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My Binding Channel Cutting Jig
Author
Post
Adaboy

Total Topics: 64
Total Posts: 514
It's time to bind my guitar and I didn't have a jig to do this so I built one. I didn't want to purchase the expensive bit&bearing sets LMI and SM sell so I decided to go with a design that didn't need a bit with bearings.

I liked some things about a jig built by Rod True. It looks like this:



But in the end, I decided I didn't want to hold the guitar vertically while routing.....so I thought I would use something similar, but used horizontally. I also like Ken Cierp's idea (I assume it's his) of laying the guitar on foam while routing so I thought I would try to use that technique.

I also wanted to make the jig fit my router table. My router table looks like this:



So, I made these parts:



And here are assembled pictures. I haven't used it yet so it may be a piece of junk. Let me know what you think will work well and what may give me problems.

Front Shot:


Side Shot Showing Adjustment Knob (A Fender volume knob):


Top Shot:


Bottom View Without Trim Router:


Side Shot With Router Attached:


Bottom View With Trim Router Attached (Note that you loosen the 2 central bolts aligned with the bit before adjusting the fence postion......then tighten them back sown locking the fence in place)

May 06, 10 | 6:42 pm
enalnitram (Martin Lane)

Total Topics: 47
Total Posts: 332
I'm really impressed. It looks cool too. When are you going to do the deed? Before I actually cut my binding I fed a lot of pieces of scrap past my jig. some of them even had curves to them. it helped to build up the courage.

post an update and let us know how it goes!

May 06, 10 | 7:12 pm
Adaboy

Total Topics: 64
Total Posts: 509
I'm scared.......<smile>

I'm going to visit my mother this weekend so it will likely be next week/weekend before I get to try it out. I'll sure take your advise and do a lot of test on scrap.

May 06, 10 | 7:17 pm
Adaboy

Total Topics: 64
Total Posts: 509
I've made a couple of mistakes (likely several, ha).

The taper at the front of the jig should taper and intersect with a line tangent to the back of the bit......now it tapers and hits a line tangent to the front of the bit. I can fix this without too much hassle.

Also, I cut the threaded rod for the adjustment knob a tad short (the knob bottoms out before the front edge of the fence reaches the front edge of the bit). I'm thinking of replacing the threaded rod/knob with a standard 1/4-20 bolt. I need a 7/16" wrench to loosen the fence screws before adjusting the fence anyhow......and I think the added length of a wrench will let me make more precise adjustments.

May 06, 10 | 7:29 pm
Ken C

Total Topics: 30
Total Posts: 554
Looks like the jig should work. The tricky part will be keeping those rims riding flat on the guide. Do you plan to mount yours with the bit horizontal? Once you are ready to go, I'd set it up so it takes a very shallow cut at less of a bit depth than you need. This will give you a chance to run the guitar around it and check how consistently your setup is cutting the depth and height of your channel as well as get a feel for walking the rims around the guide.

Hope it works out great!!

Ken

May 07, 10 | 3:59 am
Adaboy

Total Topics: 64
Total Posts: 509
Ken, the bit will be vertical......the 3/8" plywood base plate will mount in the recess in my router table. Then I hope to use foam under the body (similar to the setup Ken C. sells) and I'm hoping it helps me keep the body stable where I can maintain the sides against the fence. The foam will ride on the fomica top of my router table. I think you've used that system successfully so you likely have a better feel for how this will work than I.

May 07, 10 | 5:38 am
Ken C

Total Topics: 30
Total Posts: 554
Yeah, the way you will be using it will be very similar to what I have done. I pulled Ken Cierp's guide from the small table he supplied and mounted it to a phenolic insert that drops into my big router table. I found the set up works well using the foam carrier as long the depth at the neck joint isn't much more than 3/4" or so narrower than the tail. You'll find it hard to run the rim on both of your bearings if that difference is much greater.

Ken

May 07, 10 | 8:31 am
longbow

Total Topics: 4
Total Posts: 74
Adaboy, Please post more pic's when the whole set up is done. Showing it cutting the body. VERY IN..TER..EST...ING.

May 09, 10 | 6:39 am
Adaboy

Total Topics: 64
Total Posts: 509
Finally! I had a little time this evening to work on the binding. I've stalled building a jig to route the tail graft (in another post), installing the graft, making test cuts with the binding jig, and we had an out of state funeral on my wife's side of the family that had us out of pocket for awhile.

I did several undersized test cuts around the body. It gave me practice and recessed the edges of the top/back so I could level the side easier. I had this jig mounted in my router table and I was using foam under the body that held it just a bit high so I had to press down on the body (depressing the foam) and then keep the bodypressed into the fence while routing. At first I used a solid chunk of foam and it was way too much resistance. So I cut it down to roughly a 1" wide perimeter around the body. Still too much for my taste. This was very easily depressed fowm so I tried using just a strip here and there around the perimeter. This worked ok......but I still wasn't crazy about it.

So I decided to mount the jig vertical on the wall. I cut a piece of plywood to span between the 4"x4" stud posts in my shop. I had to add a 2x4 on top of each stud post so the router would clear the wall. Long story short, I like this setup much better. Gravity pulls the body into the fence instead of trying to tilt it away from the fence. I mounted it up fairly high where it was easy to keep the side flat against the fence and the top/back pushed into the base of the jig. I would guess my chin was roughly even with the top of the soundhole when the upper bout was on the jig fence.

I wouted the binding channel for the back and it worked nice. I ran the binding around the channel and had to go back reroute the around the sides of the upper bout and the transition from the waist to the upper bout. Now I have a nice fit.

The thing I like about this jig is the arrangement of the base and fence make it difficult for the blade to cut anywhere it shouldn't. I will admit that if I did this full time, I would definitely build or buy a jig like John Hall sells that uses the SM/LMI bearings as it is very quick and easy to get good results with that jig. Maybe I can post some pictures tomorrow.

Jun 26, 10 | 7:04 pm
Ken Cierp

Total Topics: 58
Total Posts: 2262
Since the KMG binding machine is mentioned here several times I will only comment that while this home made device looks similar to the KMG unit it does not work the same. This device has some design differences that no doubt would inhibit its ease of use. The KMG binding machine is intentionally designed to use a single sized router bit to allow unlimited dimensional freedom when choosing binding and purfling combinations. Pro shops like Preston Thompson, ARK Guitars and others have commented how this feature is invaluable when building and repairing custom guitars. The KMG Binding Machine is also used at the Whetstone School of Lutherie in Vermont.

Ken Cierp

Kenneth Michael Guitars est. 1978

Jun 27, 10 | 11:57 am
Adaboy

Total Topics: 64
Total Posts: 509
Yes, good point Ken. My comments here are about this jig only. No doubt with Ken's experience he has better jigs and/or a better thought out process,

Jun 27, 10 | 12:16 pm
Adaboy

Total Topics: 64
Total Posts: 509
Here is a pic of the jig mounted vetically on the wall of my shop. I apologize the pic is so bad......I took it with my cell phone.



And another poor quality pic of the binding and purfling channels cut into the back.


Jun 27, 10 | 7:24 pm



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