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Thread: Alternatives to celluloid binding in Europe

  1. #1
    Registered User Nick Gellie's Avatar
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    Default Alternatives to celluloid binding in Europe

    I am looking for alternatives to celluloid binding here in Europe. I need some ideas where I can purchase the alternative binding materials from.
    Nic Gellie

    Collings MT 2014 mandolin
    Ruben Bada 2019 Irish Bouzouki

  2. #2
    Mandolin tragic Graham McDonald's Avatar
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    Default Re: Alternatives to celluloid binding in Europe

    Both David Dyke and Touchstone Tonewood in the UK offer plastic and timber binding strips. I don't think there is all that much actual celluloid binding out there as much as various other plastics such as acetate and ABS.All work the same, just depends on the look you want. If you do want proper ivoroid binding, I think it has to be celluloid, but the tortoise is probably available in an acetate from China. A trawl around some of the Chinese guitar parts sites turns up some wonderful binding and such like. The vendors in China seem singularly unconcerned about postal regulation on such materials as well. There is also Maderas Barber in Spain whose website seems to have everything you could want.

    Cheers

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    Registered User Tavy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Alternatives to celluloid binding in Europe

    Check out https://www.rothkoandfrost.com/ for lots of binding materials (their faux-tortoishell is particularly nice IMO), but as you're in Spain, I'm sure https://maderasbarber.com will have a selection too.

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  5. #4

    Default Re: Alternatives to celluloid binding in Europe

    My Eastman 915 has maple binding, it looks very good.

    Dave H
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    Registered User Tavy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Alternatives to celluloid binding in Europe

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Hanson View Post
    My Eastman 915 has maple binding, it looks very good.

    Dave H
    Good point: most of us I suspect keep offcuts from sides to use as binding... maple, rosewood, etc.

  7. #6
    Registered User Nick Gellie's Avatar
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    Default Re: Alternatives to celluloid binding in Europe

    I might use maple offcuts for a cross piece at the 15th fret. Right width and height. Thanks for your suggestions everyone.
    Nic Gellie

    Collings MT 2014 mandolin
    Ruben Bada 2019 Irish Bouzouki

  8. #7
    Adrian Minarovic
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    Default Re: Alternatives to celluloid binding in Europe

    Maple binding looks classy but is very hard to do properly on F-5 and pretty much rules out the traditional rubbed burst.... Too many complications and exte work would add quite a few $ to price...
    I made four F-5's with maple binding when I was starting simply because I was not able to get proper plastic binding here and it appears that times are getting hard again...
    Importing from US gets so expensive and EU suppliers only carry very limited selection.
    I was thinking about group order directly from China (the only producer of celluloid in the world since 2004 or so) but I couldn't locate the source for layered sheets, yet. Only single sheets and mostly in zillion of pearloid parrerned colors not in simple Ivoroid/B/W in traditional thicknesses...
    Anyone have a tip on good source of I B W with manageable minimum quantity? Plese post here...
    (often 100 pounds of sheet stuff can cost less than getting few mandolins worth of binding through US sellers to EU adding all the taxes and shipping...
    Adrian

  9. #8
    Registered User Nick Gellie's Avatar
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    Default Re: Alternatives to celluloid binding in Europe

    Hi Hogo, You are right about the staining of maple. It is very hard to find I B W like you say. Tavy's post refers to a good source in the UK but again the height of the binding means you need some sort of thicknesser to get it to the right depth on the edge of a mandolin. I am still searching though.

    I might have to use single strips for some of my mandolins and use ABS rather than celluloid.
    Nic Gellie

    Collings MT 2014 mandolin
    Ruben Bada 2019 Irish Bouzouki

  10. #9
    Registered User Nick Gellie's Avatar
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    Default Re: Alternatives to celluloid binding in Europe

    There is this for WBW in 0.08" width. Any good?

    https://www.rothkoandfrost.com/inlay...bute%5B3%5D=93
    Nic Gellie

    Collings MT 2014 mandolin
    Ruben Bada 2019 Irish Bouzouki

  11. #10
    Adrian Minarovic
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    Default Re: Alternatives to celluloid binding in Europe

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Gellie View Post
    There is this for WBW in 0.08" width. Any good?

    https://www.rothkoandfrost.com/inlay...bute%5B3%5D=93
    That is way too small, perhaps laminating ivoroid to such BWB would work in a pinch (several modern makers add inner thin black layer to make scraping binding easier on dark sunbursts) but for traditional look I would have to scrape away one layer completely and add ivoroid lamination... Just too much work if here is possibility of getting right sizes or laminates right from producer...
    Adrian

  12. #11
    Mandolin tragic Graham McDonald's Avatar
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    Default Re: Alternatives to celluloid binding in Europe

    The Chinese ivoroid (at least the bits I got from China) don't quite look right. They are more translucent than the ivoroid from LMI and the graining just looks a bit wrong. I have had some tortoise celluloid from China which is fine, and you can get some wonderfully coloured binding material that I have not been quite tempted enough to buy. It can be a diverting hour or two poking around the Chinese lutherie supply sites.

    Cheers

  13. #12
    Adrian Minarovic
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    Default Re: Alternatives to celluloid binding in Europe

    Quote Originally Posted by Graham McDonald View Post
    The Chinese ivoroid (at least the bits I got from China) don't quite look right. They are more translucent than the ivoroid from LMI and the graining just looks a bit wrong. I have had some tortoise celluloid from China which is fine, and you can get some wonderfully coloured binding material that I have not been quite tempted enough to buy. It can be a diverting hour or two poking around the Chinese lutherie supply sites.

    Cheers
    ALL celluloid (nitrate) since 2004 (not sure about exact year, but that's what I remember) has been produced in China (or perhaps some other asian country as well). The last producer in EU was Mazzuchelli and they completely moved the production to China so pretty much every single bit of celluloid you see on the market is from China. I don't know eaxctly but I believe there are just few actual producers of the sheet material and many reselling chinese companies so the offer on alibaba is quite chaotic at best. The producers produce colors in batches so each color is not available at each time.
    I'm aware there are at least four varieties of ivoroid - wavy or straight grain and translucent or solid color - plus there can be some variation between batches.
    The LMI, Stew-Mac or Axiom binding is all from China (unless they have some really old stock)
    Adrian

  14. #13
    Registered User Nick Gellie's Avatar
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    Default Re: Alternatives to celluloid binding in Europe

    I am ordering some cream ABS from Rothko and Frost. I am going to laminate Cream (0.06") + Black (0.02") + White (0.02") to make up my binding strips. I have decided to go away from Celluloid binding even though it has the nice grain in it. I will let you know how I go.
    Nic Gellie

    Collings MT 2014 mandolin
    Ruben Bada 2019 Irish Bouzouki

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