Binding!

Apr 16, 2020

You know, I do know how fortunate I am. Its something I think about often. Especially just now. We are living through difficult times. But so far, Australia has not had this virus anything like as bad as they’re getting it in Europe or like they are in parts of the USA.  So far this year we have had fires and floods, and now the virus. But, so far, in our little corner of SE Queensland, we’ve been lucky.

And for now, work continues, when for many it has stopped. So yet again, I’m very fortunate. There is food on the table. Me and Mrs. F are in good health. My daughter and grandson are doing fine. We’re all very fortunate right now. Tomorrow? We don’t know, but today? Yes.

It seems a little odd – here I am making luxury items in a world where folk fight over toilet rolls. But those contradictions have always existed, just now they’re a little closer to home. All we can do is our best. and not get involved in such foolishness

I’ve had some nice email exchanges with some of you in the last weeks. Folk who are helping out, retired Doctors going back to work, and people just getting on with things. Making the best of a difficult situation. Not adding more stress to what is for many a stressful time. Good for them. If we can help others, great. If we are not in a position to, then we can avoid making more trouble for ourselves and others. No point in adding more stress. Governments are making mistakes, of course they are, but I think most are trying to do their best.

 

In the workshop:

Binding! You know for the last 30 years or so I’ve wrestled on a frequent basis with a bottle of titebond glue and roll of masking tape when binding guitars. Usually, more tape and glue ends up on me than the guitar, but this week I tried a different method. The “superglue” method. Wow. Wish I’d done it years ago. Thankyou YouTube.

First off, you seal up the soundboard with shellac to prevent any superglue staining it.  Then use the Stewmac binding tape. It is the best stuff I ‘ve ever used for the job. Highly recommended. Strong, flexible, with just enough “give” to pull the binding into the routed groove.

You tape the binding in place first (using a little titebond in the joins and mitres) then “wick” thin superglue in between the tape, the binding and the guitar body. The beauty is you don’t apply any glue until you’ve checked the fit is perfect. Then you apply the glue. Just a few second later, its done. Ready to scrape.

If you’re a maker – and you’ve never thought about trying this method, give it a try. Do it! I used the “Hot stuff” red superglue. No accelerator.

The process was actually pleasant, and binding rarely is. And the results, well, just superb. Here is a Bubinga Model S-SS and a ziricote tenor guitar (T-SK) both with torrefied soundboards. The tenor has sitka, the 6 string, torrefied Adirondack spruce. Both gorgeous looking guitars.

So you can teach a middle-aged dog the occasional new trick…