Router vs drum-sanding body

Discussion in 'The DIY Tool Shed' started by Mat UK, Dec 4, 2014.

  1. Mat UK

    Mat UK Tele-Afflicted

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    So, I'm at a stage were I've rough cut as close as I can to my template line on the body. I've been advised to drum sand (or equivalent) to the line and forget using the router - it's too risky.

    Is this the accepted view?

    If I go for the hand router route, any tips for producing a good result?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Tinman46

    Tinman46 Tele-Meister

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    i would go with a router table and template for the final cut.

    This is the first video I found that shows the basic idea.

     
  3. raito

    raito Poster Extraordinaire

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    If it's your first/only body, I wouldn't bother with the router, especially if you have a sander. It may not be a popular opinion here (where everyone seems to use the router), but unless you need perfect reproducibility (which manufacturers do), you don't really need to use a template for the outside of the body.

    You may want to, but you don't need to.

    But whatever you do, don't do like the guy in the video. Use safety glasses, at least.
     
  4. Mat UK

    Mat UK Tele-Afflicted

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    Thanks that's great. I only have the hand routing option available to me at the moment. Was thinking of creating a Melamine router table jig - But I'm a little impatient so was planning on having a go by hand
     
  5. dsutton24

    dsutton24 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I do it both ways, just depending on how good my template is, how the wood is acting, and what my frame of mind is.

    Sanding is somewhat contemplative... as long as I've got a machine of some sort to do it. :D It's harder to have one of those 'oh s$$*' moments, but it takes more skill and attention to do it well and not end up with ripples, and puts a ton of dust into the air.

    Routing is faster. You have to make very light cuts with a sharp bit to avoid tearouts. The body has to be clamped down and repositioned often. If I'm having one of those all thumbs days, I just avoid the router out of self preservation.

    This is one of those topics where well meaning people tend to get up on their soapboxes and yell. If you use a router you're a hopeless boob who will surely lose an arm. If you're a sander you're a talentless hack.

    Either method works fine. You're the best judge of your skill level and the quality and availability of tools.
     
  6. Mat UK

    Mat UK Tele-Afflicted

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    It is indeed my first. I'm a stickler for accuracy, my sanding workstation (disc and belt) is fairly basic and small and I wasn't planning on relying on it to get an accurate finish... plus I've already shaped the template and bought the cutters

    I think, maybe I'm waiting for someone to say something along the lines of:

    "Yeh, go for it, hand routing is easy and you 100% definitely won't have any mistakes!"

    I might be waiting a while!
     
  7. funkymann1

    funkymann1 Tele-Holic

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    route.....if you have a tear out you didnt sand it back enough./....
     
  8. Mat UK

    Mat UK Tele-Afflicted

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    Gotcha. A bit more thinking and experimenting for me then...

    When people refer to light cuts - does this relate to the depth of cut or the thickness to the template?
     
  9. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I'm a proponent of sanding the perimeter. Read the build threads and you will see why. Use the search function up above for tearout.
     
  10. Speedy454

    Speedy454 Tele-Holic

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    I only build about 4 or so a year. I use various size sanding drums in my drill press. It is easy to control and much harder to make a serious mistake. But it does take longer.

    One of these days I might spring for a better router and a spiral fluted pattern bit. But until I do, I think I'll stick with the drums in my drill press.

    Stew Mac has a set of drums that have a roller guide on them. That gives the safety of sanding with the repeatability of a pattern cutter. Just a thought...
     
  11. KeithJ

    KeithJ Tele-Meister

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    I cut close to the line, then sand to it with the ROSS for the perimeter of the body.
     
  12. Mat UK

    Mat UK Tele-Afflicted

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    Thanks for everyones advice. I ended up routing. It was pretty successful, no tearout or burns!

    Main things I learned/did:

    - My Bosch palm router is really easy to control, I attached a wide handle base for extra control, I positioned the handle over the body and pivoted around it

    - My cutting bits were new, so nice and sharp with no chatter. They cut like going through butter

    - I jigsawed the body closer to the line initially, I find I have pretty good control and accuracy. This helped the routing

    - I found going in going downhill/uphill(?) the most effective direction for making light cuts, I think If i had a full sized powerful router this wouldn't have been an option.

    Pics and the like here
     
  13. allen082

    allen082 Friend of Leo's

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    This is one I only sanded. I've done it both ways. Something very peaceful about sanding. I really like it. I still use a router when I need to, but its much more stressful.

    [​IMG]
     
  14. bullfrogblues

    bullfrogblues Friend of Leo's

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    Just be sure to use ear and eye protection!!! Not like the guy in the video...
     
  15. Mat UK

    Mat UK Tele-Afflicted

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    Looks great. I don't doubt the ability to get great finishes using both methods. I was keen to route due to time constraints, I felt sanding would be too time consuming... plus I'm doing this in the lounge, sanding would kick up so much dust!
     
  16. Mat UK

    Mat UK Tele-Afflicted

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    I've been using some cycling glasses, a cycling filter mask and gig ear plugs. So kind of protected... no cycling lycra though
     
  17. DW Calumet

    DW Calumet Tele-Meister

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    Im assuming this is a one off? Also, another important question is how you plan on finishing it? If it is a one off id forget the template and carefully drum and hand sand. It leaves you the best chance of not making firewood. Sometimes even if you do everything right with a router but can catch an end grain at an inopportune spot and rip a chunk out (this is why i asked about how it will be finished).

    If you plan on building more guitars (identical or not) you probably want to get comfortable with a router, especially since you already have a template. If you plan on an opaque finish this will be relatively safer.

    My favorite option (but probably the mostly costly at this point) are stew mac robo sanders. They are the best of both worlds. Ive been using this method a lot lately. I spend the extra time getting close with the band saw but it cuts down on the amount hand sanding, filler, and sealer required.
     
  18. Mat UK

    Mat UK Tele-Afflicted

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    It's currently a one off... But I'd like to keep it going, I've spent enough on tools.

    I've actually routed already. I figured that if I was eventually going to route a body (on a future build) I might as well get it out of the way to give me a better judgement second time round.

    Routing went well, I put it down to a low power Bosch palm router 600w. No chunk out or burn, a couple of dips to sand out. Haven't been put off routers, which is the main thing!

    I will eventually get a drum sanding setup, but for the time being I'll have to make do with what I have: a disc/belt sander and hand sanding.

    I've put my build progress up here http://www.tdpri.com/forum/tele-home-depot/526837-run-before-you-walk-caster.html. Comments would be great!
     
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