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Routing The Body And Neck Shape


guitar_player
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For my last 3 builds I have rough cut and sanded the body shape but I'm not happy with how it isn't very exact. I have ordered a strat and tele template set and am planning on making complete templates for custom guitars. It would be a lot easier to just rough cut it sticky tape the template on and rout it. The thing I'm worried about is if the router bit bites and blows out the wood. Also would it be better to do it with a hand held router or a router table both are just as easy for me?

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For my last 3 builds I have rough cut and sanded the body shape but I'm not happy with how it isn't very exact. I have ordered a strat and tele template set and am planning on making complete templates for custom guitars. It would be a lot easier to just rough cut it sticky tape the template on and rout it. The thing I'm worried about is if the router bit bites and blows out the wood. Also would it be better to do it with a hand held router or a router table both are just as easy for me?

I find the table router method much easier to control. This also means, I think, less chance of error as you have more feel for how it is cutting, and can take it easy on the difficult parts.

If you have sharp router bits, route in the right direction, don't take on too much thickness at a time, etc, I wouldn't expect many problems.

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I just routed my second Ash body on my home made router table with crappy router.

The first body I did, I sanded it right down to get rid of most of the excess bar a couple of mm, used a brand new 38mm Depth template cutter, and in various parts it ripped the hell out of it

causing me to have to redesign certain areas.

A few days ago I bout a new 12.7mm depth cutter, to route half of the body all the way round and then take of the template and do the rest. Didn't get even the slightest chip or tear out, and had left a fair bit on after the rough cutting too.

So for me now I'd prefer to use a smaller depth cutter nibble away a bit and take my time. worked for me like a charm, I'd reccomend taking as much excess of first tho to be on the safe side and for the health of the cutter :D

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I just routed my second Ash body on my home made router table with crappy router.

The first body I did, I sanded it right down to get rid of most of the excess bar a couple of mm, used a brand new 38mm Depth template cutter, and in various parts it ripped the hell out of it

causing me to have to redesign certain areas.

A few days ago I bout a new 12.7mm depth cutter, to route half of the body all the way round and then take of the template and do the rest. Didn't get even the slightest chip or tear out, and had left a fair bit on after the rough cutting too.

So for me now I'd prefer to use a smaller depth cutter nibble away a bit and take my time. worked for me like a charm, I'd reccomend taking as much excess of first tho to be on the safe side and for the health of the cutter :D

thanks everyone I've got good bits and was already going to remove most the wood so I this is how I was going to do it

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There are a couple of things you can do, msot od which have been covered already:

bandsaw the shape a hair from the template

climb cut with the router on the tearout-prone areas

rout in little bits

etc.

But there are a couple more options: drum sander and microplane. Both are attachments for the drill press.

The drum sander will take a bit longer and will eat up the sanding sleeves, but it'll work. IMHO, this is NOT the best option available, but kind of a last resort.

The other option is microplane. Do a google search for the company. They make planing drums that work in the drill press. They have a template bearing as well. It really chews through the wood and doesn't tear out around the corners. Someone here turned me on to them, and I'm SOOOO glad I bought them. They're great.

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There are a couple of things you can do, msot od which have been covered already:

bandsaw the shape a hair from the template

climb cut with the router on the tearout-prone areas

rout in little bits

etc.

But there are a couple more options: drum sander and microplane. Both are attachments for the drill press.

The drum sander will take a bit longer and will eat up the sanding sleeves, but it'll work. IMHO, this is NOT the best option available, but kind of a last resort.

The other option is microplane. Do a google search for the company. They make planing drums that work in the drill press. They have a template bearing as well. It really chews through the wood and doesn't tear out around the corners. Someone here turned me on to them, and I'm SOOOO glad I bought them. They're great.

I'm trying to get away from drum/spindle sanders I just don't think it works too good. Those look great how smooth does it come out though? I have no problem doing some sanding but it just seems like it would come out really rough. I also looked at there rasps and I'm going to get one for doing necks and stuff.

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The microplane things for the drill press work like a dream. The prep is just like if you were routing it - cut VERY close to the line. After that, the final shaping with the microplanes is like going through butter. AND... there's virtually no way you can blow out the curves.

For smoothness - it's just as smooth as with the router. You'll need to finish sand it, but it's pretty smooth to the touch. I'd say it's just a hare rougher than what somes out of the thickness planer - which is pretty smooth itself.

Seriously... you woulnd't be disappointed.

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The microplane things for the drill press work like a dream. The prep is just like if you were routing it - cut VERY close to the line. After that, the final shaping with the microplanes is like going through butter. AND... there's virtually no way you can blow out the curves.

For smoothness - it's just as smooth as with the router. You'll need to finish sand it, but it's pretty smooth to the touch. I'd say it's just a hare rougher than what somes out of the thickness planer - which is pretty smooth itself.

Seriously... you woulnd't be disappointed.

Ok thanks I'm going to buy one of these for my next guitar there pretty cheap too.

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