If for some reason I cannot glue up strips of black and white binding and cut them to the correct size for binding, would it be dumb of me to glue the individual squares to the banjo?
Some years ago I cut some black and white strips and put them together with duco cement. I did a square about 12" wide and then cut them perpendiculuar. Was easy to join the foot long pieces for a neck or resonator. Used them for years.
You have to let the glue cure for at least 24 + hours.
You have to make some sort of jig to stabilize the blocks while you cut. A piece of strong masking tape on the back of the block will help to hold the block together.
You have to use a good sharp saw. I use a razor saw.
I recommend cutting the strips slightly oversize, and then make a jig to work it down to final dimensions.
I will add that this is a time-consuming and sometimes difficult job.
The material will try to fall apart when you try to handle and cut it. You have to find a way to hold the material together. You might have to make jigs, you might have to laminate a piece of material to the edge of the block before you cut it. You have to be inventive, and you may have to work with limited access to tools.
If you search the web, you might find some info on how to make guitar purfling and rosettes. Study carefully, and figure out what techniques will work in your particular application.
You are going to find out why suppliers charge a premium price for checkerboard bind. Fabricating it is a labor-intensive process.
When you are done, count how many hours TOTAL you have spent on this project. Makes the professional checkerboard from Custom Inlay CHEAP, and its perfect
rcc56 if I line up the black and white binding in, say, 6" strips, into a 6" square like this...
...and put tape on one side to hold them together, turn them over and put super glue in each joint, would that hold well? I don't want to create long strands of the stuff, because it'd be too hard to cut, i presume. 6" strips is good enuff for me.
Laminate them together with Duco cement or binding cement. I prefer to work with 2 or 3 inch strips; they are easier to cut. One way to cut is to tape one side of the block, and clamp or glue the block to a flat board.
If you want a 1/16" strip, cover slightly over 1/16" of the material with a thin block of wood and cut along the edge of the block with a razor saw. The cover block will serve as a cutting guide, and also help to keep the material from falling apart as you cut it. You might want to make a jig with a fence to make this work out better. I don't do computer graphics, so you're going to have to envision this yourself unless someone else wants to contribute a diagram or a picture.
Once you have a few strips, laminate them together with a border strip, then work the material down to final dimensions. You can cut a groove in a block of wood the same depth as your desired binding width, put the material into the groove, and sand or scrape the material down to the surface of the block.
That's all I have time for. Good luck with this job. You may break several strips while you're learning the techniques.
Edited by - rcc56 on 12/15/2019 08:34:02
OK, Hunter, I've thought this out, and if I have to make purfling again, this is how I would cut strips to the desired width.
1. Glue your material together into a block maybe 3 inches long. Tape up the bottom.
2. Scrouge up a piece of plywood a foot square or so to use as a work board.
3. Cut a block of wood 2" wide x 5" long x 1/2" thick.
4. Cut a rabbet* into the long side of the wood block. This rabbet will fit over the binding material that you want to cut off. Make the rabbet depth slightly less deep than your block of binding material. Make the rabbet width slightly greater than the width you want your strips to be.
5. Secure the rabbeted block to your work board with 3 or 4 wood screws.
6. Sand the edge of your block of binding straight and square.
7. Loosen the wood screws slightly, and slide your binding block into the rabbet.
8. Tighten the wood screws to hold the material firmly, and cut along the edge of the rabbeted block with a razor saw. Your binding strip will be the material that is left inside the rabbet.
9. Loosen the wood screws and carefully remove the binding strip.
10. Repeat steps 6 through 9 until you have enough material to bind the banjo. Make up plenty of extra.
Your rabbeted block should look something like this: __________________________________
The material to be cut off will fit into this notch: >>> |_____________________________|
*If you aren't familiar with the term "rabbet," look it up on a woodworking website.
Again, good luck.
Edited by - rcc56 on 12/15/2019 14:53:28
A couple of other notes:
I would not trust super glues for this job.
You might want to make strips of more than one width.
If you get enough material to finish your banjo without tearing all your hair out, you might want to leave it oversized until after it has been glued into the banjo and cured for 48 hours. It's easier to cut the material down once it is in the banjo than it is to try to cut raw strips to a perfect width.
And a note to all aspiring builders and repairmen:
Small blocks of wood with various grits of sandpaper glued to them are amoung the most heavily used tools in my shop. You can make them large or small, coarse or fine; straight, curved, or radiused, etc. You can even mask off some of the sandpaper with a double layer of masking tape so the block only cuts what you want to cut. You can even attach "rails" to the sanding surface of a block so it only cuts what's between the rails.
I have found blocks with rails to be very useful when trying to work a piece of wood, binding, or purfling down to a specific thickness. They can be used as a "micro" thickness sander.
Edited by - rcc56 on 12/15/2019 15:32:21
What's wrong with Mike Gregory? It's been an hour, and "Rabbet" is prime fodder for his shenanigans.
rcc56 thank you so much for all the info! i now have a very clear idea of what i can do to make this binding. One more question, though. I heard of people using vulcanized fiber for a backing, and not putting any border strips. Would this work as I need it to?
I haven't tried it, but it will probably work. The only way to find out for sure is to try it on a piece of scrap.
'Gourd?' 10 hrs
'Early Nitty gritty B,G.' 12 hrs