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Mother Of Pearl Binding


ihocky2
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I've had an inquiry about using real mother of pearl for binding on an electric guitar. I know this is used for purfling, but I can't wrap my head around how to do it for binding. It seems like you would be cutting pieces every few millimeters or less around the curves. Can anyone point me to a good resource on how to do this or offer advice? Right now with no experience doing it, it is something I must decline to do but I would like to learn how.

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I would guess it is done similar to abalone, where you actually create lots of small breaks as you go around. I thought I remembered reading about it at stew mac at some point, but it may have been somewhere else on the web.

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I doubt that a true MOP binding will be either good looking or easily done. Even if the "break straight pieces into short section" method works you will need to sand the broken edges slightly when doing the curves if not there will be a multitude of small visible gaps along the binding. And the available straight MOP strips I have seen have all been to thin to be a good binding with. You might need to make every strip by hand. If you are referring to this:

http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Inlay,_pearl/Purfling/White_Pearl_Purfling.html

they doesn't show pearl used as binding, but as purfling between a binding and the sides of the body. And if using MOP as binding, wouldn't that defy the reason to use binding, to use an unbroken pieces of wood/plastic/celluloid to cover the joints and to protect the edges from blows. Small pieces of MOP will only create more joints and I suspect that they will be very fragile.

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Fragile was the word I would have said also. Pearl would make beautiful binding in theory, but would be impractical for the purposes which binding is commonly used for (covering end grain, joins and edge protection) in addition to being the ultimate pain to install.

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  • 1 month later...

If your body where cut to exact measurement and you had the cad drawing, exact filling piece could be cut so the fit would be nice and tight. It would still be a lot of work, because all the pieces would have to be numbered so they could be assembled. His isn't at edge binding, but something similar I did on a guitar body.

sgtail.jpgsrall.jpg

Edited by cSuttle
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