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Profile routing with a thin template

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by frank1985, Nov 21, 2020 at 1:42 PM.

  1. frank1985

    frank1985 TDPRI Member

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    Hey guys, planning my first build here. I have a set of tele body and neck templates 6mm in thickness, with a top and bottom bearing router cutter on the way (12.5mm 1/2” cutting length and diameter). Instead of forking out on new, thicker templates, how do I make this work where I’m cutting only 2mm at a time...because as it stands, if I want to cut gradually, the bearing would be floating above the template. What max cutting depth is safe for me to use at once before wood starts flying off? What would you guys suggest in this situation?

    The only thing I can think of is to maybe leave a bit more wood on the edges with the bandsaw and route freehand all the way around, I.e. with no guide until the bearing is level with the template, then go from there? But I’m not sure how much control I’d have this way.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2020 at 2:01 PM
  2. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I don't think you can if you have bearings at both ends. Get yourself a stewmac router bit or similar short one.
    stewmac.png

    Here is a 10mm one in the UK.


    1/4" Shank Mortise Template Flush Trim Router Bit Cutter 10mm x 12mm x 45mm | eBay



    It has a depth of 1/2" inch. It is perfect for thin templates and can go as deep as a tele or strat control cavity. You may want a flush trim bit to do the rest of the perimeter once you've gone down that 1.5" or use the one you have with both bearings.

    My early templates were all 1/4" plywood. You will notice stewmac templates are thin too.


    If this is similar ?

    bearing.png


    Pattern routing puts you in a situation that introduces the potential for tear out. You can cut and sand to the line and not have that potential.


    The kind of bit you bought, it it like the one I show, is only really for cleaning up a 1/32 to 1/16" of wood after it is cut off.....
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2020 at 2:00 PM
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  3. frank1985

    frank1985 TDPRI Member

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  4. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    That should do it. The first cut would be the same as the stew mac one....then you can adjust for smaller depths after the first pass. Most everyone will tell you to make thicker templates from your original...I never did. They just got repaired if dinged up. Sometimes I used plastic wood, other times 2 part epoxy, occasionally I used superglue and baking soda. 40 Years later they are still usable, just not beautiful. :). YMMV.


    One benefit of the stewmac bit is you can run multiple bearings, which gives you a little more insurance in case a bit self destructs...and they can... been there done that.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2020 at 2:15 PM
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  5. frank1985

    frank1985 TDPRI Member

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    Ok so to be sure I understand ...for the first pass it’s ok to use the full length of the 1/2” cutter more or less, but for every cut thereafter i should adjust the depth for smaller 1-2mm cuts?

    I understand there’s always a risk...if I can get my bandsaw cut close enough I may consider sanding and using the rasp. :)
     
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  6. Peegoo

    Peegoo Poster Extraordinaire

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    You can safely remove wood to a depth of 1/2". Just make sure the amount of cut is no more than half the diameter of the cutter you're using. That guarantees a smooth, easy to control cutting operation.

    Here's the ideer:

    [​IMG]
     
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  7. frank1985

    frank1985 TDPRI Member

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    Ahh ok, thank you for clarifying...it’s the diameter and not the length I should have been more concerned about then..it’s obvious now. I’ve used up my stupid question quota this week then on tdpri..
     
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  8. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    You should be trimming off as much wood as you can before you pattern rout anything. These bits are really good at taking off 1/16" or less of wood sticking off the perimeter...depth isn't as adjustable on the first pass unless you use thicker templates.


    Most people here that perimeter pattern rout...( I try not to because of the tearout issue) cut off the excess body wood leaving less than a 1/8 of wood for the bit to take off. If you are routing off more than that off the perimeter...you are going to take chunks out. A quarter of an inch would be too much in my opinion and that's what the above illustration is saying is OK. If you have a double ended spiral bit, the tear out is reduced but still not eliminated.


    This is why I preach cut and sand... because even after perimeter routing...you still have to sand...


    Taking shallower passes will probably leave more machine marks but reduce the tearout issue. The tearout will generally occur where the grain changes direction.

    Some will say go with the grain there...but that could send the wood across the room, so I say no thanks to that.


    Router cuts are supposed to go against the direction of rotation.


    Template Routing Tips | Popular Woodworking Magazine


    Making & Using Router Templates | Woodsmith
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2020 at 3:05 PM
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  9. Peegoo

    Peegoo Poster Extraordinaire

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    High speed (cutter RPM) and slow feed (how fast you push the tool) is the key.

    But I've been doing this stuff for a long time.

    [shakes cane in a threatening manner]

    :twisted:
     
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  10. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Old man yells at clouds and shakes walker at man with cane....1/4" is too much from what I have experienced, especially in harder woods...YMMV...:). I can hear the tear out now.... I've been doing it longer... ....Ruining wood professionally since 1976....
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2020 at 3:13 PM
  11. frank1985

    frank1985 TDPRI Member

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    I really appreciate the advice guys...I’m certainly willing to err on the side of caution and bandsaw as much off as possible beforehand to put less strain on the bit.
     
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  12. Jim_in_PA

    Jim_in_PA Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    The first cut with a thin template is the dicy one because of that thin edge for the bearing. A tool with a shorter cutting length is going to be best here and as has been pointed out, you want things cut just proud of the line before you go to pattern route it. The second and following cuts can use the actual body contour that was routed in the first pass to help support the bearing.

    It's best to leave longer cutters for table use, IMHO. The one advantage in that scenario for the tooling with bearings top and bottom is that you can flip the piece to always be cutting in the best direction to minimize tear-out as you manipulate the curves.
     
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  13. frank1985

    frank1985 TDPRI Member

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    Just put in an order for a shorter cutting bit (9.5mm). The bottom bearing is 1" - couldn't find a decent short one, though that should be ok right, with the greater legroom for the bearing?

     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2020 at 6:45 PM
  14. bullfrogblues

    bullfrogblues Friend of Leo's

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    The first thing I would do is make 'working' templates of thicker material, either 1/2" or 3/4" MDF. It will be much easier to run the bearing on your project with thicker templates. Save the 1/4" as a master to make templates, not actually run the guitar bodies. That opens more possibilities for using different router bits as well.
     
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  15. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity

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    You make it work by NOT doing it that way..

    Look at it this way.. you are gonna take that skinny template and rout something aren't ya? So.. instead of making a royal mess of a nice piece of wood... use the skinny template to make a thick template.. out of ¾ MDF... THEN, take the MDF template and make a second one and stash both the skinny and the first MDF template as masters... You never ever use your masters for anything other than making a working template...

    Now take the second MDF template, it's the working template, and have at it... using a longer bit, so there's less passes, resulting in less chances something will slip taking a bite out of the body, and/or a chomp at a finger...

    and while you're out there making sawdust.. make yourself a router table of some sort.. there's plenty of threads about how to do it.. it's easy and will make routing a body a hellova lot easier..

    r
     
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