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Home : Trade Secrets Archive : Issue 3, Cut binding strips with an upside down Dremel tool
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Photo: Don MacRostie
Cartoon: Possum
The easy way to make custom bindings: use a Dremel tool upside down!

If you’re bending a bunch of bindings, here’s a way to do the job fast: Instead of heating and bending individual strips of binding, it’s much easier to bend one wide board — then cut that board into thin strips.

So far so good, but how are you going to slice up that board? It would be crazy to try cutting a guitar-shaped board into 1/4" strips on a bandsaw! The answer is this trick I cooked up with our Precision Router Base:
Dan Erlewine Don MacRostie, November 9, 2006
Mount our Precision Router Base upside down
to make a micro-tablesaw to cut custom bindings

Banner: Fast shipping!

Photo: Precision Router Base fence
Mount a Dremel tool in our Precision Router Base, which is screwed to a board, bottom-side-up. This is held firmly in a vise, and two spring clamps hold a simple wooden fence on it. I used a little Dremel rotary saw blade to do the cutting.
Photo: Precision Router Base saw
Strip cutter
Dan Erlewine brought me this maple board that he'd bent to match a “Flying-V” guitar shape (that was in a previous Trade Secret). The curved edges of these bent maple pieces are feeding neatly into the saw, producing a perfect cut around all the bends.
Photo: Bent binding examples
Uniform strips of binding, all bent to the same shape
I easily got 4 pieces from this one board, and they’re all bent to exactly the same curve!

If you’ve never used a bending iron, stay tuned! We’ll cover bending in an upcoming issue of Trade Secrets.

Problem-solving products mentioned above:
Precision Router Base Dremel 4000 Rotary Tool Outfit Bending Iron
Precision Router Base
Designed especially for stringed instrument work.
• Compact, sturdy
• Excellent control
• Easy installation
Dremel 4000 Rotary Tool Outfit
Versatile high performance rotary tool for precision small-scale inlaying, polishing, grinding, routing and more.
Bending Iron
Controlled heat bending form for guitar, mandolin, violin and dulcimer sides.
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