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Now for the tools...suggestions?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Basschair, Apr 1, 2005.


  1. Basschair

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

    Feb 5, 2004
    Stockton, Ca
    I found some good threads on this, but decided to check again just to be sure:

    I'm hoping for a list which summarizes the types of hand tools required/preferred in shaping the body and neck. I've got most of the power tools covered, though I will need a good router. Would you suggest a model which can be detached from a mount to run by hand?

    Thanks for your time, and for your help on the wood choices (other thread)!
     
  2. tjclem

    tjclem Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
    Microplane rasp, Spokeshave, scrapers, old rough half round files.t
     
  3. ditto for microplanes, I could not live without my flat, half round and round microplane rasps and same dimension fine files. Those and my japanese ryoba, some fretting tools and a block plane is what I use. Other than than, a drill press, router and jigsaw. as for router, I've been using my new hitachi M12V, the kit that comes with the plunge and fixed bases. This is one hot little guy, powerful, extremely quiet and very precise. good price too! I think about $185 I got it from a washington state all the way to the east coast with free shipping.
     
  4. Mark Chandler

    Mark Chandler

    Aug 25, 2004
    Houston TX
    spokeshave, cheap stanley one works for me.
    the nicolson 4 in 1 rasp/file.
    and 60 grit paper to level things out once in a while to see whats going on.

    for the body, the 30 or 40 dollar stanley plane works, you just need to take some time to tune it up.
     
  5. Basschair

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

    Feb 5, 2004
    Stockton, Ca
    Thanks for the info. so far guys!

    Mark, what exactly do you mean by "tune it up" as you said below regarding the Stanley plane?


     
  6. oh dear, you're getting into deep deep voodoo stuff with that 'hand plane tune up' thing! :)

    seriously, though. a cheap plane is far from ready for use. The blade needs to be very well sharpened and it should be flat and square. The frog has to sit correctly in the body and also be true. The plane sole has to be completely flat and the throat has to be true to the sides and be flat against the sole. I spent several weeks tuning my old stanley block plane and worked out really nice. Could never get my #5 or #7 to perform just right. I don't use big planes anymore (I buy my wood ready dressed and use scrapers and sanders to do the finishing preparing thing), and for the block plane I spent $140 on a very nice lie-nielsen low angle. worth every penny and comes ready to use right out of the box, really precision machined.
     
  7. teej

    teej

    Aug 19, 2004
    Sheffield, AL 35660
    Let's see.... I've got a Ryobi plunge router (yeah, it's no DeWalt or Porter-Cable, but it's all I could afford at the time), a block plane, a few rasps, some half-round files, a digital caliper (a gift), a dial caliper, Hitachi power drill (substitute for the drill press), Forstner bits, and a jigsaw (substitute for the bandsaw), and a Dremel. I live in an apartment, so there's really no room for things like bandsaws and drill presses. Rest assured, if there was, I'd have them. :smug:

    Also, let me clarify that I am in no way suggesting a jigsaw and hand drill over bandsaw and drill press.
     
  8. Rasps and files - the longer the better for large body work and shaping the backs of necks. Surforms work good but only as roughouts - they can really remove material quickly. One of my faves is a 3 edged machinists deburring knife. It can scrape or shave and works good on tool marks in the end grain. It's a leftover from my car racing days.

    I make a tool that I use all the time for lots of things - a sanding bow. My current rig is a 22" x 1" x ¼" piece of ash bent into a bow with a piece of 80 grit sanding cloth stapled to its ends. The bow is about 6" deep. It's very versatile, removes wood slowly enough to be super safe to the shape, very controllable, and cheap! You'll find a hundred ways to hold it and use it. I have even made smaller versions and they work equally as well. Don't stop at 80 grit either.
     
  9. I am currently renting an apartment too. I guess I'm blessed that it's one with an attached garage! (if my landlord sees this post, I'm dead ....or homeless, rather).
     
  10. teej

    teej

    Aug 19, 2004
    Sheffield, AL 35660
    I do have a fenced-in back patio, but it's not covered so I have to lug my tools, materials, and portable workbench back and forth, between my upstairs bedroom, through the living room downstairs, and outside.

    Also, invest in some clamps. Oh, and those little golf pencils.

    By the way, I'm a little intrigued by this sanding bow. Any pics?
     
  11. Mark Chandler

    Mark Chandler

    Aug 25, 2004
    Houston TX
    Basically what he said. :)

    I use the sandpaper method (scary sharp) on the blade and sanded down the sole with increasing sandpaper grits. I also knocked the sharp edges off the corners after sanding the sole.
     
  12. Suburban

    Suburban

    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    Basic: all kinds of files and chisels. Make sure the chisels are sharp! A good saw, e.g. one of those japanese pull-action saws, and one or two good planes. And a mutitude of secure clamps (no quik-clamps of any kind).

    Extras, level 1: electric drill, jig saw.

    Extras, level 2: drill press, router, thickness sander.

    Extras, level 3: band saw, table saw, shaper, jointer, whatever heavy machinery.