White "plastic" binding.

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White "plastic" binding.

Postby Murray Kuun » Wed May 09, 2012 4:37 am

I have to make one of my electrics for a client who wants white "plastic" binding (heresy to me!). I received my binding order from Stewmac but they are not able to ship the adhesive out of the USA. They advised me to try airplane model glue, which I have tried, and it does not do the job. I've tried pure acetone but that also does not work (the wood absorbs it too fast).

What else to try?
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Re: White "plastic" binding.

Postby Greg Robinson » Wed May 09, 2012 4:57 am

I myself use cyanoacrylate (CA, superglue), but that can be messy and cause staining if you're not careful.
A tip Mario Proulx shared here was to wipe the bindings with acetone, and then glue with regular wood glue (white glue, Polyvinylacetate [PVA], aliphatic resin [AR]). I have never tried this myself, but apparently the acetone "bites" into the plastic and allows the wood glue to get a hold.

Also, the soaking with acetone to adhere the bindings only works with celluloid bindings, which are not commonly available anymore for the same reason Stew Mac were not able to ship you the adhesives. Most modern bindings are made from ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) or PVC (polyvinyl chloride), and will not work with the acetone trick.
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Re: White "plastic" binding.

Postby John Catto » Wed May 09, 2012 5:20 am

I've used original Titebond to glue ABS and celluloid binding tons of times without even using the acetone wipe business. Works fine, better than lots of glues "made" for the job. I use CA glue for the fingerboard and sometimes headstock bindings but tend to steer clear of it for the body because of the staining issues. Where I do use it (ie on the headstock) I hit the surrounding wood and channel with a light coat of lacquer first so any excess glue doesn't cause any damage. This isn't necessary for the fingerboard since I fret and bind (Gibson style) them off the neck.

If you're in the UK there's also UHU which works great for certain things. UHU is a weird sort of mix between contact cement and airplane glue, you apply to both surface and then press together. Unlike contact cement it continues to harden up, works great on all sorts of binding material and doesn't screw with the finish to follow.
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Re: White "plastic" binding.

Postby Mark Swanson » Wed May 09, 2012 8:48 am

I can't see how Titebond would work but I have seen your work John and that speaks for itself and you can't argue with results!
However, regular airplane glue will work if you do it right. I have used the Duco cement which is pretty much the same thing and it comes with instructions for gluing wood, while airplane glue does not and the right way is key.
The instructions say to glue plastic to wood, you need to apply a generous coating to the wood and let it dry, and then apply another generous coat as you apply the binding. The stuff dries fast and you must wet the gluing surface well at contact. So I use a brush and apply 6-10" at a time then tape up and move along.
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Re: White "plastic" binding.

Postby Chris Richards » Wed May 09, 2012 9:37 am

This was a problem that I had for a long time, here in the UK I just couldn't find a glue that made the job easy and the more you have to fight with plastic binding the messier it seems to get, anyhow I finally found a method that works very well (for me). Once I've cut the rebate for the binding I carefully coat it with Titebond original then wipe it away with paper towels so it just looks like a varnish, I let this set then use CA (super glue) to glue the binding on. I found by doing it this way the CA sticks the binding on contact (probably since the wood is sealed) I require very little tape to hold the binding in place and it is a very clean method, I work from the centre at the back of the guitar and "wick" the glue between the binding and the body as I work around, I also find it better to form the binding to the body shape first with a hot air gun or something similar..... Hope this helps
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Re: White "plastic" binding.

Postby Mark Swanson » Wed May 09, 2012 10:22 am

That's good too- the key with both this method and the airplane glue method is not to let the glue seep into the wood before it can do its job. Sealing the wood is key.
I have found it useful to use the thick superglue, or the gel for this. It won't run on you like the thin stuff can.
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Re: White "plastic" binding.

Postby david frassetto » Wed May 09, 2012 12:37 pm

While I've not tried it on binding I have had good results with Loctite Stik'n Seal indoor adhesive to attach the window shadw material (some type of plastic) I use for Danelectro type bindings. It works like a contact cement, coat both sides, wait til tacky, then press together. The package says it will adhere wood to plastics and its water cleanup and non toxic! Might be worth a try. www.loctiteproducts.com
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Re: White "plastic" binding.

Postby Murray Kuun » Thu May 10, 2012 7:29 am

I have found that the Stewmac "medium viscosity" superglue did the job without too much trouble:-) It would have been even better, had I sealed the wood first as suggested here.

Now, I have to do some scraping, sanding and spraying. Shall I just scrape, sand and spray the binding along with the wood? Then, perhaps "polish" the binding before spraying? I assume I can just wipe off the nitro afterwards (I doubt that it would adhere to the binding?

Luckily, there is no staining involved with this guitar. At some point in the future I guess the client is going to ask me to stain/burst a guitar, still with white binding showing. I see this on many other guitars on the market so I'd guess this is not too tricky? Would one wipe off the stain/nitro afterwards or mask it before hand?

