Monday, March 9, 2009


Last week I inlaid ebony into the pot and installed a walnut cap. After gluing the Walnut cap, it was time to install the fingerboard binding. As I held the plastic binding in my hand, I thought, I can't install this. I can't put this on the fingerboard. It's plastic, and the reason why I enjoy building is to move away from many different ways.

Every time I look around I see plastic. Things that look to be what they are not. Cheapness disguised as the genuine article. That little piece of plastic binding that I held in my hand became a lot more to me than something to hide the tang of the frets.

I cut a few small strips from a piece of walnut.

I put the strips in a bucket of water to soak, then looked around for a heat source to make a bending pipe. I dug up an electric camping stove and attached a pipe to it with wire.

I made a metal bending strap from a clamp used on the gluing form for the pot.

Bent the sides carefully and glued them to the fingerboard. The tape holds the binding in place as the glue sets.

And here we are, walnut binding on the fretboard. It makes me feel better to get away from the plastic. Hopefully that is the direction that I am personally moving as well.


Anonymous said...

Randy, I'm speechless. Nice work!


Randy said...

Thanks, Jason.


Doug Berch said...

A beautiful job Randy! I've been tempted to use plastic binding but I don't want to for the same reasons you mentions. That walnut binding is gorgeous!

Randy said...

Thanks for the comment, Doug.

I've used plastic binding before, and it works well, and it's easy to work with, but it's still plastic! I bet the plastic binding will shrink over the years also.