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Thread: Advice for salvaging my binding channel mess up

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    Registered Pontificator Roger Kunkel's Avatar
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    Default Advice for salvaging my binding channel mess up

    My first build and first significant mess up. My binding channel route when awry and I cut too wide in one area of the top. I'm thinking I'll need to fill in with something and recut the area before gluing my binding. Any advice on how to proceed? I thought of using a thicker binding and cutting the rest of the edge to match, but I'm afraid that might be a structural issue.

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    Registered User the padma's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice for salvaging my binding channel mess up

    Recut a shallow rabbit and about the same thickness as the binding....use a dark strip and Bobs your unckle.


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    duh Padma
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    Registered User sunburst's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice for salvaging my binding channel mess up

    That will work, or you can use the scrap spruce from around the edges of your top (you did save that, didn't you?) and match up the grain lines to patch the area, then bury it all under a dark 'burst. And, of coarse, there's always "top bound".
    As long as you don't cut too far into your linings you won't have a structural issue.

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    Registered User jim simpson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice for salvaging my binding channel mess up

    I'm glad you received some good solutions, I felt a little sick for you imagining what that felt like when you discovered it. I had a router bit loosen on me when doing a guitar top. I rerouted the sides to the new depth and my binding was wide enough that it turned out fine. It looked okay too.
    Cabin Fever String Band, National Pike Pickers

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    Registered Pontificator Roger Kunkel's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice for salvaging my binding channel mess up

    Quote Originally Posted by the padma View Post
    Recut a shallow rabbit and about the same thickness as the binding....use a dark strip and Bobs your unckle.


    blessings
    duh Padma
    If I understand you, a double binding all the way around. As you can see the cut goes a little into the kerfed lining. I think this would look better than trying to fill the gap. Perhaps a strip of wood binding and then the plastic on the edge.

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    Registered Pontificator Roger Kunkel's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice for salvaging my binding channel mess up

    Quote Originally Posted by jim simpson View Post
    I'm glad you received some good solutions, I felt a little sick for you imagining what that felt like when you discovered it. I had a router bit loosen on me when doing a guitar top. I rerouted the sides to the new depth and my binding was wide enough that it turned out fine. It looked okay too.
    Trying keep an atitude of mistakes are learning opportunities, but quite frustrating to see this result even after doing practice cuts on scrap.

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    Registered User Tavy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice for salvaging my binding channel mess up

    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Kunkel View Post
    If I understand you, a double binding all the way around. As you can see the cut goes a little into the kerfed lining. I think this would look better than trying to fill the gap. Perhaps a strip of wood binding and then the plastic on the edge.
    That would be my preference - maybe a good excuse to put some herringbone round there?

  8. #8
    Registered Pontificator Roger Kunkel's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice for salvaging my binding channel mess up

    After more thought, a perfling? Name:  09_bindingdiagram_sm.gif
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    Registered User Jim Baker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice for salvaging my binding channel mess up

    I would do a perfling. It's the ideal time to take that step.
    Jim Baker

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    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice for salvaging my binding channel mess up

    I've been waiting to see some of the luthiers jump in here. I think the dark burst or even black face is a great option.

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    Default Re: Advice for salvaging my binding channel mess up

    You could recut it all and do a double layer .020" black binding first then your.090" second. The black will blend right in with a dark burst. It makes it a lot easier to scrape the stain off later as well. Just scrape to the black.
    Chris

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    Registered User Max Girouard's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice for salvaging my binding channel mess up

    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Kunkel View Post
    Trying keep an atitude of mistakes are learning opportunities, but quite frustrating to see this result even after doing practice cuts on scrap.
    This is where I'd stop, and try to figure out exactly what happened and what went wrong. What were the differences in when you were practicing on scrap vs. the instrument. Evaluate your setup and see where, when and how this situation came about. Once I had that figured out, I'd move on to repairing it by doing as others mentioned, re-route for a wider channel and install a black strip of binding or route for purfling. But you want to be absolutly sure you have corrected the original problem before proceeding!

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    Registered User StevenS's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice for salvaging my binding channel mess up

    Max makes a good point - you need to understand what changed that ended up giving you the different result in different places before you start "fixing" the problem.

    Also, there a good bit of tear-out of the wood along the end grain section. Are you using a new bit? Did you do the routed channel all in one pass?

    When you go back,
    1. Use a new bit.
    1. Cut the channel in multiple shallow passes.
    2. Slow down so the blade has plenty of time to cut cleanly.

    If you are using the Stew-Mac hand-held Dremel channel tool -
    1. Make sure you are holding the Dremel square to the line of the sides.
    2. Cut climbing grain sections as they illustrate in the attached direction sheet.
    3. Rotate the body of the tool as you work around so that the distance remains constant.
    4. Be VERY patient and move slowly. No, more slowly than that!
    5. Consider buying or making a purfling gramil to pre-cut the grain to avoid tear out -- or, better yet, use the gramil followed by a narrow chisel to cut/clean the new channel by hand.

    6. Re-thinking numbers 1 - 5 . . . throw out the StewMac Dremel binding channel tool and use a gramil to cut by hand -- it is well worth the time and tired fingers. When you decide to build more AND your fingers are shot, set up a router-table based channel cutter.

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    Registered Pontificator Roger Kunkel's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice for salvaging my binding channel mess up

    Quote Originally Posted by StevenS View Post
    Max makes a good point - you need to understand what changed that ended up giving you the different result in different places before you start "fixing" the problem.

