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Microplane Rotary Shapers


fookgub
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I know a few of you have these. Most of the comments my searching turned up have been along the lines of "I just got it. It seems like a great tool, but I haven’t really tried it out yet." Do any of you have some more in-depth insight into these things?

The reason I’m asking is that last night my router decided it was time for a lesson on feed direction, grain orientation, and tearout. Now I've got a lot of fixing to do, and my plans for a natural finish may be out the window. So I'm specifically interested in using a microplane instead of my router and pattern bit for doing the outside contours of guitars. Are they capable of removing that much wood, or are they more for just producing a clean surface? How prone are they to tearout? Any other advice/caveats? I did read one comment about them kicking a lot with the wrong feed rate, but the poster didn't mention whether or not that was likely to ruin a workpiece.

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if I understand you correct you got tear out using your router when using a pattern bit.

some woods are harder then others

that will happen now and then even with a good sharp bit and one way to avoid that is band saw 1/8 or [less] from you line then use your router with the pattern bit . the less you have to rout off the less chance you have for tear out. when I rout this way I have vary little trouble..

when rounting then end grain this will be when you might get tear out from any router.

I hope this is what you asking and I hope this helps you

good luck :D

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if I understand you correct you got tear out using your router when using a pattern bit.

some woods are harder then others

that will happen now and then even with a good sharp bit and one way to avoid that is band saw 1/8 or [less] from you line then use your router with the pattern bit . the less you have to rout off the less chance you have for tear out. when I rout this way I have vary little trouble..

when rounting then end grain this will be when you might get tear out from any router.

I hope this is what you asking and I hope this helps you

good luck :D

Thanks for the advice. I actually wasn't taking much wood off when it happened, and it was a brand new carbide tipped bit. The bit caught some endgrain and just tore it out. That was a regular machine cut. On my second pass, I fed it the other direction (climb cut) and it still tore wood out in the same area. I've seen a lot of nicely routed bodies here, so I know it can but done, but I'd like to try something safer, which is why I'm asking about the microplane.

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I have one of those. I have used it a couple times. I have not been knocked out by the performance on harder woods. I would also toss out the observation that I wouldn't trust it it not flex or slightly deflect under heavy use. Sanding drum with a guide bearing could be another option. I personally would stick with template bits and cutters. I use them for everything from solid bodys to soundboards and binding channels. You just have to get used to how to controlling the speed in those touchy areas.

Peace,Rich

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I use the micro-plane. i have been really impressed with their products. i tried a Robo-Sander and it wasnt for me, so i got the micro-plane. so far i have used two blades on two guitar bodies and two guitar necks with no tear out at all. i try to bandsaw up to about 1/8" away from the line then micro-plane the rest of the way to save from wearing the blades out, but maple is pretty hard on them.

they take just a few minutes to get use to. they do act like planes so if you try to drive it too hard into rising grain they can start to kick. but even when it kicked on me none of my bodies or necks were damaged.

to help prevent flex, i bring the drill press table up to about 1/32" below the attachment.

if there has to be a negative for these then its: hard woods can dull them pretty quick and the replacement blades are about 8 bucks.

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