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Stewart-MacDonald Super Glues Product Instructions I-5180
Stewart-MacDonald Super Glues
An explanation of the characteristics and applications of different instant adhesives.
Inside Story on Instant Adhesives Product Instructions A-INSTANTADHESIVES
Inside Story on Instant Adhesives
Dan Erlewine explains the ins and outs of working with instant adhesives and "super" glues.
ColorTone Liquid Pigments for Waterbase Lacquer Product Instructions I-5360
ColorTone Liquid Pigments for Waterbase Lacquer
Directions for using ColorTone Liquid Pigments for Waterbase Lacquer.
F5 Mandolin Binding Laminations Product Instructions A-F5BINDING
F5 Mandolin Binding Laminations
An explanation of the multiple black and white binding layers on an F5 mandolin.
How to Install Bindings Product Instructions A-BINDINGS
How to Install Bindings
Overview of binding, purfling, and other instrument trim, including binding recommendations and installation techniques.
Watch the Trade Secrets Video, A kitchen cutting board makes a great binding jig!
Online video available
Trade Secrets! Issue 195 July 18, 2013
A kitchen cutting board makes a great binding jig!
Dan Erlewine modifies a plastic cutting board from Walmart to solve a guitar binding problem. He needs four matching pieces of black-white-black binding, and he shows a clever trick for doing this. From the free Trade Secrets newsletter at stewmac.com
Purfling/Soundhole Router Guide Instructions Product Instructions I-4407
Purfling/Soundhole Router Guide Instructions
Set up instructions for the Purfling/Soundhole Router Guide.
Watch the Trade Secrets Video, Black Ice
Online video available
Video
Black Ice
Guitar demo using the Black Ice.
Precision Router Base and Edge Guide Product Instructions I-5260
Precision Router Base and Edge Guide
How to assemble and use the Precision Router Base and Edge Guide.
Dan Erlewine's Facebook fretless bass Trade Secrets! Issue 139 May 12, 2011
Dan Erlewine's Facebook fretless bass
Dan Erlewine's been posting photos on Facebook, creating this photo story on how to convert a fretted bass to fretless. It's a Trade Secrets story and it's on Facebook too!
Black Ice Wiring Diagrams Product Instructions I-6065
Black Ice Wiring Diagrams
Manufacturer's installation instructions.
Railhammer Humbucking Pickups Product Instructions I-RAILHAMMER
Railhammer Humbucking Pickups
Wiring diagrams and color codes for Railhammer Humbucking pickups.
Wiring for Lawrence Research Humbucking Pickups Product Instructions I-1624
Wiring for Lawrence Research Humbucking Pickups
Wiring diagrams and color codes for Lawrence Research Humbucking pickups.
Wiring Kit for LP & SG Juniors Product Instructions I-1800
Wiring Kit for LP & SG Juniors
A basic wiring diagram for use with the LP& SG Junior wiring kit.
3-way CRL Lever Switch Product Instructions I-2000
3-way CRL Lever Switch
Installation and wiring diagrams for the 3-way CRL Lever Switch.
5-way CRL Lever Switch Product Instructions I-2001
5-way CRL Lever Switch
Installation and wiring instructions for the 5-way CRL Lever Switch.
3-way Lever-action Switch Product Instructions I-3191
3-way Lever-action Switch
Installation and wiring instructions for the 3-way Lever-action Switch.
5-way Lever-action Switch Product Instructions I-3192
5-way Lever-action Switch
Installation and wiring instructions for the 5-way Lever-action Switch.
Barden Humbucking Pickups Product Instructions I-BARDEN
Barden Humbucking Pickups
Wiring diagrams and color codes for Barden Humbucking pickups.
DiMarzio Humbucking Pickups Product Instructions I-DIMARZIO
DiMarzio Humbucking Pickups
Wiring diagrams and color codes for DiMarzio Humbucking pickups.
Seymour Duncan Humbucking Pickups Product Instructions I-DUNCAN
Seymour Duncan Humbucking Pickups
Wiring diagrams and color codes for Seymour Duncan Humbucking pickups.
Lindy Fralin Humbucking Pickups Product Instructions I-FRALIN
Lindy Fralin Humbucking Pickups
Wiring diagrams and color codes for Lindy Fralin Humbucking pickups.
Gibson Humbucking Pickups Product Instructions I-GIBSON
Gibson Humbucking Pickups
Wiring diagrams and color codes for Gibson Humbucking pickups.
