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Maple Binding Doubts.


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For my next build I'm binding the fingerboard and headplate with maple.

This is my very first time at this and just finished the FB.

I trimmed the FB to the proper dimensions, glued (titebond) a 6mm-wide strip of maple to the sides of the FB and clamped tight. Then scraped/sanded flush and the results are really good.

However I found that the top edges of the maple are very prone to tear off. The maple strips I used came from a sheet of maple veneer 1.6mm thick, cut along the grain.

Is it the maple I used that's prone to tear off ?? Would proper maple binding material bought from any of the major suppliers be any better in this sense ?? Or is it just the nature of the beast ??

Any experienced builder here that might provide info on the subject ??

Thanks in advance.

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I'm not sure what you mean by 'tear off'. There's no end-grain facing up, the way I read it (be a very wide tree if there were!), and maple works just fine as binding. I use it all the time. I brush on shellac (a few coats) with an artists brush for the fingerboard, because it'll tend to get kinda of manky/grungy/dirty otherwise. I do glue binding down with superglue, though, particularly to end-grain on fingerboards and headstocks, because I've had titebond glued wood come loose. I use medium to thick superglue for this. Never had a failure.

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For my next build I'm binding the fingerboard and headplate with maple.

This is my very first time at this and just finished the FB.

I trimmed the FB to the proper dimensions, glued (titebond) a 6mm-wide strip of maple to the sides of the FB and clamped tight. Then scraped/sanded flush and the results are really good.

However I found that the top edges of the maple are very prone to tear off. The maple strips I used came from a sheet of maple veneer 1.6mm thick, cut along the grain.

Is it the maple I used that's prone to tear off ?? Would proper maple binding material bought from any of the major suppliers be any better in this sense ?? Or is it just the nature of the beast ??

Any experienced builder here that might provide info on the subject ??

Thanks in advance.

The veneer you mention cutting produced approx. 1/4" wide by .06" binding, and that is all fine(pretty close to normal binding- .08" being kinda standard, but .06 is used also). I am wondering though if you actually used regular sheet veneer which would not be that thick or possibly paper backed. Maple will be Maple either way(high figure can pose issues but that aside) you cut or major supplier cuts. I have used maple at .06" and it is not unstable because of thickness. Maple sheet veneer is much thinner and can be more fragile. Also if the wood is highly figured it can be prone to tear out, but that is not usually an issue when scraping or sanding.

Peace,Rich

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I'm not sure what you mean by 'tear off'. There's no end-grain facing up, the way I read it (be a very wide tree if there were!), and maple works just fine as binding. I use it all the time. I brush on shellac (a few coats) with an artists brush for the fingerboard, because it'll tend to get kinda of manky/grungy/dirty otherwise. I do glue binding down with superglue, though, particularly to end-grain on fingerboards and headstocks, because I've had titebond glued wood come loose. I use medium to thick superglue for this. Never had a failure.

Thanks Mattia for the quick reply,

Not sure how to explain this any better... And unfortunately I don't have any pictures.

But the problem is that the grain will never run perfectly parallel to the edge, and the "ends" tend to get caught at the edge e.g. with the sandpaper and sometimes they splinter. I think that in correct english I mean that the grain "runs out" at the edges, and there it sometimes splinter.

I have this happened in a couple of places along the top edge of the binding. Since I will eventually bevel the edge a little I don't really care much. But was wondering if this is a common effect that will eventually keep on happening through normal play of the guitar. In the end I will have a few coats of Danish Oil applied on them anyway, so maybe that will hold the wood together better.

I hope that even in my bad english the explanation makes sense...

Edited by Blackdog
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The veneer you mention cutting produced approx. 1/4" wide by .06" binding, and that is all fine(pretty close to normal binding- .08" being kinda standard, but .06 is used also). I am wondering though if you actually used regular sheet veneer which would not be that thick or possibly paper backed. Maple will be Maple either way(high figure can pose issues but that aside) you cut or major supplier cuts. I have used maple at .06" and it is not unstable because of thickness. Maple sheet veneer is much thinner and can be more fragile. Also if the wood is highly figured it can be prone to tear out, but that is not usually an issue when scraping or sanding.

Peace,Rich

Thanks fryovanni for the reply,

To clarify your points: it is definitely not paper backed, just pure maple 1.6mm thick. And there's no significant figure to speak about, pretty much plain maple.

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