Routing bindings/purflings

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Richardl
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Routing bindings/purflings

Post by Richardl » Wed Jul 25, 2018 1:53 pm

Hi Folks,

I'm after a bit of advice as usual please...I'm at the point where I need to do the bindings on my J45. Last time I made a guitar, I made a hand-held jig which followed the side contour of the guitar, which was a rather stressful approach and didn't give perfect results. I'd like to make it less stressful by making a jig to immobilise the router and move the guitar, which seems to be the more recommended way. There seem to be 2 approaches: suspend the router above the guitar and use a ball bearing bit to define the depth of cut - this means you have to do the whole cut in one pass and you need exactly the right router bit and bearings, but is the process recommended in the Gore/Gilet book . The other approach is to run the guitar over the bit as described here http://www.mimf.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=4105 and in the Kinkead book and other places. This second approach seems to have the advantages that specific ball bearing sizes are not needed and you can make several shallow passes to avoid tearout.

So what system do experienced amateur luthiers use most and why? Does the second approach have any down-side I haven't thought about?

Thanks

Richard

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kiwigeo
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Re: Routing bindings/purflings

Post by kiwigeo » Wed Jul 25, 2018 2:51 pm

I splashed out on a LuthierTools binding cutter and a Porter Cable trimmer: https://www.luthiertool.com/binding-cutter.html

This jig registers off the side of the instrument so a bit of care needs to be taken to ensure that the two guide bearings are running hard against the sides. With a bit of practice and careful planning of where you stand with the tool the results are pretty good. I also crouch down so my eyes are at cutter level while doing a cut...this way I can constantly check that the guide bearings are registering on the side. The trimmer has a soft start which IMO is a must for this sort of jig.....the recoil from trimmers without a soft start can sometimes cause cuts in the wrong places.

A few other tips when cutting binding channels:

1. Use a cutter that is sharp. I generally use a spiral down cut cutter that is new or has had limited use for each job.
2. A coat of shellac applied to edges of the top will stiffen up the top wood and reduce tear out and fur.
3. Plan cut direction very carefully to minimize tear out.
4. Ensure the sides are smooth....if a side registering jig hits and blobs of glue etc it will affect the cut.
5. Power down the trimmer before lifting the jig away from the channel. Lifting the jig away with trimmer running can sometimes cause gouges and other disasters.
Martin

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Re: Routing bindings/purflings

Post by simso » Wed Jul 25, 2018 6:07 pm

As Martin said, something that registers from the side will give a more uniform cut

Steve
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Re: Routing bindings/purflings

Post by kiwigeo » Wed Jul 25, 2018 7:24 pm

I might add that I have a Stemac binding jig where the guitar sits in a cradle and is moved around against a static laminate trimmer. It's definitely easier moving the guitar body around as opposed to moving the trimmer and jig around the guitar but the Makita trimmer that is fitted to my jig doesn't have a soft start and I find the machine a lot more aggressive than the soft start Porter Cable in my LuthierTools jig. There's also the inconvenience with the Stewmac jig of having to have cradles for nearly every different body shape. Horses for courses to a large degree.
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Re: Routing bindings/purflings

Post by Richardl » Wed Jul 25, 2018 8:19 pm

Thanks guys. That is quite similar to the one I made for my makita laminate trimmer. As you say it doesn't have a soft start which is a bit scary. I found the whole process of holding the thing against the side of the guitar quite a nerve wracking experience so was hoping to find another approach less likely to end in tears. But I could resort to that again I guess. Or could try the one in the Gilet/Gore book.

Cheers
Richard

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Re: Routing bindings/purflings

Post by simso » Wed Jul 25, 2018 8:31 pm

I have not used it, but I believe plans exist for a vise mounted router with jig for routing binding.

