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Binding and Purfling

What's next?
Well I have to start on the binding and purfling.
I am doing a miter on the back and sides, so I need to glue a red and white strip to the bottom of the binding.

I choose the binding out of my stock of maple binding.
The 4 strips had about the same colour and had moderately curls
Then I use the rule and purfling cutter method to cut the strips.

My stock of maple binding

Zoom in view. Can see the moderate curl in the binding

Cutting the strips

With my self made purfling cutter. It works great!

After cutting all the pieces needed I began to glue the red and white purfling to the binding.
This will be for the side miter.

Glue purfling to the binding.

After the glue dried I scrape and plane the excess.
Looks good. Next step is to bend it accordingly
Plane and scrape the excess

The side purfling looks good

The excess waste

Glue 2 more left with 1 more to be glued.

Well I didn't manage to do much just shave the excess off the other 2.
My MJF rebate plane worked the best: light and handy compared to the Stanley block.

3 done one more to go.

Finally I get to continue the binding.
After all the bindings are prepared, with the red white purfling glued and trimmed,
I began to bend the bindings.
I marked the position of the waist using the same vanguard template and tape them all together.
This is to prevent breakage.
On the hot pipe this is pretty easy and fast operation.
I had used some water at the waist but I discover they aren't really necessary.
The trick is to use 2 wooden block to support the bend.
The wooden block apply pressure at the point just outside of the curve, so that the part bends and is supported by the block and thus won't break.

After the bending, I routed the rebate channel.
As the back is quite curvy, the channel route will not be really vertical but perpendicular from the curved top.
I had thought of making a jig for it but was too lazy...
I just correct the skew from vertical using my chisel and rebate plane.
The channel was route quite good except for the lower bout where I over routed 2 parts.
But luckily they will be covered by the purfling channel.

For the purfling channel I choose to go by hand.
I scribed the channel and then chisel off.
It wasn't really easy some of the alignment were off.
At the tail part, I accidentally pop off the back.
But since it's glue using hide glue, it was easily glued back and clamped.

Next to come is how to glue the binding... but before that I need to route the top channel and end graft.

Marking the position of the waist, upper bout and lower bout.

Tape the 4 binding together; take note of the purfling direction: 2 set facing each other

Bending on the hot pipe with wooden block. Not much water is needed just some on the waist and the rest bend dry.

Checking the fit on the waist

Checking the fit on the upper bout.

Checking the fit on the lower bout.

All done.

Some discoloring of the purfling but will be scrape away.

Checking routed channel fit on the binding.

Routing the channel

Scribing the purfling channel

Chiseling the purfling channel

Chiseling the purfling channel

Scribing for the heel end where the router can't reach.
But I forgot to cater for the miter of the purfling...

Miter for the tail end.

The channel done.

Clamping the tail end.

This will be for the front purfling

Gluing the front purfling

After the back rebate is done, I did the same for the front rebate.
Similarly I routed the binding rebate and hand chisel the purfling rebate.
Since the top is curved, the routed binding rebate is perpendicular to the top and thus it's not parallel to the side.
So I need to correct it using my rebate plane.

Before cutting the purfling rebate, I measured the thickness of the purfling to know how much to chisel.
The step is similar, scribe the purfling rebate and then hand chisel.
I use a new set of chisel the old one is dulled from chiseling the rosewood.
The only tricky part is the part near the neck.
Chiseling the rebate really takes lots of time...

Plane level the back purfling. It can't be too protruding if not during gluing it wont be able to stick to the side and it's hard to tape it down.

Scribe the binding rebate near the heel.

Chisel away the rebate.

Route the binding channel for the front

Channel routed

Correct the skew with a rabbet plane and chisel

Another view. The rebate/rabbet plane is held parallel to the side.

Level the purfling

The shavings

Thickness about 3mm (Not too thick meaning the there is about 3mm of kerfed lining to hold the top)

Scribing the binding channel near the neck

Chiseling the binding channel.

Scribe the purfling channel.

Chisel the purfling channel

At the waist the chisel is bevel down to suite the curve.

Test fitting the binding

Well next is to route the channel for the end graft but before I need to make it.
I was deciding between a maple end graft same as the binding or a tiled version same as the back strip.
In the end I chose to match the back strip.
So I began to saw the tiles and glue them up.

Sawing the tiles with miter box. Note that the thumb is there to hold the saw for photo taking.
During sawing the thumb MUST NOT be there unless you want your thumb sawn away...

Tiles lined up

Ready to be glued.

Tiles glued for the end graft.

The end graft looks quite nice.
And because I use the PVA glue, (lazy to bring out my HHG since I only have 1hr or so)
I had to sand the sides to expose the wood before I glue the purfling.
Next is to route the end graft channel on my guitar.
I had a clamp jig which I use for planing etc to clamp the guitar to the table.
The only problem is clamping the guide for the router.
In the end I found a right jig for the job the right angle bracket for shelf which I got from Ikea. :)
But to use it as router guide, I had to screw a horizontal piece to stabilize the structure while I clamp to the guitar.
After that it was matter of alignment and clamping.
Then I set the depth which I had routed previously for the back strip and route the end graft.
There are some frays in the channel but I clean it up easily with a chisel.

