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Binding Question.


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I am planning on doing a flamed maple veneer on my guitar. I also plan on binding the guitar around the top. If I veneer the guitar first, will it split when I rout the edge of the guitar for binding? I thought of cutting the binding channel first and then doing the veneer. Does anyone have any experience with this ? If so......HELP!!!! :D

Keith

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Both ways would probably work, I'd opt for the veneer first, binding last, way.

For these reasons:

If you want a really -pro- binding job, you want your channel drop-dead as accurate and clean and neat as you can possibly get it. Clean, neat, and accurate. The shelf level not straying, but remaining nice and constant and level. Not one single glue drip or blob or nuthin'. Putting binding on neatly is hard enough even with a nice clean presentable channel going for you.

Binding attracts the eye instantly, and the eye will see any humps or weaves or other imperfections in the binding line easily.

And veneering is also no walk in the park if it's your first go at it, chances are you're going to have some sloppiness in the application unless you've done it a lot.

So chances are pretty high you'd wind up blobbing the binding channel with glue.

Having said that, if you do the veneer first, then cut your binding channel, you really need to have your veneer thoroughly glued down in all locations, ESPECIALLY around all the edges. When the binding bit goes around the edge, and you have a little loose spot of veneer not glued down well, the bit will catch it and rip off that chunk, so you gotta do a great job of veneering too.

I would recommend you practice both of these operations several times on scrap before you do the guitar.

PS, always leave your binding slightly proud of the top by 1/32 or so, and scrape it back down, don't try to cut your channel perfect to the top surface, it's asking for trouble and not recommended. Everyone scrapes their binding down, it's common practice.

You also have to be very careful of your veneer when you are gluing the binding on. You get one glue run down the face of the guitar, you're screwed. On a normal top, you can usually just sand thru it, but you can't get away with that approach when using veneer, it's too thin to get away with sanding down below the glue run, the glue will more than likely penetrate the entire veneer, so you really have to have patience and go slow and carefully on all operations when doing veneer and binding.

Doing binding and veneer together isn't something to try on your first guitar unless you've practiced on scrap several times first until you're pretty cocky and confidant in what you're doing. B)

Let's take an example.

Let's say you do everything right, you do a superb job of applying the veneer, all areas down really good. B)

You do a tremendous job on your binding channel, no veneer chipouts or nuthin'. :D

You smoke thru the binding job, and as you're applying the last few inches of binding, you turn your head for a second and WHAM! a big ole' glue run going right across the whole face of the veneer front. B):D:D:DB)

You're talking about removing EVERYTHING you just did because of one mistake. B)

So, do some practicing, and post some pics when it's done! :D

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