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mistermikev

How do you cut your f-hole? What bit?

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currently my best solution is a dremel bit that has a 1/16 cutting head that graduates to a 1/8" shank... just enough room to ride the shank and cut.  All the straight shank bits I have will end up cutting my template a little bit.  I don't want to build a pin router.  Don't want to hand cut my f hole as that would undoubtedly be a disaster.  I may have asked this before, but have not settled in on a method yet.  Just wondering - how do you do it?  if you use a router - what bit are you using?

thanks in advance for your advice!

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wow, I have a hard enough time just doing my template, then flipping it so that it's symetrical!  Even that I have to do 2x to get it right!  Good for you tho!  thanks!

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I do make a pattern to trace onto the wood, but then it's drill bits for the ends and a jig saw and files, presuming the F-holes are cut before the top is glued on.

For what it's worth, I've only done two tops this way, a mandolin and a dulcimer. My solid body F-holes tend to be carved all the way through.:)

SR

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41 minutes ago, ScottR said:

I do make a pattern to trace onto the wood, but then it's drill bits for the ends and a jig saw and files, presuming the F-holes are cut before the top is glued on.

For what it's worth, I've only done two tops this way, a mandolin and a dulcimer. My solid body F-holes tend to be carved all the way through.:)

SR

This suggests to me I just need to get better at the way I'm currently doing it.  No matter what I am going to have to do touch up to get sharp points... just like to keep that to a minimum as that is generally where it all goes sideways for me! 

If only whiteside made dremel bits!

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I've been doing a bit of research into this as I want to tackle at the very least a semi hollow this year. 

I figured if you're putting an F hole into a flat top like a thinline tele, it would be fairly straight forward to use a router table, put the template on the top, drill through a section into middle to get the bit through and use the smallest router bit you can find with a top bearing. Then use jewellers files to get in to the tight stops the bit wont reach, or better still a sharp bladed tool like a knife or scalpel to cut the sharp edges. I've got a set of miniature scrapers from Crimson Guitars that would fit in the tight spots.

With a carve top, which is what I'm more interested in. I think the best option is to carve the top first, off the guitar, Cut the f hole with a coping saw, files, blades etc. But I'm sure glueing and clamping an already carved arch top would be it's own challenge.

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5 hours ago, ADFinlayson said:

But I'm sure glueing and clamping an already carved arch top would be it's own challenge.

This is where violin (bobbin) clamps are priceless.

SR

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On 1/5/2019 at 4:17 AM, ADFinlayson said:

I've been doing a bit of research into this as I want to tackle at the very least a semi hollow this year. 

I figured if you're putting an F hole into a flat top like a thinline tele, it would be fairly straight forward to use a router table, put the template on the top, drill through a section into middle to get the bit through and use the smallest router bit you can find with a top bearing. Then use jewellers files to get in to the tight stops the bit wont reach, or better still a sharp bladed tool like a knife or scalpel to cut the sharp edges. I've got a set of miniature scrapers from Crimson Guitars that would fit in the tight spots.

With a carve top, which is what I'm more interested in. I think the best option is to carve the top first, off the guitar, Cut the f hole with a coping saw, files, blades etc. But I'm sure glueing and clamping an already carved arch top would be it's own challenge.

thank you for the response.  For me, I really want to avoid as much hand tooling as possible as it is def an achilles heal (spelling?).  My current methodology is to make the template 1/16 too big and use a dremel bit that tapers from 1/8 to 1/16.  This in theory would mean only removing 1/16 in the corners with hand tools... but the big problem is this bit is pretty short - there isn't might straight area to ride on, and it can only cut a max of 1/4 depth.  Perhaps I should start with a full size router and bit then use this for the last amount... but the template is 1/8 large (danger)!  all my graduated 1/4" shank bits don't really have much of a shank that doesn't have an edge.  so my template gets eaten up.  really need a 1/4 shank bit with 1/16 cutting edge that has a FLAT shank - no edge in the shank area!  all the online pics show them that way... but if you turn the bit you see there is tooling going up to the last 1/2" of the shank (and I need that part IN my collet).

