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Neck Binding


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I usually bind my fretboards, and or my headstocks (they are two seperate tasks for me). For a fretboard, If I am using wood from the fretboard I will trim strips off the board(if you are using different binding just move to trimming), then trim to shape (first ruff trim with bandsaw, then true with my template and router with a pattern bit), then I will take a second pass with the router using a template bit and properly sized bearing to remove the same thickness as my binding, then attach the binding to the shaped fretboard. I make sure to prevent glue from migrating into my fret slots while attaching the binding(this is a huge pain to clean up if you let it happen, and a simple strip of veneer placed in the slots limits the intrusion* of course be sure to remove the veneers before the glue cures). For a headstock I simply route much as with a fretboard using my template and pattern bits, then attach the binding.

A couple things I prefer. I don't use thick bindings on the sides of my fretboard (makes it painful to keep the ends clean and tight* although super glue and pressing will secure the ends pretty good). I don't like to use thick binding around my headstock either as it can be a pain to make tight bends, if I want a bold pattern I will build a purf shelf and lay in purflings then wrap with a thinner binding.

Good Luck,


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I've only bound two necks, but I agree with Fry on the thin binding. StewMac's tutorial says that the .040 is on the thin side and recomends at least the .060 if not the .090. But when I look at the .040 on the necks it looks nice and clean, I think anythicker than that starts to take away from the neck itself. Plus I look at the fact that you have more length of fret on the ends that have no tang to hold them down.

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