Gotoh Humbucking Pickups Product Instructions I-GOTOH
Gotoh Humbucking Pickups
Wiring diagrams and color codes for Gotoh Humbucking pickups.
Lawrence Research Humbucking Pickups Product Instructions I-LAWRENCE
Lawrence Research Humbucking Pickups
Wiring diagrams and color codes for Lawrence Research Humbucking pickups.
PRS Humbucking Pickups Product Instructions I-PRS
PRS Humbucking Pickups
Wiring diagrams and color codes for PRS Humbucking pickups.
WD/Kent Armstrong Humbucking Pickups Product Instructions I-ARMSTRONG
WD/Kent Armstrong Humbucking Pickups
Wiring diagrams and color codes for WD/ Kent Armstrong Humbucking pickups.
Benedetto Humbucking Pickups Product Instructions I-BENEDETTO
Benedetto Humbucking Pickups
Wiring diagrams and color codes for Benedetto Humbucking pickups.
Golden Age Humbucker Color Codes Product Instructions I-GOLDENAGE
Golden Age Humbucker Color Codes
Wiring diagrams and color codes for Golden Age Humbucking pickups.
For ebony streaks, use black fingerboard stain Trade Secrets! Issue 46 October 18, 2007
For ebony streaks, use black fingerboard stain
Erick Coleman shows why black fingerboard stain is a standard item in any guitarmaker's shop, including the big name builders.
Watch the Trade Secrets Video, Rare black Dan Armstrong bass: fretboard repair
Online video available
Trade Secrets! Issue 183 January 31, 2013
Rare black Dan Armstrong bass: fretboard repair
Dan Erlewine's working on a black lucite Dan Armstrong bass -- one of only eight that Ampeg ever made. The fretboard has a nasty crunch. Step-by-step, Dan details how he does this tricky fix.
How much purfling? Product Instructions A-PURFLING
How much purfling?
A handy chart for determining how much purfling is needed for the specific parts of dreadnought and 000-style acoustic guitars.
Watch the Trade Secrets Video, How to make a custom wood pickguard
Online video available
Trade Secrets! Issue 265 June 30, 2016
How to make a custom wood pickguard
Dan Erlewine made a black walnut guitar for Jerry Garcia in 1970. Recently a Grateful Dead fan asked Dan to make a replica of that guitar. In this Trade Secret, Dan shows how he made the pickguard out of laminated wood veneers.
Watch the Trade Secrets Video, Dunlop Straplok System Video
Online video available
Video
Dunlop Straplok System Video
A case-hardened system for safe, secure strap attachment.
Watch the Trade Secrets Video, The EarthQuaker Devices White Light pedal kit lets you build your own!
Online video available
Video
The EarthQuaker Devices White Light pedal kit lets you build your own!
StewMac has partnered with boutique pedal maker EarthQuaker Devices to create a line of DIY kits—replicas of discontinued pedals that are now out of production.
Hands-on with Laser-Cut Wood Bindings Product Instructions A-2043
Hands-on with Laser-Cut Wood Bindings
Luthier Tom Bills provides his hands-on review and tips for using our Laser-Cut Wood Binding Sets.
MacRostie Binding Trimmer Instructions Product Instructions I-2400
MacRostie Binding Trimmer Instructions
Assembly and operation instructions for the MacRostie Binding Trimmer.
Binding Laminator Instructions Product Instructions I-4200
Binding Laminator Instructions
The Binding Laminator presses multiple pieces of binding material together, so that acetone can bond them.
Cut binding strips with an <em>upside down</em> Dremel tool Trade Secrets! Issue 3 November 09, 2006
Cut binding strips with an upside down Dremel tool
In this week's issue, Don MacRostie shows Dan Erlewine a neat trick for making custom wood bindings: using an upside-down Dremel tool.
Watch the Trade Secrets Video, Making a glue scraper/saw
Online video available
Trade Secrets! Issue 209 January 30, 2014
Making a glue scraper/saw
Dan Erlewine went to the Columbus Guitar Show to sell some fixer-uppers. Nobody bought this beautiful 1930s Kay Deluxe; its neck joint problem must have seemed like too much work. The guitar came back home and volunteered for this Trade Secret about making a tiny saw for cleaning old glue joints!
Watch the Trade Secrets Video, Neat trick for peghead binding (tiger inlay)
Online video available
Trade Secrets! Issue 227 October 09, 2014
Neat trick for peghead binding (tiger inlay)
Dan Erlewine’s building a guitar for a tattoo artist. It’s solid black walnut, with a fancy peghead inlay: a tiger image drawn by the customer.

