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holding pieces for routing

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Josh Curry, Dec 23, 2004.


  1. Josh Curry

    Josh Curry

    May 29, 2003
    Frisco, TX
    Is there a simple way to hold, let's say, a bass body in place on your work bench so that you can radius the edge with a router without the use of clamps so that you can do the whole thing in 1 pass? Or is this just not possible?
     
  2. Josh Curry

    Josh Curry

    May 29, 2003
    Frisco, TX
    Cool, I have some of that. I wasn't sure if it would hold good enough for routing. I think I'll test a scrap piece of wood first to see how it acts.
     
  3. Double sided tape. I use double sided tape constantly when building. Works great.
     
  4. Cliff Bordwell

    Cliff Bordwell Commercial User

    Jan 6, 2004
    USA , Orlando , Florida
    Owner of CB BASSES
    That stuff works good, you will have to rinse it off every once in a while. They don't hold as well when coverd in wood dust.

    If you have a router table, that is a good choice.
     
  5. Josh Curry

    Josh Curry

    May 29, 2003
    Frisco, TX
    Double stick tape it to the work bench? I guess that would work too.
     
  6. Josh Curry

    Josh Curry

    May 29, 2003
    Frisco, TX
    I have a router table, just not much confidence with it yet.
     
  7. Yep, works really good. The tape I use is really strong and the piece won't budge.

    I haven't tried one of those pads but they sound interesting.

    The table would definitely be the easier way to radius the body.
     
  8. budman

    budman Commercial User

    Oct 7, 2004
    Houston, TX
    Formerly the owner/builder of LeCompte Electric Bass
    That mat stuff is ok. I also have this piece of cabinet grade plywood that's 40" x 18" with a 1x4 glued and screwed flat along one of the long edges. I use is as a routing surface for doing all kinds of stuff. The 1x4 acts as a stop and keeps the body from sliding around. I put, say the treble side, up against the 1x4 and round over the bass side then rotate the body 180 degrees and round over the treble side. Flip the body over and repeat. Works pretty good. You could screw some more 1x's around the body temporarily for extra stops if needed.
     
  9. On my most recent bass remake, I just took 3/4" thick plywood in about 2-5" widths, lengths about 1 foot. Clamped onto the table saw deck. Oh yeah placed the body on a towel and moved all the wood around to clamp on all 4 sides. Worked like a charm. No clamps touching body wood, only wood to wood. Held nice and tight, just flipped the body and did the other side.
    Neccesity what a mother! :)
    Dirk
     
  10. I use a complete set of nesting 3/4" templates with each having various ways of attaching to my worktop. The positive shapes are used for routing shapes on the instrument while the negative shapes come in handy to hold the body blank for detailing after initial shaping. The system is based on a rough rectangular blank ranging from 14¾"-15½" wide x 21"-22" long. Any smaller and it doesn't fit the body shape. It's a pretty cool way to do repetive and often altered designs. It's also improved my accuracy with the handrouter.
     
  11. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    Unless you have 10 fingers and 2 more hands under your Christmas Tree, Don't chance the Tape thing. It is very dangerous. The Router can shake it loose, you could cut too much if it jumps, a chunk of wood can chip out, etc.

    The best way is to either, do it in sections and blend it in OR, Build a router table (router upside down) and round it over that way... Be Very carefull with all routers..

    The safest way is with a pin router or onsrude(up-side down) router using a vacume Jig......

    We use router tables and pin routers.. take your time, dont take off too much wood with the router (bandsaw it close to the pencil line b4 hand), and be patient.. don't rush!!
     
  12. Josh Curry

    Josh Curry

    May 29, 2003
    Frisco, TX
    Well, I think that settles it! Thanks for the pro advice Ken :)
     
  13. I agree that using a routing table is the safe way to do it. If I tried to route around the body with the router on top I would ruin the piece.

    I'm not sure how taping a piece of wood to a table top is dangerous or how you can lose a finger when your holding the router with both hands. I can see how you can screw up the wood.

    I would assume that if the tape method is dangerous then using one of those mats would be even worse since it's not being held by anything.

    Ken has a lot more experience than me so I would do what he says. Use your table. And like he said cut as close to the line as you can with your band saw. I had the router break almost the entire lower horn off a body one time. I was taking off too much wood and moving way too fast.

    Thanks for the advice Ken.
     
  14. Ken,

    How do you feel about using double sided tape to attach routing templates to a piece? Thats how I attach the body template when using the router table. I also use it for pickup, neck pocket, and control cavity templates. I've seen it recommended a number of times.

    Thanks.
     
  15. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    Tape can come loose and ruin the work at least. If you are applying pressure when this happends, depending on how you are bent over of what type of balance you have at the moment, or where your hand and fingers are at that second, alot worse can happen.

    Always have things well affixed. Use a bridge hole to screw down templates at one end and clamp at the other end. Do not trust tape to hold things in place while you are using a power tool. You do NOT have control of what and how things will FLY if something suddenly comes loose.

    Even with good equiptment and tooling (Jigs, Etc.) I have made a few trips to the 'Emergency Room' as the "Driver"...Always due to Operator Carelessness.. It's no fun waiting to see how much of the finger of one of your employees is missing and I am sure it's even less fun for them. I personally have been Stiched up only once... I've learned my lesson about what I can hold and what will hold the wood or stick to the table..

    Do NOT find out the hard way.......Merry Christmas.....