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Abalone Purfling On A Solid Body Guitar


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I know how to cut binding channels, and I have installed binding. I have the stewmac binding bit with the bearing to cut a .090 binding channel. On my next guitar I would like to try a .090 binding with a abalone purfling. I understand that you have to cut a separate channel for the purfling. What I need to know is, what is the other size bearing that I need for the stewmac bit to do this. I will be using the .063 abalone purfling strips form stewmac. I tried to email stewmac, and have gotten no responce.

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If you have a cutter head that it wide enough to accomodate a smaller diameter bearing you will be able to cut the purfling shelf. A couple things that can pose issues(similar to binding) is carved or radiused tops that require you to use a smaller router base to index the top in the area you are routing(this smaller indexing base requires a jig to keep the router straight up and down while you make your cuts). It is handy to use teflon strips as a place holder for your purfling so that you can bind and then add purfling later. You are going to need to break and miter your straight strips to fit the curves(this is not really hard to do, so don't worry about the task you will get the hang of it pretty quick). Seal your routed channel and shelf with a wash coat of shellac(like a 2lb. cut) to prevent wicking of CA or Epoxy into the surrounding surfaces.

You may want to take a look at MOPsupplies.com for your straight strips. I think you will find they charge about .36 to 42 cents per. inch(you choose width 1/16 to 3/8"). When you are buying a lot of strips for a whole body you can save a lot by using them. Be sure to order several extra inches for selection and losses during the mitering process.

Peace,Rich

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If you have a cutter head that it wide enough to accomodate a smaller diameter bearing you will be able to cut the purfling shelf. A couple things that can pose issues(similar to binding) is carved or radiused tops that require you to use a smaller router base to index the top in the area you are routing(this smaller indexing base requires a jig to keep the router straight up and down while you make your cuts). It is handy to use teflon strips as a place holder for your purfling so that you can bind and then add purfling later. You are going to need to break and miter your straight strips to fit the curves(this is not really hard to do, so don't worry about the task you will get the hang of it pretty quick). Seal your routed channel and shelf with a wash coat of shellac(like a 2lb. cut) to prevent wicking of CA or Epoxy into the surrounding surfaces.

You may want to take a look at MOPsupplies.com for your straight strips. I think you will find they charge about .36 to 42 cents per. inch(you choose width 1/16 to 3/8"). When you are buying a lot of strips for a whole body you can save a lot by using them. Be sure to order several extra inches for selection and losses during the mitering process.

Peace,Rich

Thanks for the shell info.

How tight should the purfling channel be? If I am using 1/16 inch purfling, should the channel be exactly 1/16, or should it have some clearance. If so, how much?

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If you have a cutter head that it wide enough to accomodate a smaller diameter bearing you will be able to cut the purfling shelf. A couple things that can pose issues(similar to binding) is carved or radiused tops that require you to use a smaller router base to index the top in the area you are routing(this smaller indexing base requires a jig to keep the router straight up and down while you make your cuts). It is handy to use teflon strips as a place holder for your purfling so that you can bind and then add purfling later. You are going to need to break and miter your straight strips to fit the curves(this is not really hard to do, so don't worry about the task you will get the hang of it pretty quick). Seal your routed channel and shelf with a wash coat of shellac(like a 2lb. cut) to prevent wicking of CA or Epoxy into the surrounding surfaces.

You may want to take a look at MOPsupplies.com for your straight strips. I think you will find they charge about .36 to 42 cents per. inch(you choose width 1/16 to 3/8"). When you are buying a lot of strips for a whole body you can save a lot by using them. Be sure to order several extra inches for selection and losses during the mitering process.

Peace,Rich

Thanks for the shell info.

How tight should the purfling channel be? If I am using 1/16 inch purfling, should the channel be exactly 1/16, or should it have some clearance. If so, how much?

I like to use a fine line binding at either side of the shell(BW or BWB). I find the black against the shell defines the purfling line nicely(looks crisper). You will want to be slightly wider than the shell and or binding(if you choose to accent with fine line). I will usually be a few thousandths over, but I always do a test shelf and binding channel on scrap. Then I do a dry fit up to make sure everything looks good.

Peace,Rich

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