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mistermikev

let me tell you a tale of my woes...

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so my projects stalled quite a bit over the last few days.  I know what to do so just venting at this pt!

on the set neck... I'm going to bind it for the 3rd time tomorrow morning!

1) after getting it done the first time - I used the router to do a roundover and realized that all the burn marks from my initial binding channel were showing 'thru' the binding edge. it was really thin where the roundover trimmed it. 

2) re-channel/re-bound and did the 'roundover' with a file because I wanted to leave as much material as possible so it wouldn't be as thin at the roundover.  too thin at the top and doesn't look right.  so i stripped it all off again just now...

the new plan is: leave it fully square.  It's not what I originally intended... but it looks pretty good when I mock up the binding in the channel.

bolt neck version... really thick rosewood binding - .090.  It took me 6 hours of patience to bend the one side.  I broke my first two strips.  The horns on a strat are really tight... and this binding is too thick for that.  using a variable curling iron at 400 degrees.  Fortunately bending around the other curves was easy - so if I can just get past the horn!

anywho... kicking my arse today!

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Instead of routing or filing the binding, is there any reason why you can’t just round it over with a scraper? I’ve never bound anything other than wood but I expect the plastic type stuff scrapes just as well right? 

With the rosewood, have you tried completely submerging it in water to soak it? Should soften up a fair bit that way.

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2 hours ago, ADFinlayson said:

Instead of routing or filing the binding, is there any reason why you can’t just round it over with a scraper? I’ve never bound anything other than wood but I expect the plastic type stuff scrapes just as well right? 

With the rosewood, have you tried completely submerging it in water to soak it? Should soften up a fair bit that way.

thank you for the reply AD.  it helps me to go over this in my mind for the 'next time' I try it. 

I actually did use a scraper and file to round it over last time... but the edge of the binding ends up soo thin that it becomes almost clear and the edge looks like crap.  I suspect the only way to get the effect I was looking for would be to A) find binding that is more solid?(I'm guessing most of the problem is that it's white binding... using black/wood/even creme would have been fine)  B ) do a rabbet into the body the sm width of the binding.  here's my design doc for this.  the white square is the binding.  the gold is the top wood.  blue is a 3/8" radius... purple and red were just to get me 3/16.

binding.jpg.60e6b5e449c8da72da0c20402344678e.jpg

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10 minutes ago, mistermikev said:

thank you for the reply AD.  it helps me to go over this in my mind for the 'next time' I try it. 

I actually did use a scraper and file to round it over last time... but the edge of the binding ends up soo thin that it becomes almost clear and the edge looks like crap.  I suspect the only way to get the effect I was looking for would be to A) find binding that is more solid?(I'm guessing most of the problem is that it's white binding... using black/wood/even creme would have been fine)  B ) do a rabbet into the body the sm width of the binding.  here's my design doc for this.  the white square is the binding.  the gold is the top wood.  blue is a 3/8" radius... purple and red were just to get me 3/16.

binding.jpg.60e6b5e449c8da72da0c20402344678e.jpg

You've comprehesively lost me, @mistermikev !

 

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good suggestion on the rosewood btw.  I was saturating it with a spray bottle and leaving it sit for 10 mins... but hadn't thought of that.  will try. 

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1 minute ago, Andyjr1515 said:

You've comprehesively lost me, @mistermikev !

 

hehe... well this is a sideview of the 1/4" maple top, the 3/8" roundover cutting through it, the binding offset southward by 3/16"... basically showing how the roundover would cut through the top and the binding.  leaving binding with a 'rounded' surface... does that make sense?

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I should probably mention that originally I was going to set the roundover 1/16" into the top and then use a scraper/file to give more of a profile like norris had on his tele, but abandoned that since I was going with a radius top.  this moved my roundover and binding up 1/16"... so the drawing isn't 100% accurate now.

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1 minute ago, mistermikev said:

good suggestion on the rosewood btw.  I was saturating it with a spray bottle and leaving it sit for 10 mins... but hadn't thought of that.  will try. 