    Also, there a good bit of tear-out of the wood along the end grain section. Are you using a new bit? Did you do the routed channel all in one pass?

    When you go back,
    1. Use a new bit.
    1. Cut the channel in multiple shallow passes.
    2. Slow down so the blade has plenty of time to cut cleanly.

    If you are using the Stew-Mac hand-held Dremel channel tool -
    1. Make sure you are holding the Dremel square to the line of the sides.
    2. Cut climbing grain sections as they illustrate in the attached direction sheet.
    3. Rotate the body of the tool as you work around so that the distance remains constant.
    4. Be VERY patient and move slowly. No, more slowly than that!
    5. Consider buying or making a purfling gramil to pre-cut the grain to avoid tear out -- or, better yet, use the gramil followed by a narrow chisel to cut/clean the new channel by hand.

    6. Re-thinking numbers 1 - 5 . . . throw out the StewMac Dremel binding channel tool and use a gramil to cut by hand -- it is well worth the time and tired fingers. When you decide to build more AND your fingers are shot, set up a router-table based channel cutter.

    Steve
    Thanks for the detailed advice. Yes, I was using the stewmac dremel setup for the first time. I tried do the full depth in one pass and I think I was moving in the wrong direction when cutting. My practice cuts were not across grain like this. At least I'm learning something here. I will proceed with only very shallow and slow cuts.

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    Registered User Tavy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice for salvaging my binding channel mess up

    The other thing you could try is just cutting the channel by hand with a sharp knife (pocket or craft), it's only spruce after all, and when I did the last one that way it turned out way better than my previous attempts - though that could just be me

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    Default Re: Advice for salvaging my binding channel mess up

    I always cut my purfling channels by hand with a home made gramil. Spruce is very soft and I found I have more control of the cut when I do it by hand. I use a router for the binding channel.

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    Default Re: Advice for salvaging my binding channel mess up

    What is the max depth you got?
    If you do .04 black/ivoroid and a .06 ivoroid for .100 total it may fill the whole thing or only need a little veneer to bring it out.
    I use the LMI bearing cutters on a router table with an edge support spacer and it's pretty hard to go wrong with that unless the bit come loose in the router. Stew- mac sells a set too but the LMI seems more true to the claimed depth than S-m's.

  18. #18
    Registered Pontificator Roger Kunkel's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice for salvaging my binding channel mess up

    Quote Originally Posted by Tavy View Post
    That would be my preference - maybe a good excuse to put some herringbone round there?
    Perhaps not a traditional look for an A5, but I like the herringbone idea.

  19. #19
    Formerly F5JOURNL Darryl Wolfe's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice for salvaging my binding channel mess up

    I like Chris's advice. Inner black line
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    Registered Mando Hack dunwell's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice for salvaging my binding channel mess up

    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Kunkel View Post
    Thanks for the detailed advice. Yes, I was using the stewmac dremel setup for the first time. I tried do the full depth in one pass and I think I was moving in the wrong direction when cutting. My practice cuts were not across grain like this. At least I'm learning something here. I will proceed with only very shallow and slow cuts.
    If you decide to re-cut the slot, you might look into using a carbide rotary file, also called burrs, instead of a regular two flute bit. Like this one from MSC . Make sure to get one that is end cutting though. I have switched over to using these exclusively when using the StewMac jig. Just take multiple kind of "wiping" climb cuts. Works well and doesn't tend to grab or jump in the end grain. If you take too heavy a cut it will start to burn the wood so you know to back off a bit. You will get the feel of it very fast.

    Alan D.

  21. #21
    Registered User Tommando's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice for salvaging my binding channel mess up

    Here's the Ibex tool, if you haven't seen one. My favorite. Fast and accurate on spruce. Slow and tedious on maple. No instructions and hard to figure out at first, but very versatile. Surely you can find one cheaper.
    www.carbatec.com.au/ibex-purfling-cutter_c6570

    A lot of good advice from great builders here for getting it just right. Since it is your first, I don't know if you feel any trepidation about recutting the channel or about laminating another piece of binding. If this gap is not too large, you might consider filling it with a mix of glue and spruce dust after the binding is put on.

  22. #22
    Registered Pontificator Roger Kunkel's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice for salvaging my binding channel mess up

    Following up. I went with a herringbone. Had a little more tear out, so a little filler is in order. Thanks again for all the advice! The forum is a great thing.Click image for larger version. 

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  23. #23
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    Default Re: Advice for salvaging my binding channel mess up

    Another solution to a damaged rabbit channel might be to simply remove it and round off the edges with sand paper so that there is no channel at all but a roughly 45% angle from the side to the top.. If i understand your description there would be no structural loss. I did this on a mandolin with a poorly cut binding channel and was more than pleased with the results. The transition from sides to top was gradual rather than aggressive as it normally is with binding.
    Bart McNeil

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    Registered User Max Girouard's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice for salvaging my binding channel mess up

    Good job Roger!

    I didn't think I would like a herringbone purfling, but now that I see it, I think it looks really nice.

  25. #25
    Registered Pontificator Roger Kunkel's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice for salvaging my binding channel mess up

    Quote Originally Posted by bmac View Post
    Another solution to a damaged rabbit channel might be to simply remove it and round off the edges with sand paper so that there is no channel at all but a roughly 45% angle from the side to the top.. If i understand your description there would be no structural loss. I did this on a mandolin with a poorly cut binding channel and was more than pleased with the results. The transition from sides to top was gradual rather than aggressive as it normally is with binding.
    I like this idea too. Maybe next time.

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