Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Binding the mandocello

I’ve just completed the bindings and purflings for Jonathan’s mandocello. The first thing you have to do is cut a rebate around the edges to take the strips of purfling and binding. Normally, it’s relatively straight forward, as you can sit a router on the body of the instrument itself. However, with a carved/arch top you have to be a bit more inventive! I fixed the router’s motor into a pillar drill stand, and then clamped the body back into its external mould- this allowed me to adjust the position of the body in space, so that the glued edge between the top and the sides was level.
With the router set to the correct height, the body could then be feed into the cutter and the rebate cut. However, it's always a good idea to go around the top with a good old-fashioned purfling cutter first- this helps to eliminate the grain tearing.
It proved to be remarkably stress-free, and got me thinking about the “True Channel” type router jigs sold by StewMac and others. Now I could spend a few hundred quid and buy one, but that would be too easy……………..watch this space!

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