Friday, April 3, 2009

Week three, binding the "V"...

Above, the Vector receives a fine sanding by hand. Please consider the binding which has been hand-cut and laid into place. For these instruments the binding is actually done in 3 layers;
the main ply is Tortoise Shell (cellulose and NOT from a real turtle) and Black and White between the tortoise & fingerboard.
The individual plys arrive in sheets, which Hamer luthiers fuse together then cuts into strips.
Next they route - by hand - the channels where the binding will lay.
For these guitars, this includes the headstock, fingerboard, and body.
The binding is then hand bent around the headstock and body, using a heat gun. This can get tricky...move too fast and you can kink the binding. Move too slow and you'll melt it.
After the correct shape is achieved the binding is glued to the channel and cures for
at least a day.
All binding then gets sanded flat with the wood surfaces,
plus the fingerboard binding is scraped along it's edge and around the fret ends.
Click on the photos to enlarge.

Above Dave applies an exacto knife to scrape the edges of the fingerboard binding.
The detail work is simply inspiring to me. Can't wait to make music on that thing!