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Any hints on how to bend 1/4" wooden binding to fit a Strat body. The stuff I have has diamond shaped inlays in it and everything I have used to bend it has resulted in it separating - especially since it appears that the diamond shapes are a harder wood and won't bend - then it cracks at the inlay. I've tried steam, dry heat and water with glycerin.

Any help?

Thanks,

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Brian,

Probably not more than 20 minutes. Will soaking it longer help? What concerns me is that it seems to separate where the different woods are joined. Heres a pic. It seems that the light colored wood will bend fine, but the black inlays don't give at all.

Thanks for the help.

Bindingcopy.jpg

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I think you'll need a hot pipe or a fox bender to get these to bend. I'd suggest you ask over at the mimf, or browse their library - There's far more bending knowledge over there. With the exception of Ryeisnotcool and David Myka I've not seen anyone here use wooden binding. I believe the general concensus for bending is minimal moisture, lots of heat, don't soak, just spritz.

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This binding will be tough because of the many pieces all glued together. Most glues will soften with heat so it is not suprising that you are having trouble. What I have used is a heating pipe with a backer piece. If you can cut the backer to the same curve then you can push the binding into the curve with the pipe. I don't like to dry bend so I use more than a spritz but I also don't soak the wood. When the wood gets dry I wipe on more with a slightly wet rag. Otherwise I end up cracking the wood. The tight horns on the Strat shape will be tough to do without breaking.

I would suggest using a heated pipe or the fox bender. The beauty of the fox bender is that it is designed for use with the wood sandwiched between two pieces of stainless steel sheeting. This backs up the wood on both sides so the fibers have no where to go if they want to break. Sometimes they will break but they are forced to the same curve and are easily glued back together.

All of my binding experience is with solid pieces of wood. I have been able to get rosewood and ebony to bend around ridiculously tight curves using a backer piece.

Hope this helps.

~David

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I figured pretty much what Myka said, and I know how those strips are glued together piece by piece, and I wasn't surprised that the diamonds were popping out, especially on a Strat horn curve.

Those things I think are more for tabletop inlays (i.e. flat surfaces)

...but I didn't have an answer for you, except to say that you'd be better off trying some easier binding for starters, but I didn't want to be giving you downer news, so I didn't post.

But now that you've already done what you've done, I would say that what you were trying to do was akin to starting out with the hardest stuff you could have tried.

My local place used to have those strips years ago, and I was tempted to try them out, except I already figured it would be a no-go until I was VERY experienced at doing hard bindings. :D

PS, if you find the right filler and tint, you can fill in that corner area around the neck pocket.

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Drak,

Yeah, I think it was about the hardest stuff to do what I wanted. I used sometings similar on my Spalted Maple, but it was a solid strip of Ebony(?) with two lighter stripes. It worked fine, but that was also a Tele, so the curves weren't quite as severe. As far as the little spot by the neck cavity. what I did is to use a different piece of binding across the very front and bevel each side of it. The black that shows is the inner layer of the binding and it shows on each side from a straight on view. Looks better than in the pic.

Thanks,

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I don't understand what you meant by backer piece...

Basically a backer piece is a small piece of wood that is a little wider that the piece you are bending. When I do binding I use a 1" wide piece of wood about 5" long and 1/2" thick (the sizes are not important, just giving you an idea.) I hold the binding to the bending pipe and press the backer piece up against it on the outside of the bend. Here is an illustration:

backer.jpg

There is a bit of technique to it. Hold the backer and roll it along the bendas you go to keep the fibers pressed together. Sometimes the fibers will break away but as long as they are held to the curve you should be able to glue them back together without a problem.

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Guest Litchfield Custom Gutars
P5190002.JPG

Um...is that soloid purpleheart?? If you drop that it will break.........................................................your foot!

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"Um...is that soloid purpleheart?? If you drop that it will break.........................................................your foot!"

Yeah, if it doesn't come out right, I can rent it out to break up concrete.

Actually, it isn't that bad. It is only 16 1/2" X 11" and pretty heavily chambered. I was surprised how easy the Purpleheart was to work with - no destroyed blades or router bits. I'm not all that crazy about this one, but I found the wood for like $2.75 / BF, so there's about $10 - 15 invested in it and I had never worked with purpleheart before.

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