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Glue Options for Plastic Binding

Plastic binding remains popular. It offers a clean, traditional look, it is affordable, and there is no need to bend it like wood. Adhering plastic to wood requires special adhesives. Here are some pros and cons to each of the adhesives Luthiers Mercantile carries for this purpose.

Vinyl CementSome luthiers have been happy with commonly available types of vinyl adhesives such as Duco or Weld-on.  Apply to the binding channel and use our FT75 binding tape to ‘clamp’ the bindings snugly in place. On the negative side, it is very slippery and emits an unpleasant fume -and it cannot be sanded. Clean up any squeeze-out as you scrape the bindings flush.  Currently, these are only available in pint-sized containers.

FCA Contact AdhesiveThis glue was used for decades by a major electric guitar manufacturer before we began carrying it. It’s less slippery (slightly tackier) and far less “fumy” than the vinyl cement mentioned in the prior paragraph. It is more expensive and ships in a glass jar. Use our FTBS (1/4”) or FTB (3/8”) tin brushes to apply it or use our FGS glue syringe -just be sure to clean out the syringe promptly after use if you wish to re-use it. Available in 2 oz. and quart quantities.

Cyanoacrylate GluesUse either of the thin formulas we use, FGMGTFGMGUT, or FGHO. Rather than applying glue first and then clamping down with tape, you want to apply the fast-drying ‘super glues’ as you tape. No need to cover the entire channel as you go, just use enough to hold the binding firmly in place. Afterward, go around and ‘flood’ the entire joint. The thin formula glues will wick in between the binding and wood. If you are removing enough material, you can count on scraping the glue when you scrape the binding, but there is some concern about this glue penetrating some woods, so if you are not removing much wood/binding, then be sure and seal the wood with shellac prior to gluing. On the negative side, this method does expose you to irritating cyanoacrylate fumes, and if you are not careful, you run the risk of gluing a finger to your guitar, which might interfere with your lunch plans.