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Well i don't know what it is, but i've seen pictures and the stuff its used for and what it can be used for. As far as i' concerned i'm aware of two types which are considered economical i think. Theres one i'm not sure what it is but it's more like a drill and you kinda havta hold it and the other one has a square base to it.

Also I don't understand how the cavities come out so smooth, I saw a picture of a cavity just started with a pin router and it was so messy and uneven how is it that they are smoothened, a sander? Thanks. I'll go and try and find the pictures and be more specific.


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Actually, I don't think he'll find the answer to this one by searching --this is one you might take for granted.

But I was in the same place not so long ago --looking at those ultra-smooth cavities and wondering how that hell that was done.

This is a router 66611110045415-large-Ryobi-RE180PL-20-HP-Variable-Speed-Plunge-Router.jpg

It's the kind you'll want to use (plunge router). You can buy cheaper (mine cost 20 euros and is still going strong), you can pay more, that's up to you.

Most of the time you'll use the router with templates and template bits and follower bits (have bearings that allow the router to follow the template). Or use a guide bushing and straight bits. You can also build jigs with guide rails --plenty of key words to help you in your searches. :D

With a template and a router---and some practice--you'll end up with nice smooth pockets.

It's a high-speed tool, practice (on scrap) is essential before attacking a guitar! Also, wear safety gear when working with this one.

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It's a high-speed tool, practice (on scrap) is essential before attacking a guitar! Also, wear safety gear when working with this one.

Idch is right about practicing on scrap and eye protection. Can't stress that enough! Key words for succesful routing are:

Plunge Base

Fixed Base

Guide Bushing

Bearing bit

Router Table

Collet (and shank size)

Variable speed module

Somethings to keep in mind while learning your router:

Make shallow passes, both in depth and in taking away stock at a set depth. This helps:

1)Take it easy on the motor of the router (lengthening the life of the tool)

2)Prevent router burn on the stock

3)Lessens the amount of residue build up on the bit itself (lengthening the life of the bit)

4)Lessens the odds of throwing "chips" (When making a pass with a router, you want to come into the stock with the grain and exit the stock with the grain runout. This reduces the odds of the bit grabbing the grain and ripping a chunk of wood (or chip) out of your stock.

5) Some bits are too large to be run with a handheld router and NEED to be put in a router mounted under a table. Most of these bits are profile bits, most straight bits can be handled from a hand held set up.

And for Pete's sake keep both your hands on the router. At some point you'll get lax and all of a sudden the router will grab the stock and try to jump out of your hands. Better it chew your project than your leg or gut.

Research, and get an idea of how to use this extremely versatile tool - it's well worth it!

Nate Robinson :D

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Thanks so much. Just the kind of stuff i needed.

I found this very resourceful page on choosing a drill.Drill Page

Theres nothing on the site for noobs, beginners concerning tools and how to go about choosing tools. The tools features and the options one has when purchasing these tools, the colour, corded/cordless, etc. :D There should be some pinned type discussion on tools as such if there isn't one already.

Again, thanks.

Edited by bombershredder
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Choosing tools is very much an individual thing. We all have different ways of getting to the same end result. Ask other woodworkers. Most of them are opinionated and with shre their opinions.

I am a certified tool junkie and I have unreasonable expectations of performance. I wind up with what I can afford and tolerate.

That all said, here are some other nuggets.

To protect your hearing you also need to isolate yourself from the high speed vibration of the tools,especially routers. There are some current studies that are suggesting that skeletal transmission of vibration can permanently "scramble" your inner ear and degrade your hearing. Many newer routers have padded handles. I wear padded gloves when doing aggressive routing.

Make sure that your collet is absolutely clean outside and in and that the seat for it is also clean. Make sure that the shank of your bit is spotless. You haven't lived until you've had a bigass bit loosen up, pop out of the collet, hit the floor, bounce up and climb up your arm. I have.

If you have to scrimp, buy a cheaper router and spend the money on professional grade bits. Start saving and when you burn up the cheapie router, buy better.

For most of the work that you do on a guitar I've found that you need at least a 1.5 hp router. Understand that the Japanese manufaturers, in my experience, are very generoous when they rate their routers. The Germans, Swiss, and most American manufacturers tend to be more conserevative and accurate.

