Tool Help

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by Beerfish, Feb 9, 2009.

  1. Beerfish

    Beerfish Tele-Holic

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    I would be very grateful if some one could anser a few questions for me.How big of a band saw do you need to do a blank and what are some other tools I would need to make my own bodies? I have a table saw a router ,hand drill and hand sander. thanks
     
  2. Colt W. Knight

    Colt W. Knight Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    A standard 14" bandsaw is probably the best size. Of course I have seen bigger and smaller that would work equally or better. However, I think a 14'' would be ideal.

    I would highly reccomend a router table, a 1/4 sheet hand sander, and some sort of jig that would allow you to drill perfectly straight holes. Being as you have a router, you don't really need the band saw if you cant afford it, a simple jig saw will do the trick.

    Really, I think you have the basics. Some other good things to have laying around are rubber sanding blocks, forstner bits, and soldering equipment when you are ready to start wiring her up.

    Some pricey items that are indispensable if you are going to be doing much wood work/body building are a thickness planer and a joiner. Pretty expensive items, and not really worth purchasing unless you are going to use them a lot. Simply cheaper to buy guitar blanks or wood planed to the proper thickness. With a little ingenuity, you can join wood together perfectly using your router.
     
  3. Colt W. Knight

    Colt W. Knight Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    As you can see, most of the major brands of band saws are incredibly similiar, and with a little adjustment on all of them you can get varying levels of precision. I personally own the Central Machinery one, the green one, available at harbor freight. I got mine on sale for 150$, and it was worth every penny. It is not a real precision machine, but it works great, and I can get close enough for tele bodies ( with some adjustments, good blades, and a few mods, this is an excellent machine, especially if you get it on sale). The Delta and Rigid are of equal good quality in my opinion ( all the average wood worker would ever need and more), and the Jett is probably the best machine to get if money is not an option (Jett is probably "THE NAME" in woodworking if you are going to be doing a lot of high quality wood working projects.
     

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  4. Beerfish

    Beerfish Tele-Holic

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    I do have a jig saw but wasnt sure if that would get the side striaght enough maybe I,ll try that.I was going to buy a blank and template.So you use a router to plane the edges when you make a blank out of already planed wood?
     
  5. Beerfish

    Beerfish Tele-Holic

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    I was looking at a nine inch at sears to small?
     
  6. Beerfish

    Beerfish Tele-Holic

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    150 at the harbor sounds good how many inch?
     
  7. Colt W. Knight

    Colt W. Knight Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    In my opinion, a 9 inch is too small. I had a few of those as a kid, and they are more for arts and crafts than serious wood working.
    As far as the jig saw goes - What you want to do is lay your template on your blank and trace the outline. Then cut to about 1/8th along the line. Then you can remove the rest of the material using your router/router table, a pattern bit, and your template.

    You can joing wood using your router. All you need is a router, router table, and a straight edge. You can set up your straight edge along the edge of the wood very close to where you ripped it with your table saw. Use the straight edge as you would your template and route along its edge using a pattern bit. Do this on both joining edges. You should have two straight edges to glue up and make a nice joint. This is a technique that requires practice, so get some 2X8 and go to town. Then glue up your 2x8s, and practice cutting out your body and routing to the edge using your templates. ALWAYS MAKE working templates from your master templates. You will, this isn't a maybe, screw up a few times when your getting the hang of this, so don't ruin your template in the process.
    2x8s only cost a few dollars a piece, and the practice will increase your confidence, bump up your learning curve, and ensure your actual body made from your good wood turns out as best as possible.
     
  8. Colt W. Knight

    Colt W. Knight Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    All those are 14 inches. I would only buy the Harbor Freight band saw if it went on sale for less than 200$. They list for 330$, but they go on sale frequently, so check their website or sign up for their mailing list. It is a good saw, and I have had mine for 6 years without any problems.
     
  9. Beerfish

    Beerfish Tele-Holic

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    thanks you have been alot of help.think I,m gonna try the jig saw and I will be praticeing before I try a blank
     
  10. Nick JD

    Nick JD Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Jig saws are fine for roughing out guitar bodies (and necks too) if you remember one thing: the bottom of the blade will always take a wider arc than the top of the blade when negotiating a curve.
     
  11. mkhhunt

    mkhhunt Tele-Meister

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    Drill Press

    So far, the only thing I really needed other than hand sanders, jig saw and router was a drill press for the string-through holes and the jack hole. I could probably have messed around and made up a jig, but the drill press was just easier. I picked up a 12" delta used and cheap. (Watch the throat depth on the smaller ones, you really need about 5 1/2 to 6" between the drill and the post.)

    It's amazing how much I actually use it now that it's there on the bench.

    Probably the next tool would be a spindle sander
     
  12. Jack Wells

    Jack Wells Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    This is a great tool.

    ......[​IMG]

    I agree that a drill press is essential. The Delta 12 in. benchtop drill press can be had for $179.
     
  13. tweeet

    tweeet Tele-Holic

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    When I started building I first used a jigsaw...for two builds and found it rather difficult.As above, negotiating curves is pretty tough...and it takes a lot of strength just to control the thing..and it takes ages! I didn't have the room for a bandsaw so I just used my router.Routing around my template in passes of 3mm a time.It took a little more time than the jigsaw..but a lot less effort...and a clean cut meant less trimming and sanding afterwards and this is the method I still use.
     
