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router questions

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by g00eY, Feb 11, 2006.

  1. g00eY


    Sep 17, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    i'm a noob, so i will ask noob questions.

    a router is the thing that you use to make cavities for pickups and etc..., right? if so... is there anything else i can use instead of a router to make neck pockets and cavities? i don't feel like buying a router :meh: .
  2. Hookus


    Oct 2, 2005
    Austin, TX
    If you don't feel like buying a router, you won't feel like doing the alternative, which is a mallet and chisel. Use a forstner bit to hog out the cavithy, then use the chisel to square it up like a mortise. Make sure you learn how to chisel mortises correctly, or you will end up with horrid looking cavities, and make sure you learn how to properly sharpen and care for chisels. You will need to buy a set, since you want to use the widest chisel for a given application, and all said and done, a good chisel set and forstner bit set will cost more that a router.
  3. g00eY


    Sep 17, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    it's more that i don't have money to buy a router. if i had the money i would have every single tool that would make building a bass easier.

    i have a question about drill presses. i have one of those noob ones that holds a hand held power drill. will that work the same?
  4. JSPguitars


    Jan 12, 2004
    Grass Valley
    might not have the same 'torque' or HP.....but it might do the trick on some woods. If you're using really hard wood, like bloodwood or something, then your drill might not be happy.

    Shop around for used tools. Sometimes you can pick up an old router for cheap at garage sales/flea markets, etc. I think a router is pretty darn essential.
  5. g00eY


    Sep 17, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    what is this "Harbor Freight" you speak of? i'm trying to keep my total under $200, $250 at the most. i just spent a boatload of money for Christmas.

    if you haven't read my other posts, i plan to do this by buying a parts bass, and a piece of wood from Todd. it won't give me the best bass ever, but at least something for me to start with and something playable.

    i read i could the cavity stuff with an auger and chisels? i know, it even sounds ridiculously hard. i still think the idea of using all hand tools (save a power drill) would be pretty sweet. i have 3 months to make just a body, so i think i can do it.

    any input on the drill press that holds a power drill? i really just need it to drill holes, nothing fancy. i figured i can sand stuff by hand, since i do that all the time with my car models.

    all help is greatly aprreciated :) !
  6. basstruck

    basstruck Guest

    Nov 25, 2005
    Making a bass which is a musical instrument needs lots of skill and precision. By using hand tools, do you have enough skill with wood working to fill the demand of precision. When you cut an incision or neck pocket into the body to receive the neck, that pocket has to be cut at the right depth, at the right place in the body (right in the center, no room to play with, you need to cut the bottom slanted to create the right angle etc...... etc..... etc......
    So do you think that hand tools can be precise enough and do a proper job. Be ready for lots of sanding and lots of adjustment because you don't know what you are getting into
    Because making a bass or a musical instrument is not a game IT IS AN ART CALLED "LUTHERIE" that takes years and years to learn and master.
    It is not just a piece of wood that you just drill or chisel into
    There is a lot more to it!
    Good luck
  7. g00eY


    Sep 17, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    ^ that makes me depressed. too bad it's true.

  8. Did you Google "Harbor Freight" - Google's your friend you know...

    I think once you do, you'll understand what they are and what they do. It's not secret stuff.
  9. Hookus


    Oct 2, 2005
    Austin, TX
    Yes it is, and now you must disappear. :ninja:
  10. teej

    teej Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 19, 2004
    Sheffield, AL 35660
    What's the quality-to-value ratio on Harbor Freight stuff -- Is it decent stuff? I've browsed the site a few times, looking for various tools (I could use a drill press, band saw, and mini lathe right now), and since I'm currently unemployed, the low prices are quite appealing, but then I recall the saying "You get what you pay for."
  11. g00eY


    Sep 17, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    yea, i'm wondering the same thing. most of the routers on there are from Chicago Electric. is this good quality stuff? i've seen them on Ebay quite a bit.
  12. Hookus


    Oct 2, 2005
    Austin, TX
    Harbor freight sells budget tools. Of that, there is no question. Generally, in tools, you get what you pay for. But that being said, a 50 dollar router is better than no router, so you need to use what you can get.
  13. g00eY


    Sep 17, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    well... will a Chicago Electric router die out on me quickly?

    how about Skil routers? i saw one cheap on Ebay on Saturday (it had a cracked handle that had been fixed).

    sorry for all the questions :( .
  14. callmeMrThumbs

    callmeMrThumbs Guest

    Oct 6, 2005
    Omaha, NE
    Well...think of it this way. Are you planning on building this bass, and liking it so much that'll you'll build a hundred more? Or are you thinking this is just another exploration of the bass guitar itself? Because if it's the latter, you won't need something that'll last you years. If you're planning on building multiple basses (or even other carpentries) then you'd be better off getting high quality equipment that'll last a lifetime. It's cheaper to buy one good router than it is to buy three crappy ones. Just my two cents...Good luck.

  15. rdhbass


    Jun 28, 2003
    Springfield, mo
    Chicago electric is harborfreights house brand and i wouldn't trust it with a ten foot pole. I've read too many bad reviews with it. A skil might get you through for what you want to do, but of course its not a dewalt.
  16. teej

    teej Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 19, 2004
    Sheffield, AL 35660
    or a Bosch....... wait....... Bosch makes Skil. :eek:
  17. Suburban


    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    I can buy 17.5 cheapo but functional routers for the sum of one DeWalt.
    The cheapo will do the job for some 2-5 years. That means that the DeWalt has to be good for minimum 35 years...
    Meaning that there is no real meaning in getting a DeWalt.

    I still want a DeWalt!!!
  18. nateo

    nateo Schubie Fan #1

    Mar 2, 2003
    Ottawa, Ontario
    Of course, the true deciding factor is feel and performance. Cheapo tools will get the job done, but you have to fight them the whole way. I was firmly of the belief that if you could get it cheaper it was better, but after having the opportunity to use (very) high quality tools, there's really no comparison. The frustration saved is pretty much worth the price right there.

    Now that's not to say you have to buy nothing but Milwaukee and Freud, but there is something to be said for spending a bit more and going to a nice middle of the road brand. There's also a safety factor involved. I don't want to be holding on to a cheaply made tool that's spinning as fast as a router does. If something goes wrong, it might cost you more than the $40 for the tool.

  19. klocwerk


    May 19, 2005
    Somerville, MA
    I've heard too many horror stories about routers to go cheap on it.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm all about cheap most of the time. A cheap drill might break on you, a cheap table saw might burn out when trying to rip a 4" piece of wenge, big deal. You're out a bit of cash to repair/replace.
    But a cheap router or bit can cause some serious damage to you if things go wrong. It's worth the extra $50 to me to get a quality router, and an extra $5-10 per bit so that I don't have to worry as much about a bit becoming shrapnel at 20k rpm.
  20. g00eY


    Sep 17, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    thanks for the replies, guys. i'm gonna have to take a little trip to home depot this weekend.

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