Recommend any good binding tutorial videos?

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Recommend any good binding tutorial videos?

Postby Dave Locher » Tue Oct 27, 2015 11:09 pm

I really want to do binding on my next project, which is kind of Les Paulish (carved top).
I am terrified of messing up the beautiful & expensive wood I've bought.
I spent some time on YouTube today and found too many videos on binding. I don't know which ones are giving good advice and which ones are hacks.
Any recommendations for videos I should watch to learn the best way to install a nice w/b/w binding on a carve-top solid body?

I did see one guy using acetate to glue the binding, which seems smart because then I wouldn't have to worry about getting glue on the face & messing up the dye job I plan to do. But I'm still not sure how best to create the channel (groove?) in the body.

I know there are many ways to do most jobs; I'm looking for the safest (for the wood) and least likely to fail methods I can find.
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Re: Recommend any good binding tutorial videos?

Postby Chris Richards » Wed Oct 28, 2015 9:06 am

Hi.... I'm sure you'll get some good tips on here, speaking only for myself even after many many years of building guitars I still find this a difficult job, and you're making this difficult for yourself by already having the arch carved and a finish on the guitar, I would give thought to painting a binding on the guitar but if you really want to go for a plastic edging then cutting the channel on an already carved top you can do by either using an overhead router held in some kind of "gantry" and a bearing guided cutter or make a cradle to hold the body level and use a router table with a fence on the cutter to regulate the depth or again a bearing guided cutter. I've never found the dremel with router base a successful solution for this.

As for gluing the binding on I paint the rebate with wood glue watered down and wipe the glue over with a paper towel so it seals the wood and use CA glue, you'll have to go careful to avoid any mess, you can also warm the binding with a paint stripping gun to soften it and mold it to the shape of the guitar.

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Re: Recommend any good binding tutorial videos?

Postby Rodger Knox » Wed Oct 28, 2015 1:07 pm

John Hall with Bluescreek, here's the first part:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZpBEHnge41M
The binding jig isn't necessary if you can hold the laminate trimmer vertical while cutting the channel.
The cutter and bearings are necessary, a dremel isn't up to the task.
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Re: Recommend any good binding tutorial videos?

Postby Barry Daniels » Wed Oct 28, 2015 1:21 pm

A word to the wise: Always, always do the binding before any finishing work, including staining. Doing it otherwise is only for experts performing restoration on old guitars with crumbling binding.

Are you going to use plastic or wood binding? This is important to know before any specific advise can be given.
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Re: Recommend any good binding tutorial videos?

Postby Dave Locher » Wed Oct 28, 2015 1:52 pm

I didn't do a very good job of making myself clear - the body isn't built at all yet. I am trying to find out the best approach BEFORE I do anything else.

My fears are:
1) I will trash the wood while trying to create the channel for the binding
2) I will get glue in the wood, making it impossible to get a good dye job
3) it will look so bad when I'm finished that I'd be better off not having done it

I need videos because I am what I'll call "a visual learner." Reading about how to do these things does help, but seeing it done just once (correctly) is all it takes for me.

The problem is that there are so many YouTube videos about binding. I know the correct answer is for me to watch all of them and cull out the best techniques, but I was hoping for a shortcut whereby someone could say "John Doe is great at this, and if you watch his video you will be assured of a beautiful job!" The problem is I can see pros and cons of just about every variation.
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Re: Recommend any good binding tutorial videos?

Postby Barry Daniels » Wed Oct 28, 2015 2:00 pm

Find a video of someone installing plastic binding on a Les Paul type body. Most videos will be for acoustic guitars which may not be relevant. Determine how much you are willing to spend or how complicated of a jig you are willing to build to route for the binding. Do you have any routers?
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Re: Recommend any good binding tutorial videos?

Postby Dave Locher » Wed Oct 28, 2015 3:55 pm

Plastic binding. I want white/black/white on the body.
Thank you, Rodger, for the link and to all so far for the advice.

My initial plan is to bind, then stain and finish. PROBABLY cutting the binding channel before carving the top so that everything is still square. I was worried about gluing before staining but then I found the video of someone using acetate rather than glue on the plastic binding and that seems to have solved at least one potential problem. Now it's the channel that has me stumped.

First new question: Do I want ABS or PVC? Which one is easier to work with and less likely to fail?

I'll check out some videos and then come back with more questions as they form.
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Re: Recommend any good binding tutorial videos?

Postby Dan Smith » Wed Oct 28, 2015 4:25 pm

I'm thinking for a b/w/b binding you will have to cut a binding channel and a purfling channel.
I'm no expert though.
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Re: Recommend any good binding tutorial videos?

Postby Barry Daniels » Wed Oct 28, 2015 5:36 pm

I would be cautious of the acetate. I have never, in my 40 years of building, heard of this. The normal options for gluing plastic binding include: acetone, superglue, Duco cement, or Weld-on Glue. Also a possibility is pre-applying acetone to soften the binding and then gluing with Titebond Original Wood Glue. I have mostly used Duco or superglue (StewMac thin). Either PVC or ABS binding will work fine.

So, do you have a router???
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Re: Recommend any good binding tutorial videos?

Postby Dave Locher » Wed Oct 28, 2015 11:41 pm

Did I type "acetate"? Sorry, I meant acetone!
Yes, I have a big old Craftsman router I inherited from my dad and a dremel with the router attachment and bit. My brother-in-law (who lives next door) has the midsize router I see in most of the videos and he has a table router. So I'm set for routers. Now the challenge is for me to decide the best approach.

These are my two naive thoughts so far:
1) Glue up the body & top, then route a really wide channel while the top slab is still flat, then carve away most of that channel when I carve the top, then bind.
-OR-
2) carve the top, bringing the edge thickness down to the width of the binding, glue the binding to the top's edge, and THEN glue the bound top to the body. Basically copy the way many seem to do their fingerboard binding & then glue the whole shebang onto the neck. That would take routing out of the equation.