I'd recommend for a starter to strongly consider the Porter Cable 690 kit with the two different bases. Bosch makes some strong contenders, and Hitachi (yes a Japanese Co,) has come out with a new one that I haven't used but have held and it seems to be a lot of bang for the buck. It also looks really cool.

Go to the Taunton Press website. These are the folks who publish Fine Woodworking and a bunch of other craft related magazines. They also have books which are very reasonbly priced that discuss tools and tool use. The CD's of back issues are wondereful tutorials on how to do high quality woodworking and still keep your fingers and eyes. I do plug thewe guys a lot, but it's because I've gotten maybe a third of what I know and use from them, one way or another.

Get yourself a good work apron, I wear a heavy leather one. Sometimes routers grab and kick out heavy sharp cunks of material. They sling them at very tender places below your belt.

Buy goggles that are comfortable to you. If they're not you won't wear them all of the time if at all. Same thing with a dust mask.

Always make sure that your workpiece is secured to your work surface, even for that "quick pass". A good clean stable secure work surface is as important as any other tool to do quality safe work. Especially if your are using a 3 hp router. The router mats sold by woodworking catalogs are good for a lot of things, but you can't beat workbench with a woddworkers vice and bench dogs. Big routers are essentially electric lawnmowers with small blades. Think about that one for a minute. They can sling a poorly secured piece at you at 700 mph (that's a whole bunch more kph's)

Wear goggles. Even for a "quick pass' that doesn't seem worth walking back over to were you left the goggles. The majority of the serious injuries I have sustained over the fourty years I've been wood butchering have been doing quick and dirty 10 second jobs.

Hope this isn't too redundant or boring.

Happy Holidays, all

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To protect your hearing you also need to isolate yourself from the high speed vibration of the tools,especially routers. There are some current studies that are suggesting that skeletal transmission of vibration can permanently "scramble" your inner ear and degrade your hearing. Many newer routers have padded handles. I wear padded gloves when doing aggressive routing.

Got a reference/author for that?

Because frankly, I can't see how vibrations form a router, buffered via the various joints (and particularly the shoulder) will have much of any skeletal vibration effect on the inner ear. Skeletal transmission of sound/vibration, yeah, certainly, but you need something that's vibrating and transmitting it somewhere slightly closer to your skull, I'd think.

Vibration can damage nerves, etc. in your hands, though. RSI and all that. I won't carve a top with an angle grinder or do serious amounts of routing (guitarmaking doesn't require hours on end with a router, fortunately) without padded gloves, though. Ski gloves if it's angle grinder time.

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I don't have any references for you on this. It does seem a little weird, but I have had two different physicians that I do furniture work for ask me about long term hearing loss and both have mentioned the skeletal transmission thing. One is an orthopod and the other and ENT specialist. I think at this point it's just one of those "wonder what's going on here" things that doctors tend to kick around. I do wear hearing protection and I'm still getting pretty serious tinnitis.

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I'll use this thead to ask my own question in that manner.

I'm looking for a router that is the cheapest available, but yet, that he would work for 2-3 guitars. what should i look for, what bits should i get if i want to do it "freestyle"? and whats eproximently their prices?

From what i've gathered here, i should get a 1.5HP+ router, plunge router, rubber handles. and thats about it.

I got for protection wear a anti-gas mask (covers the face while filtering the dust, and for the noise) i'll use some apron, and i'll try to get a hold of some ear protection.

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I use this router.... it's the best of both worlds and has one hell of a warranty.


I use these bits...

Router bits

I like the router because I can put the fixed base in my router table and work the stock like that, then just pull the motor and drop it into the plunge base for the over the top stuff... it accepts both 1/4 inch and 1/2 inch shank sizes which is important especially when you are using larger diameter bits... and it's got the HP to get through the toughest of woods and other materials... ( I personally use my router to rout Acrylic and Polycarbonate, Aluminum, etc.... and it never bogs down even with using the largest of bits.)

Oh speaking of larger bits, it is absolutely ESSENTIAL that you have some kind of router speed control whether it be on the unit (like mine) or handheld. When using large bits you want to slow the speed of the router down a little otherwise you will have big issues on your hands... if you still have hands that is... :D

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