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Binding/purfling Installation On Armrest Contour


guitar2005
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Another binding question. I'm really liking the look of a bound body and I want to add either binding or shell purfling on my Lacewood Jem Project. The body will be stained black and I want abalone binding on it.

The body is done and all and I want to add a touch of class to this guitar. The problem is, I don't know how to cut a binding channel around the armest countour. Is this doable?

Will the shell hold? Maybe I should add plastic binding then shell inside of that. regardless, until I figure out a way to cut the binding channel, I'm stuck.

126179033.jpg

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Another binding question. I'm really liking the look of a bound body and I want to add either binding or shell purfling on my Lacewood Jem Project. The body will be stained black and I want abalone binding on it.

The body is done and all and I want to add a touch of class to this guitar. The problem is, I don't know how to cut a binding channel around the armest countour. Is this doable?

Will the shell hold? Maybe I should add plastic binding then shell inside of that. regardless, until I figure out a way to cut the binding channel, I'm stuck.

126179033.jpg

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An after though situation always a problem. I would tape down a piece of wood over your arm contour and sand it flush with the top of the body. Double sided tape. Then just remove the additional shim and tape when your done routing.

Hopefully your router guide will be deep enough on the side or you will have to make the shim flush to the side too. If this is the case make sure you have tape along the very edge to hold on the shim you will be cutting through.

Their are router adapters if you don't mind spending money which accommodates tops of instruments which are not flat.

My personal opinion for what its worth is you are just adding ornamentation to a body style which does not lend itself to it. Also the drop is going to be challenging laying in the Abalone.

You can always just chisel out the channel by hand. The binding is .050 inches deep very shallow. Use a razor blade to outline the pocket using some sort of guide. You will need a very small chisel to boot.

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An after though situation always a problem. I would tape down a piece of wood over your arm contour and sand it flush with the top of the body. Double sided tape. Then just remove the additional shim and tape when your done routing.

Hopefully your router guide will be deep enough on the side or you will have to make the shim flush to the side too. If this is the case make sure you have tape along the very edge to hold on the shim you will be cutting through.

Their are router adapters if you don't mind spending money which accommodates tops of instruments which are not flat.

My personal opinion for what its worth is you are just adding ornamentation to a body style which does not lend itself to it. Also the drop is going to be challenging laying in the Abalone.

You can always just chisel out the channel by hand. The binding is .050 inches deep very shallow. Use a razor blade to outline the pocket using some sort of guide. You will need a very small chisel to boot.

Yes, an afterthought for sure...

I'm not sure I understand what you're suggesting with the armrest shim. With the router riding on the shim, it doesn't solve the issue of following the contour for the binding. It's still a curve that I have to follow with the router.

I guess I could route the binding channel for the flat portion with a router and finish the rest by hand as you suggest with the help of one of these.

You're right that you don't see many Jems with binding or purfling. The only model that had it was the jem 10th and it was a little too much. I'll be making mine a little more subdued.

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The three things you need from your binding jig are;

1. it needs to hold the router square

2. it needs to index off a small area of the top near the edge.

3. it needs to index the side

For a flat surface a simple bearing will index the side, the router base can hold the router square and since the top is flat it can index a wider surface.

A tool like this looks like a great idea, but is TOTAL JUNK-link

A tool like this will do the job, but the fixed nature of the jig requires you to move the body (not what I would prefer).-link

A tool like this is nifty because you move the tool around the work, and is not very challenging to build yourself.-link

Either way you will have to do a little touch up with a chisel at the transitions to the rest, but a good jig will make it minimal. Using plastic binding will be easier to work with. The shell purfling will not be as bad as you may think. Break and miter is pretty easy as soon as you get the hang of it, and the transitions to and from the rest should clean up nicely. Just be sure to use thicker shell .060" don't try thin.

Peace, Rich

P.S. Before you use you new jig. Run several routes on scrap to get used to it.

