Bindings and Purflings

Had a bunch of starts and stops this past week but finally got something done today. That is the edge bindings and the purflings.

The edge binding is important. It is decorative but it also functions as a protective strip around the edge of the body. They can be wood or plastic and just in case you are wondering I am a woodworker not a plastic worker. The purflings on the other hand are mostly decorative and optional. The purflings are the decorative strip of marquetry inlay you might see on a soundboard between the edge binding and the soundboard. Both the edge binding and the purflings are delicate and fragile making them easy to break and difficult to work into shape.

I am using that curly maple to match the end graft and a herringbone pattern purfling to match the rosette. To bend them into shape I used my side bender with the heating blanket in the same manner as I did with the sides.

The purflings have to be bent on their side so the pattern is face up. They are dimensioned 1.5mm thick by 3.5 wide so bending them on the side poses problem like crimping and rolling into a twist. To keep them straight and flat I made a sandwich and taped them up.

Then I taped the sandwich to some spring steel in the center, end-to-end, and bend them with my Fox side bender.

The end result is nice. The purflings have a little crimping on the inside of the tight bends but it is not beyond workable. Also they lay flat, which will make glue-up less problematic.

The ones pictured above are not the ones I ended up doing today. Like I said I had some starts and stops. They are ornery critters and they gave me a bunch of grief getting them right. The edge bindings I did today are 1.5mmX4.5mm while the ones above are 3mmX4.5mm. A little too thick but I needed them to make a sandwich for the purflings. The purflngs I also had to go through two sets before I got it. First time was clumsiness and the second time was an error that just got worse each time I tried to fix it.

All said though, I now have a set of bent bindings and purflings ready to glue into place once I have the groove cut.


About Alex

Love making sawdust and turning wood into objects of practical beauty.
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