Why fingerboard binding?

Siamese

Member
Joined
Jul 20, 2019
Messages
55
Reaction score
48
Is it purely aesthetic, or does it serve a function?

Personally, I like the look of a Gibson without it. My SG 61 reissue has it, and it doesn't bother me, but I could live without it.

To what extent does binding make replacing frets more difficult/expensive?
 

Go Nigel Go

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 12, 2020
Messages
776
Reaction score
661
Binding is aesthetic, you won't gain or loose any functionality with or without it. It is slightly more involved to replace frets on a guitar with binding, but an experienced Luthier will not recommend against binding or be put out if you bring him/her a guitar with binding for fret work. It will just add a few steps to the process, along with probably a nominal increase in prices to cover the additional time involved. I would be surprised if the price difference was more than 10%, but I can't speak from experience.
 

MR D

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 9, 2021
Messages
1,030
Reaction score
474
Location
RIKER'S ISLAND,NYC
Is it purely aesthetic, or does it serve a function?

Personally, I like the look of a Gibson without it. My SG 61 reissue has it, and it doesn't bother me, but I could live without it.

To what extent does binding make replacing frets more difficult/expensive?
if the binding has a function, IDK WTF it is ? Outside of looking good...And its not a big deal but the 'Nibs' have to be chopped off after you take out the frets being replaced.Just make a nice level CHOP when doing that. On a GIBSON its usually a way to tell if the Guitar has original frets ....or not....although I have seen brand new GIBSON's that had the Neck Binding under the frets, as in,,,, 'Look Ma, NO NIBS !......' ! So its not a 100% sure fire proof way to tell, but the number of GIBSON guitars I have seen like that? NEW ?...... are few and far between...maybe two ! I REMEMBER A REALLY SWEET SG HP from 2017 that went back to Nashville coz the contraption on the back of the headstock made it neck dive to the floor, THE G-FARCE THING..POS ! The binding was under the Frets and it was spanking new !
 

An Abiding Dude

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 25, 2021
Messages
383
Reaction score
399
Is it purely aesthetic, or does it serve a function?

Personally, I like the look of a Gibson without it. My SG 61 reissue has it, and it doesn't bother me, but I could live without it.

To what extent does binding make replacing frets more difficult/expensive?
The only function I can imagine is that it eliminates the need for finely detailed fret dressing along the edge of the neck, which, to do right, takes time and expertise. Instead, just cover 'em up with a dash of plastic and you're good to go.
 

AngelDeVille

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 30, 2017
Messages
1,500
Reaction score
1,859
It looks nice, that said I don’t have many geetars with it.
 

Colnago

Active Member
Joined
Jun 4, 2018
Messages
200
Reaction score
186
Binding serves as protection for the edges of the instrument. A bound body doesn’t get dents as easily as an unbound one, same as a fingerboard.
That was the initial intent of it anyways.
Plus, it looks pretty.
 

PermissionToLand

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 28, 2013
Messages
2,710
Reaction score
2,289
Basically, it just prevents the ends of the fret tangs from sticking out with changes in humidity.

origin.jpg


I had a Strat copy where the ends were filled in with little wood shims, which was quite a nice touch for a cheap guitar.

full
 

Norton

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 3, 2013
Messages
1,153
Reaction score
604
Location
Minneapolis
Doesn't Gibson fret their necks THEN bind them?? That would eliminate the fret end dressing/filing step. which is how the whole binding nibs thing ever happened.

On a large scale of Mfg and with jigs/workstations etc. it's got to be quicker and easier to cut the binding than to spend time on each fret end.

At the extreme, you could look at neck binding as an extension of purfling which does add strength to a delicate edge. A fretboard bumper of sorts????🤷‍♀️🤷‍♂️🤷‍♀️🤷‍♂️

I just like the look of it. 🤘🤘🤘
 

Bob Womack

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 27, 2017
Messages
238
Reaction score
353
Location
Virginia, USA
There are three basic methods of installling frets: unbound, bound, and pocket frets. Bound necks are almost always smoother feeling than unbound necks. Pocket fretted necks feel about the same as bound necks. A pocket fretted neck has slots in the fingerboard that end before the edge of the fingerboard. The builder has to nip a bit of the tang off the fret so that the tang will fit in the abbreviate slot. That leaves a smooth edge along the fingerboard. You can see those on the Martin 28 series (OM-28, 000-28. D-28, etc.).

Bob
 


Latest posts

Top