Wednesday, December 22, 2010

How to Make Guitar Bindings from a Baseball Bat

The craft of the wood-turner is ancient. Turners are recorded as having reached England at the time of the Norman conquest and they introduced the pole lathe at that time.

Tom Crispin, The English Windsor Chair, 1992



A while ago I bought a maple baseball bat blank from Rockler with the idea of making bindings, because it gets a little pricey buying pre-made bindings from LMI. I carefully ripped the blank down on my table saw into 1 1/2 inch wide strips and ran those through a thickness planer.



These are the tools I use, a cutting gauge and a Frost knife. The holey board that you see is my shooting board, once I cut a binding off the strip I joint the strip to have a straight edge to register the gauge on for the next binding. This also makes the edge that will go against the shoulder of the rabbet on the guitar.



First, I mark the strip with a cutting gauge on both sides of the strip. These bindings will be a 1/4 inch wide.



Then I take a knife and make the cut deeper working from both sides.



Making sure that I follow the grain, I score deep enough until I can snap the binding off the strip. I joint the strip and make another binding. Next step is to thickness the bindings on the Clark thickness-er.

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