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Carving A Guitar Top (Sorta)Question

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Hello all,

I an going to make a les Paul type of body this go round and g

Have a question regarding a type of body carve. I a

Would like to use a type of raised panel type of bit. One that will have a small flat at the edge and then slope up to be even with the top. I know they exist but wanted to ask if any one hase used this method before and if so do you have any pics? I understand you have to slow the bit down foe a number of reasons and am fine with it because I have made doors with this set up. Do you have any other tips for this method? The bits are expensive and I was wanting to do some homework prior to getting one ...especially pictures or pit fall tips

Thanks for any help

Ps. I know this will not be a true les Paul type of a carve and am fine with that.

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Are you talking about something like this:


It will need a pretty powerful router to work, but why not? I do a rebate cut when carving to start the carve and set the correct depth of it. This will take the top further towards a finished carve. Have a try, but test on scrap first. And keep your fingers away from the bit...

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A lot of bits like that (the bigger ones) come with warnings to be mounted in a router table only as they're too dangerous in a hand router.

I've got one that's about 125mm across, but it's too big to fit through the hole in my router table, so I can't even use it!

So take that into consideration when buying also.

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As Peter quite adequately mentioned, it is a better idea to cut a flat rebate around the edge than to try finding a cutter to do all of the work. Body carves rarely (at least, the ones that look organic and flowing) have a constant carve with respect to the edge, plus most carves actually dip down slightly from the edge (a "recarve" or "recurve") to exaggerate the flow of the contours.....a router bit will not be able to reproduce this!

The profile of a Les Paul carve is about 10cm from the rear to the highest point which would even make those of us with access to spindle moulders cringe and fear for our arms. Even Allan's cutter would be too small to reach into the widest parts of this carve.

Have a look at how this guy manages his carve using just a straight cutter:


In all honesty, your best tools are actually the cheapest ones. A basic cutter, a set of templates and a gooseneck scraper. In addition you will get that much more up close and personal with the carve which is exactly what a machine or template just can't dial in for you.

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