Archtop body binding with router

Please put your pickup/wiring discussions in the Electronics section; and put discussions about repair issues, including fixing errors in new instruments, in the Repairs section.
Post Reply
User avatar
Greg McKnight
Posts: 81
Joined: Wed Dec 24, 2014 11:29 pm

Archtop body binding with router

Post by Greg McKnight »

I've built a router jig for cutting the binding channels on my archtop body. Something like this one:
Image

All I'm missing is the "donut". That little ring underneath that rides on top of the edge of the guitar body. But after fussing all day trying to make one out of wood, it just isn't working out for me. Anyone have a suggestion on how they did their donut?

User avatar
Greg McKnight
Posts: 81
Joined: Wed Dec 24, 2014 11:29 pm

Re: Archtop body binding with router

Post by Greg McKnight »

Here is a donut in case you're not following me:
Image

User avatar
Bob Gramann
Posts: 975
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 11:08 am
Location: Fredericksburg, VA
Contact:

Re: Archtop body binding with router

Post by Bob Gramann »

I got a piece of thick, slippery plastic from Woodcraft (something like umhw hdpe). I cut a block and mounted on my router. Then I lowered a spinning bit into it to mark the center. With the center marked, I mounted it on the lathe and turned the bottom, leaving the doughnut in the center. Restoring it to the router, I lowered a large bit through it to cut out the hole in the doughnut. I used it for years with no discernible wear.

Brian Evans
Posts: 900
Joined: Sat Aug 30, 2014 8:26 am
Location: Tatamagouche, Nova Scotia

Re: Archtop body binding with router

Post by Brian Evans »

All I did was cut a 2" round piece of 3/4" plywood with a hole saw, drill a hole in the center and mount it on my router table. The arch of my guitars is 3/4", so I rest the guitar on the center of it's arch and the edge on the plywood, and spin the guitar past the bearing-guided bit. So far it works perfectly, but now I have binding channel router jig inadequacy depression.

User avatar
Greg McKnight
Posts: 81
Joined: Wed Dec 24, 2014 11:29 pm

Re: Archtop body binding with router

Post by Greg McKnight »

Brian Evans wrote:All I did was cut a 2" round piece of 3/4" plywood with a hole saw, drill a hole in the center and mount it on my router table. The arch of my guitars is 3/4", so I rest the guitar on the center of it's arch and the edge on the plywood, and spin the guitar past the bearing-guided bit. So far it works perfectly, but now I have binding channel router jig inadequacy depression.
That sound good, but I have to figure a way around the lack of a lathe. Now that I've had more time to ponder it, I wonder if I could use just a ring of plastic like you suggest (maybe one of those slick cutting boards) and not worry about the roundover. It would have to be narrow, maybe 3/8" larger than the router bit I'll be using. Might have to give it a try and see.

User avatar
Greg McKnight
Posts: 81
Joined: Wed Dec 24, 2014 11:29 pm

Re: Archtop body binding with router

Post by Greg McKnight »

Brian Evans wrote:All I did was cut a 2" round piece of 3/4" plywood with a hole saw, drill a hole in the center and mount it on my router table. The arch of my guitars is 3/4", so I rest the guitar on the center of it's arch and the edge on the plywood, and spin the guitar past the bearing-guided bit. So far it works perfectly, but now I have binding channel router jig inadequacy depression.
Brian, I saw something similar (Bob's archtop blog) while I was researching my build. I thought about going that way myself but it seemed like everyone else had a dedicated router jig. So, yes, I have also suffered from BCRJID.

David King
Posts: 2688
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2012 10:01 pm
Location: Portland, OR
Contact:

Re: Archtop body binding with router

Post by David King »

A drill press with a dowel mandrel that press fits into your piece or even a hand drill held in a vise will get you there. I like to use 60 grit sandpaper glued to a stick or a very sharp toothed rasp to do the rough shaping.

User avatar
Bob Gramann
Posts: 975
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 11:08 am
Location: Fredericksburg, VA
Contact:

Re: Archtop body binding with router

Post by Bob Gramann »

The outside edge of the doughnut needs to be significantly eased to keep it from marking the top. It doesn't take much to make an impression in spruce. For those of you with jig envy, I testify that I have been cutting my binding ledges freehand (with a bearing guided router bit) for well over 100 guitars. When I started, I didn't know about jigs. I just keep the router axis lined up with the side.

User avatar
Barry Daniels
Posts: 2676
Joined: Thu Jan 05, 2012 10:58 am
Location: The Woodlands, Texas

Re: Archtop body binding with router

Post by Barry Daniels »

The donut needs to be rounded but it doesn't have to be symmetrical. The only critical dimensions of the donut is the very inner edge adjacent to the router bit which is where the depth of cut it controlled. All other parts just need to get out of the way of your guitar plates. So when rounding the donut, make sure you leave at least 1/8" of that inner circle untouched.
MIMF Staff

User avatar
Greg McKnight
Posts: 81
Joined: Wed Dec 24, 2014 11:29 pm

Re: Archtop body binding with router

Post by Greg McKnight »

Thanks for the advice guys. I'm working on it now, so I'll show you what I came up with soon-ish.

Bob Orr
Posts: 105
Joined: Fri Dec 28, 2012 1:20 pm
Location: Nailsea, Nr Bristol, UK

Re: Archtop body binding with router

Post by Bob Orr »

I made one out of a cheap plastic cutting mat. Cut out a circle with a circle cutter in a pillar drill. Put a bolt through and a couple of washers and a bolts and put it into the pillar drill. Used 80 grit on hardwood block and a scraper to shape it. Easy to shape but makes a mess! I drilled a couple of countersunk holes before shaping it so I could screw it to the bottom of my jig as that plastic is a sod to glue. Bob

Greg Martin
Posts: 308
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2012 7:18 pm

Re: Archtop body binding with router

Post by Greg Martin »

I wonder if stewmac would sell you one as a replacement part for the unit they sell??

Greg Martin
Posts: 308
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2012 7:18 pm

Re: Archtop body binding with router

Post by Greg Martin »

Try the drill press idea and a series of rasps and files

Gordon Bellerose
Posts: 1186
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 11:47 pm
Location: Edmonton AB. Canada

Re: Archtop body binding with router

Post by Gordon Bellerose »

I am lucky enough to have access to pieces of teflon. I cut a piece about 2 inches square, and rounded it off at the band saw.
Then I drilled a hole in the center and used a drill bit stuck in the hole, on the drill press to shape with sandpaper.
I then superglued it to my plexiglass router mount, and ran a router bit through it to center the hole.
I need your help. I can't possibly make all the mistakes myself!

Rodger Knox
Posts: 497
Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2012 2:02 pm
Location: Baltimore, Maryland

Re: Archtop body binding with router

Post by Rodger Knox »

I made mine out of an old plastic cutting board. Cut it out with a hole saw, shaped & mounted it to my Dewalt laminate trimmer.
I believe John Hall at Blues Creek Guitars sells the donut separately.
A man hears what he wants to hear, and disreguards the rest. Paul Simon

Post Reply