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Artemis Custom Guitars

Guitar Binding

Many people think that binding is simply a decorative feature, something to dress up the guitar and visually frame it. Binding definitely does do that, but it has a more important function: it protects the delicate and vulnerable edges of the top and back of the body.

Most guitars get bumped at least a few times, especially around the edges of the body. A hard bump may cause the finish entirely cracked or chipped off. If there is no binding around the body, the cracked or worn out finish will then leave that part of the top or back exposed to the air. Except at the very widest dimensions of the upper and lower bouts, the grain lines terminate at the edges of the body, so wherever a chip might occur in the finish, "end grain" is left exposed.  The concern every guitar owner should be aware of is that moisture is released and absorbed 5 to 10 times faster at the end grain as it is anywhere else in the wood. All of the wood in the guitar will absorb or release moisture as environmental conditions change, but it will happen at a much faster rate wherever end grain might be exposed. This creates areas of stress in the plate and can result in devastating cracks. Having binding around the body helps to seal the end grain and decreases the chances of developing a post-traumatic crack in the top or back.

Bindings and purflings are commonly made of either wood or plastic. (Purflings are the lines inside of the binding; they are for ornamental purpose only.) 

Available Binding Materials



Binding comes in basically two styles. Natural binding or inlaid binding. Natural binding is to mask the edge of the top of the body prior to and during the course of finishing in order preventing the dye, stain or paint from adhering to the edge of the top; thereby the natural grain of the wood will show off at the edge. The more beautiful the wood grain is, the more beautiful the natural binding will be.

Natural Wood Binding
Ebony Wood Binding


Inlaid binding is just that. It is routed, inlaid, and glued into the wood at the point of where the top meets the back, or the edge of the back, or both. A wide variety of materials including wood, plastic, metals, pearl or abalone can be used, depending on body style and contours. You also have the options of either single or multiple ply of inlaid binding depending on the materials used.

As with other options, pricing depends on body style, materials to be used as binding, position (top only, back only, or both), number of plies, and the dimensions (height, width, thickness).

Vintage 5 Ply Guitar Body Binding

Price: $40 per side


Abalone Guitar Body Binding Inlays

Price: $45 per side



Ivory Guitar Body & Neck Binding

Price: $35 per side, $35 for a neck


Black Binding

 Price: $35 per side on body


Paul Gilbert Fireman w/ Black Binding

Price List: $500 - $1000


$35 for a neck

White Binding

Price: $35 per side on body


Tom Morello Soul Power Guitar w/ White Binding

Price List: $500- $1000


$35 for a neck

Not all bindings are list here, contact us for more information if you are not sure.