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Is this router good enough?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by BassMan257, Mar 21, 2006.

  1. I want to use a router to cut my pickup cavities, electronics cavities, and neck cavities... as well as maybe do some shaping and cutting out of bodys/ necks... do you think this old bag will be able to handle it?


    Its just what my dad has... do you think i should try to borrown another one?

    I mean, if im halfway decent at this, im planning on buying my own tools... and doing it part time during college or something... but i mean, im just wondering if this will be good enough to get the job done, or at least the first fiew...

    also, suggestions on bits would be awesome!
  2. Ok, I don't know anything about the Craftsman(?) brand, is it a plunge router, as long as the height can be adjusted it should be ok for that type of work. If it was the only router I had I'd cut a pickup template and use a pattern bit with a bearing on top and route a few cavities in scrap wood to test it. It's better to use a pattern bit with a bearing on top, but not really necessary if you cannot afford one just use a straight bit and make sure that the shank end runs against the template. If you can find scrap wood with similar properties as the wood you'll be using all the better, but if you don't it doesn't really matter just give it a go and see.
  3. Phil Mailloux

    Phil Mailloux

    Mar 25, 2005
    Brisbane, Australia
    Builder: Mailloux Basses
    I'm sure it's perfectly fine. The first router I used to build my first bass was a 35 year old B & D borrowed from a friend.

    It looks a bit small so might be less powerfull then newer models. Just take smaller or shallower cuts when you use it.
  4. nateo

    nateo Schubie Fan #1

    Mar 2, 2003
    Ottawa, Ontario
    Great things can be accomplished with an underpowered router, but it sure is hard to get results with old dull router bits. This one should (assuming it doesn't explode in your hands) work fine, but do yourself a favour and go buy the best bits you can afford. For starters you'll likely only need a flush trim or template bit with a bearing and maybe a roundover if that's in your plans. When you first see the prices at the store you'll be tempted to buy the great big super cheap set of 20, but you'll never regret spending the same amount on a single high quality bit you know you'll use.

  5. yeah... we have no bits for it... you say that for cutting pickup holes and a neck joint ill only really need a "flush trim" or "template" bit? whats the "roundover" bit do?
  6. nateo

    nateo Schubie Fan #1

    Mar 2, 2003
    Ottawa, Ontario
    Flush trim and template bits are (to the best of my knowledge) the same thing. They usually have a bearing mounted at one end of the cutter to follow your template or in the case of veneer work to follow the edge while trimming the veneer flush.

    A roundover bit is used for curving the corners on a work piece. Lots of people (myself included) like to use a roundover bit on the edges of an instrument to get rid of the hard corners. Personally I like a 1/2" roundover but some like more defined corners and can go all the way down to 1/8".

    I'm pretty certian Basschair put some links to tool threads in the FAQ. A quick search for router bits should turn up all kinds of info.

    Also, with a tool like a router safety is very, very important. If you think they cut wood nice you should see what they can do to fingers. If you don't have any experience with them then it would be wise to learn what you can before diving in. They're one of my favourite tools, but like anything else in the shop they deserve all kinds of respect.

  7. guy n. cognito

    guy n. cognito Secret Agent Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    I'm not sure where you live, but see if there is a store called Woodcraft in your area. They frequently offer classes on different woodworking techniques, including routing.

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