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advice on routing?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by mudhooker, May 15, 2011.

  1. mudhooker


    May 13, 2011
    Lake Placid, NY
    I'm putting a p bass and jazz pickup in an old ibanez st980 body. This body has pickup cavities for some kind of active soapbars I believe. I want to route it all out into one " swimming pool" and somehow mount the new pickups..which I think a custom pickguard could hold? I'm thinking of renting a router..other than practicing on scrap, dies anyone have any advice? Is there a certain size router I should use? Any thoughts would help! Thanks..
  2. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    Get the proper templates, the correct bit (ball bearing pattern bit), and don't try to cut the entire cavity in one bite. Go slow and gradually go deeper until you reach your required depth.
  3. Beej


    Feb 10, 2007
    Victoria, BC
    With all due respect, those are beautiful and relatively rare basses, please think about restoring it...
  4. mudhooker


    May 13, 2011
    Lake Placid, NY
    Understandable Beej. But I only have the body..zero hardware or electronics..I have the neck but it has been turned fretless and has been sanded down because of a bow I was told. I got it at a yard sale for 5 bucks..then I was given Lane Poor pups from a friend ..
  5. silentk


    Feb 7, 2011
    Just to add to Hopkins's comment: the way I was taught to rout was to first hog out as much material as possible with forstner bits on a drill press, then use a router to clean up the edges and bottom of the cavity, neck pocket, etc. I see pictures around the internet of people using only a handheld router to do all the work (and sometimes a Dremel), and I can't imagine either their routers or their bits last very long. The less material the router has to take off, the easier it will be to control the cut and the better the overall performance and results will be. Big CNC routers can obviously do more, but for handheld stuff I tend to err on the side of making the router do as little work as possible. And get high-quality bits -- the Stew Mac bits have been good for me, and I've had good luck with Whiteside bits, too.
  6. HaMMerHeD

    HaMMerHeD Supporting Member

    May 20, 2005
    Norman, OK, USA

    Use a template, hog out as much as possible with a forstner, and use good bits. I have had good luck with stewmac, bosch, and freud bits.

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