Routing neck, pickup, and control cavities?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by JohnL, Aug 29, 2002.

  1. JohnL


    Sep 20, 2000
    Grayson, GA
    Ok, I'm looking at router bit with a bearing that sits on top of the cutter (between the cutter and the router collet) which I'm told is what to use when routing a cavity. I know the bearing is supposed to contact the edge of the template clamped on top of the work surface, so you "stay inside the lines" of your intended cavity. My bit, however, has a 1/2" cutting depth. On other non-instrumental carpentry projects, I was always of the mind that you must make multiple shallow cut passes with a router, adjusting your depth stop after each pass. Can you use a bit of this depth without risking some tearout? How do you super-luthiers accomplish this? (Those with CNC machines need not respond, that's a little out of my price range:D )
  2. gyancey


    Mar 25, 2002
    Austin, TX
    Stew-Mac has the router bits you need.
  3. John, you can use the walls of the previously cut route to act as a template to get a deeper cut. Use your template take a couple of passes to the bit's maximum depth, then remove the template and continue deeper using the sides of your previous route for a guide.
  4. rllefebv


    Oct 17, 2000
    Newberg, Oregon
    I use a drill press to 'hog' out as much material as possible prior to routing, so that my first pass with the router is very near to depth. Another way to get the cut to depth so that the bearing can engage the pattern is to freehand the route, (using a good eye and a router with plenty of power to keep from jumping all over the place), close to the edges of the pattern, taking gradually deeper passes until the bearing can engage the pattern. Care and patience are needed with both methods. Or... you can use a CNC!! :D

  5. Jon Maghini

    Jon Maghini Commercial User

    Aug 15, 2002
    USA Terryville CT.
    Owner / Builder M Basses
    John, start out with a template that is 1/2" thick.
    That way you can start off without having to take to much material with your first few passes and you won't tear any meterial out.
  6. JohnL


    Sep 20, 2000
    Grayson, GA
    gyancey: thanks man, I knew that, that's where I got it from!

    Hammy: thanks, but John M addressed what I was looking for; my template was made of 1/4 plywood, and the router bit was 1/2" deep, so being blessed withe the level of common sense I have, it didn't occur to me to use a template with the same thickness!