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Sound-holes in a thinline

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by mangus, Jul 10, 2018.

  1. mangus

    mangus Tele-Meister

    Age:
    35
    269
    Nov 2, 2016
    Portugal
    Hi there,
    I've bought myself a template but I'm still wondering what does one use to cut out the sound-holes?

    Jigsaw? Router? Scalpel? Drill?

    Regards
     
  2. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Mar 30, 2003
    Ontario County
    When I make a thinline by hand, I drill an access hole and use the smaller 3/8" stewmac template bit. The skinny section in the middle I saw out and file to the line. Quality sandpaper stuck on a craft stick makes a nice sanding stick for that narrow section. Some guys run the shank of a bit against the template. I'm not that brave as I figure I'm going to burn up the top some with the friction. Tools today sells a 1/4" bearing template bit.

    https://www.stewmac.com/Luthier_Too...MI2cHXi6aU3AIVlLjACh2pLwRoEAQYAiABEgKMMvD_BwE


    https://www.toolstoday.com/miniatur...outer-bits-with-upper-ball-bearing-guide.html
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2018
    Freekmagnet and trapdoor2 like this.
  3. adirondak5

    adirondak5 Wood Hoarder Extraordinaire

    Oct 24, 2009
    Long Island NY
    I use a trim router and a 1/4" spiral bit and let the shank ride the template



    f holes template.JPG

    f holes.JPG
     
  4. RickyRicardo

    RickyRicardo Friend of Leo's

    Mar 27, 2012
    Calgary, Alberta
    I learned from you Herb.. :) It works very well. I don't have a spiral bit but a 1/4" fluted and never had an issue.
     
  5. RogerC

    RogerC Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

    Mar 30, 2011
    Oklamerica
    I typically stick a paper template on the body and use a spiral saw bit in a dremel and do it freehand.
     
  6. mangus

    mangus Tele-Meister

    Age:
    35
    269
    Nov 2, 2016
    Portugal
  7. adirondak5

    adirondak5 Wood Hoarder Extraordinaire

    Oct 24, 2009
    Long Island NY
    I don't have any pictures other than what I posted above , 1st picture is the template mounted on the body after I routed the f- holes . I did use a small drill bit 1/4" I believe to remove some of the wood before I routed and so I would have a safe start point . It works well , my template is 1/2" mdf , I did practice on scrap before I tried this the first time . I had no problems with the shaft riding the mdf template and a good sharp bit leaves a smooth finished cut . Just use good common sense , there is no secret to it , its actually much easier than it seems .
     
  8. Preacher

    Preacher Friend of Leo's

    Apr 17, 2007
    Big D
    bowing down and chanting... we are not worthy, we are not worthy, we are not worthy.
     
  9. mistermikev

    mistermikev Tele-Meister

    Age:
    44
    318
    Feb 20, 2018
    phoenix
    great advice above - only offering mine as sometimes alternative ideas just click...

    I recently did some f holes where a 1/4 shank wouldn't fit as there were spots that where more narrow, and the top I was using was 3/8 maple making a dremel not my first choice.

    The way I did it was to use photoshop... take my f hole and scale it up 1/16" larger (1/8" overall). printed and glued that to 1/4 mdf. cut out one side, used that cutout to cut then flip then cut on another 1/4" mdf final template stock (so it would be symmetrical). Then I used a 1/8" bit with a 1/4" shank and just rode on the template. Important to wax the template and keep the router moving to avoid burns/irregularities.
     
  10. mangus

    mangus Tele-Meister

    Age:
    35
    269
    Nov 2, 2016
    Portugal
    i think the cheapest solution might be the one RogerC suggested as I already have a rotary tool and a base
     
  11. Preacher

    Preacher Friend of Leo's

    Apr 17, 2007
    Big D
    Cheapest may not be the best option though, if you have doctor steady hands it is possible.
     
  12. RickyRicardo

    RickyRicardo Friend of Leo's

    Mar 27, 2012
    Calgary, Alberta
    I use a full size router with the 1/4" bit and have no issues at all. I slow the router down and ride the shaft of the bit on the template. Scared the crap out of me the first time but after a couple seconds realized it was very easy. I admire Roger for going freehand but not for me. One slip and you're done.
     
    Arch Stanton likes this.
  13. trapdoor2

    trapdoor2 Tele-Holic Gold Supporter

    Age:
    61
    506
    Feb 23, 2018
    Nawth Alabama
    Depends. I would rout it but it would be pretty easy to drill a couple starting holes and use a scroll saw.
     
    Smiff likes this.
  14. mangus

    mangus Tele-Meister

    Age:
    35
    269
    Nov 2, 2016
    Portugal
    I've ordered a 1/4'' router bit with a top bearing, I think that'll do the trick.

    Thanks everyone
     
    Arch Stanton likes this.
  15. Arch Stanton

    Arch Stanton Tele-Meister

    384
    Sep 18, 2012
    Dartmouth, NS, CA
    I did my f-holes with a 1/4 top bearing bit and template on the router table. I used forstner bits and chisels to get it 90% cut out and ran the bit just to clean up.

    Be extra careful on the pointy bits of the F's they like to snap off.
     
    weevilcaster likes this.
  16. Freekmagnet

    Freekmagnet Tele-Meister

    246
    Dec 7, 2015
    Ventura County, CA
    I use a paper template and tack it on the body with temporary spray mount. Then I drill an access hole and rough out the shape with a coping saw, followed by some fine tuning with files and sandpaper on a popsicle stick. It doesn’t take much time and it’s pretty hard to screw up.
     
  17. robt57

    robt57 Telefied Ad Free Member

    Feb 29, 2004
    Portland, OR
    Hand scroll saw [HD coping saw] rough cut before gluing on top, then two spiral bits after glued. Mainly because I always seem to use hard woods for the tops. The first one I did it all after gluing via router [have a small one as well as a biggy] and knew I'd rather screw it up before gluing the top on, if you get my 'Drifting'.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2018
  18. Smiff

    Smiff Tele-Holic

    582
    Oct 1, 2017
    UK
    I drilled a series of holes within the outline of the F, joined them with a coping saw then filed and sanded it to shape.
     
  19. Crafty Fox

    Crafty Fox Tele-Afflicted

    Nov 25, 2011
    Perth Australia
    Me too.
     
    Smiff likes this.
  20. Reckless Rat

    Reckless Rat Tele-Meister

    481
    Feb 26, 2014
    UK
    The first ones I did, I freehanded with a 1/4" spiral bit, which went OK. Since then, I have preferred to drill and then use a coping saw, then clean up with edges with a sharp chisel and finish off (if needed) with sanding paper stuck to an icecream stick. I really like using the chisel with a sort of slicing motion.

    Grab some scrap and see what works for you.
     
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