Binding Channel Touchup

Tools and Materials Required:

Dremel Rotary Tool
Japanese Pull Saw
Woodworking Chisels
Needle Files

The Acoustic Guitar & Ukulele:

Since most Acoustic Guitars are built with a separate body assembly and neck assembly that are put together toward the end of the construction process, all parts of the Acoustic Body are accessible to the Dremel Router and the Dremel Base. You don’t have a pre-fastened neck to contend with, so that makes the routing operation for the Acoustic Guitar much simpler than that of the Classical Guitar, which we will address here.

The Classical Guitar:

Traditional Classical Guitar construction integrates the neck into the side construction and thus the guitar sides are secured to the neck early on in the construction process. Unfortunately we have to take the good with the bad in classical guitar construction because of this. With the neck being an integral part of the body, the tone quality is enhanced. This also means that the neck becomes an obstacle that has to be worked around, especially when it is time to rout the binding channels.

Finishing the Back Plate Binding Channel:

As the binding crosses over the heel of the Classical Guitar neck, the binding channel needs to be cut by hand, as the router cannot cross over the heel portion of the neck because it protrudes into the pathway of the router. You will find yourself with channels that stop a few mm from the edge of each side of the heel.

The best way to continue the binding channel over the heel is by using a Japanese Pull Saw and Dremel Rotary Tool. Take a straight piece of hardwood and lay it across the back and carefully align it with the edge of the backside of the channel. Now take the Japanese Pull saw and while using this piece of wood as a guide, cut down through the back and into the lining to the exact same depth as the binding channel.

Now make a second cut, using the same procedure as above, but this time align with the outer edge of the binding channel. Again, cut to the exact depth that is necessary.

Now take your Dremel and attach the Dremel Routing Base and use a fine bit that is no more than 1/16″ in diameter and chuck it into the Dremel. Carefully set the depth to the same as the binding channel.

Now you can cut the remaining wood from the binding channel that is in-between the 2 saw cuts you just made.

GLS Tip: Use extreme caution when doing this as the different grain patterns can easily make the bit drift. If you hold on the router firmly, you can prevent the bit from drifting past your saw-cut line.

Finishing the Top Plate Binding Channel:

You can use this identical method for cutting in the top binding pockets, even though it is not necessary to extend the binding and purfling beneath the fretboard more than 1/4″ to 1/2″ at most. You will want a bit of extra room in the binding channel just to give you some wiggle room for the binding if you made a very slight length miscalculation.

Test Fitting The Binding:

I would recommend to you to test fit your binding/purfling combination into these channels prior to gluing the binding into place. Make any adjustment and be sure to finish any rough edges. Use a flat Needle File if you need to make any minor adjustments.

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