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I would still be inclined to hand cut it. I remember a similar quandary when I needed to cut a blade switch slot into a carved top. I asked for advice one of the the facebook groups and advice was heavily in favour of using a template and a dremel router, but it wasn't an option given that I didn't have the required tools. So I did it by hand but I did a practice one first on some scrap maple. Turned out much better than I could have. I treated it like an inlay, cutting the outline with a scalpel then carefully removing material with a chisel. Then I routed the underside of to give a clean finish with no tear out. No reason why you couldn't use the same technique.

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well there is 1 reason I can think of... it would probably take me forever! ;)  I used a dremel and 1/16 bit to cut my 5 way slot on a rear rout recently... just built a simple jig that would allow the dremel to slide back and forth.  I s'pose we all work best recognizing our own comfort zones.

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yeah true, and don't get me wrong, if I had a dremel, a base for it and small router bits then I would go down the router/jig route for the blade switch. But we're talking about a £200 outlay for a blade switch or half an hour with a scalpel and a chisel. One of the main reasons I'm in favour of hand tools at the moment is mainly down to the space I've got to work with. My garage is starting to get seriously cluttered, I need to spend a hole weekend just sorting that out. A job that I know I need to do, but when weighing up the options, tidy garage and build another tool wall or carry on building this guitar, it's hard to tidy the garage 😁

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2 minutes ago, ADFinlayson said:

yeah true, and don't get me wrong, if I had a dremel, a base for it and small router bits then I would go down the router/jig route for the blade switch. But we're talking about a £200 outlay for a blade switch or half an hour with a scalpel and a chisel. One of the main reasons I'm in favour of hand tools at the moment is mainly down to the space I've got to work with. My garage is starting to get seriously cluttered, I need to spend a hole weekend just sorting that out. A job that I know I need to do, but when weighing up the options, tidy garage and build another tool wall or carry on building this guitar, it's hard to tidy the garage 😁

hehe, we think a lot alike.  I have a single 6' bench.  every time I want to use the chop saw or spindle sander I have to lift either up off the floor.  Have ideas of 3 6' benches - one with a flip up top so I could store the chopsaw/spindle sander on a shelf... Keep dreaming about it... but then spend all my time building new templates for my next build cause that's a whole lot more fun!

 

 

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Yeah, I built a second bench for the same reason, lack of workable space on the existing bench, but now both benches are full and there is still no room to work other than on my workmate 😂

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1 hour ago, ADFinlayson said:

tidy garage and build another tool wall or carry on building this guitar, it's hard to tidy the garage 😁

I resemble that remark.

SR

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3 hours ago, ADFinlayson said:

There you go, I've liked it for you

thank you sir.  I like your post as well!  PS: anyone have some 'likes' they can spare?  apparently I go through them like candy.  always running out!

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1 hour ago, ADFinlayson said:

I'm new to the forum and clearly a bit naive, are members granted a finite amount of likes? 

well, yes and no.  it is (apparently) based on your session.  threw me off because the message is "you don't have any more available likes for TODAY"... and I was like but.... but.... logged out and back in and voilla.  I'm liking things left and right.  I should probably recycle my session more often... but I leave myself logged in all the time and apparently there is no automagic timeout (hello hackers!)!

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I’ve done two Thinline Tele styles, one with a traditional f-hole and one with a deer footprint. Both where done by hand. Drilled out the bulk of the waste, I used a Drexel with a 1/8” router bit to get closer to the outlines and from there jewelers files and sandpaper on small sticks. It wasn’t the fastest, but I could fine tune as I went. 

I understand trying to work around the weak points in your skill set, but unless you work on them they will always be your weak point. Don’t rush it, take your time and do some practice runs on scrap first.

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On 2/16/2019 at 8:32 PM, ihocky2 said:

I’ve done two Thinline Tele styles, one with a traditional f-hole and one with a deer footprint. Both where done by hand. Drilled out the bulk of the waste, I used a Drexel with a 1/8” router bit to get closer to the outlines and from there jewelers files and sandpaper on small sticks. It wasn’t the fastest, but I could fine tune as I went. 

I understand trying to work around the weak points in your skill set, but unless you work on them they will always be your weak point. Don’t rush it, take your time and do some practice runs on scrap first.

missed this a while back... thank you for your advice!

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