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PostPosted: Sat Nov 29, 2008 10:31 pm 
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Hey all,

I have a cheap import that I am wanting to tinker with the shape a little and need a couple of questions answered about the binding. This thing has more binding on it than any guitar I have ever seen, and I would like to change it.

1. Can I radius the body edges with the binding left on?
Simple question I know, but that is all I know! :oops:

2. Could I finish right over the plastic binding as if it were not there
and still get a quality finish without the binding lines showing?

I have seen laminated joints that show thru the finish after a while and I don't want to go to all the trouble and find out later it was in vain.

Any alternative suggestions would be appreciated as well, but keep in mind, there is quite a bit of binding on this guitar, including neck binding. It is a LP clone call Vantage.

If I would be better off leaving the binding and cleaning it up....say so. I just wanted to radius the edges for a specific look I am after but I also am willing to listen and learn.

Mike


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 30, 2008 9:14 am 
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Koa
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Location: Virginia, USA
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I'm not a luthier, but I do repair, setup and refinish. I just recently refinished an LP copy where someone had painted over the binding. It was one of the worst things I've ever seen. Can it be done? Maybe, but I would not attempt it. Nor would I attempt to radius the edges, as there is in all likelihood not enough binding there. Most likely, the router(or file or sanding block if your doing it by hand) will cut through the binding or rip it out of the binding ledge all-together. If I just had to radius the edges, I'd remove the binding first, then radius. But IMO that would be a lot more trouble than it's worth(and a really big radius as well, unless you fill the ledge in with wood, and again, a lot more trouble than it's worth, IMO). You'd be better off leaving the binding and doing what you can to clean it up and make it look as well as you can. Find another guitar to experiment on, or build one, either from scratch or from aftermarket bodies and necks. Good luck and I hope this helps.

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Mike

The only thing nescessary for evil to thrive is for good men to do nothing.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2008 8:45 am 
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Hi Mike,

Thanks for the reply. I waited to reply to the thread in hopes other responses would come, but looks kinda bleak!

In your reply you mentioned refinishing one that the binding had been finished over. Did the finish stick to the binding well, or did it attack it. A little background here might help. I have several years experience in high grade finishes, though not guitar related. On this particular guitar, I intend to use automotive urethane basecoat/clearcoat finish. I have cnc and can easily (not quickly [headinwall] ) carve the radius on the front side without tearing the binding, but on the back side had intended to use a round over bit in a laminate router. I don't want much radius, something like a .250" radius is going to be close. The binding is quite thick both in the width and height, so I don't think I will cut through with the .250 radius.

Assuming the radii can be cut without tearing, will the binding hold up to the chemicals in the finish, and will the finish bind to the binding?

Mike


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2008 9:47 am 
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Old Growth Brazilian
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You did not mention what body shape? Carved tops are difficult to rout a binding channel on unless you have experience. So if possible leave the binding in tact is a good bet. you can only radius the the thickness of the binding without running the risk of sanding throu the veneer of the top into the base wood (most inexpensive caved tops have a thin veneer for the outer top wood laminated over a common base wood) If the binding is really wood or plastic binding (not faux painted binding)rounding over by hand is the safe way to go about this and it is simple enough. I assume you plan on removing existing finish. As the type of finish used can be an issue with a new finish if not fully removed. If you do plan to remove the existing finish, you will want to seal coat prior to applying a top coat finish.

By binding lines showing I assume you mean a sunken line at the edges of the binding joints. If this is what you mean then the body was not properly prepped before finished and the top coat sunk into voids of the poorly prepped binding. Every finish that uses any type of solvent as the carrier for the solids will shrink back to one degree or another. A good finish is built up to a point that can be sanded back to level all over. Proper pore filling and seal coats will eliminate the finish sinking in to seam and pre lines and there are many different media for these tasks, based on specific situations. If sand back to wood to remove the existing finish or use a chemical stripper the odds are you will need to pore fill and seal.

The task you have chosen I suspect is going to be a bit more work than you have originally planed. Especially if you have not done a good bit of instrument finish work before.

I would read up on instrument finishing. Understanding the required steps and tasks and what those tasks do for the final finish before you strip the guitar.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2008 12:21 pm 
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Hey maybe we need to rename this the Mike thread! wow7-eyes

Thanks for the replies. Michael I did actually refer to the guitar as a LP clone but it was kinda hidden in a statement.

The lines I am referring to would be the glue joint where the binding and the wood join. I do not intend to strip all the finish from the guitar and am sure my finish will be compatible because the original finish was a polyester like they put on the high polish pianos such as Yamaha, Kawai, and others that are imported from Asia. I have repaired those finishes and so far anything I have ever put on will work. I lots of experience with finishing, but as I said, not with guitars. The compatibility with the binding is my only question.

Hand shaping may well be the best, but not nearly as quick! This is a cheap guitar and I don't want to invest too much time in it just for that reason.

I may just do a refinish, and make one for the radiused edge look I am after. If I do that, do most folks tape the binding or finish over then scrape and buff? :?:

Mike


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