Make Your Own Binding Strips

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Binding strips are expensive. A single strip can sometimes cost as much as a board big enough to make a dozen strips in the shop. Making these yourself is not difficult, and you can make your own binding strips following these instructions.

How to Make Binding Strips for Acoustic Guitars

make your own binding stripsThe first step in how to make your own binding strips is to select the wood. Choose something that has a good track record for bending. Then, find a nice flat sawn piece. It is important that the piece be flat sawn. The strips are going to be ripped from the edge of the board, so in effect they will be quarter sawn to the direction of the bends.

Select a flat sawn 4/4 piece of wood in the species you want to work with. Make sure that it is at least 36″ long, which will be enough to make binding strips. Check the wood. Make sure that it is free of defects, and well dried.

Once you have the board, split it open down the edge. If you started with a board that is 4″ wide, 36″ long, and 4/4 thick, you will now have two boards that are 4″ wide, 36″ long, and a little over 1/4″ thick. These two plates can now be sent through the thickness planer to bring them down to 1/4″ exactly.

Make your own binding strips. You will have more choice, and you can create a more custom instrument.

make your own binding stripsOnce the two boards are ready, rip them into strips that are about 3/32″ thick. To make your own binding strips well, you will need a fine tooth blade for the table saw. Install the blade, and set the fence for the cut.

Carefully rip strips from the board until it becomes too skinny to safely rip more. Switch to the other board, and rip strips from the edge until it too becomes too skinny.

Collect your strips, and discard any that did not make it through the table saw well. If a piece has dings on the ends, they can usually be cut off and there will be enough remaining to use. Typically, the fine blade will leave the strips smooth on the faces, so they will require no additional sanding.

(You may want to Make Your Own Fret Dots too.)

Almost any wood species can be used for binding strips. Most woods are easy to bend at this thickness. Making your own binding strips gives you the ability to use whatever binding you like. This allows you to choose what you want for your guitar rather than choose something from what a supplier has available.

If you have any questions on how to Make Your Own Binding Strips, please leave a comment and I will answer them. Happy building.

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