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I don't know, but I think that for what he wants, the only choice should be the Dremel one. I know it is not the most sturdy or hen all, but the small area that touches the body will make it perfect for keeping a straight line with the arm rest... other than that CNC.

Now another idea could be to do a faux binding with the lacewood if it is a 1/4" drop top and just do a purfling with abalone.

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The Fleischmann-Williams type setup (used for acoustics) makes this pretty easy; if you can route the binding ledge on a compound curved, angled surface like an acoustic guitar back, you can do an armrest bevel.

Other than that, frankly, not CNC (unless you cut the body on it originally that's a nightmare waiting to be programmed), but a purfling cutter and a chisel. Really. For purfling cutters, look at StewMac or LMI, and you'll see how to do your own. They're basically just marking guages. And chiseling out binding is really not THAT difficult.

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I don't know, but I think that for what he wants, the only choice should be the Dremel one. I know it is not the most sturdy or hen all, but the small area that touches the body will make it perfect for keeping a straight line with the arm rest... other than that CNC.

Now another idea could be to do a faux binding with the lacewood if it is a 1/4" drop top and just do a purfling with abalone.

Maiden - The lacewood is a thin veneer over African Mahogany. Everything will be black so I want a nice accent line, that's all. I might go pearloid white binding/abalone purfling.

I'm not sure what you're suggesting? Is it the Binding Router Attachment? That's still not a great solution because the armrest has a fairly significant curve for any base to follow it.

I'm wondering if I shouldn't just get a marking gauge as suggested by Mattia and sut the thing by hand for the armrest portion.

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Yes thats the one. The advantage over the others suggested is that it will follow the radius of the armrest with the bottom of the cutter at the same angle as the armrest, instead of keeping it at a horizontal plane while the armrest is at an angle.

Presentation2.jpg

I know that it is not as sturdy as the other ones, but the other ones will not follow the curve of the armrest with the cutter. The advantage of the Fleishman is that it touches just the edge while routing so that a carve top, archtop wouldn't be a problem but the cutter stays true to the line of the table, it doesn't follow the curve. I hope you understand this, because it is taking a lot to explain without hands on examples

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Yes thats the one. The advantage over the others suggested is that it will follow the radius of the armrest with the bottom of the cutter at the same angle as the armrest, instead of keeping it at a horizontal plane while the armrest is at an angle.

Presentation2.jpg

I know that it is not as sturdy as the other ones, but the other ones will not follow the curve of the armrest with the cutter. The advantage of the Fleishman is that it touches just the edge while routing so that a carve top, archtop wouldn't be a problem but the cutter stays true to the line of the table, it doesn't follow the curve. I hope you understand this, because it is taking a lot to explain without hands on examples

I think I understand what you mean about the Fleischman; it stays parallel to the sides (ie, the table), but it allows for 99% of the curve to be cut perfectly to depth, even in this case. It's not terribly significant if you make a nice, small indexing shoe for it. Seriously, the back of an acoustic guitar can be far more angled and curved than a mere small armrest on an electric (for example a wedged acoustic with a 1" head to tail and 1.5" side to side taper, AND a 15' radius to the back). It may be a few thousands shallower than the cut along the flat part of the body, but we're talking really minimal amounts. If you want it perfect, mark it with a handheld purfling cutter, cut the binding, and finish with a chisel if there's any remaining stuff to cut away.

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That is a very nice body so far.

Please do not ruin it by trying an idea out on that body, whatever you need to accomplish, do a mockup out of plywood or something and experiment on that until you KNOW FOR SURE that you can accomplish your task with confidence, without a shadow of a doubt.

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I don't know, but I think that for what he wants, the only choice should be the Dremel one. I know it is not the most sturdy or hen all, but the small area that touches the body will make it perfect for keeping a straight line with the arm rest... other than that CNC.

Now another idea could be to do a faux binding with the lacewood if it is a 1/4" drop top and just do a purfling with abalone.

Maiden - The lacewood is a thin veneer over African Mahogany. Everything will be black so I want a nice accent line, that's all. I might go pearloid white binding/abalone purfling.

