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No More Cnc For Me.


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Some of you (maybe not) might know that I'm building my first guitar right now, and I was going to CNC the main shape of the body.

Well, I've scrapped that idea, because I tested out my shape on a piece of *Alucobond*, which is a building material made of of 2 pieces of Aluminum and a plastic compound or something in between. But that's not important. My shape turned out fine, and all the measurements are perfect. So I've decided that I don't want to CNC it anymore, it's just too easy for me. I'm going to use the piece as a template and trace around it onto my wood (actually, I already did that).

if you're interested, this is what it looks like: http://photobucket.com/albums/v215/Sobot/?...nt=P1010004.jpg

Now, you see, I don't have a bandsaw, but I do in fact have a very nice very new jigsaw. Is it a really bad idea to cut it out using a jigsaw? I'm aware that the blade may bend if I go too fast and stuff, but is it easy to pull off successfully? And yes, I know there will be sanding involved.

Thanks.

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Yes, you can use a jigsaw, but it's a make-do tool for cutting out a body. You better stay around 1/4" away from the line at all times while cutting, just because of the blades typical wandering. If I was using a jigsaw, I'd cut pretty far away like suggested, and then use a Robo-Sander with your template to get it to within 1/32" away flush with the template, then use a pattern trim bit to finish it off. But to answer your question, yes you can use a jigsaw, but it will take longer and you have more chances of ruining your wood if you get too close. Good luck and show us some pictures of your work.. BTW, sand down the edges of the template perfect, because it's much easier to get them perfect than a 2" piece of hardwood. Better to work smarter, than harder!!!

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:D Dude, you've got easy access to CNC, and you're not going to use it because it's too easy!!??! That makes no sense to me (but that's just me :D ). At any rate, if you don't have a bandsaw handy, and you simply refuse to use the ideal tool you do have access to, an alternative to a jigsaw is a plunge router - you'll have to work slowly in several passes, taking really small bites each pass, but if you're careful (and your templates are good), it'll leave less finish work to do than even a bandsawn blank.
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Sure...I started off thinking I could get away with just a jigsaw...right. Go ahead and test it out on some scrap wood, you'll figure out pretty quickly why it won't work. Or better put, why it's more trouble than it's worth.

I'd go for a plunge router and collet --you can pick one up pretty cheaply. I paid 20 euros for mine and it's still going strong (although I did buy a couple of decent bits for it).

But really, there's no shame in using a CNC machine...wish I had one.

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If you really don't want easy why don't you try a coping saw. I am serious. You get all day to make the cut and you can't make a mistake very quickly. It is also very satisfying to finally get through a section that falls off. I, for the life of me, cannot figure out why people want their guitar bodies cut to such perfect renditions of the "original". Some of my best axes are mistakes or "out-of-tolerance". A coping saw, a sturdy kitchen table and a decent wood clamp. Works for me. I must admit, I bought one of those Sears bandsaws that were on sale for, like, $99.95 a couple of years ago but it just takes the duration out of the process. Ain't much fun to use.

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Sorry guys, I didn't go too much into detail about using the CNC machine. My dad owns a large buisness which is growing rapidly. I went there on thursday (yesterday) to get the actual wood cut out in the CNC. there are 3 CNC tables, and I waited from 7 AM to 4 PM to TRY to get it cut out. My dad has so many clients, he doesn't have time for just one wood cut out, it takes a while because it has to go through certain passes, you have to change the CNC bit, you have to stop the continuous "circuit" of panels being cut, and you have to line everything up with the wood, etc.

It's not a short process, because the machines are designed for something completely different than wood. I can't even go in on a weekend because my dad doesn't know how to set it up with the software, he's too busy with other stuff.

There's my other reasoning for no CNC.

Now, given the idea of using the router to do it all... I might just try that.

I've also realized how ineffecient a jigsaw will be. If the blade bends inward, towards the body, the relationship between the top of the wood and the side edge won't be 90º :D Which leads to lots of sanding with a Barrel sander I guess, which I don't have. And then my bevelled edges would be f-ed up because the side of the body isn't uniform.

So I guess I'll use the router :D

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if you use a jigsaw...most people would cut to withing 1/2" of the line and then clean it up with the router

Yeah, I was thinking of that. I also realized that I have a drill press... and I could always get a robo-sander (barrel sander attachment) for it and clean it up that way.

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I just can't seem to find that charger!

Just a question, can a member like me enter in those monthly contests? For... Guitar of the Month?

I probably won't win, I'd just want to see how I do.

Comment: I don't understand why so many people think that a jigsaw is inefficient... I had no bending-of-blade issues. It's also probably the top of the line jigsaw though, so that might have had something to do wth it.

Edited by Sobot
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I think anyone can enter in GOTM. However, don't you think you might be getting a little ahead of yourself? LOL

You can make do with a jigsaw. If your sides truly are square, you must have a really good jigsaw and you must have taken your time.

What kind of wood are you using? Is it 8/4 (1 3/4" thick)?

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Comment: I don't understand why so many people think that a jigsaw is inefficient... I had no bending-of-blade issues. It's also probably the top of the line jigsaw though, so that might have had something to do wth it.

