Editor’s Note: I came across kathy Matsushita‘s router jig site and had to share it with everyone in its entirety – please visit her site and look at the tools she’s engineered for herself for making guitars. She’s used UHMW for tracing the router along the edge of a guitar – probably because it has one of the lowest coefficient of friction of any plastic and won’t leave marks.
My Binding Router Jig!!!
Summer 2004 . . . . The credit for this jig goes entirely to Don Williams, who has posted detailed instructions for building and using this jig for routing the binding and purfling ledges of a guitar, using a laminate trimmer. Up to this point, I have been using a Dremel tool with Stew-Mac’s binding attachment to rout all my binding ledges. That worked, but I have always intended to “graduate” to using a more substantial tool for the task. For some reason, I didn’t like the idea of moving the guitar body under the more traditional stationary binding router jig. I felt more comfortable with the idea of moving the router around the body, instead. So, when I saw Don Williams’ version of Harry Fleishman’s original idea (using a pivoting arm and parallelogram — here’s a photo of Harry’s jig as used by a student in Harry’s luthier class), I quickly latched onto it. I built it over several weekends.
The jig uses a 12″ lazy susan underneath the base, 22″ heavy-duty drawer slides, and a parallelogram. This set-up allows you to move the laminate trimmer in virtually any direction and height, always keeping the trimmer perpendicular to the table. You set the guitar body in the cradle, adjusting it so that all sides of the body are perpendicular to the table. The jig’s base is screwed into the workbench.
Here’s the resulting cut, on some scrap plywood I had sitting around. The jig worked very smoothly, and the cuts were nice and clean and consistent!!!
To the left: This is a disc made of UHMW polyethylene. The 3/16″ “donut” ring in the center is what rides on the rim of the guitar body as you rout out the ledges. I will be using the LMI 1″ cutter bit and bearing set with this ji