Saturday, 26 November 2011

Adam's guitar-bindings

Here are a few pictures of the guitar I am making for Adam when it was being bound. I have chosen flamed koa for the bindings; I love the rich colour against the dark Indian rosewood and the rippled figure in the wood is a delight. The humble clothes peg makes a wonderful clamp as the above picture shows. This is a rather laborious way of making up bindings but the finished effect is well worth it.

I know I have shown a similar picture to this before but I couldn't resist adding another one. I much prefer using cloth tape to hold the binding in place whilst gluing as I can apply a lot of all round pressure using this method. Visitors to the workshop who witness this process are most intrigued by the sight of a trussed up guitar. I remember one rather shocked visitor voicing concerns that she had stumbled on some bizarre ceremonial guitar making ritual. It took some time to convince her that it was an everyday guitar making practice.

And finally, the finished purfling and binding. The koa will come alive under the polish and provide an elegant but understated edge to the guitar. Koa is a beautiful timber from Hawaii and has been used for ukuleles and steel string guitars for many years. When I started making guitars it was very rare to see it in the UK, but the internet has made this special timber readily available to makers. I love it and feel privileged to use it in my guitars.

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