I am totally comfortable with the band saw, spindle sander, drill press, power sanders, scrapers, and even drawing knives ("draw knives"?) but I've only used routers a couple times in my entire life and just don't want to trash some beautiful quilted maple with one.
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Re: Recommend any good binding tutorial videos?

Postby Bob Gramann » Thu Oct 29, 2015 12:18 am

You can always test any of your proposed methods on scrap wood. Using scrap also allows you to practice your technique, once you decide on a method, before you attack the nice stuff. I would rout the binding channel as close to the final dimensions of the binding as I could, minimizing the amount of work after installing the binding. Shortcuts don't usually lead to good results. I know that when I was beginning, some of the processes that seemed more complicated than I wanted to attempt--things like binding, spraying, inlay, etc.--really were quite easy to learn and not worthy of my apprehension. Spending some time with scrap mockups is worth the time and will probably save you time in the long run.
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Re: Recommend any good binding tutorial videos?

Postby Chris Richards » Thu Oct 29, 2015 7:18 am

This picture more or less shows how I do it.... You can see the "fence" screwed to the router table as a depth stop over the router bit, although this looks a bit crude it does work perfectly and produces a completely accurate depth channel with very little chance of screwing it up! I then paint the rebate with watered down titebond an wipe clean to seal the wood, clean the binding with a solvent, warm it with a heat gun and roughly bend to the guitar shape.... I use super glue and start at the centre back of the body and just work around, applying a bit more heat for the tight curves. Be sparing with the glue.

My advice would mirror what people have already said on here.... Finish the body edge accurately as this is your guide, any bumps in the body edge will be reflected in your rebate.. route the rebate while everything is still square and before carving the arch.
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Re: Recommend any good binding tutorial videos?

Postby Dave Locher » Thu Oct 29, 2015 9:27 am

Thank you Chris. Seeing the photo really helps.
I thought it made sense to cut the rebate before carving the top, but just wasn't sure. Good to know I'm not totally off base. (And I now know that the groove or channel is called a rebate!)
LMI carries wbw plastic binding; I think I'll order a few extra strips and bind some scrap to see how it goes.
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Re: Recommend any good binding tutorial videos?

Postby Barry Daniels » Thu Oct 29, 2015 10:46 am

A table router is the most secure approach, if you have one. So go get your brother to help out on this step. You can use a device like Chris shows for controlling the width of the cut, or you can use bearings on a rabbet bit for this. Either works well. The key on routing is to take small bites at a time. A binding ledge should be at least 3 cuts of increasing depth and width. Also do some research on "climb cutting" to know which direction to route. One direction is easy and the other way will grab your guitar and throw it across the room.
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Re: Recommend any good binding tutorial videos?

Postby Dave Locher » Fri Oct 30, 2015 10:44 pm

Just googled climb cutting. Got it: pushing against rotation of router head = good, just don't go too deep at once. Pushing material in same direction as rotation = expensive wooden missile launched at wall.
Thanks for the heads-up on that one!
I'm open to any more hints, tips, or warnings anyone wants to give me. I'm starting to feel like I can really do this, which means I'm now a danger to myself and my materials!
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Re: Recommend any good binding tutorial videos?

Postby Gordon Bellerose » Sun Nov 08, 2015 10:38 pm

One more tip I might add is about climb cutting.
When you rout against the grain on the sides of the guitar from the waist up to the bout, grain tear out can happen easily. Remember that there is end grain exposed on an angle in these areas. Obviously some woods are more prone to tear out than others.
Sometimes it is necessary to rout with the bit rotation, but cutting with the grain.
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Re: Recommend any good binding tutorial videos?

Postby Eric Baack » Mon Nov 09, 2015 4:47 pm

and cutting in smaller depth increments does help avoid the bit grabbing and tear out.

I actually made a dremel attachment and one of the 1/4" dremel router bits to cut a ledge for binding and purfing on a guitar that I was re-finishing with a nice veneer. It ended up good but I did have to do quite a bit of clean up before gluing in the binding, and the binding is a bit thin in spots on it.
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Re: Recommend any good binding tutorial videos?

Postby Gordon Bellerose » Tue Nov 24, 2015 1:29 pm

One of the forum members has a good video on binding.
If you go to youtube and search Chris Pawliuk, (possibly spelled PAULIUK) you will find it.

His video covers a self made binding machine, and an acoutic guitar, but some of the routing techniques will be universal to all guitars.
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Re: Recommend any good binding tutorial videos?

Postby Jim McConkey » Tue Nov 24, 2015 8:58 pm

The correct spelling is Paulick. Just search "Paulick binding" on YouTube and you will get a bunch of hits.
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Re: Recommend any good binding tutorial videos?

Postby Arnt Rian » Wed Nov 25, 2015 6:32 am

I don't know how you plan to cut the binding ledge before the arch is carved. Sounds like a really tall binding ledge, or...?
I have used a variation of Chris Richard's jig on carved top instruments, but after all the carving is done. You can elevate the instrument off the router table with a couple of spool clamps in order keep the sides parallel to the cutter, or you can just use your knuckles and eyeball it (like me), its not hard. Stewmac has instructions for the spool clamp method, to be used with their binding cutter with bearings, but the principle would be the same. This step can be accomplished with simple hand tools, to really elaborate jigs with plenty movable parts. I guess my old jig is on the simple side, but it did get the job done

I agreee with Gordon about the climb cutting: I always cut from widest parts of the instrument body, towards waist or ends. That way you will cut "the wrong way" some times, but there is less chance for tear out, and as long as you take shallow passes, there is not much chance of the bit grabbing the instrument.

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