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Routing for pickups? What bit?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Wolak, Dec 5, 2005.

  1. I was wondering what router bit you use to rout the pickup holes. I'm assuming most people cut their template slightly larger than the pickup and use a flush trim pattern cutting bit with a top bearing. I've only seen these bits with a 1/2" diameter. How would you get into the tight corners? Do they make these bits that are 3/8" diameter?

    Thanks for your help.
  2. Rodent

    Rodent A Killer Pickup Line™ Commercial User

    Dec 20, 2004
    Upper Left Corner (Seattle)
    Player-Builder-Founder: Honey Badger Pickups & Regenerate Guitar Works
  3. Basschair

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

    Feb 5, 2004
    Stockton, Ca

    Great bits. I actually went through my 1/2" on my first bass. It's dull as doo-doo now. Of course, I was routing pup and neck pocket cavities through bubinga and wenge, so that might explain it. I was happy enough with them to order another set for the next few basses, which of course I have no time to work on right now. :(
  4. Yup, 1/2" for the bullwork, followed by tighter radius stuff for the corners.
  5. I drill the corners with a 3/8" forstner, then drill out most of the caivty with another forstner bit (size depends on P-up rout). The it all cleans up nicely with the 1/2" router bit with bearings on top to follow the template. Sounds like a lot of tools but i like to use the router as little as possible to minimise those bad days when i fall out with it, although to be honest we get on much better now that i know what i am doing
  6. Hookus


    Oct 2, 2005
    Austin, TX
    I think the 3/8 pattern bit may work a lot better than forstner's, assuming yolu have a good template. Much easier to get them square...

    Anyway, I would say Stewmac's bit's are the gold standard.
  7. I tend to leave the 1/2" bit in the router most of the time, so jut moving from the drill press to the router suits me. I use the forstner with the template on because i can move the forstner right up against the template so its should still line up ok when i have routed the rest out.

    I really stuggled with my router when i started, particularly its tendency to eat those stew-mac templates that need to be propped up on blocks for the first few passes. SO i started making my own thicker templates and drilling out most of the waste before attacking with the router. Its got much neater for me but i was very amateur when i started