Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Detroit, MI, USA
Re: body binding question
I hope your luthier is very skilled with veneer. Most people think that veneer is a cheap and easy way to get a nice top, but it actually takes a lot of skill and technique to do it well -- much more skill than for a thicker top. Getting the top glued down without bubbles, without glue coming through the grain, keeping the finish from warping it back up, keeping the glue from blocking the finish in the first place, etc. The RG shape is one of the easiest to veneer, but a contoured top essentially requires a vacuum bag setup. And once you are done, a figured veneer will never have the depth and appearence of a thicker top. You are always better off with a solid top where possible. You CAN make a decent looking veneer top, but it isn't easy to do.
The veneer will never be thick enough to look anything like a binding on its own (less than 1/32"). You really need to hide the edge with binding. A painted binding would look bad. Just do it the right way -- route for a real binding and put it on -- natural or plastic, whatever you want. Either that or do a burst paint on the edges for a cheaper solution.