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Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by tortoisemon, Mar 10, 2017.
Thanks. Sounds like there isn't really a clear winner here. I may just try both techniques.
You want an upcut spiral in the router table , it will pull the work downward to the table , an downcut would push the work piece up from the table . There is a seller on ebay that is less than Amazon
I have bought a few times from them , they are honest and reliable . Don't try to downhill route with the big spiral bit , always feed your work piece against the rotation of this bit , not with it . Its a fantastic bit that will leave a great finish cut .
Edit : there have been a few cases posted here over the years of what can happen with downhill routing with this bit , luckily nobody that I've seen here has been injured but the work piece they were routing was damaged and flung from the router table . I'm not trying to discourage use of this bit , I use one and love it , with proper use its well worth the price .
I have used a couple of different kinds of tape, the doyble sided stuff works, just need to spread small 1" square pieces across the body: If I need to pry the template off, I use a chisel upside down to create a little sepatation, then use soft wood window shims to separate them... the shims will not damage wood or mdf. Don't use the gummy carpet tape though, that stuff moves and is really tough to work with.
I have long router bits, but after trying that many time with muxed results, I much prefer sanding/cutting to the last 1/32" and then taking the rest off in 3/32" strips. Trimming grainy wood is the last thing anyone should hurry. I also use a 3/4" whiteside or 1" wide trim bit with a 1/2" shank for all the trim routing I do. I just take a little off at a time an get my bits resharpened every 50-70' of cutting.
Also, I use a feed rate that is as consistent as possible, just enough to not burn maple - about 1"-3/4" per sec..
I think most people's issues with tearout is either not having a sharp enough bit or on curves due to not keeping their feedrate consistent, but still, those big long bits demand a heck of a lot of respect - I always recommend using a shorter wider bit and taking a little on each pass.
On templates, uf you pre-drill ans use screws it's a fantastic way to go. You will need an excellent taping technique for fretboard or one piece neck work, but screws work for most other stuff. I just use double-sided tape for everything.
Okay, but I'm still confused. The way I read your statement is that an upcut both pulls the work to the table and pushes it away. I'm assuming that upcut pulls the waste toward the router (which is down in my case), but does that pull the work piece in the same direction or opposite? And thanks very much for the safety warning. I try to maintain a healthy fear of all of my power tools.
Thanks Mojotron! The more I hear from experts like yourself the more I understand that there are multiple "correct" approaches and that each has its own advantages and disadvantages. I guess that makes things more interesting!
My mistake , that should have read a down cut will push the work piece up away from the table (I edited it in the original post). Yes an upcut spiral bit will pull the waste towards the router , a downcut pushes the waste away from the router . Its good to have a healthy respect of the router , 25,000 rpm can do a lot of damage before reflexes kick in
Thanks! That's what I thought. I just read the reviews on amazon and it looks like there are some other guitar builders recommending it too.
It will save hundreds on bondo and teardrops.
Yep, I also used good old brad nails for quite a few of my first projects: Everyone seems to find a way they like, all techniques seem to be about equal... I use tape out of a fear of commitment ... put a hole somewhere and you'll need to commit to a bride or pickup type, a lot of times I've not figured that out yet.
Please don't try that in one pass. I'm sure Mike meant you can take off a lot of material with multiple passes. I use the Whiteside 2" uncut spiral bit too, and I have a healthy respect for it. It can do great things and lots of damage in about the same amount of time.
I think you'll be pleasantly surprised by the masking tape trick.
As far as which to route first, the cavities or the body outline, that's another personal preference item you'll develop your own approach to. I, and I think most of the builders do the body outline first, and use the body to precisely locate pickup, control, and neck cavities, although I have seen build threads here that follow the opposite sequence. And then there's the CNC guys who just do it all at once! My experience is that I've had to nudge a pickup cavity or string through holes a fraction of a mm sometimes to get it "just right", and it's easier for me to move the cavity templates around, than move the body outline around already-cut cavities.
But there really is no right or wrong way--if it's a comfortable way for YOU to do something, then it's right. So long as it's safe.
And I have to second Nosmo, that although the big Whiteside spiral bit may be able to remove a lot of material, you will get cleaner results, the bit won't heat up as much, therefore extending its life, and most of all, is much safer, if you only route very small bites--I try to shoot for 1/16" or less, but I have done some 1/8" short stretches. And again-never, ever forget the proper direction to feed the work into the bit. If you move the work with the bit's rotation, It will grab and throw the work, putting some nasty gashes in the side of your workpiece. You cannot control it, and it will happen so fast you won't realize it until after its happened. Whether or not it pulls your fingers into the blades is just a matter of luck. Feel free to ask me how I know. It's a great friend and helpful tool, don't be afraid of it, but just be aware of this seemingly minor thing, that will cause a major problem.
If you rout the cavities first, you will have more material around the routs to support the base of the router, especially if one is using individual templates for each rout. The neck cavity and control cavity are areas in which there isn't much holding up your router (depending on the template) near the 16th fret. Some people remove the template after a pass or two to get more depth. When the template is removed, the only thing left is the body or the blank to hold up the base.
So really your templates should make the decision for you. I like to have 3 inches on all sides of my routs holding up my PC 690 router.