You bring the guitar up and onto the shelf and ride the side edges, from what I have heard it’s pretty safe for a guitar, but having never used it, my knowledge ends there. :D

Steve
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Re: Routing bindings/purflings

Post by simso » Wed Jul 25, 2018 8:33 pm

Found a link to someone that makes and sells them, but plans from memory are freely available.

https://www.canadianluthiersupply.com/p ... inding-jig

Video being used, personally think the guy is being a bit of an idiot IMO rushing it, makes it look clumsy.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=P58JWSCNx ... ontinue=80

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Re: Routing bindings/purflings

Post by 56nortondomy » Wed Jul 25, 2018 11:12 pm

This is what I use Richard, nothing fancy, it's home made but does the job, the cradle has castors on it and it has adjustable clamps for different sizes. I use the Stewmac router bit and bearings. Wayne
Attachments
IMGP2725_1200x900.JPG

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Re: Routing bindings/purflings

Post by Dave M » Thu Jul 26, 2018 2:43 am

I do as Wayne. It took a couple of iterations to get the router holding tower right. I use a counterweight to reduce the load the router puts on the guitar top.

I have also modified the cradle so it will take all the shapes I use - have just bound one based on Trevor's medium SS and had to increase the outward movement of the supports.

I have also acquired the small DeWalt router which is far better than what I was using previously, with good depth control, smooth running, low runout.

This system does provide a fairly low stress method.
I'll dig out some photos later.

Martin is dead right though sharpness is all.
------------------
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Re: Routing bindings/purflings

Post by Dave M » Thu Jul 26, 2018 3:11 am

Pictures:
Attachments
Binding jig 2small.jpg
binding jig 1small.jpg
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Re: Routing bindings/purflings

Post by Richardl » Thu Jul 26, 2018 5:17 am

Thanks again for the feedback. The overhead router approach looks similar to the Gilet Gore approach. If you use that with a bearing, doesn't that mean you have to do one pass to the bearing/cutter depth? So does that increae the chance of splitting bits out...how do you approach the process to minimise the risk or am I being overly apprehensive? Just hate the idea of bits of sounboard scattered over the shed after all that work! :o
Cheers
Richard

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Re: Routing bindings/purflings

Post by Dave M » Thu Jul 26, 2018 8:30 am

Well it is not a panacea.

Routers whiring away are, at least for me, always a bit of a worry. However with this setup, using only spruce and maple back and sides I haven’t had any chip out.

What I do get, doing the top corner is fuzz. Ie fibres of the spruce that have not been cleanly cut. I always have to clean up with files, maybe a chisel used as a scraper, sandpaper on a block, whatever.

But this is not to do with the jigging arrangement but the quality of the router cutting.

This arrangement does however give a properly shaped rebate.’

What you will find (as G and G) say is that the Bending/shaping of the binding is important. If you get it right it goes easily, ubut if not it can turn into a bit of a nightmare. And that tends to become clear once you’ve taken the tape off!
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Re: Routing bindings/purflings

Post by lamanoditrento » Thu Jul 26, 2018 9:51 am

We use Chris Ensors jig https://elevatelutherie.com/product/ult ... nding-jig/ and get good result on student builds (if they have done a decent job leveling their sides first).

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Re: Routing bindings/purflings

Post by simso » Thu Jul 26, 2018 10:31 am

That is a nice built rig
Steve
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Re: Routing bindings/purflings

Post by Dave M » Fri Jul 27, 2018 6:07 am

Thanks Steve. It is entirely based on G&G's design with a bit of development looking at what others have done. (Oh and any reference to coal mining pit gear will earn a slap!)

It's rather typical of a number of jigs one makes for the build process. You spend quite a lot of time and effort building the jig, then some time on setup but the actual process takes a matter of minutes out of the many hours of build time.

Drilling jigs for headstock tuners, and for bridge string holes. These take a long time to build but you get so much back in swiftness of process and accuracy. Over only a handful of builds they repay you well.
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Re: Routing bindings/purflings

Post by Richardl » Fri Jul 27, 2018 6:33 am

Ah, so many ways to skin a cat! Both those approaches look good. Yes, nicely built jig.

