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Which Router Bits For Freehand Routing Cavities?


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I used to freehand everything, but after I tried a template I'm NEVER going back to freehand routing. Templates make it easier, faster, and more accurate, and precision is crucial for a neck join.

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I was meaning make your own templates. Its better to screw up on cheap MDF or plywood than on your guitar.

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You cut the template with a jig saw or anything you have at hand. That’s the fine thing with templates. If it is uneven it’s the template that is uneven, not the guitar. And if so you can clean up the template with files or sandpaper or whatever.

The neck pocket shouldn’t be mortised. The neck has the same dimensions as the fretboard and the neck pocket should mach the neck as closely as possible. That job is almost impossible without a template. Make the neck, make the template, test the template on scrap, check if the neck fit nicely in the pocket and then you (or your friend) is ready to work on expensive wood.

It doesn’t hurt to be a little bit polite when asking :D

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what should I cut it with then?

Cut what with? is that a question about the templates or router bits?

If its templates then I think lots of people use scroll saws or something... I just did mine with a drill, a coping saw and some rasps to remove the material.

As for router bits... if your going freehand then anything that cuts the right profile hole I guess...

If your using templates you can buy pattern following bits

And can we get onto the question about the neck pocket now????

..ok

Should the neck pocket for a bolt on neck be mortised?

I'm not 100% sure what you mean buy that to be honest, I'd just look at a bolt on guitar, like a strat and try to deduce the answer to whatever question you are asking.

My best guess is that your confusing it with a gibson style set neck joint.

EDIT:

You beat me to it mr SwedishLuthier!

Edited by Ben
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A router bit with a long shank the same diameter as the cutting diameter will work. Run the smooth part of the shank against the template. Don’t use high pressure against the template and keep the bit moving all the time. Otherwise you will burn and destroy the template. Or use something like this:

http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Tools/Routing_...outer_Bits.html

With only a saw it will be almost impossible to make a template. But it will also be impossible to do a good neck pocket freehand, so you will have to try to borrow some of the tools Ben suggests

If your friend has three routers he will most likely have the necessary tools to make templates. Ask him.

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Get a simple coping saw (cheap, dollar store), and some cheap files, some scraps of plywood (1/2" is my preference), and then slowly make the shape you want. The EXACT shape you want. I'm assuming you have a drill to start the cut with.

Forget about anyone, even someone with 'has used a router a lot of times' getting near to where you need to be without templates.

I mean, I do free-hand some things. Namely: chambers on semi-hollow guitars, post-forsntering out the bulk. Because it'll be entirely invisible, and a tiny 1mm variation in a straight line won't bother me, bother the tone, and it's invisible. If I made more than one-offs, I'd even make templates for that, but to date that hasn't happened. ANYTHING else gets done with a template, and that means body shapes, pickup cavities, most control cavities ( a Tele I can do by drillin the ends out and clamping a bit of straight material as a fence for the router to follow), all neck pockets, etc.

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what should I cut it with then?

And can we get onto the question about the neck pocket now????

Tell you what, how about reading up on this stuff first, before getting all testy about it.

ALL of your questions have been answered in this forum, you need only look.

The fact that you don't know what kind of neck pocket to make for a bolt on speaks volumes --that's pretty basic information, you've been posting on this forum for a couple of months already, this is all stuff you should already know.

And if your buddy has three routers, he probably already knows what to do. And if he doesn't why do you want him to build your guitar for you?

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Hey mattia please name a dollar store that sells coping saws.

And mickguard I didn't ask what kind of neck pocket I should have I simply asked if the neck pocket should be mortised.

And he isn't my "buddy" he's my youth group teacher at my church and he isn't building it for me I just have no experience at all with a router and I'd like to keep my fingers so I can play this electric guitar when I finish it.

Edited by PunkRockerLuke
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Next trip to Wal-Mart (there's one in your town) grab your paper route money or whatever and jump in the car. Go to the tool aisle (between Paint and Automotive) and ask The Vest there for a coping saw. Five bucks or so and you're ready to go. And pick up something nice for the person who drove you.

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If you don't have the patience to wait for and answer or do ANY research, you have no buisiness trying to build a guitar. There are a lot of great people here who are willing to help, but being obnoxious or impatient is no way to endear yourself to anyone here. Based on this post and several of your others, you post a question and wait until you get the answer YOU want to hear, ignoring everything else. A guitar can be built with a few basic tools, but not with no tools at all. I suggest you slow down, get some of the books that were recomended to you in other threads, and READ them.

George

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I plagued the MIMForum with plenty of stupid questions without doing enough research myself for a while when I started (not so long ago actually), and was a little too reluctant to follow the advice I was given cough up the money to buy tools too... (well to be fair I had no job and was about £100 in debt to my parents) so I guess I can empathise with you Luke. I was under the naive illusion that my first guitar would be great and I'd never want to build another, so I didnt realise that tools are more of an investment than an expense.

£11 for a jigsaw is more than worth the saved hours it takes to saw through a huge slab of oak with a coping saw.

For my second guitar I have bought a few more essential tools (I'm still not rolling in it but I have a bit more cash now) and it not only makes the job easier (and the results better), but a lot more enjoyable too.

Anyway; Luke, youll find that the answers to a lot of your questions can be found by searching on google. It probably wouldnt take much longer than it does to post a topic here.

Also if you'd buy Hiscock's book and read it I'm convinced you'd regard it as money well spent.

And re-read your posts before you post them too, sometimes they do sound a little abrupt :D

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Eeeexactly.

You can do stuff with hand tools, very limited tools, even, and the better you are at making guitars, the easier that is (sadly); budget at least half of your spending on your first guitar for new tools, if you want the result to be decent. Don't delude yourself into thinking you're doing this to save money over an instrument of equivalent quality. Decent tools make the whole endeavour more fun, more accurate, more successful.

The Hiscock book (Make Your Own Electric Guitar) is the FIRST and PRIMARY tool. If you don't want to buy it, head to your library and get it on interlibrary loan.

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