I'm assuming you're pre-bending over a hot pipe or something?

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1 minute ago, Andyjr1515 said:

I'm assuming you're pre-bending over a hot pipe or something?

I should also mention there are two things going on here... rosewood binding and white abs binding. 

afa pipe - I've got a curling iron that has a variable temp.  setting it to 400(highest).  It works absolutely perfect for the curves of the body with exception of the tip of the horns. 

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also it occurs to me... who the f is curling their hair at 400 deg???  wouldn't it just burn?  apparently not!

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5 minutes ago, mistermikev said:

hehe... well this is a sideview of the 1/4" maple top, the 3/8" roundover cutting through it, the binding offset southward by 3/16"... basically showing how the roundover would cut through the top and the binding.  leaving binding with a 'rounded' surface... does that make sense?

Ah - OK ... The reference to the red and purple threw me.  I now understand what you are saying.

The radius, etc should work, but everything is all very close to the top/back join line - this is into CNC levels of required accuracy if you are not careful.  Personally, I wouldn't trust a router to achieve this level of accuracy let alone the tearout tendencies - I would be using a scraper or just sanding block.

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6 minutes ago, Andyjr1515 said:

Ah - OK ... The reference to the red and purple threw me.  I now understand what you are saying.

The radius, etc should work, but everything is all very close to the top/back join line - this is into CNC levels of required accuracy if you are not careful.  Personally, I wouldn't trust a router to achieve this level of accuracy let alone the tearout tendencies - I would be using a scraper or just sanding block.

I said I wanted to push myself! 

 Yeah, less than 1/16 of binding left to cover the join between top and mahog... I changed that to approx 7/64 when I went to the radius top and believe it or not the router executed flawlessly... but the binding becomes so thin at that 7/64 area that there is an obvious color change from white to... well something less white... and it looks bad.  also, as you can imagine... it's very hard to keep that line perfect. 

Maybe I'm headed for a heartbreak but I'm still doing this on the rosewood binding version - assuming I ever get a second piece bent! 

afa white binding... below is what I'm falling back to.  I've cut the binding to leave 1/16 of top wood covered and I'm going to leave it square.  In order to do this I believe I need to dye my top first as any glue will be impossible to sand out later.  thoughts?

DSCN2229.thumb.JPG.403e320ebad91c0a8eb5dc6d6a119931.JPG

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16 minutes ago, mistermikev said:

I should also mention there are two things going on here... rosewood binding and white abs binding. 

afa pipe - I've got a curling iron that has a variable temp.  setting it to 400(highest).  It works absolutely perfect for the curves of the body with exception of the tip of the horns. 

I'll ignore the abs element -more than my simple mind can cope with ;)

Rosewood binding at .090" with a hot iron at 400 degrees should be just about OK.  I actually run my bending iron at hotter than that for many woods - but then, I'm a bit crazy.

But hair curling iron?   Hmm - how are you clamping that and how much pressure can you apply?

Even for a straightforward bend, then you do need:

- A decent presoak (I go for 30 minutes)

- regular re-spritzing

- a LOT of pressure and 'feel' where you can tell the difference between the wood relaxing into the bend versus stressing into a crack

A bend as tight as a strat horn is pretty much as tight as rosewood binding will go in my experience, so it needs all that, plus a lot of patience and a lot of spare binding strips

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12 minutes ago, mistermikev said:

I said I wanted to push myself! 

 Yeah, less than 1/16 of binding left to cover the join between top and mahog... I changed that to approx 7/64 when I went to the radius top and believe it or not the router executed flawlessly... but the binding becomes so thin at that 7/64 area that there is an obvious color change from white to... well something less white... and it looks bad.  also, as you can imagine... it's very hard to keep that line perfect. 

Maybe I'm headed for a heartbreak but I'm still doing this on the rosewood binding version - assuming I ever get a second piece bent! 

afa white binding... below is what I'm falling back to.  I've cut the binding to leave 1/16 of top wood covered and I'm going to leave it square.  In order to do this I believe I need to dye my top first as any glue will be impossible to sand out later.  thoughts?