I'm not sure what you're suggesting? Is it the Binding Router Attachment? That's still not a great solution because the armrest has a fairly significant curve for any base to follow it.

I'm wondering if I shouldn't just get a marking gauge as suggested by Mattia and sut the thing by hand for the armrest portion.

I will repeat myself in saying I have that tool, and it is total crap IMO. I would never risk using it on anything more than scrap. The concept is great (that is why I bought it), but I was let down for the first time by SM on that one.

Peace,Rich

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I will repeat myself in saying I have that tool, and it is total crap IMO. I would never risk using it on anything more than scrap. The concept is great (that is why I bought it), but I was let down for the first time by SM on that one.

Peace,Rich

Rich, would you please explain specifically why you find this tool to be "total crap"? (I'm not disagreeing, just curious as to the weakness.) Lack of power, not stable, uneven cut, hard to adjust, etc. ?

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I will repeat myself in saying I have that tool, and it is total crap IMO. I would never risk using it on anything more than scrap. The concept is great (that is why I bought it), but I was let down for the first time by SM on that one.

Peace,Rich

Rich, would you please explain specifically why you find this tool to be "total crap"? (I'm not disagreeing, just curious as to the weakness.) Lack of power, not stable, uneven cut, hard to adjust, etc. ?

Sure, The tool has the potential to work in the sense that it can index the top surface and it can index the side. The things that make it very challenging to use correctly, and I will say unreliable are as follows.

1. you are using a dremel, which is a weak tool for routing, and has sketchy alignment (again I use Dremel for some freehand tasks such as inlay and such. So I am not saying a Dremel is a useless tool, just not a good foundation for this type of work). The dremel tool when screwed into the pipe on this tool is also fairly tall with a small footprint and awquard to keep straight up and down while moving side to side and around a body (especially because it is so light and vibrating as well as cutting and wanting to rotate)

2. The bearing guide is flimsy with a lot of play. It is attached by a small single screw. You have to make sure you manually keep the bearing guide perfectly oriented as you move around the body or else you will change your cutting depth. This becomes a VERY challenging task as you are trying to keep the tool straight up and down, and oriented correctly while the light weight tool is vibrating, wanting to kick and twist as the motor is pushed too hard(and I am talking with a light cut).

3. The indexing of the top is done acceptably, but I prefer to have a softer material such as plastic. Not faulting this feature, just a personal preference.

A person would do better to buy a laminate trimmer, use a bearing bit, and shape a donut (from high density plastic) that could be attached to the base. This tool would at least be more reliable, have adequit power, and you could focus on trying to keep it straight up and down(which would be easier with a more substantial tool the is not so long and light weight). That would be my personal suggestion if you need these features, but do not want to build a jig that keeps your vert. alignment.

Hope that makes sense. I would love to hear feedback on this tool from anyone who has it, uses it, and would give it a big thumbs up(meaning they would be willing to use it on a set of BRW sides with a master grade Addi top).

Peace,Rich

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Ryan,

Actually I made a donut for a laminate trimmer out of simple softwood (about 1/4" thick). I drilled the hole to accomodate my cutter, and tapered the area around the cutter on one side(left the other flat). It worked just fine. I would go around the body one time on the flat side to get verything close(with the more comfotable base), Then would take a second pass around the body with the tapered side. The second pass takes very little material(most is removed at the waist and cutoways), and you can really relax and focus on keeping the router straight up and down.

Good luck :D

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Ryan,

Actually I made a donut for a laminate trimmer out of simple softwood (about 1/4" thick). I drilled the hole to accomodate my cutter, and tapered the area around the cutter on one side(left the other flat). It worked just fine. I would go around the body one time on the flat side to get verything close(with the more comfotable base), Then would take a second pass around the body with the tapered side. The second pass takes very little material(most is removed at the waist and cutoways), and you can really relax and focus on keeping the router straight up and down.

Good luck :D

Do you have any pics of that?

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