View Full Version : Binding question

03-02-2016, 03:27 AM
I have built 6 guitars - am doing my fist uke as a Style 3 Ditson/MArtin Dreadnought in Osage Orange.

I have used a jig for binding guitars that is an attachment to your router that has a vertical fence that you press against the side of the guitar to jeep the router aligned. You then pass it around the sides to make the cut. I can clamp down a guitar body and do 1/2 at a time.

My question - the soprano uke body is too small to clamp down and get the jig onto at the same time. I have been thinking of clamping the router in my vice upside down and passing the body around the jig.

How do others do this without a "tower" type of jig

03-02-2016, 09:24 AM
I used to just grab the thing with my left hand and rout out binding channels with my right hand holding a Dremel type tool with guide of course keeping the left hand on the "up stream" side and well away from the tool. Worked fine. Then I built a simple holder for holding the uke by screwing 4 small blocks of wood (cleats) to a piece of plywood which firmly hold the two upper and lower bouts the whole thing securely clamped to the bench. Now I can use both hands for better control. No elaborate cradles or "towers" needed although you can go that way...

03-02-2016, 09:27 AM
I use a laminate trimmer that is far easier to handle than a full size router. I use a StewMac binding cutter with interchangeable bearings for different binding / purfling widths.

I just place the instrument on a soft towel and hold with one hand. The laminate trimmer in the other. After doing 100+ instruments you get pretty quick and confident at it.

03-02-2016, 12:23 PM
I just use the body mould to hold the instrument. Easy to clamp the mould to the workbench.

03-02-2016, 06:00 PM
On further thought I thought I should post a caveat to the one handed method as I described as there might be a safety issue here. There was one time I was doing this operation and whistling a merry little tune when I momentarily lost control of the tool and it spun out in a quick and extremely violent manner. It didn't come out of my hand but damn near did. There was no damage done to uke or body, but there might have been some damage to a perfectly good pair of underwear. What happened was that I was using a not perfectly sharp bit (which I had ruined by previous over heating ruining the temper) and the bit hit a big glob of dried glue in the kerfed lining and couldn't cut it so spun out.

But the bit spun away from the uke and me because I always cut with the tool going away from me. This is an important point and wasn't emphasized in my first post. Better to have two hands on the tool and the uke immobilized. I think the crude cradle I built took about 15 minutes to make and I haven't ruined any underwear (or ukes) since.

03-03-2016, 03:17 PM

Do you have a picture of "4 small blocks of wood (cleats) to a piece of plywood which firmly hold the two upper and lower bouts"

Sounds like what I need


03-03-2016, 06:09 PM
Sure. This is a simple rig and easy to make. Self explanatory... On further thought I think they should be called "dogs" (?) rather than cleats. Also I said previously that the dogs held the uke at the bouts but I made it so it holds it at the waist and ends. Also, the dogs can be wrapped with tape to prevent scratching and to adjust for just the right snug fit. If one wanted to get more sophisticated, you could make bolted slots that would adjust the dogs to fit any size uke. Note the dogs must be low enough to permit the router guide to pass over free. Clamp the thang down and go.


03-04-2016, 07:22 AM
I'm very much an amateur at this, but this is how I hold the body, and the jig I made for the router. The router holder jig was the seat slider on an old unused and useless rowing machine. The body holder has leveling feet to set the sides perpendicular to the work surface.


03-04-2016, 07:47 AM
If you want to go OTT you can build one like this ;)
http://i219.photobucket.com/albums/cc143/shiregreenbod/jig_zpscv1votfk.jpeg (http://s219.photobucket.com/user/shiregreenbod/media/jig_zpscv1votfk.jpeg.html)