DSCN2229.thumb.JPG.403e320ebad91c0a8eb5dc6d6a119931.JPG

No - you can't really stain the body first because you are bound to need to scrape the binding and glue line flush with the body and you will scrape off the stain.

Personally - for plastic binding - I would glue the binding, scrape and sand the glue lines off, probably put some masking strip over the binding, stain, then scrape any stain creep off the binding that may have occurred.  For rosewood I would do the same but I would stain the rosewood at the same time as the body - it will just go darker. 

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8 minutes ago, Andyjr1515 said:

I'll ignore the abs element -more than my simple mind can cope with ;)

Rosewood binding at .090" with a hot iron at 400 degrees should be just about OK.  I actually run my bending iron at hotter than that for many woods - but then, I'm a bit crazy.

But hair curling iron?   Hmm - how are you clamping that and how much pressure can you apply?

Even for a straightforward bend, then you do need:

- A decent presoak (I go for 30 minutes)

- regular re-spritzing

- a LOT of pressure and 'feel' where you can tell the difference between the wood relaxing into the bend versus stressing into a crack

A bend as tight as a strat horn is pretty much as tight as rosewood binding will go in my experience, so it needs all that, plus a lot of patience and a lot of spare binding strips

afa clamping... I'm actually just bending it by hand and then checking against my work.  I plan to do some cutouts of the inverse of the horn and use small clamps once I glue it.  It sits' in there pretty close right now on the side that I completed but there are a few spots that will def require some pressure. 

afa feel... I completely understand what you are saying because I've felt it start to bend... and then felt it start to crack several times.  I'm getting a feel for taking it just up to the crack point but yes... am down to my last pieces of binding and if I crack one more time I'm going to have to move the join point to accommodate a smaller strip on one side. 

 

 

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3 minutes ago, Andyjr1515 said:

No - you can't really stain the body first because you are bound to need to scrape the binding and glue line flush with the body and you will scrape off the stain.

Personally - for plastic binding - I would glue the binding, scrape and sand the glue lines off, probably put some masking strip over the binding, stain, then scrape any stain creep off the binding that may have occurred.  For rosewood I would do the same but I would stain the rosewood at the same time as the body - it will just go darker. 

I'm "falling back" on the idea that scraping the binding just won't work.  My plan is to apply the binding and NOT scrape it since I didn't like the results of the thin binding the first 2 times.  This time I'm just going to leave it w/o any shaping.  doing that means I won't be able to sand anywhere near it... so as I see it I need to get my piece all sanded perfect, dye it, apply the binding being carefull as all hell not to get glue on the north side.  This top is just getting true oil finish and satin/flat.  Probably equally as challenging because I won't be able to wet sand that area at all.  is this crazy talk?

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1 minute ago, mistermikev said:

afa clamping... I'm actually just bending it by hand and then checking against my work.

 

 

Sorry - my question was a bit confusing.  I meant how are you clamping the iron itself?

Generally, the iron or hot pipe would be firmly clamped to the bench and that leaving you with both hands to hold either side of the binding with , allowing you to move the wood side to side on the iron and spread the heat while adding even but firm pressure downwards to form the bend.  As it dries with the heat, you would re-spritz from time to time.

This maybe how you are already doing it.

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6 minutes ago, mistermikev said:

I'm "falling back" on the idea that scraping the binding just won't work.  My plan is to apply the binding and NOT scrape it since I didn't like the results of the thin binding the first 2 times.  This time I'm just going to leave it w/o any shaping.  doing that means I won't be able to sand anywhere near it... so as I see it I need to get my piece all sanded perfect, dye it, apply the binding being carefull as all hell not to get glue on the north side.  This top is just getting true oil finish and satin/flat.  Probably equally as challenging because I won't be able to wet sand that area at all.  is this crazy talk?

Let me get onto the desk top computer - typing on the tablet is too slow! :)

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2 minutes ago, Andyjr1515 said:

Sorry - my question was a bit confusing.  I meant how are you clamping the iron itself?