Cheers
Richard

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Re: Routing bindings/purflings

Post by jeffhigh » Fri Jul 27, 2018 4:23 pm

I've used hand held like the luthier tools one with adjustable depth of cut
I then mounted it on a drawer slide aparatus and mounted the body on a cradle
Then I went to a Gore /Gillet style and used a stewmac bit and bearings.

The last is, IMHO overwhelmingly the best.
I climb cut as per the stewmac recommendation before going round all the way in one counterclockwise pass, no problem with tearout doing full depth.

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Re: Routing bindings/purflings

Post by Fisherman » Fri Jul 27, 2018 5:18 pm

I use the stewmac system and have had pretty good results. One of the bearings on the router carriage failed recently and they sent a replacement free of charge express... even though i purchased it second hand ages ago! they are really super from an after sales perspective (although im a pretty frequent repeat customer i guess too...).

Prior to this upgrade I used a similar setup that ran on two drawer runners/rails. For that design it doesnt really matter how it looks so long as it can slide vertically.

A couple of points about the job.... a laminate trimmer works fine and a router too, but a dremel is underpowered for the job IMO. Also I’ve had a few issues with the bearing that runs along the sides leaving an indent - im going to try lining with some masking tape next build.

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Re: Routing bindings/purflings

Post by kiwigeo » Fri Jul 27, 2018 5:28 pm

Fisherman wrote:
Fri Jul 27, 2018 5:18 pm

A couple of points about the job.... a laminate trimmer works fine and a router too, but a dremel is underpowered for the job IMO. Also I’ve had a few issues with the bearing that runs along the sides leaving an indent - im going to try lining with some masking tape next build.
Agree 100% re using a Dremel for binding channels. Re bearings leaving marks on the side of the guitar...I find that when the bearing gets a bit gummed up it can seize and rub on the side. That aside running tape around the side is a good idea...consider it stolen :mrgreen:
Martin

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Re: Routing bindings/purflings

Post by Steve.Toscano » Fri Jul 27, 2018 6:59 pm

I used to cut mine by hand..... :toi
True story.

Now i use the Stew Mac jig with a makite laminate trimmer. Works ok, go full depth in one pass and honestly have never had a tear out issue.
Make sure to keep the cutter sharp. I dont bother sharpening mine, instead replace it every ~15 guitars or so.

The only issue i find with the stewmac setup is the ledge (white plastic thing) that references on the top/back could be bigger.

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Re: Routing bindings/purflings

Post by simso » Fri Jul 27, 2018 7:05 pm

Stewmac router holder for me and lmii carriage

Image

Image
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Re: Routing bindings/purflings

Post by Richardl » Sat Jul 28, 2018 7:14 pm

Great replies everyone - thanks! Its given me a lot more confidence. Currently building a GG type system. I'll post when i get it done. Also ordered a Stumac bit.

Thanks again

Richard

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Francis
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Re: Routing bindings/purflings

Post by Francis » Sat Jul 28, 2018 9:25 pm

Probably too late now but I built mine with a couple of draw runners to allow the router to raise/lower during the cut:
Image

I have a Makita router (0700 C?) and I use the speed control to avoide big kicks on start-up - I also make sure the cutter is not in contact with the work piece and ease the work into the cut once the cutter is up to speed

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Re: Routing bindings/purflings

Post by Richardl » Sun Jul 29, 2018 6:15 pm

Nice set up. I've had a go at knocking one together this weekend. I've tried to paste a url below. https://www.flickr.com/photos/143232438 ... ed-public/ https://www.flickr.com/photos/143232438 ... ed-public/
Image

Does this look like it should work? The track slides up and down quite freely (although not as good as a ball bearing), and it has very little slop, which is why i though it might be a good option.

I'm going to have to figure out how to paste images here, but the link seems to work...

Cheers
Richard

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Re: Routing bindings/purflings

Post by simso » Sun Jul 29, 2018 6:42 pm

Nothing wrong with that

Steve
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