Cutting the binding by hand

A lengthy post with some detail shots from the binding process. At this point the excitement level is at about 90% and going slow is quite painful. But lately I am less and less able to withstand the vibration from any power tool (getting numb hands and finger joint inflammation) so I am going off the grid. In the end, for this stage, it is just a few extra hours of work for four days, not the end of the world. At the same time the level of control is unsurpassed. In the gallery you will see a short vid showing the final tuning cut with the gramil, taking off ultra thin shavings for the ultimate fit. A router system will never have this level of finesse. Also strangely, “cutting binding by hand” seems to be one of the biggest search hits on my website.  Hopefully these photos might help other curious or aspiring builders.  If you want  to ask “what tools do you use” my answer is “yes”.  In internet slang, this means everything, all of them.  I start by sharpening all my small chisels (1.5, 2, 3, 5, 6, 9mm), the router plane and the gramil blades.  Ideally you want 2, even 3 gramils for most efficiency otherwise you will spend a bit too much time constantly resetting the depth and width of cut.  The gramil blades especially must be monster sharp for the final passes in the soundboard so revisits to the sharpening spot are needed.   The router plane is extremely useful for making the depths even in an accurate and safe way, especially when you don’t want to cut the soundboard all the way down and use the lining as reference.  I will also use a large chisel, slightly modified to sit flat on the soundboard, for trimming the extra height, also several planes tuned for fine no tearout cuts, and finaly scrapers.

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