Generally, the iron or hot pipe would be firmly clamped to the bench and that leaving you with both hands to hold either side of the binding with , allowing you to move the wood side to side on the iron and spread the heat while adding even but firm pressure downwards to form the bend.  As it dries with the heat, you would re-spritz from time to time.

This maybe how you are already doing it.

he he... no I'm not doing it the RIGHT way.  I'm holding the binding in my fingers, holding the iron on it while i push it onto the iron.  as soon as i see the moisture dry up, I stop, re-spritz, then reapply heat.  probably has a lot to do with how long it's taking!

It would def be nice to have the curling iron mounted.  Gonna have to think on how I'd do that.  could probably just clamp it... but since it became mine perhaps I'll epoxy it into a box.

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25 minutes ago, mistermikev said:

 Probably equally as challenging because I won't be able to wet sand that area at all.  is this crazy talk?

Yes - a little bit.  Well, let's say just a bit of a crazy moment :lol:

OK - I think we need to split the difficulties you are finding into different aspects.  But before I do that:

- The reason you are going to need to sand or scrape the binding joint at least a little, is that there is simply no way that the binding channel and the binding itself and the glue joint are all going to be to the <0.001" accuracy at the sides AND the top it would need to be for it to look right and not have a rough edge.

- There is also almost no possibility that there will be no glue squeeze-out that will need cleaning up.  

 

So, your problem as I understand it:

1.  Your binding is going translucent when you scrape it.  If this is happening ANYWHERE except at the joint line where you are trying to blend the binding into the top:

Guitar binding should not do that at' normal'  finished thicknesses.  'Normal' thicknesses would be - at the worst case, a 1.5mm thick binding rounded over to, say 0.25mm at the top.  But to be honest, I would expect full opacity even as far as a feathered  joint line.  

My Les Paul goes pretty thin at the top and there is no possibility of having anything except a solid colour.

So - if this is happening anywhere except at the joint itself, I think you should try a different supplier of the binding.

2.  If this is happening ONLY at the joint line itself, it is probably a different issue:

That join line will be a  three-way sandwich  - the binding  tapering to nothing; a glue thickness tapering to nothing; the maple top.

The translucency itself  would be the glue itself (if you've used acetone, then that 'glue' is a melted layer of plastic)  Remember - at that angle, the length of the glue line will be significantly wider than the thickness of the glue joint itself. 

You get the  same issue at the feathered glue line when applying veneer:

_MG_3200.thumb.JPG.0371a62d071b8daf7487d99be3f670b2.JPG

See the whiteish line at the waist?  That's Titebond and titebond soaked veneer as it sands down to nothing and it is stupendously thin even though it sticks out like a sore thumb!

So if this is what you are seeing, then rounding over the binding at the top edge rather than feathering it to nothing would help.

Does that help at all? 

 

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14 minutes ago, Andyjr1515 said:

Yes - a little bit.  Well, let's say just a bit of a crazy moment :lol:

OK - I think we need to split the difficulties you are finding into different aspects.  But before I do that:

- The reason you are going to need to sand or scrape the binding joint at least a little, is that there is simply no way that the binding channel and the binding itself and the glue joint are all going to be to the <0.001" accuracy at the sides AND the top it would need to be for it to look right and not have a rough edge.

- There is also almost no possibility that there will be no glue squeeze-out that will need cleaning up.  

 

So, your problem as I understand it:

1.  Your binding is going translucent when you scrape it.  If this is happening ANYWHERE except at the joint line where you are trying to blend the binding into the top:

Guitar binding should not do that at' normal'  finished thicknesses.  'Normal' thicknesses would be - at the worst case, a 1.5mm thick binding rounded over to, say 0.25mm at the top.  But to be honest, I would expect full opacity even as far as a feathered  joint line.  

My Les Paul goes pretty thin at the top and there is no possibility of having anything except a solid colour.

So - if this is happening anywhere except at the joint itself, I think you should try a different supplier of the binding.

