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routing pickup cavities

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by davepack, Mar 30, 2005.

  1. davepack

    davepack Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2004
    Denver, CO
    A couple questions regarding routing J-style pickup cavities...
    What type/size bit should I use?
    How do I get the corners square?
    Any other tips (besides practicing on scrap..)?
  2. Lots of choices as to bit - here's a discussion on the topic - a simple search can yield much.


    Look again!, the corners aren't really square. They have a slight radius. When I make mine, I use a ¼" bit and that makes a nice 1/8" radius.

    BTW, for all of us that need new sources for these sorts of things - Home Depot now has put out some new Oldham Viper bearing guided bits and one of them is a 1/2" deep pattern bit similar to the StewMac but for a coupla bucks less - around $22. Considering that StewMac wants a $35 minimum order + shipping, that could be a substantial savings. This bit is great for doing shallow routs with thinner templates.
  3. davepack

    davepack Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2004
    Denver, CO
    Where did you find a 1/4" bit with a bearing guide? I can only find them down to 1/2"....
  4. budman

    budman Commercial User

    Oct 7, 2004
    Houston, TX
    Formerly the owner/builder of LeCompte Electric Bass
  5. I use the same technique Suburban uses with his 1/4' dia. spiral bits - no bearing needed if you use a 3/4" (19mm) thick template. On the longer bits, there's enough shank above the flutes to ride against the template. If you move along and don't dally, you can rout quite cleanly without problems. I usually will hog out a cavity with a forstner or a larger router bit then cleanup the sides with the smaller 1/4". That's what leaves the tight 1/8" radius corners.
  6. davepack

    davepack Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2004
    Denver, CO
    Great, thanks for the details guys. That helped a lot. Time to go practice on some scrap....
  7. godoze


    Oct 21, 2002
    when did stew go to the minimum ? must have been very recently