Then I proceed to glue the purfling to the end graft.
Same thing I use the aluminium bar as the clamp.

After gluing the tiles together.

Test fitting in the channel (routed previously)

Setting up the router guide. Screw a horizontal piece to stabilize the structure.
The structure is a wall bracket which I got from Ikea.

Clamp the guide to the guitar. The guitar is hold to the planing jig I made previously.

Setting the depth of routing.

Routed channel

Channel cleaned up with chisel

Gluing the purfling to the end graft.

The gluing of the purfling strip to the end graft was without hitches.
Err... well except that I forgot and glue with the leveled side of the tiles on top.
But no matter I just use the plane to level the protruding purfling.

After that I test fit the channel and end graft, the fit was perfect.
One of the end graft end was mitered and I use a cut off from the binding / purfling to see where the end graft should sit at.
Then I mark the other end and saw to size.
Again I nearly make a mistake for not catering for the miter.
The end should protrude from the binding channel by just a bit so that the purfling can be mitered.
But I forgot about that.
Luckily I am use to saw a bit proud and then chisel to size.
That little extra was just nice for the miter... luckily... whew...

Anyway without much to remove I simply miter all the ends using the chisel
The mirror surface of the chisel will tell me exactly 45 degrees by looking at the reflection and see a right angle miter reflection.
After that I applied the PVA and glue the end graft.
I did a final check with the binding cut-off and clamp it down
The clamping was a bit tricky: I clamp 2 pieces to the top and back and once piece across the end graft and clamp to that 2 pieces of wood.

End graft with purfling glued.

Trim the ends

Mitering the purfling

Test fit the miter on the channel

Mark the other end. I forgot to cater for the miter but luckily I have a habit of over sawing and trim to size...

Gluing the end graft

Clamping set up

Another view. 2 pieces of wood at the top and back; 1 piece across on the end graft clamp onto those 2 pieces.

After the clamp was removed, I began to level the end graft with the side using my plane and scraper.
I also did a dry run of gluing the purfling strip and binding strip.

Plane the end graft strip to level with the side.

Scraping the end graft strip.

Almost leveled, just some sanding will level the sides and end graft.

Align of the end graft strip with back strips looks good.

Test fitting for the binding and also to mark the ends of the excess to where to saw.

Test fitting of the purfling

At the heel end, well I did not cater for mitering so this is probably the best configuration

I started the actual gluing.
Before that I make sure the purlfing isn't protruding by a lot if not during the gluing, the tape wont be able to hold it down.
I was pondering to use PVA or HHG.
For the last guitar I did both purfling and binding at the same time.
So any glue will be fine, but this time round I did the purfling first and binding later.
So it make sense to use HHG as the clean up will be simpler, for HHG there is no really need to clean up the binding groove / rebate as the new HHG will fuse with the old glue just fine.
For PVA, I need to chisel clean the rebate before doing the binding.

So I just set everything up and proceed as planned.
After all the tape, I use rope to secure in case the tape doesn't hold.

All set to glue

Start with aligning the miter end.

And proceed from there.

The other side. As you can see I had tapes ready to be used.

Applying the HHG. It helps to use a hairdryer to heat up the surface a bit.

Measure the ends and snip with a scissors. For binding I would have to use a saw instead.

All tape up.

To secure it I use rope in case the tape comes loose..

When I removed the tape, I thought all is fine.
But when I put in the binding to check, well... there was lots of gap.
This is due o the purfling channel wasn't straight vertical.
So I had to adjust the channel with chisel and rebate plane.
Also I marked and saw the binding to size and now it's ready to be glue.

Removing the tape

Correcting the binding channel

Channel corrected.

Marking the heel end of the binding.

Marking the tail end of the binding. Note the marking for the miter.

Sawing the ends. A fine teeth saw (like this) works better.

Chisel the miter

Taped to test the fitting. The tape is obviously not strong enough, string is definitely recommended.

The tail end miter looks ok for a first try.

After all the preparation I am good to glue it up.
This time round I use the broader tape to have more holding power as there are some spring back in the binding.
For the heel end I clamp a piece of wood to hold the 2 bindings together.
After the tape I string it up and insert some wood pieces to increase the tension.
When I 'play' those strings I can hear a high pitch. (The tension is tight enough)

All set to glue

One side done

Both side done

All strung up and tighten with wooden pieces

The binding process wasn't that good.
On one side the binding is slightly too long and it produce a gap at the upper bout curve.
While I trim the other side to level with the back and sides, I began to think how to remedy the situation
The most obvious is to remove and trim to size and re-glue which is what I did.
And I am glad I chose HHG over PVA for the binding.
The re-glue process was very smooth.

I use the heat gun to heat it up.
The binding came off pretty easily (partly because it wasn't glued properly in the 1st place)
I clean up the joint a bit though it's not really necessary for HHG; the old glue will adhere to the glue.
But I need to clean it up because I need to trim the ends of the binding and see if it fits properly.
With the glue remnants in place I can't be sure of getting a proper fit.
I trim the ends using the chisel and start the glue process.
This time round I use string directly so that I can see the fit better.
This is possible as I don't need to do the entire perimeter; just a section.