In this Trade Secret, Dan tells about that inlay and shares a neat trick for exactly sizing the binding that goes around the peghead.
StewMac Plunge Router Base Instructions Product Instructions I-5806
StewMac Plunge Router Base Instructions
Operation instructions
StewMac Tilt Router Base Instructions Product Instructions I-5900
StewMac Tilt Router Base Instructions
A pivoting, height adjustable, compact attachment for your Dremel.
TrueChannel Routing Jig Product Instructions I-5993
TrueChannel Routing Jig
Assembly instructions for our TrueChannel Routing Jig.
Making a perfect bridge with the Sanding Station Trade Secrets! Issue 24 April 05, 2007
Making a perfect bridge with the Sanding Station
Dan Erlewine's getting fancy with his Sanding Station: with his shop-made jig, he's making better bridges than he ever has before.
&quot;Which binding tools should I choose?&quot; Trade Secrets! Issue 71 October 02, 2008
"Which binding tools should I choose?"
Erick Coleman answers a frequent question from customers: Which tools to use for routing channels for instrument bindings?
Watch the Trade Secrets Video, Homemade dust collector
Online video available
Trade Secrets! Issue 222 July 31, 2014
Homemade dust collector
Dan Erlewine's homemade dust collection system: Dan used to go outdoors to trim binding, because without dust collection the job got really messy. That’s all changed now: Dan's homemade dust collection system is a simple plastic storage bucket turned into a downdraft routing table!
Watch the Trade Secrets Video, Easy binding repair on a Martin D-35
Online video available
Trade Secrets! Issue 253 November 19, 2015
Easy binding repair on a Martin D-35
This fretboard binding caught on somebody’s sweater. The missing piece was never found, and the guitar is in Dan Erlewine’s shop for repair. This kind of quick fix is familiar to guitar shops everywhere!
Binding a mandolin pickguard Product Instructions A-BINDINGAPICKGUARD
Binding a mandolin pickguard
Don MacRostie of Red Diamond mandolins explains the steps of binding a mandolin pickguard.
How to sharpen a scraper Product Instructions I-3416
How to sharpen a scraper
How to burnish and sharpen a scraper.
Binding and fretting a Red Diamond mandolin fingerboard Trade Secrets! Issue 49 November 29, 2007
Binding and fretting a Red Diamond mandolin fingerboard
Don MacRostie shows us his methods for fingerboard binding and fretting on a Red Diamond vintage model mandolin.
How to bind a fretboard, Gibson-style Trade Secrets! Issue 131 January 20, 2011
How to bind a fretboard, Gibson-style
Erick Coleman's restoring a 1950s Les Paul, and returning the bound fretboard to its original condition. With small files and elbow grease, he shows how to create the fret-end "binding nibs" for that distinctive Gibson look.
Installing side dots with the help of plywood scraps Trade Secrets! Issue 140 May 26, 2011
Installing side dots with the help of plywood scraps
Dan Erlewine shows the easy way to install side dots in guitar neck binding. And he has some tips for using plywood scraps around your shop, too!
Watch the Trade Secrets Video, Binding repair on a '55 Gretsch Roundup
Online video available
Trade Secrets! Issue 188 April 11, 2013
Binding repair on a '55 Gretsch Roundup
A truss rod fix leads to a binding repair: Dan Erlewine has to remove the fingerboard from this great old cowboy guitar, and some of the red side dots disappear. He shows two techniques for replacing them.
Watch the Trade Secrets Video, Michael Greenfield shows how to sand guitar bodies
Online video available
Trade Secrets! Issue 205 December 05, 2013
Michael Greenfield shows how to sand guitar bodies
Michael Greenfield of Greenfield Guitars explains clearly why it's critical to have properly shaped and sanded guitar bodies before you rout them for binding. Michael shared this great Trade Secret with us during the 2013 Northwoods Seminar last August.
Watch the Trade Secrets Video, Making a sharp-edged razor file for binding channels
Online video available
Trade Secrets! Issue 207 January 02, 2014
Making a sharp-edged razor file for binding channels
Bad news: the binding on this old Gibson is crumbling to bits.
Worse news:that binding is the only thing holding the body together!
Dan Erlewine's plan is to replace the binding bit-by-bit, so the top doesn't fall off.

By grinding a new edge on a razor file, he creates a tool for cutting crisp square binding channels without a router.