When I route, I always try to keep my hands at least 8-10" from the bit and pull the work across the table towards me where I can. That way my first reaction - if the unexpected happens - tends to be to jump back rather than to try to stop something from hittkng me in the face.
I always route the outline first because I will position and route pickup templates around the centerline and bridge position. Something like a LP has like 9 different templates to finally get to routing pickups in one of three planes on the top. So from a process perspective it allows the builder to get as crazy as they want with top shaping and then setting the pickup route in the right spot.
Thanks for the tip! I hadn't thought of that aspect of it.
I appreciate the reminders about this. Having once experienced a kickback on my table saw I now approach all of my power tools with a healthy dose of fear.
My cavity template has some extra length above the neck cavity which I'm guessing will help. Makes me wonder if I should also leave some extra by the control cavity when I transfer the template to 3/4" mdf. Any thoughts on that?
Thanks for those words of wisdom! It sounds like cutting the body shape first is preferred by most.
Another thought - would it make any sense to route the cavities with a table mounted router and template on the bottom? You would lose visibility but gain stability in keeping the router bit square. I'm guessing it's got some problems given that I haven't seen anyone do it in the videos.
No real reason not to, I think it is the loss of visibility as to what's going on, being the main reason it's not done more often. If you remove most of the waste material with a Forstner bit first in the cavities, and use the router to clean up the sides and bottom, there's not a whole lot of routing, and since the body and template have to be rightside up to do the drilling in the drill press, it's very easy to just pop the router into the hole, handheld, and get it done.
Some guys do use a pin-router setup, with the template on the bottom of the blank and the bit on the top, you just lower the bit into the work, and the blank is guided by the pin in the template on the underside. You can see the work on the top, the router is safely held by the machine, and your work is fully supported by the machine's table. Davecam48 and some others here on the forum have built some pin routers.
I think the idea of seeing the work as it progresses, and being able to see if something is going wrong in time to stop and make corrections before your blank is spoiled, that's a strong motivator to do it topside up. Things do go wrong--bearings seize up or slip on the shaft, collets aren't tightened properly and bits slip, a chip gets between the pattern and bearing, so it is good to be able to monitor for developing trouble.
I guess if you have a separate template for just the routs, then you're gonna see what you'd see anyway What you see in the videos is the same thing over and over. That's why people experience the same problems...as an example...perimeter rout tear out. If some high profile people showed a person cutting and sanding to the line....that's what you would see repeated over and over. LOL.
You should notice what stewmac sells and what they don't. I'm sure that there is a good reason for that.
Working blind with the template below on a router table is do-able...but not seeing what goes on doesn't add to the overall enjoyment of the process, and from my experience slows things down quite a bit the few times I've done it. That question of where is the bit in relation to the body comes up quite a lot.
I will route all the stuff on the body top with a tiny laminate trimmer most of the time. They take the same 1/4" shank bits. I do love the visibility, but I actually do that mainly for 2 other reasons.
1) The laminate trimmer spins at like 30k rpm - since I have to make those routes with a 1/2" or 5/8" bit - a slow feedrate and insane RPMs makes neat super sharp lines.
2) The laminate trimmer weighs less than 1/2 what my Bosch router weighs - so I can make some big plexiglass bases to allow me to make templates that have wide spans - like for humbucker pickups and swimming pool routes: That way the laminate trimmer never tips, and chunky stuff coming up off of what the forstner bits leave does not end up embedded in my face . I do need to stop and blow out the shavings every 5 seconds or so...
And, if I want to route big cavities without a template, those big bases give me visibility and control for freehand work.
Here's a pic from volowv's 2010 and 2011 challenge builds where I got that idea from.
Using a laminate trimmer allows for using thinner/cheaper plexiglass avaliable at home depot.
I use the same Whiteside bit as well and as everyone is saying you have to have a very helathy rspect for it. I slow my router down a bit to keep the burn to a minimum. Sanding as close to the line before routing is the first and most important step in preventing tearout or something worse. Never a problem when I do that. And when I haven't well.... Also, I've never done the downhill routing method and with this bit you don't have to. As mentioned go against the rotation and it works just fine.
Personally I would never want to try doing the cavities on the router table but that's just me. I want to see what I'm doing and I wouldn't trust the outcome. YMMV..
Count me as another Whiteside up-spiral user.
As most have said, remove as much material as possible before routing. You're healthy fear of power tools will help you to make good choices.
And welcome to the club.
There is nothing like playing a guitar you made with your own two hands.
Sounds like sensible advice. Taken.
I like the idea of using the laminate trimmer. that's the first time I've seen that suggested. I have an 18V cordless one that I absolutely love. I can easily control it one-handed and I always seem to get beautiful cuts with it. I also hadn't thought about making a larger base but that makes sense too. Hmmm, some new things to look into!
It wasn't in stock at my local Woodcraft store so I'm ordering it today from Amazon. Also ordering some 2" spindle sander mandrels for my drill press to help with body shaping. I can use the time while waiting for this stuff to arrive to finish building a fence for my new router table.
Thanks! Already addicted and looking forward to playing my first!
My first Tele and my first Strat are not the nicest but I gig them and love playing them. You'll have a smile on your face for sure!