Monthly Archives: May 2011

Top Purflings and Bindings

Got the herringbone purfling and curly maple binding installed on the top plate yesterday. For this step I need to cut a two step rabbet cut on the edge. The first one will take the purfling and the second will be for the binding. The depths and thicknesses for each is different so I have to do some number crunching to figure out my bearing sizes on the router bit.

Using my XYZ router trammel I first cut a 4.57mm wide and 1.3mm deep rabbet cut on the spruce soundboard. I am using a bearing to control the width of the cut.

Then I size up the purfling.

Glue it on. It has to be center on the lower bout but can be open on the top as there will be a dovetail cut there later.

A close up.

Do the other side.

All done. It was proud about 0.3mm so I used a sharpened card scraper and shaved it down.

Then I cut the second step for the binding. It is a little deeper but it is crucial that it only cuts up to the edge of the purfling. So for this I use a second bearing size that cuts 1.57mm deep. I can’t remember the exact sizes but I have a set of bearings that allow me to cut different widths. My purflings are 3mm wide and my bidings are 1.7mm thick so I first cut 4.57mm and then cut 1.57 using a different bearing. The cuts were quite accurate.

A side view of the binding cut.

Size up the bindings.

Glue it all up.

A close up.

Again the bindings are glued on proud top and side so I used a scraper on the top and sanding on the side. A scraper on the side teared out the delicate curly. Here is the front view all done.

Close up front/side view.

Next step will be the dovetail neck joint and then the neck.

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Back Bindings

It has been a little too long since my last update. All sorts of things have been keeping me busy this past month as well as some holdups in the progress. But anyway I am still here and still going at it in my workshop.

So in the last post I made and bent the side bindings and the purflings.
In this post I will cut the dado around the back edge and attach the binding. For that I made an XYZ axis router trammel. This jig is otherwise known as the Fleischman/Stevens binding jig or a Universal Binding jig. It is practically foolproof for doing the binding cut on the back and top of the guitar body. The material I am using – curly maple – will match the end graft.

The Universal Binding jig. I am using a 12 inch lazy susan and 600mm drawer slides for the hardware. The rest is just nuts n bolts n plywood.

The back is not flat and I want the router to cut 90 degrees to the side. So I made a curved donut and glued it to the bottom of the router plate. This allows the router plate to ride the edge of the body all the way around. The router plate and donut I also made from 1/2″ poly sheet. The donut was turned on my lathe.

Here it is all together.

A close up of the curved donut that rides the guitar body edge. With the universal binding jig, donut and bearing kit from LMI or Stew-Mac this configuration is foolproof.

Here the body is clamped in place in the mold. Just one test cut to check the depth and I was ready to go.

The grain run-out is not consistent all the way around in regard to the direction of the router bit so a combination of climbing cuts and regular cuts is used with a final cut moving all around clockwise.

Once the cut is complete I size up the binding. The bindings are cut to size with a sharp chisel.

I used tape to hold everything together once the glue was applied. You can see the I am using purple masking tape. Purple masking tape sold here is the tape that has the least tack. When I do the spruce top a strong tacking tape will pull fibers away so I had to check around for a tape that would hold things together but not pull fibers away when I take it off.

A close up of the glued binding.

After a couple of hours I took the tape off, sharpened up a scraper and made the proud surface flush. The tape method worked well because there are no gaps all the way around.

Back view of the completed binding.

Side view of the completed binding.

I was a little worried cutting up the body with a router bit but the three axis router trammel made this step a simple, clean, no drama cut.

Posted in Bindings and Purflings, Fleischman/Stevens Universal Binding Jig, Jigs | Leave a comment