Guitar Binding

Guitar binding strips add a decorative edge to guitar bodies, and protect the vulnerable corners from knocks and dings. We stock guitar binding in a variety of materials - celluloid, ABS, CAB, PVC and wood - and a large selection of patterns including pearloid, ivory, multi-ply and plain colours.

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Binding, often referred to as edging, is a strip which is recessed into the edge of a guitar giving a 'bound' edge. It is frequently seen on acoustic guitars, premium electric guitar bodies and other stringed instruments such as mandolins.

Our range focuses on plastic bindings. Plastic is a general term and in fact we stock 4 different varieties which are available in their own patterns, colours and sizes. They also differ in how they can be glued or laminated. The following table should help:

 ABSCABCelluloidPVC
Full nameAcrylonitrile butadiene styreneCellulose acetate butyrateCellulose nitratePoly vinyl chloride
PatternsPlain coloursPlain colours

Plain colours
Multi-ply
Shell
Pearloid
Tortoiseshell
Ivory

Multi-ply

Recommended glues

Acetone
Binding cement (UHU Hart)

Acetone
Binding cement (UHU Hart)

Acetone
Binding cement (UHU Hart)

Binding cement (UHU Hart)

Dissolves in acetone?YesYesYesNo
Can be lacquered over?YesYesYesYes
Shape with

Scraper
Sandpaper

Scraper
Sandpaper

Scraper
Sandpaper

Scraper
Sandpaper

Bending tipsHeat gently for tight radiiThin pieces are very flexible
Thicker pieces can be bent around tighter corners with a little heat
Brittle when cold - heat very gently for tighter bendsVery flexible, heating not recommended

To glue guitar binding we recommend UHU Hart, which is a clear cement that is compatible with wood, and all of these plastics. ABS, CAB and celluloid can also be adhered to wood (and to each other, for laminating) using acetone, which dissolves the surface of the plastic which will adhere to a surface when it then dries. Superglue (cyanoacrylate) is not recommended as this can be highly reactive with some plastics.

Whether you use binding cement or acetone, while the binding is drying it needs to be held in place. Due to the contours of a guitar body it requires clamping at many points to ensure a good bond, and therefore we recommend using binding tape, short strips of which can be used to hold down the binding at regular intervals with a focus on tight areas.

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