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can i do this?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by g00eY, Mar 28, 2006.


  1. g00eY

    g00eY

    Sep 17, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    i think there was a thread on this before, but i can't find it...

    can i take a router and use it to cut out my body shape? obviously i'd do like 1/4" passes all the way around the body a couple times.
     
  2. You need to cut out the overall shape first...with a bandsaw... Im not positive. but you should be able to take passes after that...
     
  3. budman

    budman Commercial User

    Oct 7, 2004
    Houston, TX
    Formerly the owner/builder of LeCompte Electric Bass
    Yes you can. That's how I do it. 1/4" per pass is too deep. Think 1/8", maybe even shallower. It takes a lot of passes and you need a few different bits. Shorter ones to start off with, depending on the thickness of your template, and longer ones to be able cut through at the final pass. I like to start off with a 5/8" bit and make enough passes so the bit is in the groove up to the bearing. Then I switch to 1/2" bits. The larger 5/8" wide upper channel keeps the 1/2" bearing from binding in the groove. At some point you'll be able to remove the template and finish cutting. I've tried using the bandsaw to rough out the shape first. It's probably quicker and it's not as rough on your router bits, but I like cutting them out with the router better. It takes about 45 minutes to cut out a typical body because you have to clear the groove after every pass.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. lol... I Just looked at your bass last night... and realized it can be done...

    I shoulda posted again sooner....
     
  5. g00eY

    g00eY

    Sep 17, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    dang Bud... your basses are sick (in a good way :) )

    do i need a template or can i just do it freehand? and you can make a template out of mdf, right? cuz i heard that stuff is pretty cheap.

    sorry for all my noob questions :) , and thank for all the help!
     

  6. yes, im pretty much certan you SHOULD use the mdf... you could probably free hand it if you want... but most likely youve only got one piece of wood... so chances arent fun to take... (unless of course, you like taking chances... which is perfectly fine, as long as your willing to take chances, but dont take chances with taking chances... cause that could get chancy;) )
     
  7. I used to use the bandsaw at a cabinet shop my friend worked at. And now, since my bandsaw sucks ass, I have to use a router. Template or freehand. With an MDF template if it's a recycled body design, free hand if it's not a shape I'll be using again. Downside is, sanding and smoothing the contours of a body made without a template.
     
  8. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    US-NY-NYC
    All this talk of of "freehand" makes me shudder, with images of Wishbasses.
     
  9. budman

    budman Commercial User

    Oct 7, 2004
    Houston, TX
    Formerly the owner/builder of LeCompte Electric Bass
    No freehand! You must use a template and template router bits with the bearing on top. MDF is fine. The more time you spend perfecting the template the nicer the shape will come out.
     
  10. g00eY

    g00eY

    Sep 17, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    ok... mdf it is.

    exactly what bits should i get (as in size)? i looked through some build progress threads and i'm pretty confused. i know i need a forstner bit to speed things. the bass i'm building has a PJ pickup configuration, so should i get a forstner bit that is the width of the J pickup (probably like 5/8")?

    also, what kind and size bit do you use to make those 90 degree cuts for the corners of the neck pocket and pickup cavities?

    thanks for all the help, guys. i'm off to do some more reading on this stuff :) .
     
  11. budman

    budman Commercial User

    Oct 7, 2004
    Houston, TX
    Formerly the owner/builder of LeCompte Electric Bass
    You need template router bits. You'll have to make some kind of neck pocket template. Use the same template bits. Forstner bits are optional for quick wood removal. You'll still have to clean things up with a template and a template bit.
     
  12. g00eY

    g00eY

    Sep 17, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    k, i was just looking at the FAQ and someone suggested www.mlcswoodworking.com for router bits. does anyone know if these are any good? i'm only wondering because they seem pretty cheap.

    right now i think i'm looking at a 5/8" forstner, a 5/8" template, a roundover bit, and a bit for cutting those tight corners. what bit do i use for cutting the tight corners for like the neck pocket and what size roundover bit do you suggest i use?

    template bit:http://www.mlcswoodworking.com/shopsite_sc/store/html/smarthtml/pages/bt_patrn.html

    forstner bit:http://www.mlcswoodworking.com/shopsite_sc/store/html/smarthtml/pages/forsbit.htm

    anything else you suggest i get?

    thanks for the help :) !
     
  13. g00eY

    g00eY

    Sep 17, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    bump?

    :)
     
  14. Greenman

    Greenman

    Dec 17, 2005
    Ontario Canada
    I would use the 1/2" dia.x 1/2" cutting length template bit for the neck pocket and try to find a 3/8" for pickup cavaties, this would give you a tighter 3/16" radius in the corners. Body radius is up to you, but I'm partial to the 1/2" roundover.
    Thats my .02 cents.
     
  15. g00eY

    g00eY

    Sep 17, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    k so right now i'm looking at:
    - 1/2" diameter x 1/2" cutting length template bit
    - 5/8" forstner bit
    - 1/2" roundover bit
    - 3/8" diameter x 1/2" cutting length template bit

    do you think this is enough for me to build a bass?

    thanks for the help!
     
  16. Greenman

    Greenman

    Dec 17, 2005
    Ontario Canada
    You might want to see if you can get long drill bits to drill your passages for pickup wires and ground to the bridge wire if you are going to ground the bridge. I'd consider getting a countersink as well.
    Also - how are you going to attach the neck. If your going to use sountersunk washers and screws you will need the forstner bit for the size of washer your going to use. If your using a neck plate this will not be neccessary. You will need a bit for your jack hole too.
     
  17. g00eY

    g00eY

    Sep 17, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    what does a countersink bit do?

    as for the countersunk washers... i think a 5/8" forstner bit will do. i think my jack hole is slightly bigger. the jack itself is 5/8", but the washers make it 3/4".

    do you think the other 4 bits i mentioned above will do the job (except for the jack hole bit)?

    thanks again for you help!
     
  18. Greenman

    Greenman

    Dec 17, 2005
    Ontario Canada
    I use a countersink to take just a bit of material off the top of any hidden holes I drill such as bridge hole so when you install the bridge it is not rocking on the slight bump created when drilling holes in wood. I would invest in an inexpesive full set of forstner bits and replace with better ones in the sizes you need as you go.:hyper:
     
  19. g00eY

    g00eY

    Sep 17, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    ah i see. thanks for your posts. this is gonna be my first bass, so i dunno if i'll like building so i don't really wanna go all out... hence me wanting only 4 bits. lol yea, but i'll consider getting a full set of forstners.
     
  20. g00eY

    g00eY

    Sep 17, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    i have a question: will bottom mount bearing flush trim bits do the same as top mount?

    it's a bad question, but i'm looking at a router bit set that only has one flush trim bit, which i'm assuming is bottom mount bearing and it's a 1/2" bit.
     

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