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Body cutting with a router


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Is it possible to cut a body out with a router? Would a jigsaw work better? My biggest problem is going to be rough cutting the shape of the neck without a bandsaw :D . I might try to find somebody that has one, but does anyone have other ideas? I'm gonna have to cut the angled headstock out too.

The wood selection is goona be purpleheart neck, with purpleheart top/mahogany bottom wings. Bocote fretboard/binding/pickup rings/control cavity(ies). Should I go with chrome or gold hardware?

Approx. wood choice

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I guess you would be able to rough cut the body with a router. It would probably take you a couple of passes with the router at different depths and even from both side of the body depending on how thick your wood is. Lots of sanding after that though to get a smooth shape.

I cut out the entire neck of my project using a normal saw. Lots of muscle had to go intto that. The only thing that gave me a bit of a problem was getting a smooth transition from the angled headstock and the back of the neck. Took me forever to smooth sand that part.

I wish I had a bandsaw too... time to start saving up.

ernie :D

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Are there any woodworking businesses around your area? Maybe a community college with a wood shop? If the employees/teachers are cool you may be able to use there equipment long enough to cut out a body and neck. Sometimes a six pack of beer helps B)

I've gotten to know some guys at the City Building in my town. They seem excited to see my project and help out by letting me use their equipment. They have a full woodworking and metal shop there. :D

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Guest Litchfield Custom Gutars

The body can be cut with a router, but I reccomend that one cuts it roughly with a jig/scroll/band saw first.

I'd say gold hardware.

Look here at my purpleheart. I am willing to sell you a top set if you are interested.

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Guest Litchfield Custom Gutars

No prob man. I have a bunch of the figured stuff...I bought it for necks, but it is so top worthy, I gotta do it or sell a topset. Keep us updated in the progress section.

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purple heart is a tricky wood to rout depending on the grain and how you want to cut it.... it can chip out like a mother _______ ..... it's fine for doing hum, and bridge routes but those are all enclosed areas, some thing like body wings i'd be very cautious and ruff cut on a saw of any kind, then just try and sand to the line

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I have found what KrazyDerek to be saying the same as I have discovered. I have never had a tearout, but then again I haven't routed with only 1/4" from the line of my body drawing. When cutting out the body, I tend to stay 2 to 3 inches away from the outline drawn from the template. It seems like if you take too much wood away, it'll end up grabbing and tearing. I'm not sure if this is correct, but I've found it to be true. I just route straight to the template, with a small amount of depth, then go around the body of the guitar following the template. Then making multiple passes till it's all cut out. I guess what I'm saying is that the router bits work best when it's wood all around instead of just one side of the bit. Anyone else notice this?

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