It surprises me that there is a bit of a trend to leave some
instruments unbound. The bindings serve the very real function of protecting
the delicate edges of the soundboard and back, and to me, leaving them out is
inconceivable. Obviously, it’s a stage which takes a fair bit of time, care and
skill to carry out, but is essential to the longevity of the instrument. Even my
“Standard” mandolin is fully bound.
You can see here, on Alan's mandolin, how the rebates are routed into the edge to
take the binding.
I like to use solid wood which has to be bent using the
bending iron. There’s nothing wrong with plastic materials, it’s simply that
wood is currently my preference.
Cloth tape is the method that I like to use to hold the
bindings in place whilst the glue dries. You can get a great deal of pressure with
the tape and ensure a good bond. The only drawback is the 10 to 15 minutes that it
takes Amanda and me to get it all untangled, once the glue is dry!
There’s a fair bit of
cleaning up to do as all the binding is over-sized; it has to be scraped down
flush with the rest of the instrument.
And here we are all bound up!
Labels: bubinga mandolin, Gary Nava handmade guitars and mandolins, Standard mandolin