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Urumiko

F Hole Templates

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Anyone Know where i can source Gibson style F hole templates in the uk? the only ones i can find are GW thinline acrylic templates.
If anyone out there is C&C happy and could print out a couple of diferent sizes for me, feel free to get in touch?

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Yep I bought a G&W one and it was no good, I really struggled to find one so I ended up Download a 335 plan and modding the shape in illustrator. If you want to use a template then stick the plan to some ply and make one, but I found that it’s really not difficult to cut it by hand after sticking the print out to the top. 

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2 hours ago, ADFinlayson said:

it’s really not difficult to cut it by hand after sticking the print out to the top

Or, as you've found out to be handy, lay some masking tape on the top and draw on it. For my current build I made a template out of a piece of cardboard and used it for drawing the outlines of the f-holes, obviously flipping the template upside down on the other side. The first f-hole I ever made was designed right on the maple top of the thinline T-type.

The most difficult thing with f-holes isn't the shape, it's locating. Drawing lines in an 90 deg angle to the center line marking the ends helps some, but the distance from the edge and the angle of the hole can be fiddly to get symmetrical. Again, the center line comes in handy: Using a protractor draw boxes where your f-holes will reside, including some margins. Then make a template to fit the boxes and you'll get them easily into the right place.

fholetemp.thumb.JPG.f7bf3766afe177aacdf4cc2c70e035a7.JPG

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I drilled out most of the material,  then I got my gouges as sharp as possible then gently cut slithers of maple away until I got to the the line, I used jewellers files in really tight areas.

When designing your F-hole, you will make your life a lot easier if you make the top and bottom ends round so you can drill them straight out. It's also a lot easier to carve prior to cutting the f-hole as there is a lot less material to get rid of for the f-hole.

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1 minute ago, ADFinlayson said:

I drilled out most of the material,  then I got my gouges as sharp as possible then gently cut slithers of maple away until I got to the the line, I used jewellers files in really tight areas.

When designing your F-hole, you will make your life a lot easier if you make the top and bottom ends round so you can drill them straight out. It's also a lot easier to carve prior to cutting the f-hole as there is a lot less material to get rid of for the f-hole.

Fair enough.. Yes ive got a G&W one in the post but im not sure i'd use it. and I think i prefer the round ended holes you suggest.
 

I was just nervous about being able to get clean lines. I dont have much to work with file wise. I can see how gouges might work.

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21 minutes ago, Urumiko said:

Fair enough.. Yes ive got a G&W one in the post but im not sure i'd use it. and I think i prefer the round ended holes you suggest.
 

I was just nervous about being able to get clean lines. I dont have much to work with file wise. I can see how gouges might work.

I have these jewellers files:

https://www.screwfix.com/p/magnusson-needle-file-set-5-3-pieces/4474v

I used them to do the awkward areas in the f-hole. I also use them to shape my inlays and even did my first fret job with them - Not bad for £7! They're getting a bit tired now but I've had them or 18 months and got 8 builds out of them. 

 

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5 hours ago, Urumiko said:

What tools did you guys use for cuting?

For the first one I drilled some holes and used a scroll saw for cutting the shape.

For the current one the scroll saw was broken so I did it the old fashioned way with a fret saw.

I'm not good with any saw so I had to leave quite a large margin to be filed off. Files are nice but a piece of sandpaper either rolled or folded can take you a long way.

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Cheers both. Yes I have a toolstation and screwfix new me to they tend to be my first port of call.

I may well get some of those needle files, I think they might actually be better for getting right in to the corners on fret jobs anyway vs the flat edged fretting files ive been using.

You know it never occured to me that in the absence of a scroll saw i could just use the manual equivalent, although if i was going to do it direct on the body as opposed to a template it would have to be a ruddy big saw.

In my head the desired aproach would be to opt for setting the routing table up as a kind of spindle sander and mill out the shape that way.
Although i must admit finding the right bits for my router or dremel is a pain. I noted in the current crimson "90h build" he's using a proxon to carve. This is very much what i wanted to do when tidying up the inside of my body and on future projects, but i found that the grinding bits i had clogged up instantly. Rotary burr bits exist, but he seems to use bits that look like grinding bits that dont clog... what gives?

Edited by Urumiko

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27 minutes ago, Urumiko said:

Cheers both. Yes I have a toolstation and screwfix new me to they tend to be my first port of call.

I may well get some of those needle files, I think they might actually be better for getting right in to the corners on fret jobs anyway vs the flat edged fretting files ive been using.

You know it never occured to me that in the absence of a scroll saw i could just use the manual equivalent, although if i was going to do it direct on the body as opposed to a template it would have to be a ruddy big saw.

In my head the desired aproach would be to opt for setting the routing table up as a kind of spindle sander and mill out the shape that way.
Although i must admit finding the right bits for my router or dremel is a pain. I noted in the current crimson "90h build" he's using a proxon to carve. This is very much what i wanted to do when tidying up the inside of my body and on future projects, but i found that the grinding bits i had clogged up instantly. Rotary burr bits exist, but he seems to use bits that look like grinding bits that dont clog... what gives?

Yeah I'm next to both too, usually what one doesn't have, the other does 👍

One thing I often do when cutting awkward shapes with my hand coping saw is to turn the blade 90º that way the handle can get round some of the hard to reach areas and is something you can't do with a scroll saw. 

I tried doing a bit of carving with a dremel the other day, I'm making another PRS style body and the upper horns are too small to get to with the angle grinder. The dremel was not for me, I found it too difficult to control such a small bit and found it difficult to get smooth even contours, so I went back to gouges and scrapers. 

66623727_10158314454562316_6611644815484387328_n.thumb.jpg.1ff39e5a3c7ae8b70ac0f5dd5479afaf.jpg

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24 minutes ago, ADFinlayson said:

I found it too difficult to control such a small bit and found it difficult to get smooth even contours, so I went back to gouges and scrapers.

Yes, Sharp gouges and scrapers seem most satisfying, I would imagine thumb planes are too.
i do think dremels they have their place though when doing intricate 3D carving.

I think you said you got your gouges indevidually off e-bay?

Any input on scrapers? I dont have any yet.

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1 minute ago, Urumiko said:

Yes, Sharp gouges and scrapers seem most satisfying, I would imagine thumb planes are too.
i do think dremels they have their place though when doing intricate 3D carving.

I think you said you got your gouges indevidually off e-bay?

Any input on scrapers? I dont have any yet.

Yeah I bought old used gouges from ebay indevidually, they're anything from £20-£30 + postage. I have 5,6 and 7 sweep gouges 1/2" wide and 3/4" wide, you don't need anything bigger than that. As they go up in size, so does the price. You just got to keep an eye out for them, them come up often but bugger gouges are more rare than smaller ones.

I got a set of cabinet/kidney scrapers from amazon for about £20 last year and I got the crimson mini scrapers which are excellent for the small  horn areas 

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5 hours ago, Urumiko said:

if i was going to do it direct on the body as opposed to a template it would have to be a ruddy big saw.

Not at all, the only "big" thing is the depth of the throat. Similar to a jeweler's saw but longer. And cheap as soap! Even the crooked blade I had to use did the job on ovangkol which is quite hard. Remember that the top is quite thin!

220px-Fretsaw.jpg

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