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You don't want to route the whole thickness of the body at once.

You'll probably want to attach the template to the top of the blank and let the router base rest on the template. In which case, you'll need a bit with the bearing at the top (as opposed to at the end of the bit) so the bearing will ride along the template. You only need to route a portion of the thickness with each pass, then you can lower the bit and allow the bearing to ride along the depth you've already cut, rather than the template, for the next pass.

I have a bit as I described above, and a bit with the bearing at the tip. I make the first pass or two as I described, then flip the blank over and use the other bit for the last pass from the back of the blank.

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You don't want to route the whole thickness of the body at once.

You'll probably want to attach the template to the top of the blank and let the router base rest on the template. In which case, you'll need a bit with the bearing at the top (as opposed to at the end of the bit) so the bearing will ride along the template. You only need to route a portion of the thickness with each pass, then you can lower the bit and allow the bearing to ride along the depth you've already cut, rather than the template, for the next pass.

I have a bit as I described above, and a bit with the bearing at the tip. I make the first pass or two as I described, then flip the blank over and use the other bit for the last pass from the back of the blank.

can't i put the router in a table. 1:put the template on after cutting a rough cut 2: place the body template facing down 3: then carve the rest of the body

shape

what bit are you using anyways? size flutes etc...?

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Sorry, I assumed you were not going to use a router table.

You can do as you described... The template would be against the table and you'd still need a bit with the bearing to follow the template, which would place the bearing at table level, not on the end of the bit. You'd have the entire length of the cutters across the thickness of the body that way, though. However, you could control the cut depth by making a thicker template.

The bits I use are a 1/4" shank, 1/2" straight bit with the bearing at the top of the cutters (i.e., not at the tip), 1" or so cutting depth, and a 1/2" shank, 1/2" straight bit with the bearing at the tip, about 1 1/2" cutting depth.

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Sorry, I assumed you were not going to use a router table.

You can do as you described... The template would be against the table and you'd still need a bit with the bearing to follow the template, which would place the bearing at table level, not on the end of the bit. You'd have the entire length of the cutters across the thickness of the body that way, though. However, you could control the cut depth by making a thicker template.

The bits I use are a 1/4" shank, 1/2" straight bit with the bearing at the top of the cutters (i.e., not at the tip), 1" or so cutting depth, and a 1/2" shank, 1/2" straight bit with the bearing at the tip, about 1 1/2" cutting depth.

what about no bearing-instead template for a template-ummmm like a casing that acts as a bearing that alows the it to poke through. it can act like a bit but is attached to the router instead of the bit.....not sure if my words are painting a good enough picture.

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what about no bearing-instead template for a template-ummmm like a casing that acts as a bearing that alows the it to poke through. it can act like a bit but is attached to the router instead of the bit.....not sure if my words are painting a good enough picture.

Template guides. Like these.

Yeah, you could do that, but the simplest way is really just to use bits with bearings. Also (as someone here pointed out to me once), you're not assured that template guides will remain centered precisely. And you'll have to have templates that take the width of the guide into account, which adds another level of complexity.

Edited by Rick500
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If you are using a router table and the router handles 1/2" bits you can purchase bits with a full 2" plus depth and do a single pass. If your router is 1 1/2 hp or more this should work. make sure at the lower HP range the rough cuts are close; 1/8" at most. To remove larger overhangs 3hp routers are needed and will hog off more wood in a single pass.

You need a bearing on the bit period, no discussion (unless you have access to an overarm pin router setup).

You can use a trimming bit made for laminates with the bearing on the bottom in your table but the template will be on the top. However when you need to route pickup cavities this bit is useless so I do not recommend wasting your money. The best bit for all around guitar work is a pattern or template bit where the bearing is integrated into the shaft close to the routers collet. A 1/2" pattern bit would be 3/4" wide and comes in full lengths.

If your router is a cheap then you need to use a shorter bit (a 1/4" shaft is all it will take would be a sign of lesser quality) and the last section of body routed will act as a guide as you raise the bit higher past the template doing multiple passes. If you only want to buy one bit stick with a bit around 1" tall or > this will also work on routing the rest of the guitar. My personal experience is a single pass with the router; leaves less work finishing the body edges. Bearings riding on the wood can also burn the sides if they are not lubed and fee turning or are cheap quality. Multiple passes generally mean more work cleaning up in my book.

Last but not least buy the best bit you can WHITESIDE. Router bits can be resharpened when they get dull many times over and I have bought many cheap bits only to find out when trying the whiteside I had made a grave error in judgment about the higher price. Made all the other cheap bits I had bought look and cut like garbage.

good luck

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  • 2 weeks later...

Whiteside's great stuff, get mine from Routerbits.com (prices and service are good, shipping's just fine too), although I recently ordered some spirals from MLCS Woodworking, mostly because I wanted a router plate to build my table and pin router setup with, and they had a set of 4 solid carbide spirals for what 1 or 2 would've cost from Routerbits...we'll see how they hold up!

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I got a number of bits from MLCS a while back and have nothing bad to say at all. In fact I received a stitchable wound just upon handling one(though I decided to let it scar up) lol. They have a host of interesting bits I have yet to try. Overall the prices seem decent and as you will or already have seen, they tend to put on good sales/packages from time to time. I'm going to try whiteside next to compare, but of the different brand bits I've tried, I will say they are as good as any and well priced. Hopefully same goes for you. I don't remember which bits I orginally bought, but I know I got some pattern bits, some straight bits, and a downcut spiral for certain and they all work nicely and are still plenty sharp and I haven't had a single incident of tear out due to the bits, smooth cuts all around. J

Edited by jmrentis
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I only got spirals, because their selection of template bits is a little on the meagre side (I like them either really big, body in one pass big, or much smaller, like 1/4" cutting depth, which is good for adjusting pickup and neck pocket route depths). Have a few 'standard' sizes already, two of each, so I don't need more in that department for a while!

Should be here in a couple more weeks, hopefully in time for christmas!

Mattia

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I got a number of bits from MLCS a while back and have nothing bad to say at all. In fact I received a stitchable wound just upon handling one(though I decided to let it scar up) lol. They have a host of interesting bits I have yet to try. Overall the prices seem decent and as you will or already have seen, they tend to put on good sales/packages from time to time. I'm going to try whiteside next to compare, but of the different brand bits I've tried, I will say they are as good as any and well priced. Hopefully same goes for you. I don't remember which bits I orginally bought, but I know I got some pattern bits, some straight bits, and a downcut spiral for certain and they all work nicely and are still plenty sharp and I haven't had a single incident of tear out due to the bits, smooth cuts all around. J

You cant compare router bits until you can do a side to side comparison. Sharpness is only one consideration in a bit the other is design. I should hope all bits come sharp enough to cut flesh. But unless you have than side by side experience you will never realize the how different two bits can really be. I have a large box of inferior made in China bits which cut fine, but on the other hand if they were all Whiteside I would be much happier. It only took one use to change my mind. On the other hand I always bought high quality saw blades so why did I cheap out on the router bits? Sometimes you don't listen to your own mantra "you get what you pay for".

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