Watch the Trade Secrets Video, Making custom guitar bindings when stock sizes don't fit
Online video available
Trade Secrets! Issue 211 February 27, 2014
Making custom guitar bindings when stock sizes don't fit
Replacing a section of this binding from the 1930s requires thicknesses that are no longer available. Dan Erlewine has to custom-size some new wood bindings on his drill press. It's not hard to do: watch the new pieces fit together like a jigsaw puzzle.
Dual Fret Scale Template Instructions Product Instructions I-4915
Dual Fret Scale Template Instructions
How to determine where to cut fret slots using the Dual Fret Scale Templates.
Watch the Trade Secrets Video, How Maegen Wells installs pickguard binding
Online video available
Trade Secrets! Issue 276 December 29, 2016
How Maegen Wells installs pickguard binding
StewMac visits guitar maker Maegen Wells of Forestville, California. Maegen’s specialty is building archtop acoustic guitars. Using a 1940s Gibson as an example, she shows how to create a beautifully bound tortoiseshell pickguard with black/white/black purflings.
Using Ball-bearing Cutter Bits for Guitar Routing Product Instructions I-0583
Using Ball-bearing Cutter Bits for Guitar Routing
Instructions for using Ball-bearing Cutter Bits for guitar routing.
StewMac Rosette Router Base Instructions Product Instructions I-0703
StewMac Rosette Router Base Instructions
Cuts soundholes and rosette channels that are clean, accurate and repeatable. For guitars and ukuleles.
Using the Binding Router Bit and Bearings Product Instructions I-1298
Using the Binding Router Bit and Bearings
Tips for routing binding ledges using the Binding Router Bit and Bearings, including how to choose the correct bearing, hand routing and using router tables.
Use your drill press as a planer to make custom bindings Trade Secrets! Issue 2 November 02, 2006
Use your drill press as a planer to make custom bindings
In Trade Secrets this week: Did you know you can plane wood on your drill press?
Making custom-colored patching filler baking soda Trade Secrets! Issue 82 March 05, 2009
Making custom-colored patching filler baking soda
Dan Erlewine's cooking with baking soda and ColorTone stains -- fixing a hole in his granddaughter's birthday present.
Watch the Trade Secrets Video, Scraping for sharp looking binding: here's how it's done!
Online video available
Trade Secrets! Issue 200 September 26, 2013
Scraping for sharp looking binding: here's how it's done!
The king of Gibson relic finishes: Tom Murphy is well known as Gibson's go-to guy for relic finishes: perfectly worn and age-cracked. Tom's business, Guitar Preservation, makes this a specialty. In this week's Trade Secret he shows us how to make and use a scraper for cleaning binding after spraying a sunburst.
Watch the Trade Secrets Video, Custom walnut bindings for an 1800s German guitar
Online video available
Trade Secrets! Issue 238 March 12, 2015
Custom walnut bindings for an 1800s German guitar
You’ve got to see this German guitar from the 1830s! Dan removed the back to repair it, and now he needs to duplicate the wood binding that’s nearly 200 years old. He shows how he started from a plank of walnut to create custom-sized wood binding strips.
Watch the Trade Secrets Video, Dan Erlewine: How to bend herringbone without breaking it
Online video available
Trade Secrets! Issue 282 March 23, 2017
Dan Erlewine: How to bend herringbone without breaking it
Fred Stuart, one of the original builders at the Fender Custom Shop, teaches Dan Erlewine how he bends herringbone purfling on the tight curves of a Telecaster without breaking it!
How to fix this guitar if my elbow's stuck in the soundhole? Trade Secrets! Issue 142 June 23, 2011
How to fix this guitar if my elbow's stuck in the soundhole?
Dan Erlewine needs to fix the inside of a classical guitar, but can't fit his arm through the soundhole. Thinking outside the box, he finds the solution to this puzzle!
Fiddle Kit Instructions Product Instructions I-5342
Fiddle Kit Instructions
Downloadable assembly instructions for the Fiddle Kit, including a recommended tool list.
EarthQuaker Pedal Kit Assembly Instructions Product Instructions I-2203
EarthQuaker Pedal Kit Assembly Instructions
Build your own high quality pedal from EarthQuaker and StewMac
Golden Age Humbucker Wiring Diagrams Product Instructions I-5400
Golden Age Humbucker Wiring Diagrams
Wiring diagrams and color codes for Golden Age Humbucking pickups.
Schaller Humbucking Pickups Product Instructions I-SCHALLER
Schaller Humbucking Pickups
Wiring diagrams and color codes for Schaller Humbucking pickups.