first for the option that you choose so you don't get any surprises at the moment supreme.
Let your binding set for at least two days.
It does not only need time to set for the glue, but most importantly, your binding can swell ever so slightly and needs to set back which takes two days.
You want this done, before you start working on making your final smooth fit.
Heavy access binding can be removed with a rasp or file, stopping when you are almost at the level of the wood.
Small access binding (or after rasping) can be removed best with a scraper. Make smooth moves and avoid setting the scraper in harshly, or you will get a cut in your binding.
When you reached the right level, switch to sanding paper, start with 240 and move up to 400.
Now you are ready for your next step.
Find out more about working with bindings in our how-to's about Bindings & Inlays.
Good to know!
At Guitar Goods we do our very best to make things as easy and fun as possible, for example: