The Buttercaster Project

Jack Wells

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I'm a big believer in using a router table. One can be built very easily. Here's one I built and have used for years.

http://www.tdpri.com/telephoto/showgallery.php/cat/583

When routing a body shape you need to pay attention to the direction of the cutter with respect to the grain of the wood. Sometimes you go in one direction ............ sometimes in the other. I think of it as "making sure the cutter isn't cutting uphill into the grain". Maybe someone else has a better way of describing it.
 

kyle1167

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jwells393 said:
I'm a big believer in using a router table. One can be built very easily. Here's one I built and have used for years.

http://www.tdpri.com/telephoto/showgallery.php/cat/583

When routing a body shape you need to pay attention to the direction of the cutter with respect to the grain of the wood. Sometimes you go in one direction ............ sometimes in the other. I think of it as "making sure the cutter isn't cutting uphill into the grain". Maybe someone else has a better way of describing it.

Thanks for the advice. My mother in law has a router and router table that is just collecting dust in my brothers shed. Time to clean it off and put it to work.

One more question. Would I still need a band saw for trimming down the stock for making a neck?
 

celeste

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Hey Buck , thanks so much for letting us come along for the ride. We learn and it is great fun. For what it is worth , I am most intrigued at the "ButterBurst" idea , if nothing else , I love the name.

To expand on what jack said about which direction to cut , generally , you want to cut so the cutting edge comes down into the wood, That the cutter compresses the fibers instead of trying to pull them apart. Cutting this way will tend to minimize splintering and tear out, but it also will pull the bit into the work so you really need control of the work and router. Tear out can still happen at the "bottom" of the cut where the cutting edge is leaving the wood if the grain intersects at a slight angle. The only real answer is use a really sharp bit, take real small cuts and experiment before you get to the final cut to see what gives the best results

If the weather cooperates , I have a date with a pin router on Sunday. A group build , I think at least 4 bodies will be cut out that day. It is kind of funny that us Tele builders know each other from CAMS ( Chesapeake area metalworking society). It is really cool because one of us makes Charlie Christian pickups and another makes bridges, so I have lots of great stuff to learn from lots of great people.
 

mojocasterman

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Celeste, that sounds like a great way to learn and have a good time at the same time! Good for you... now if I could only convince Arlo to let me shadow him when he makes those delicious pinecasters ;)
 

FenderAmpGAS

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Man, I love these threads. They make me wish I took shop way back when I was in high school. Can't wait to see the final finish on this tele's body.
 

reddogbass

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08_climbcuts_sm.gif


Regarding tearout while routing- Celeste described it perfectly,but sometimes an illustration helps.

This is from the Stew-Mac site. It is for routing for binding, and shown on a dreadnought. But the grain direction of the top will be oriented the same as the grain in a solid body guitar, and will minimize the possibility of tear-out.

Make the short cuts (reverse) first, and then follow with a complete cut in the forward direction.
 

Ronkirn

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Here's a little trade secret a lot of us use to insure a smooth cut....we make the initial cuts with an older router bit, that has been sharpened several times. Let the old stuff do the heavy lifting.

Sharpening the carbide will reduce the overall diameter a few thousandths each time... Using such a bit will leave a few thousandths of wood remaining once the body has been cut out.

Now change to a nice new fresh bit and go around the outside again, it will remove the remaining wood, but since it is so very slight, the cut is quite smooth, also because you are removing so little wood, the new bit will remain serviceably sharp for quite a long time.

Ron Kirn
 

Buckocaster51

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Exchanging ideas and tips like this is a lot of fun. I've been so danged busy with work and life that I haven' been able to do anything this week except order stuff. But I want to keep everybody up-to-date so here goes.

These are the three (What!?) bodies that I have ready to go.

threebodies.jpg


Two are alder and the top one is poplar. My that poplar is soft. The poplar will most likely become the Buttercaster, one of the alder bodies will be painted Capri Orange (or at least as close as I can come to it) and the other is going to become Buckocaster IV - black & white checkered purfling, and the biggest SILVER or TEAL flake that I can find. Maple board and matching headstock.

My box of supplies from Stewart MacDonald has arrived.

stewmacsupplies.jpg


Binding, pickup covers, and those all-important Electro-Sockets.

Back in June the fine folks at Custom Inlay made up some Black & White checkered purfling for me.

checkerboardbinding.jpg


Necks and pickups are on the way.

I also have a oscillating spindle sander coming! I decided to go with a Grizzly. Combined with the other tools out in the garage I think it will do the job. It was also sort of not too far away from my $99 self-imposed limit on what I pay for tools.

More later, but all I am doing this weekend is yard work, grading exams, and guitar playing. No time for this other fun stuff. ;)
 
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mojocasterman

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It was also sort of not too far away from my $99 self-imposed limit on what I pay for tools.

also sort of no too far away from? That definitely made me chuckle!

Thanks for keeping us posted. This is a great thread.
 

sean79

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I also have a oscillating spindle sander coming! I decided to go with a Grizzly.
Let us know how that spindle sander works out for you. The shop at my old job had one - used it on some trim work for my house - never for a guitar body. The shop at my new job doesn't have one...
 

Indiana

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Not sure if this helps, but...

I love the two tone "Iceburst" color on these new Gibson Les Paul Goddesses.
 

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Tom S

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Buckocaster, I haven't checked into this thread for some time. Great work so far! It all sounds so familiar! :lol:

I will add my vote for a router table as the best thing you can add in the future. I also agree with Tedecaster (I think) that the Porter Cable 690 router is a good choice...sort of a standard workhorse.

A tip for anyone cutting out the rough body shape, no matter whether you're using a bandsaw or a jigsaw: When you're cutting the inside turns, first make some straight cuts perpendicular to the line of the body. This way, when you cut parallel to the line, you will be removing pieces of wood and getting them out of the way as you go. It will make cutting the tight turns in particular much easier and safer.

Buck, good luck on the binding. If you don't already have one, the Stew-Mac bit works really well for this. It should be a breeze.
 

Buckocaster51

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So today a box of AllParts necks from Rob DiStefano shows up. Couldn't resist the temptation. Had to perform a trial fit to see how the neck pockets turned out.

neckfit500.jpg


I think I'm happy. Both bodies I cut out and the USACG that I have laying around all look pretty much the same. Nice and snug.

By the way, the router nick in the neck pickup cavity will be covered up by the pickguard. ;)

Another by the way, I used a new Photoshop technique to "sharpen" this image. Can you tell the difference? :rolleyes:
 

Jack Wells

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The picture does look sharp. So ....... you're the go-to-guy for questions about Photoshop ........

I also am a fan of Porter Cable routers. Especially after using a Craftsman Commercial router which was an absolute piece of crap. However, Porter Cable routers are more than $99.

To answer Jelly's question above about how I attach the router to my home built table: The router's base plate is removed and longer flat head screws go throught countersunk holes in the top of the router table into the router.
 

Buckocaster51

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jwells393 said:
The picture does look sharp. So ....... you're the go-to-guy for questions about Photoshop ........

shhhh...

might be veering off topic just a smidge...I just read a lot and have access to some fun stuff.

Look at the difference in these two:

threebodies.jpg


threebodiessharp.jpg


especially in the body grain (and bird poo) ...

It's a technique I just picked up in MacAddict magazine.

Copy the layer/Filter>Other>High-Pass @ about 6 pixels/set layer light to Soft/play with Opacity to taste

Works a whole lot better than Unsharp Mask.

Now back to guitars...

You know, I have a router table. It just never occurred to me to use it on these bodies. :oops:

I also have a Craftsman (PoC) Router, but I haven't used that because it is bolted to the bottom of the router table.:rolleyes:

Maybe it's time to CLEAN that garage.
 




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