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Bending Binding


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hi, i'm building a les paul style guitar, with les paul custom style binding, and i'm having trouble bending it around the cutaway, i'm using a heat gun, try to use as little heat as possible but it's like kind of wavy, like it's still got kinks in it... oh yeah it a 5 ply .100" thick piece or binding... also, when i do glue it on, should i glue the 5-ply in first then this .060 white binding over, or should i try to melt the .060 to the 5-ply first... i figure that the 5ply .100 and the white .060 combined would be too hard to bend and manipulate... anyway, thanks... jonny

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A hair dryer maybe, but not a heat gun, way too hot way too fast.

The best way to do it is to heat it up in a pot of hot water. There is a very specific temperature range where it will become very mallable and workable for a short period of time.

Get too hot, it will separate. Too cool, it will harden up too fast.

Unfortunately, I do not recall the specific temp range required, hopefully someone here will know.

Heat guns and hair dryers ~can~ work, and I have certainly used a hair dryer more than once, but the hot water method is really the right and professional way to do it without running yourself too close to the hedge and melting or burning or warping it.

And yes, you are correct, do the 5-layer, then the cream outer layer 2nd.

Hell, when I did 5-layer, I did a 2-layer then a 3-layer, and 7-layer binding was always 3 trips around the body, 2-layer, 2-layer, then 3-layer.

5-layer -straight-up- must be pure bollocks! :D :D

I would recommend you wait until you find out what the right temp is, get a meat thermometer or some good thermometer, and do it the right way. Believe me, you DON'T want to get your binding 3/4 of the way on then SNAP IT on the horn, or MELT IT...you really don't want to go there. B)

PS, when you're installing it, make sure you REALLY PUSH DOWN AGAINST THE LEDGE.

Sometimes you get caught up in what you're doing because there are a lot of things you have to pay attention to all at the same time, and stop paying attention to what's going on on the bottom of the binding, you don't want to go there either.

Having a perfectly clean and level ledge and getting the binding really tight against that bottom ledge really gives it the professional look. :D

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hey thanks for the advice... i had another question too, since it is better to glue the 5ply first, how do you put enough pressure on the binding, since there is a .060 gap between the binding and the edge of the guitar? i was just gonna use tape and cut pieces of this old binding that i can't use anymore and put that between the tape and the gap to cover the .060, is this necessary or the improper method, thanks... jonny

p.s. andy, i noticed your from greensboro nc, i'm from raleigh, are there any places there that sell supplies or do you have to mail order

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There are several different ways you can tackle that.

Personally, I use thin (watery) CYA glue to do binding, and I hold it tightly with my fingers until it's adhered, which is usually maybe a minute, and I just do enough at a time that my 2-hand finger spread can handle.

I wouldn't recommend this way for everyone, there is a learning curve to it and you can screw it up pretty easy if you haven't done it a few times this way to know what's going to happen before it happens.

Others bind the whole thing at once and tape it, usually using a different kind of glue than CYA.

But since CYA is the only way I do it, it's the only way I can explain to you, so I guess you'll have to wait until someone who does tape their whole binding at once shows up to answer.

I would assume if you're taping it and doing the whole thing at once, then you need to do ALL the binding at the same time.

I know you -can- do it, I have a video of Bob Benedetto (Building an Archtop series) doing a 7-ply binding all at once...I just don't do it that way. He makes it look sooo easy. :D

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There are several different ways you can tackle that.

Personally, I use thin (watery) CYA glue to do binding, and I hold it tightly with my fingers until it's adhered, which is usually maybe a minute, and I just do enough at a time that my 2-hand finger spread can handle.

I wouldn't recommend this way for everyone, there is a learning curve to it and you can screw it up pretty easy if you haven't done it a few times this way to know what's going to happen before it happens.

Others bind the whole thing at once and tape it, usually using a different kind of glue than CYA.

Heya Drak . . .I need to jump in here.

I am about to do a binding and bought binding glue and tape to use, but am intrigued by the CYA method. I have some of the really tall binding to use around the neck join and inside bouts and wonder how you spread the CYA without sticking your fingers? I will have a pretty decent amount of surface area plus the bottom edge to get covered. :D

komodo

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i glue binding with normal CA glue and my fingers and i rarely manage to stick myself to pieces of work... but i have taught other people the same method and they managed to get a real good bond. One bonded so well he had to cut himself off then sand a layer of skin off the binding - we didnt want to risk anything else that might damage the binding!! :D

not sure if skin type plays a role in this :D

you can always get the binding taped in place then run thin CA down the join - but think about how you are finishing first because dye doesnt take too well to areas of the top that have been flooded with CA

i must admit plastic bending normally gets done slowly with the hairdryer. With practice you can tell when its getting too warm

wooden binding gets done on a hot pipe

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That's one of the 'learning curves' of using CYA with your fingers is not gluing your fingers down :D :D

It entails using -just- enough glue to get the job done and no more than that, it's all about the correct amount to use.

When you get that part right, the whole job comes out cleaner and neater with less cleanup needed afterwards.

When you use the correct amount of glue, it adheres well, doesn't glue your fingers down, doesn't dribble out on the top or sides, and looks clean and neat.

CYA dribbles onto a top or sides can be a real PITA to deal with, out to disasterous at worst case scenario.

I'm not really advocating my way, it works for me and is the way I adapted for myself, but there's probably cleaner and more professional ways to go about it.

Works for me, but I did go thru a learning curve to get where I am with it.

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The way I do it, I'll typically lay down some glue, then roll the body around until the glue has spread out/thinned down enough to my tastes along the channel, then apply the binding, pushing instantly down and in and holding it there with my fingers spanned out covering as much territory as possible. Sometimes I'll do a pre-bend, like the inside of a Tele horn.

It's usually dry within a minute, I just go around the body like that.

If I do it right (to my tastes), when I lay the binding down and press-fit into place, I will get very little-to-NO squeezeout of glue, but used enough to firmly hold the binding down. The amount varies from place to place.

Going around the bottom of a standard shape guitar, you need very minimum. The smallest bit will hold it typically, that part goes pretty fast and easy.

Doing the inside of a horn, like a Tele or Strat, takes more glue and more pressure for longer for the binding to be set in place.

The squeezeout is what causes the problems and sticks your fingers down.

The more squeezeout, the more problems you face. :D

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Can't seem to find the thread, but I am sure it was here that I read that damping the channel with a little water worked really weel. It did when I tried it on my first (and only) strat like ax.

Denis

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Can't seem to find the thread, but I am sure it was here that I read that damping the channel with a little water worked really weel. It did when I tried it on my first (and only) strat like ax.

Denis

This would be if you were using Titebond or similar wood glue (holds true anytime you use titebond).

Peace,Rich

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Can't seem to find the thread, but I am sure it was here that I read that damping the channel with a little water worked really well. It did when I tried it on my first (and only) strat like ax.

Denis

This would be if you were using Titebond or similar wood glue (holds true anytime you use titebond).

Peace,Rich

I know that that works good for end grain with titebond, but doesn't CA need moisture to cure?

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