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choosing a router cutter


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Hi guys,

To cut out my swamp ash body I'm going to rough cut my blank with a jigsaw then use the 'template on top of the body' technique to finish off the shaping.

My question is, what do I need to look out for when buying a router bit? I need to find a good quality cutter obviously, but what diameter/length would be the best choice for routing out bodies?

I was looking out these cutter and wanted some advice before purchasing:

"Perform" profile router cutters

I have a router with a 1/4" collet.



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1/2" diameter is pretty much the standard for most cutters that you'd need, other then a couple of smaller diameter ones for tight corners.

Length is up to you, but looks like P152006A would be the best bet, it's 3/4" long, which is kinda long, since youre first pass will have to be pretty much 3/4" deep in order for the bearing to contact the template, this is why stew mac sells a 1/2" x 1/2" cutter, so that the first cut can be made shallow enough. MLCS woodworking also sells a 1/2" x 1/2" template cutter.

Also once you get up to cutters with a cutting length that's 1" or above it would be a bit better to have a router with a 1/2" collet, for example... a 2" long flush trim bit HAS to be on at least 1/2" shank.

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Cool, thanks krazyderek.

So basically I need to get the 3/4" length cutter and route out the body following the template. After the 1st pass remove the template and use this initial route to guide the subsequent passes to finish off the 2" thick body.


Edited by genbloke
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With the template and router method, you should be careful to avoid tear out on the body, particularly at the end grain. If the router has to take too much wood, it has a tendency to tear the wood and not cut it smooth. I suggest trying to ensure your jig saw cutout is done carefully to try to keep the cut as square as possible and close to the body shape line. It will be difficult for the router to overcome a bad jig saw job.

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