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SJE-Guitars

Router Fretboard Radiusing Bits - Anyone Interested?

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OK - after a trip to NY and post-travel cramming at work, finally a day off to test the 12" bit. :D

The bit's shaft had a bit of a hard time getting into the 1/2" collect of the router in my router table - I had to use a rubber hammer to get it in - admittedly it is the tightest of the three 1/2" router collets I have, and the bit fits into the other two collets no problem, but I have not had this issue arise before. The shaft on this bit is 0.505" while all the other shafts on my 1/2" bits are 0.485 to 0.490 - so that is something to pay attention to when machining the next batch of bits.

I used it to mill a bocote fretboard - it cut like a champ, nice smooth cut. Like my other bits, it left a small flat spot down the center ~1cm wide and this gets knocked down by sanding. The radius on the cut board, before sanding down the flat spot, is very close to 12" as the photos show.

10" radius gauge

12bit2.jpg

12" radius gauge showing the high flat spot

12bit3.jpg

14" radius gauge

12bit4.jpg

Here is the result after ~5 minutes with a 12" radius sanding block.

12bit6.jpg

So it is working quite nicely - just make the shaft at 0.485" and it will be perfect! :D

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Thanks for that - essentially the result I was expecting! :D

Yes the shank was very slightly large for some reason on that bit - all the other bits I've had from the shop and all have been perfect.

For those wondering shank size is can made to fit your router - like I say about the 8mm shank it'll cost a bit more due to the extra work in milling the shanks to size.

In terms of 1/4" in my opinion due to the size of the bit (over 2" long) you really wouldn't want a 1/4" shank - I'd highly expect it to shear.

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Steve I will definately be in for a 12" radius for my 1st one then when I have recieved it I can check and order others. Do you have PayPal ?? what would postage and packing be to here in the UK ?? can't wait to hear the reviews.

I sure do have Paypal. P&P to the UK I estimate will be about the $5 mark - when I've sent small things to the UK before this is what it's cost - once I have it and know the packed weight I'll also go down to the Post Office and get accurate quotes for shipping. I will also get DHL quotes as some people might want them quick and also DHL here isn't rediculously expensive as in Europe.

Watch this space for reviews. I've got erikbojeriks shipping address so once I've had a good play with it got plenty of pictures I'll ship it over and let erikbojerik give his experienced opinion on it! :) Once all is okay'd then I'll be taking orders and Laz no worry you'll be at the top of the list! :)

Cheers!

Hi, SJE Guitars, or anybody that can help me contact SJE. I have bought 2 of your radius router bits a while back and I'd like to purchase a few more.

I noticed SJE has not posted here in years and all I can not find "classifieds" or any way to cantact SJE. If they are not going to see this message, somebody please let me know what SJE's email address is.

My email is Buzzy1959@comcast.net

TIA

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Sorry man - I just searched my email (I've saved all my email since 1994....) and it looks like I communicated with this guy only through the forum.

Whiteside and Wolf Tool Technologies are two places that I know of that will make you a custom-order router bit like these - for a price. Let me know if you want to pursue that and I might be able to find the drawings for the ones I had made.

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Since this post I been looking into other ways to use a router which would not require a special bit, and I am kin to using my overarm table pin router since I have one. I did not get any replies thru email about the router bit but thanks for the reply here. I think that I might end up making a jig that will rock the board at the desired 12" radius like the one in a video on youtube, that way I can use just about any router bit (cool).

The first 3 or 4 fretboards I radiused were done using radius sanding blocks, which I soon realized was not working but I had no idea it could be done (or a great part of it) with a router.

The radius bit I had did lob off allot of the work but also left much to do with radius sanding blocks, so the bit was not really that great after all, I think the jig for using a pin router will be worth whatever it takes.

Yes, custom made router bits can be ordered but wow, the price will really be high from some ads I saw on websites. You got to factor in that the bit will eventually wear out, and as fretboard wood is allways hard, that wouldn't be the choice of anybody with price concerns. Now I'm starting to understand why there was not more enthusiasm for these bits and why there is not any on the market.

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I might well give this a bump upto the top - as per my other thread.

Feel free to merge the threads, if required. :o)

I am just waiting for the test bits to be provided - I'll be doing the same kind of tests etc as Erik did for the last ones.

I have high hopes these will be even better - also they'll be C4+ carbide which is one of the hardest carbide for working with the hardest woods.

Will update once I have the samples.

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