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Router question


lotass
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I have a "router", it's a Black and Decker, it looks just like the router used in Melvyn Hiscock's book. I need to route my pickup cavities and tremolo area, but I heard I need a "plunge" router from some Hardware store Genious, I went in looking for a router bit that would suit my needs and he said routers are for going along edgers, and a normal router (where you loosen the nut and then move the unit up or down) won't do depth into wood like pickup cavities.....which is what I have(normal one)

:D I'm out practicing on my two-by-four now, but now im starting to use the drill and chisel's more because Im nervous with the router. any help please.

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It's probably a little more dangerous, but I've always just planted one edge firm and lowered the bit in on an angle. I've found it less likely to kick because as you're plunging down you're coming in with the corner of the bit, and the side blades too, rather than the bottom cutting surface which can kick out if you're coming straight down. I'll also start right away in an oval pattern before the base is planted all the way. So it doesn't catch anywhere as I'm coming down.

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You don't necessarily need a plunge attachment for your router. You can still use the one you got. Just drill a starting hole for your cavity, insert your router bit and have at 'er.

well the bit that's on it now (I borrowed it) is about 3/4" thick, so I cant pre-drill holes for it or anything, its not long at all, its short and wide, wrong type for pickup routing I believe.

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sometimes it's cheaper to buy round over bits in packages, you sometimes see them in 1/8 1/4 3/8 1/2" sets that's how i got mine, came to 27$ mind you they're not exactly freud quality, but for the little use they'll get they should be fine :D

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Yeah I bought a 24 bit package of Hickory carbide router bits (made by Oldham) and have been really happy with them so far. Good variety in there, although I do more woodworking than building guitars. (Actually I haven't built a guitar yet!!) but anyhow I got the 1/2" shank set for just under $100. Sounds like a lot, but if you compare that to buying individual bits its a steal.

I figured I'll wait to see which bits I use the most, and perhaps buy higher quality replacements for those, although the ones I've used still look great and cut very well.

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I skimmed through this topic so maybe I missed it but I wanted to bring to attention the pattern bit that you may end up using. Do you have one? If not, I would recommend using a short bit (the cutting head height). A pattern bit has a bearing (possibly more than one) toward the upper end of the bit. The bearing rides against a template allowing you to create a professional looking cut (provided it a professional looking template).

The bit is important especially for a beginner. The short cutting head means that your templates don't need to be shimmed up high off the wood (so the bearing can ride against it). Most body cavities are fairly shallow (3/4 at most) compared to the standard 1" pattern bit. Even if you get a 3/4 pattern bit, you'll probably still need to shim your templates. I don't like simming them if I can avoid it since it makes it harder to be sure you are lined up properly. There are ways around it such as building another template which is thicker than the ones you buy from places like stewmac. This works fine but it adds time to your project and you lose the see-through ability that sometimes comes in handy.

I'd recommend the pattern bit that stewmac sells. I love it. It's expensive but is just the right size. It seems to stay sharp for quite a while also. Here it is. I use the smaller one (3/8"). They also sells extra bearings if you want. Here's the templates. They are very good templates but you need a short pattern bit to use them directly.

Sorry if you already knew all of this and if it seems like I'm talking down to you. It's hard to guage someone's experience level so I assumed that you are a beginner. Of course, as always, practice routing cavities before doing it on the real thing. Also, when practicing, try making duplicates of your templates while you're at it. All that's involved is routing through a piece of wood 1/2" or so thick and keeping it in case you damage the acrylic templates later (been there, done that). :D

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Yeah I have some stewmac templates

How do you get an old bit out of a router?

looks like there's two wrenches that came with it that I do not have, and I see the area where the bit is inserted can be held with one wrench and then there's a nut type of thing outside of that. But It wont come undone, might just be too old and rusty er something. Any tips/help?

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it can take quite a bit of force, if there isn't a button to lock the shaft in place so it won't spin then do like BLS said hold one firmly in one place, then use the other to actually do the losening, don't be afraid to put your body weight into it, i do :D

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ROUTER BITS 101 :D

Left to right, top to bottom...

Upper Left: Binding Router Bit and 2 extra bearings of different sizes (directly below it)

This cutter bit comes with 3 (4? maybe lost one... :D ) different sized bearings that go on the bottom. You can switch the bearings for different sized incursions into the side of the body for thicker or thinner binding jobs.

This is Stew-Mac's binding cutter.

Next:3 pattern cutting bits with the bearing on the BOTTOM.

Next: 2 pattern cutting bits with the bearing on the TOP.

These are what I use when using a template taped to the top of the body. The bearing will follow the outline of the template and cut the body exactly like the template shape. The bits are not long enough to cut the entire depth of a 1 3/4" body, so when I've cut as much as I can with these, I flip the body over and finish up with a pattern bit w/ bearing on the BOTTOM. You can figure out why I'm sure.

Next: Here are a pair of Stew-Mac's 3/8" pattern cutting bits. I use these to cut out my pkp holes. Notice the one on the left...it has a plastic sleeve and 3 STACKED BEARINGS to allow you to cut at many different depths and not have your bearing fall under your template pattern. The one on the right has been disassembled so you can see what it really looks like taken apart. Left: assembled. Right: disassembled. Same bit.

Next: a -CHEAP- 1/2" ROUNDOVER bit. This will give your edges a rounded over look, I use the 1/2" for my Tele's. This bit is about $10.00 The one DIRECTLY BELOW IT is the same type of bit, but the HIGH QUALITY EXPENSIVE version, about $40.00 give or take. The big one is a 3/4" roundover bit. The 'rounding' effect is more pronounced compared to a 1/2" roundover.

Bottom Row Yellow Jobs: The 4 yellow bits are different pattern bits, the round ones are called cove bits. The angular one will cut a perfect 45 degree angle, like on Warlocks. Notice 2 have BEARINGS on the bottom to follow a template, the other two do not.

Hope this helps somehow. B)

Router%20Bitss.jpg

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Question.... my pattern bit has a ball bearing on the top (that picture is gone so i cant see them really) well my bit is about an inch long...how is the ball bearing supposed to ride along the template edge if it's 3/4" away from the template because of the bit?

oh great it's too long of a bit. Screw Home Depot and their "smart" employees im just gonna order stewmac's bit.

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sounds like you have a flush trim bit instead of a template bit.... flush trim's can only really be used with body and neck outside shape templates.... so you'll need a shallow 1/2" diameter TEMPLATE bit where the bearing is on the shank(shaft) not the top

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