2.  If this is happening ONLY at the joint line itself, it is probably a different issue:

That join line will be a  three-way sandwich  - the binding  tapering to nothing; a glue thickness tapering to nothing; the maple top.

The translucency itself  would be the glue itself (if you've used acetone, then that 'glue' is a melted layer of plastic)  Remember - at that angle, the length of the glue line will be significantly wider than the thickness of the glue joint itself. 

You get the  same issue at the feathered glue line when applying veneer:

_MG_3200.thumb.JPG.0371a62d071b8daf7487d99be3f670b2.JPG

See the whiteish line at the waist?  That's Titebond and titebond soaked veneer as it sands down to nothing and it is stupendously thin even though it sticks out like a sore thumb!

So if this is what you are seeing, then rounding over the binding at the top edge rather than feathering it to nothing would help.

Does that help at all? 

 

some good thoughts there. 

it's happening at the top 1/16 or less of the binding.  when I did my first run I had burn marks in my binding channel and these stood out like a soar thumb - behind the binding!  Just for the top 1/16.  this is 1.5mm binding.

then i did a clean channel, but I guess I hadn't noticed that the same top 1/16 of the binding looks 'discolored' on my last run.  You go from stark white to seeing some of the maple color behind it and any variation thereof.  It literally blurs the line between top and binding.

afa binding quality - yes: this binding is not the sm quality I have used before.  it bends very easily.  I think you nailed that.  that said my neck is bound with it and looks nice... don't want to risk a color mis match at this point.

I tried to put sort of a 67deg on the last 1/16th when my last run started looking bad - it did make it better, but still the transition didn't look good to me. 

sorry, didn't mean to drag you into this and make it so complicated!  You are a lot like me in that once you get started trying to fix something - it's hard to stop that train!  I imagine that serves you well as it does me.  I am very thankful for your help here - and you constant feedback on this site!  I hope I don't ever sound like I'm not.

before I did my last run... I remember looking at the binding on there - just square - and thinking that it looked pretty good and that I might just leave it.  But a voice in my head said: "now you set out to do X so don't be a b-word... do X"!  The problem would have been any glue.  it will prevent dye.    and be impossible to sand. 

If I attempt the sqr binding... and I have any gaps that need ca glue - I can tape off and put some in.  There were only two spots like that on my last run.  I think I can do this... and if I can't I can always re cut the channel, sand the entire finish off, and come up with a new plan.

 

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Have you tried an offcut of binding in some maple and sanding the roundover rather than using a router?  Are you left with the same line? 

A router bit will melt plastic binding at the best of times and remember that you are cutting it down to zero thickness - so yes - with a router bit, it will melt at and anywhere near the join line.  As @ADFinlayson says, scraper or sanding is probably a safer way to go in any case for the binding.

And gosh - there are few people more profuse about their gratitude for advice received - good or bad  - than you, @mistermikev  so have no worries on that score!  :D

 

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1 minute ago, Andyjr1515 said:

Have you tried an offcut of binding in some maple and sanding the roundover rather than using a router?  Are you left with the same line? 

A router bit will melt plastic binding at the best of times and remember that you are cutting it down to zero thickness - so yes - with a router bit, it will melt at and anywhere near the join line.  As @ADFinlayson says, scraper or sanding is probably a safer way to go in any case for the binding.

And gosh - there are few people more profuse about their gratitude for advice received - good or bad  - than you, @mistermikev  so have no worries on that score!  :D

 

better than that... I've tried it on this guitar!  This will be my 3rd time binding it!  The second time I didn't use the router at all.  just scraper and lam file.  w the burn marks gone from the channel it looked much better... but still a blurry line.  (I don't always test my code... but when I do... I prefer the LIVE environment!)  The router did melt it a bit the first time... but it was fixable via sanding.  I did several passes and lowered the depth each time so it wasn't bad. 

thank you re gratitude.  believe it or not I'm relieved!  just how I roll.

for better or worse I'm going to try square binding.  If I succeed then I'll have something I haven't seen anyone else do.  If I don't... I'll have learned that it is another bad idea!

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