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Thread: Bind the fretboard, or no?

  1. #1

    Default Bind the fretboard, or no?

    The Siminoff book instructs that the fretboard receive binding just like the rest of the instrument. But I understand some makes choose not to apply binding to the fretboard. Can someone explain the difference or preferences that would lead someone to choose not to bind the fretboard? What do you personally prefer as either a maker or a player?

  2. #2
    Registered User rockies's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bind the fretboard, or no?

    Puttnamm, my personal preference as a player is no fretboard binding, I just like the clean look of the ebony (or rw). Not that I notice anything playing a bound fretboard. I have a Heiden A and a Heiden dreadnaught guitar that appear to be unbound but Michael put a ebony binding on to cover the fret ends for a really nice simple look to the instrument. So it is all in personal preference IMHO.
    Dave
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  3. #3

    Default Re: Bind the fretboard, or no?

    Thanks.
    Would it make a difference if the fretboard had a radius? Mine does not; it is flat.

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    Default Re: Bind the fretboard, or no?

    Makes no difference flat or with a radius. When it comes time for a refret, it's easier to not have binding. Makes a refret easier and cheaper. Some feel that binding is a smoother feel to play, I have both and don't notice a difference.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

  5. #5

    Default Re: Bind the fretboard, or no?

    Aesthetics play a big part in this equation. And I suppose binding does protect the wood from dents. This feature would be far down the list for evaluation however, but I do like the stealthy look of wood fingerboard binding.
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    Registered User colorado_al's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bind the fretboard, or no?

    For the most part it is aesthetic, though the binding can hide any flaws on the side of the fretboard. I have mandolins with bound and unbound fretboards and I have no preference for either as a player. As a consumer, non-bound usually commands a lower price than the same instrument with binding due to material and labor costs savings.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Bind the fretboard, or no?

    Thank you all very much.
    Next (last?) question... The binding I bought is .250" wide, as I understood this to be standard for mandolins. My fretboard is 5/32" thick. This means about 3/32" of the binding will be anove the fretboard surface. Is this typical? It seems a bit much. Would I maybe trim down the binding once it is glued around the fretboard?
    Thanks again, all.

    Mark

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    Registered User Walt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bind the fretboard, or no?

    Quote Originally Posted by putnamm View Post
    Thank you all very much.
    Next (last?) question... The binding I bought is .250" wide, as I understood this to be standard for mandolins. My fretboard is 5/32" thick. This means about 3/32" of the binding will be anove the fretboard surface. Is this typical? It seems a bit much. Would I maybe trim down the binding once it is glued around the fretboard?
    Thanks again, all.

    Mark
    Yes, it is typical. You would trim it down after installing.

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    Default Re: Bind the fretboard, or no?

    The two easiest to play mandolins I've owned - one was bound and one was not. I do like a bound fret board tho

  10. #10
    Registered User mtucker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bind the fretboard, or no?

    aesthetics only and what you like, no difference in play.
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    Default Re: Bind the fretboard, or no?

    You can have it both ways if the board is bound with the same wood. You won't notice the binding, the frets won't stick out if the board wood shrinks some over time, it looks cleaner, and future fret jobs will look better without any chipping in the slots or finish. You might consider MOP side position markers also. Better yet, no markers on the face of the board is classy as well, like the pic in the previous post.

    John Hamlett suggested wood binding to me years ago and i liked it so much that every instrument gets bound in wood unless there's white binding there already. It's a classy but subtle touch.

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