The gap at upper bout.

Butt area quite decent.

Trimming the binding

Heating up the binding. Becareful about the heat gun, it is VERY hot and it can easily scorch wood.
I use it at a distance and move the air stream around; this is also to prevent the heat gun from overheating the back lining joint.

Binding off and trimming the ends for a better fit.
The rebate is cleaned up for checking the fit.

Glued and tighten with strings.

Another view.

After I release the rope, the repair was perfect (well nearly)
Well at least I achieved what I wanted.

The gap closed!

Overall look, quite decent eh?

Well I was busy with office shifting recently.
My current office was due for renovation and we have relocated to another place.
That place was really bad... in terms of filthy air.
That aside, I finally found some time to continue with the binding.

I tried to bend the purfling using the heat pipe but at certain place there is still some creases.
I stripped them apart and glue back using hide glue to conform to the shape of the guitar.
After that I check the purfling channel, some of them wasn't a good fit.
I recut the channel.
Anyway I found the gramil blade which is a V-bevel blade meaning it can go either way.
After all the fitting I began to glue the channel.

I use tape and then some strings.
After an hour or so I removed them to check.
The right side lower bout wasn't done properly so I redo that part.
Following that I check the binding and the miter at the butt.

Bending the purfling

Check the fit

Using the purfling cutter to adjust the fit

Gluing and taping done.

Lower bout not glued nicely.
So I trim the ends and glue again.

Redo the lower bout part

Butt miter for the top binding

I did the binding but I wasn't really satisfied with the top binding.
It didn't sit in the rebate properly I might have to redo the purfling and binding...
I measured the air and top resonance after the binding was done, there are 108Hz 252Hz
It went back up?
I tap with the bridge on the top (not glued) and it shows 104Hz (G#) and 220Hz (A) not too far from my 1st guitar. (104Hz G# and 202Hz G#)
Hopefully this will come up well too.

Gluing the binding

Bindings glued

I use the same old way of removing the binding.
Surprisingly it's not that simple - meaning the binding was quite well glued.
I use the heat gun to heat and a knife to remove the binding.
After some work the binding was off.
The I proceed to clean up the channel.
At one part the channel was badly cut and after checking, I realised it was due to the side wasn't vertical...
Now I know why.
But then after cleaning up the HHG in the channel with chisel I check the binding fit.
It was all good except for a part where the purfling I probably need to remove and cut inner a bit.

Heat up the binding.

Use the blade to remove the binding

All removed the binding.

I have clean up the binding channel and next is the purfling issue.
The purfling channel at the waist wasn't deep into the body enough which makes the binding not sitting well at that portion.
So I need to cut further into the body at that portion
But before that I need to remove the purfling.
Again same method.
After removing the purfling might not be reuseable.
Also I was thinking of using the herringbone to replace the entire purfling.
This makes the outline more obvious.
My purfling wasn't the bold herring bone like the one I used on the rosette but a finer one.
I tested on the left side and it looks pretty good.

Removing the purfling using the knife

1/2 way removed

All removed.

Some crease at the upper bout region

I splitted them and get ready for gluing.
I am thinking of re-doing the outer 2 colors (red / white)

Alternatively I use the fine herringbone. The body outline is more obvious which looks better to me.

Close up of the fine herringbone

I think I lost count removing and redo-ing the binding and purfling.
After much consideration, I removed the binding and purfling clean up the rebate and redo it with the herringbone purfling.
For the left side I did both purfling and binding together.
Seems to be OK.
For the right side somehow I went slow and the binding wasn't sitting correct.
What did I do? I remove them and clean up the binding rebate and redo it.
Then I look at the left side.
Not too good and I remove the binding and clean up the rebate and glue it back.
Finally all is well :)
Next to come leveling the binding and purfling.
Well there one portion not too good that is the butt joint on the purfling I cut one too short... argh...
That's life...

Purfling binding all glued up

All done

Upper bout

Close up

Next I began to level the binding and purfling using the scraper and the rebate plane.
Nothing special just plain leveling off.

Leveling the sidess

Using scraper and rebate plane

How the guitar looks with bridge and fingerboard

The end purfling wasn't done very well...

Well I had to level the sides and top and the back.
Just scrape and scrape and finally they will be sanded smooth.
Looks ok except that the part near the heel is is pretty hard to scrape.
I also remedied the purfling where I cut the purfling short; I clean up the hole using my 2mm chisel and then cut a portion from the excess purfling trying very hard to match the pattern
finally I applied some white glue and glue it in.

Scrape it level.

One part of the purfling come out...

End graft looks pretty decent.

The hole is cleaned up using 2mm chisel

A fill in purfling is cut from the excess, and glued in. The pattern looks matched enough.

I did patch at a section where the side purfling was removed during chiseling
No tricks just cut to length and glue and then leveled

Apply glue

Glue in

Level it

Done. Looks ok but not perfect.