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Minimum Shop Reqs?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Fong249, Apr 16, 2006.

  1. Fong249


    May 25, 2005
    Washington, DC
    I'm strongly considering building a shop in my basement since my family just got some storage space to move all of the stuff out. I have a decent space with a decent sized work bench, sink, etc. I was curious as to power tools what is really necessary. So far I get the impression that what is required is a router, a band saw and a drill press, and a random orbit radial sander. Am I missing anything?

    And how big of a band saw do i need to cut body blanks?
  2. Basschair

    Basschair .............. Supporting Member

    Feb 5, 2004
    Stockton, Ca
    To be more specific, these links are listed in the FAQ section:





    As far as bandsaws go, I've got a 12" "open stand" Jet bandsaw, and it works well for cutting out shapes such as bodies (with a good blade), and does decently for some ripping. Still, I'd love to have a bigger, more rugged saw with a higher clearance and wider throat.

    Oh yeah, since I'm here and I've got a moment, here's the segment from the FAQ section on safety. Don't skimp on this type of equipment, especially on air-cleaning, vacuuming, and ventillation stuff, as you're going to be in a basement...


    Keep It Safe, Stupid! The K.I.S.S. acronym (slightly altered) applies here as well. A few days ago, I was reading through a thread and saw that someone mentioned how there “aren’t many 3 fingered bassists out there” today. I imagine that there probably are, but they aren’t very good…

    Rather than go off on a rant about how each tool should be used properly, and how you can become horribly mangled, let’s leave it at this: woodworking tools are made to cut, carve, burn, or otherwise remove wood. Your flesh is softer than wood. Imagine what these tools will do to your flesh. Please, when in doubt, get some training at a local school, woodshop, etc, or from someone who knows more than you do!

    Go back to this thread and scan through it for the mention of safety in your shop:

    There are some basic items and ideas that you can use to keep yourself from common harm:
    1. A respirator or a respiration filter mask that has replaceable filters is really a good idea. You don’t want to find out the hard way that you’re allergic to certain types of wood dust.
    2. Floor mats, for those long hours of standing and to add a little grip beneath your feet.
    3. Fire extinguisher
    4. Proper lighting
    5. Proper ventilation
    6. Cordless/corded phone. God forbid you actually are put into an emergency situation where you need to call 911. This may be a bit paranoid, but I’d like a phone there just in case I need to.
    7. Ear plugs or ear muffs. You’d be amazed at the amount of noise your band saw (or planer, jointer, etc) will produce.

    At any rate, I just thought I’d throw that in there. Here’s some various threads on safety-related topics:

    “Wood working facemasks”
    Good for specific mask suggestions.

    “Learning to use a router?”
    Good tips!

    Unfortunately, there’s not a lot of safety-related threads here that I’ve found, though that’s probably because it’s been assumed that people have some level of woodworking ability and knowledge of safety in the shop. Do yourself a favor and Google the keywords “wood shop safety” and read what comes up. And anyone who wants to contribute more on safety, please do so.
  3. Fong249


    May 25, 2005
    Washington, DC
    I have actually looked through most of those threads. My real concearn was that everyone seemed to say that the most essential tools were routers, tablesaws and drill presses. For my purposes, I would get wood that is already cut, all I would need to do is glue them together. Thank you both for your responses.
  4. Basschair

    Basschair .............. Supporting Member

    Feb 5, 2004
    Stockton, Ca
    Good: it's nice to hear that someone is actually reading them first ;)

    Ah, well then you need the required tools AFTER the initial cutting/planing.

    I guess it goes back to what you'll need to do: will the pockets and cavaties be pre-routed? And, since you say "glue them together," I'm assuming that you mean either tops to bodies or body wings to a neck (neck-thru), or laminate pieces for a neck, or something of that nature...am I on the right track?

    Again, it all depends on what you'll need to do at home versus what you'll have done by someone else. I (or someone else) could probably be a lot more helpful if you could give a more specific idea of where you'll be starting. How about this: what wood are you ordering, and what work will already have been done on it?
  5. Fong249


    May 25, 2005
    Washington, DC
    Heres what I've got, two 23 x 7 1/4 x 1 7/8 ash pieces that would be glued to gether to form one body blank. It will be a two piece ash body. From there on I'm entirely on my own. I'll be routing my own pickup cavs, my own control cav (mostly off of templates from stewmac etc). I'll be doing all of the shielding and electronic work myself. I am not sure at this point whether I want to make the neck myself, or just order a bolt on neck from warmoth. I'd like to get started with creating the body, then moving up from there.
  6. Suburban


    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    Post gluing, the two most interesting power tools are a router and a drill press. You need to dress the edges, cut some cavities and drill a few straight holes.

    Sander? Well, a disc sander is more interesting thatn a free hand one. Finish sanding is not such a biggy, but getting the outlines right is...

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