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Review: Grizzly 1" Roundover Bit


dpm99
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I realize it's sort of odd to review a router bit, but this is a little different, and I want to talk about the results of the technique as well. This is what we're talking about:

31LmS6QYzyL.jpg

And it's available here:

http://www.amazon.com/Grizzly-C1191-1-22r-Roundover-Shank/dp/B0000DCZ3R/ref=wl_it_dp_o_npd?ie=UTF8&coliid=I2V8B49RGSAU2W&colid=2X6XWUI2ZPMSL

The idea is to get a rough shape to your neck for the sake of consistency and saving time.

Regarding the bit itself, I was surprise at it's quality for the price. These 1" radius bits can easily cost $100 or more, so for $31.95, I think it's a bargain. It comes very sharp, and there's a lot of material to the bit. It also has a replaceable bearing. The only thing I don't like about the bit is that it's not carbide tipped. I guess you get what you pay for. It performed well. I had a very small bit of tearout in one spot, and I was working with a Bubinga neck. I find I get a LOT of tearout with Bubinga, and it's best worked with sanding and grinding tools rather than cutting and carving tools. So I was pleased with the fact that I only had one little bobble, and in fairness, I was taking off a little too much at a time anyway.

Regarding the technique, I think the most important thing to note is how much time it saved me. A couple simple passes on each side and I had a guitar neck. Twenty minutes or so with course sandpaper, and I was done, except for a few details at the volute and the heel. I like a really thick neck, about a full inch thick, so this seemed like a good solution. And it works as you'd expect. If I ever wear the bit out, it's likely I'll replace it with something similar, or an upgrade.

Router rails and a mess of clamps are required to do this correctly. If anyone has questions, I'd be glad to help/clarify.

Edited by dpm99
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I have a bit like this. Same size different brand.

I'd never consider using it for a neck. I can imagine how pissed I'd be it it ripped a chunk out! I'd rather do it by hand.

I have used it for the edge of a guitar before, but I mostly use it for furniture edges.

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I'd heard of other respected builders doing it and thought I'd give it a try. I'm wondering how quickly I could do a strat neck like this if I had a template on hand. Anyway, I understand the concern. However, I don't need special tools to screw up necks. I've ruined them with everything from spokeshaves to sandpaper. So this is just a new experience. What can I say? It worked this time.

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Do you have any pictures of your procedure ? I planned to do this with some large roundover bits that I got at an auction but after looking at them closer they were a smaller radius that I would have liked to use. I wanted to do something similar to what Ryan Martin at Becker Guitars is doing. here :

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I thought about taking some pictures, but decided there was nothing revolutionary enough to deserve a photo. There's nothing to it though. The bit has a bearing, so you just use it like you would a template bit, using the fingerboard as a template. Clamp the neck to your workbench, face down, and set up your router rails. Does that make sense?

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Yep, makes sense. I'd like to have a guide template similar to Ryan's that would keep me from accidentally routing too far into the heel or headstock. But with using this bit the template will obviously need to be underneath the face down neck. Then to get the bearing to ride on the template and not the neck, the bit will take too deep a cut I bet.

You mention that you cleaned up a few details at the heel and volute with paper. Did you just eyeball the entry and exit points of your routes and then clean up the heel and headstock transitions with paper ?

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I've been using a big roundover bit to speed up neck shaping for about 1 1/2 years now. It really speeds things up considerably. I still use rasps, files, & a spokeshave to get it to the final shape, but taking off the corners of the blank really helps.

Do you take it all off in one shot or small bites? I've seen video's of them being used where they just shoot the whole thing in one pass and that seems like a recipe for disaster.

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Yep, makes sense. I'd like to have a guide template similar to Ryan's that would keep me from accidentally routing too far into the heel or headstock. But with using this bit the template will obviously need to be underneath the face down neck. Then to get the bearing to ride on the template and not the neck, the bit will take too deep a cut I bet.

You mention that you cleaned up a few details at the heel and volute with paper. Did you just eyeball the entry and exit points of your routes and then clean up the heel and headstock transitions with paper ?

I taper the neck on the bandsaw first, then use the fretboard itself as a template. I'm only using the bit to contour the back. I marked the entry and exit point with a pencil and then tried not to get too close. It wouldn't be hard to set up stop blocks. I just didn't.

I've been using a big roundover bit to speed up neck shaping for about 1 1/2 years now. It really speeds things up considerably. I still use rasps, files, & a spokeshave to get it to the final shape, but taking off the corners of the blank really helps.

That's what I did too. The point is to get the basic shape with the router bit so the contour is similar all the way down the neck, like you'd get from a CNC. Then you refine it with your other tools.

Do you take it all off in one shot or small bites? I've seen video's of them being used where they just shoot the whole thing in one pass and that seems like a recipe for disaster.

Small bites. In the future, I'll take even smaller bites, to further avoid tearout.

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