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Thicknessing W/ Router


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I have used the sled jig on this site to thickness rout a 1.5" ash blank and was really surprised at how well it worked. However, before I blow a nice piece of 1/8 bookmatched mahogany I was wondering if anyone had ever used the jig to thickness rout the top, back & sides for an acoustic guitar. I have done a search (hard to do when you are limited to just one term) and only found genric references to the jig, nothing specific to thin acoustic tops and sides.

Tops are usually thicknessed to a few thousands of an inch less than 1/8" and back and sides are just shy of 1/10". How does mahogany and spruce stand up to the router beating? Any actual experience out there on this?

Just to put this in context, I have no pretentions of being a professional luthier. I am just an addicted amateur with a tiny work area. Unfortunately, even if my wife allowed me to spend $700 on a Performax 16/32 thickness sander I would have no place to put it. I don't trust my hand planing skills (or equipment), so I look for alternatives.


PS, if anybody has a good reference in cyberspace or in a bookstore for really clear instructions on the use and care of handplanes, I would really appreciate it. Googling "hand planes" produces a mountain of information.

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I haven't thicknessed backs and sides, but I have taken wood to similar thicknesses with a router thicknesser. You need to be very careful to ensure the wood can't move, or the cutter will grab and mangle the piece. I use doublesided tape every 4" or so, and have had good results getting as thin as 2mm.

Try googling 'tuning hand plane' - this will get you a couple of good articles. I read 3 or 4, and used the info to setup a sargent jack plane from a charity shop - it s now my favorite handtool, a real champ for less than a pint of beer.

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