  14. LocustPlague

    LocustPlague Tele-Holic

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    I'm considering adding some tools to my "shop" as well. I recently got a drill press -- partly for the ferrule holes on the tele I was working on, partly to help with drilling through-holes in my home-made circuit boards.

    The main two things I'm considering are a bandsaw and one of those rigid oscillating spindle/edge sanders. However, as my workspace is rather small and unorthodox (approx 4ft ceilings...good thing I like to sit on the floor) I was considering a 9in bandsaw. Weight is another concern, as it has to be carried up a fairly narrow spiral staircase.

    I saw one at Harbor Freight that is approx 3ft tall, 9in, 3+5/8 max stock thickness for $140. I won't be doing "major" woodworking with it -- just a few bodies/necks here and there, as well as cutting off circuit boards. I'm always sawing this or that, so it'll see a bit more use, but nothing extreme.

    I guess this is more directed at Colt: what issues do you really have with the smaller bandsaws? Is it a lack of power? Or is it really just the narrow throat depth makes things a bit more challenging to set up and execute?
     
  15. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    You get what you pay for in tools and machines. You probably won't regret buying a decent machine that is sold by Powermatic, Delta, or Jet. At work we had a couple Reliants and a couple No Name taiwanese saws. They were pretty crummy and have since been replaced by Jets. I'm not a fan of harbor freight either. I haven't had anything yet that was any good. YMMV. Grizzly on the other hand does have a service center at their locations in the event you need a replacement part.
    marty
     
  16. Colt W. Knight

    Colt W. Knight Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I have had two 9 inch band saws, a Ryobi and a Delta. Both were nice little saws for what they are intended for, small arts and crafts type things. These little saws have a little table to work with, a lot smaller throat depth, so negotiating curves on something large is more difficult. I was constantly popping off blades when I tried to cut something more than 1/4" or 3/8" thickness. I also broke blades fairly quickly. In my opinion, a 9" bandsaw to use on tele blanks and necks is a waste of money. Its not that there is anything wrong with these little machines, they are just intended for a lot smaller stock. On the other hand, I can take my 14" HF bandsaw and resaw hard rock maple 3" thick to make neck blanks. I can cut 2" body blanks with ease. You would spend more time fighting a 9" than you would if you used another more appropriate tool such as a jigsaw. Another issue with the 9"s is that they have much lower quality level on their bearing and guides. Trying to cut thick stock will essentially eat up those guide bearings and guide blocks. :eek: You will also have a problem with power, and the blade will probably bind in thick stock negotiating turns. The phrase bringing a knife to a gunfight comes to mind.

    A good jigsaw will probably cost less than a 9" bandsaw, work better, be more portable, and have more applications. Does that mean a 9" bandsaw is worthless. NO! I much prefer a small bandsaw to a scroll saw any day, unless I am working with something that is less than 1/4" thick.

    When it comes to tools, buy the highest quality you can afford, and make sure its the right tool for the job. All these tools are designed to make our lives easier and production faster. Buying an inappropriate tool doesn't make your life easier. A good coping saw is only about 30$ or less, and it would save you a lot of space and sawdust.
     
  17. Colt W. Knight

    Colt W. Knight Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I bought one of these a few weeks ago Jack. Either I am still learning how to use it properly, or I am trying to use it for the wrong applications, because its not nearly as handy for guitar building as I thought it would be. However, it is great for shelves and smoothing out band saw cuts.
     
  18. Colt W. Knight

    Colt W. Knight Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I will agree that most stuff Harbor Freight sells is crapola. However, I have two belt sanders, a benchtop grinder/buffer, and a bandsaw that have been great. I also realize that my band saw is not nearly a precision machine like the Jet. If I had the money, everything would be Jet, that is for sure. But I think there are values available at HF for the discerning shopper and home craftsman on the budget. Really just depends on your application. You don't need a 900$ jet to rough cut tele bodies, but you can't use my HF bandsaw to make fine furniture either.
     
  19. LocustPlague

    LocustPlague Tele-Holic

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    HF just depends. Some of their stuff is total crap, some of their stuff is exactly the same as branded stuff. If you do a bit of research, you'll eventually find something well worth the cost.

    Aside from that 9" bandsaw at HF, I'm considering this: http://www.woodcraft.com/product.aspx?ProductID=842691&FamilyID=63964

    It's a bit pricier for not much deeper throat, but I've only heard good things about Jet and hoped that this smaller machine might fit my needs. However, I can't seem to find any size information about the machine itself. It is almost 50% heavier than the HF machine, which will make the stairs fun, but I got my 120lb drill press up there, so I know it can be done...
     
  20. Colt W. Knight

    Colt W. Knight Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    You will be able to do A LOT more with that 10 inch Jet than you will a 9" Delta, Ryobi, Craftsmen, Central or other smaller bandsaw. Jet is extremely high quality stuff, so you wont have to worry about the rollers, guides, and wheels tearing up like on the 9 inch deals.
     
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