Installing the Maple Binding

Routing the stepped channels around the perimeter of the body originally seemed like a pretty intimidating task. Essentially, any slip of the router or major mistake here, and it would likely be fairly noticeable in the end. Using a Dremel and sharp rabbet bit, here's what the initial pass looked like up close:

The next photo shows the "stepped" ledge needed to receive both the outer maple binding, and the inner black/white/black purfling strip:

Because of a combination of the arched surface of the back, my less-than-amazing router base, and my equally less-than-amazing router skills, the depths of my cuts varied along the permiter of the guitar, and in some cases, the stepping effect disappeared completely. To remedy this situation, I ordered a hand held Purfling Cutter from StewMac. This tool is essentially a razer blade fixed in a handle with a side guide--but it has virtually zero surface area, unlike a router base, so when guided along the edge it makes a score line of perfect depth. I used this to clean up and widen my routed channels, and in the end, the routed ledges turned out nearly perfectly.

Below is a photo of the maple binding and the b/w/b/ purfling strips taped in place, prior to glueing.
Essentially, I fitted and trimmed them all, taped them tightly in place, and then went around a couple inches at a time and wicked CA superglue into the gaps, then pressed firmly for about 30 seconds. This method ensured a nearly gap-free installation, and was much less stressfull / hurried than trying to do it all in one pass with wood glue.

Below is a photo of the glue in place binding, before scraping flush to the guitar body.
Another up close shot of the oversized binding protruding above the body. I realized after scraping the binding flush that I had not routed by channels deep enough in both directions, an thus wound up removing much more binding material than I had wanted too from an asethtic perspective. It turned out fine, however.

I also wicked glue into the gaps along the sides:

Here's the glues and bound back, before scraping: