If I had to nominate one tool as the most crucial for luthiers I would nominate the lowly scraper. What a simple tool, a flat piece of steel sharpened to a slightly curled and very sharp edge. It planes, it cleans off glue accumulations, it trims up the binding edges, it leaves an almost perfect surface, It is the greatest and simplest of wood working tools. Here I am using it to pare the bindings down to level with the sides. Keep it sharp and it will be your best friend
Most scrapers are just thin flat pieces of steel with sharpened edges then curled with a steel to create a cutting edge. This is a fancy scraper sold by Stewart McDonald. I must say I am addicted to it. Very sharp, the edges have kept sharp for months now, Thick, easy to hold, a flat side, curved side, giving you many opportunities to use it in a variety of positions and locations. I will scrape all of these bindings down to the point where I can not detect a level difference with my fingers, Then sand it all down to at least 400 grit before the finish is applied.