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View Full Version : Body bindings - wood versus plastic - does it matter?



Ben_H
09-20-2012, 02:56 AM
Does the use of wood versus plastic for uke body bindings affect anything other than personal aesthetics?

Am looking at speccing a custom and part of me feels a bit hesitant about plastic bindings despite assurances that ABS plastics are industry standard.

consitter
09-20-2012, 03:05 AM
I had wood bindings put on my custom. If you're gonna do it, do it right!

Ben_H
09-20-2012, 03:23 AM
I had wood bindings put on my custom. If you're gonna do it, do it right!

Trouble is I want black binding and some luthiers will not work with ebony as it is "too brittle".

hoosierhiver
09-20-2012, 03:58 AM
If you let a uke get too hot or cold and then it changes temperature too quickly, the wood and the plastic will expand/contract at different rates, this can cause the plastic to pull away from the wood. As long as you care for the uke properly this won't be an issue.

Newportlocal
09-20-2012, 09:37 AM
I saw a post from a well respected luthier. He really liked carbon fiber binding. Hopefully some experts chime in on the pluses and minuses. I am getting a custom. Thinking about carbon fiber now vs. plastic,but don't want to be one of those annoying customers. Unfortunately,only a few have a knowledge base for differences and preferences.

buddhuu
09-20-2012, 09:40 AM
My favourite guitar has no binding. :p

gyosh
09-20-2012, 10:14 AM
I saw a post from a well respected luthier. He really liked carbon fiber binding. Hopefully some experts chime in on the pluses and minuses. I am getting a custom. Thinking about carbon fiber now vs. plastic,but don't want to be one of those annoying customers. Unfortunately,only a few have a knowledge base for differences and preferences.

Your luthier is very knowledgeable about carbon fiber. You should ask.

Newportlocal
09-20-2012, 10:58 AM
Your luthier is very knowledgeable about carbon fiber. You should ask.
Trust me. I am aware he is very knowledgeable. In fact he is the luthier I trust most. Fine line between seeking knowledge and being annoying customer, but on your recommendation I will ask him.

gyosh
09-20-2012, 11:30 AM
Trust me. I am aware he is very knowledgeable. In fact he is the luthier I trust most. Fine line between seeking knowledge and being annoying customer, but on your recommendation I will ask him.

It's very hard not being annoying when you've ordered isn't it?! :)

To the OP, maybe ask this on the LL thread or contact a luthier or a supply company like LMI or StewMac.

gyosh
09-20-2012, 11:35 AM
Here's something I found on a guitar forum about the topic. The poster is talking about the same type of material generally used by the luthiers who use "plastic" bindings for ukes.


And just to add to the mess, there are different kinds of plastics. Richard Hoover at Santa Cruz Guitar Co always says their bindings aren't really plastic, they are a cellulose material, dissolved cotton fibers, that is very similar chemically to the nitro-cellulose lacquer that they put on as a finish.

My experience has been that as pretty as they are, wood bindings dent much more easily, and the finish can get more easily damaged because of that. I like the thin wood accent strips, protected by a celluloid binding.

Newportlocal
09-20-2012, 11:37 AM
[QUOTE=gyosh;1050324]It's very hard not being annoying when you've ordered isn't it?! :)

Especially,when you look at your luthier as the best source of knowledge.:D it's a privilege to get something from him.

gyosh
09-20-2012, 11:39 AM
[QUOTE=gyosh;1050324]It's very hard not being annoying when you've ordered isn't it?! :)

Especially,when you look at your luthier as the best source of knowledge.:D it's a privilege to get something from him.

That's why I ordered too. It's like having a living legend build for you.