I have tried staining/spraying some fretboards in the past and when I mask the fretboard wood, I end up with a horrible ridge. How is this avoided?
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Re: White "plastic" binding.

Postby Murray Kuun » Thu May 10, 2012 7:30 am

I'm often able to find a youtube video showing some aspects of guitar building but in the case of the white binding saga, I have not found very much at all.
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Re: White "plastic" binding.

Postby Mark Swanson » Thu May 10, 2012 8:04 am

Once the binding is on, just scrape and sand it just as you do with wood binding. You don't have to treat that binding any differently than the rest of the guitar, and nitro sticks to it just fine, in fact it burns into the surface of the binding just a little and has good adhesion.
You'll need to clean it if you use a wipe-on stain, that"s usually quite easy to do with a razorblade scraper. You can mask it off if you want, and when colored nitro is sprayed as in a sunburst you will need to mask it off and clean up with a razor blade. There is sometimes a ridge but this goes away with the following coats of clear topcoat.
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Re: White "plastic" binding.

Postby julian gifford » Thu May 10, 2012 5:41 pm

White from stew is ABS.

If you can get your hands on MEK (methyl ethyl ketone) mix 2:1 mek to acetone, take scrap binding and cut into small pieces, drop it in the bottle. Shake the bottle every couple hours to dissolve the binding bits. Add more bits until it turns into a gel.

Once you spread the glue, you need to work FAST! It will skin over and thicken quickly. However, it takes several hours to dry completely.
This is the "industrial grade" binding adhesive. It also works with nitro binding.
(use nitro scraps dissolved in the mek/acetone mixture for nitro binding)

Same recipe "weld on" makes for industrial use which is not publicly available. Fender uses this one- it's "weld on 4707"

MEK can be hard to come by though.

I've done extensive plastic binding, and this stuff is the best. Slightly melts the glued edge of the binding into the wood for a perfect glue line if you do it right. Squeeze out the excess glue with a lot of pressure, and tape it up TIGHT.
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Re: White "plastic" binding.

Postby Chuck Tweedy » Thu May 10, 2012 7:34 pm

I seal the binding ledges with shellac and use thin superglue wicked into the space between the binding and the wood.
This used to be a popular method, but it seems nobody uses it anymore - I don't know why it works great. I guess I still use the traditional methods :lol:

Julian, with your "industrial weld-on" method, do you seal the wood, or just glue it directly to the bare wood??
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Re: White "plastic" binding.

Postby julian gifford » Thu May 10, 2012 9:05 pm

Bare wood. This is why it works so well. It melts into the wood. It is actually a real IPS weld on product- #4707 which if you look at the MSDS it's basically 2:1 MEK/acetone and uses ABS bits to thicken it to a gel. The MSDS tries to be vague and say 10-30% and 20-60% or some such... but if you average it, its a 2 to 1 MEK to acetone, and the rest is the abs to thicken it.

This is the glue I used at fender for a few years and works very well- just work quickly!!!!

But as I said, MEK can be hard to come by depending on what country you're in.

If you have to remove the binding, a heat gun will do it, but you need to work very carefully and take your time but still use a high heat... The glue melts the binding into the edge of the wood and will pull up large nasty splinters with the binding if you're not carefull. But since it melts into the wood, is why the glue line is so perfect when its applied correctly.
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Re: White "plastic" binding.

Postby Greg Robinson » Thu May 10, 2012 9:16 pm

In Australia at least, MEK (methyl ethyl ketone) is available as PVC plumbing primer. Most are are dyed some color or other, but it is available clear. The plumbers goop is basically the same thing as Julian is describing too, PVC dissolved in MEK and dyed so you can see where it's been applied.
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Re: White "plastic" binding.

Postby Keith Howell » Fri May 11, 2012 12:49 pm

Try Alcolin PVC weld. It works for me!
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Re: White "plastic" binding.

Postby David Schwab » Sat May 12, 2012 1:00 pm

I use CA.

I actually like plastic binding on electrics better than wood or that fake binding that PRS does. Binding always looks classy to me.
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Re: White "plastic" binding.

Postby Simon Baker » Sat May 12, 2012 1:30 pm

Hi Murray,

For future reference the Weld-On glue Stewmac sell is availale in the UK from Smallwonder Inlay Supplies.

I've used it sucessfully on a couple of guitars using Stewmacs plastic binding.
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Re: White "plastic" binding.

Postby Paul Rhoney » Sat May 12, 2012 5:17 pm

Like Julian, I use chopped up binding bits dissolved in Acetone. Works great, I don't even pre-bend the bindings. If I get a gap it can be filled with a few applications of the binding goop.

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Re: White "plastic" binding.

Postby Jim Bonnell » Sun May 13, 2012 3:03 pm

Sharp looking guitar Paul. I love that style you've been doing.
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Re: White "plastic" binding.

Postby Paul Rhoney » Tue May 15, 2012 12:18 am

Thanks Jim!
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