Thats cool the jigsaw worked for you, I have been using the jigsaw for my template making. It works, but I think there would be some problems if I tried to cut into my 1 3/4" piece of purpleheart. The stuff is like hard as a rock and I don't think it would work, or at least work well. When the blade angles it can cause you to cut to close to the line and will cut into your design, I can see it happen a little on some of the wood I've cut with it, never been a major issue but if you used it on some thicker wood or harder wood I could see where you might have problems.

Like most everyone said a jigsaw and bandsaw is a world of difference, but to some people the price can be a world of difference and finding room for it can be a problem. So if you cannot get your hands on a bandsaw, then by all means rock the jigsaw. Just listen to the advice everyone is giving about cutting well outside the line and just cleaning it up with router/robosander or whatever. Good luck with your project and post some pics when you can!

Something I just thought of that needs to be designed! A single table that is a drill press and a bandsaw. When one is in use the other can be tilted back safely out of the way or just on the other side of each other, because it would probably be nearly impossible to tilt a bandsaw back.. The table itself would have to be a little bigger than normal, but it would end up saving space by only having to have one machine. Sorry just thinking wildly, either it has already been done, or would be too difficult to build it having good performance. Jason

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don't get too overconfident...you will be in for some stress if you consistently try to cut too close to the lines....

I started off doing a curvy practice cut on an old piece of wood that had a bunch of huge flaws(same thickness, 1-3/4) and even my tight curves were perfectly square... So I went at it on my real wood, and it worked:)

also, I did pick a pretty light wood, one of the guys that works at the store I got it from recommended it for a first guitar because it's easy to work with and still has a nice tone, it's called Obeche, so the wood might have helped me... also it was a new blade.

I do agree though, that a bandsaw would have turned out better.

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Something I just thought of that needs to be designed!  A single table that is a drill press and a bandsaw.  When one is in use the other can be tilted back safely out of the way or just on the other side of each other, because it would probably be nearly impossible to tilt a bandsaw back..  The table itself would have to be a little bigger than normal, but it would end up saving space by only having to have one machine.  Sorry just thinking wildly, either it has already been done, or would be too difficult to build it having good performance.                                                                                          Jason

that would be good, for a smaller workshop. If it was built, a barrel sander should also be integrated with the drill press, and have a special shop-vac attachment for sawdust.

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just a question... for a neck-through, what i better... Glueing the wings then cutting it with a jig-saw or cutting them with a band saw than glueing them (and how would i glue em?)

Most people will cut the neck, and body wings out seperately, then glue them together. It would be a lot harder to try to cut the wings to shape with a big neck in the way using a bandsaw, think about it. Just design, cut out the wings and shape them perfectly, then glue the neck inbetween them. That's the normal procedure.

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It would be a lot harder to try to cut the wings to shape with a big neck in the way using a bandsaw, think about it

plus consider bevels.if you are putting 45 degree routed bevels around your entire guitar,then the cleanest way to do it would be before the wings are attached.

unless someone knows a better way...

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Something I just thought of that needs to be designed!  A single table that is a drill press and a bandsaw.  When one is in use the other can be tilted back safely out of the way or just on the other side of each other, because it would probably be nearly impossible to tilt a bandsaw back..  The table itself would have to be a little bigger than normal, but it would end up saving space by only having to have one machine.  Sorry just thinking wildly, either it has already been done, or would be too difficult to build it having good performance.                                                                                          Jason

Sears, I think, used to make something like you described. It was like a rotisserie, with three benchtop tools bolted on. The tools were pretty small, to make moving them manageable. I think that's what killed their version. For what you paid, you ended up with tools that were very limited in the size of stock they could work.

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Sears, I think, used to make something like you described. It was like a rotisserie, with three benchtop tools bolted on. The tools were pretty small, to make moving them manageable. I think that's what killed their version. For what you paid, you ended up with tools that were very limited in the size of stock they could work.

Someone needs to come out with a fresh design of this with solid tools, maybe someone like Grizzly, someone that has luthiers in mind although it would be handy for most anyone. Thanks for all the info I was curious as I would definately be interested in something similar to this in the future, especially for people like me with limited work space! Thanks Guys! Jason

just a question... for a neck-through, what i better... Glueing the wings then cutting it with a jig-saw or cutting them with a band saw than glueing them (and how would i glue em?)

Also I think what he was asking was is it better to cut the wings on a bandsaw before glueing the to the neck, or glueing them on then cutting the wings with a Jigsaw, not a bandsaw. Probably because it would be easier to glue up with nice straight edges to clamp with.

In my opinion I would cut them first as this is what I see the most, but I have no first hand experience so others will be of more help. Also I would be very nervous of using a jigsaw that late in the game, you would already have done so much work and if you then screwed up the body it would be a major waste. Good luck though and hope it all works out for you, make sure to get other opinions on this, mine is not to be taken heavily, there are much betters opinions out there. Jason

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Also I think what he was asking was is it better to cut the wings on a bandsaw before glueing the to the neck, or glueing them on then cutting the wings with a Jigsaw, not a bandsaw.  Probably because it would be easier to glue up with nice straight edges to clamp with.

that's my question :D

Maybe i should cut them, then stick (with double sided tape?) the wood i cut back on the body so it's stable for clamping and THEN i would shape everything to specs?

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