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Routing Question

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Danni Moe, Jun 4, 2012.

  1. Danni Moe

    Danni Moe

    Mar 2, 2011
    I don't really know if this goes here but can anyone tell me how to rout this? I'm putting in a EMG MM pup that is 9.4cm x 2.41cm or 3.7x0.95 inches. The current route would be 6.5cm by 12cm if made into a rectangle.


    I really need to know what kind of tools I'm gonna need.

    PS: I'm gonna strip the paint sometime this week so I can refinish it after its been routed
  2. mrbell321


    Mar 26, 2012
    N. Colorado
    Well... the best way is probably a good router w/ pilot bearing bit and router template...
  3. Danni Moe

    Danni Moe

    Mar 2, 2011
    I'm lost
  4. mrbell321


    Mar 26, 2012
    N. Colorado
    Well, which part?
    A router is a tool kind of like a drill, but instead of drilling down into something to make a round hole, it cuts sideways. A drill and router are not interchangeable, but they are both really designed to cut perpendicular to a surface.
    A pilot bearing bit is the cutting part(using the above analogy, it's similar to a drill it, but again, instead of cutting down, it cuts sideways). It's got a ball/roller bearing so that sideways pressure can be applied to a guide or template without cutting into that. The cutting edge rides above or below(depending on the setup) the bearing-template interface and cuts into your work piece(in this case, the work piece is your bass).
    The template is part that is generally attached to your work piece and has the shape you wish to cut. The bearing of the bit rides on the template, not cutting it, to copy the shape from the template to the work piece.
    If this is all foreign to you, I recommend you do lots of practice on something that is NOT your bass.

    Alternately, you can use a hammer and chisel. Make sure your chisels are sharp and keep your fingers away from the sharp edge.
  5. mrbell321


    Mar 26, 2012
    N. Colorado
    I didn't watch this, but it looked relevant...
  6. gnjpowell

    gnjpowell Inactive

    Nov 12, 2010
    Concord, NH
    Bass & guitar tech, FOH sound, backline rentals
    And I thought he was going to ask about subnetting IP addresses....
  7. temmrich


    Jan 29, 2012
    Columbus, Ohio
    Don't use a chisel. And don't rout it. If you were confused by all that just pay 50 bucks and have someone who knows what they're doing rout it for you. That will be way cheaper than buying the tools to rout it or buying a new bass after you take some chisels to it.
  8. mrbell321


    Mar 26, 2012
    N. Colorado
    What do you have against chisels? When used properly, they're quite effective. And routers?
    Also, the advice "Just pay someone" is so tired and obvious. It's not BAD advice, it's just useless. Obviously, you can pay someone to do anything for you and if he . But that someone had to learn how to do it, why can't Danni? Maybe he'll fall in love with lutherie and woodworking and this is the beginning of a new career for him? What if all the custom luthers on the board were told, and took the advice, "Just go buy a Fender"?


    /end rant

    Sorry, temmrich, it's really nothing against you. I think I'm grumpy today. Not enough coffee...
  9. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    I agree with Temmrich. If you don't know what a router or template is, you have a very high probability of ruining the body by doing it yourself - you can also lose fingers. Pay someone, OR go online and study the info needed (it's all online), buy a router and bits, and do a number of test runs on scrap lumber before attempting this. You can gain skills, but you're going to have to invest some money and hours of study and test runs on scrap before you're ready to rout a body.

    Without the skills of an advanced woodworker, chisels make a very messy job. If you feel OK doing crappy work and leaving a mess, go ahead, If you want a neat job that shows you know what you're doing, think twice.
  10. JLS


    Sep 12, 2008
    Albuquerque, NM
    I setup & repair guitars & basses
    And I agree with Pilgrim! (Note added emphasis!)
  11. Well, if the OP does bad job of chiselling, he could always add a pickup ring to hide the inexperience.

    Heres a tip: Before you chisel, using a drill and small drill bit, drill a bunch of holes closely together. It makes chiseling a lot easier.
  12. If you route out a 12cm x 6.5cm rec, and your emg mm pups are 9.4cm x 2.41cm, are gonna use a pickguard?
  13. Danni Moe

    Danni Moe

    Mar 2, 2011
    I gonna have one made.
  14. Andy_D


    Nov 28, 2009
    Corpus Christi, TX
    I agree with the other posters. I am a decent woodworker and even I would not feel real good the first time routing one of my bodies. I'd probobly practice a few times on some scrap wood before doing it to my bass and I've done a lot of routing in my day. If you don't even know what a router is or how it should be used you stand a big chance of making firewood out of you body. And my god, a chisel? don't go there, trust me!
  15. Well, it really doesn't matter how bad (or good) your chiselling skills are because your covering it up with a pickguard. And you really don't have to make it perfectly rectagular too, just shave off enough to allow you to center the pickup in the hole.
    If you don't have the EMG MM pups yet make up mock stencel of the EMG's and see how much you have to shave. Oh, one important thing, see how deep those EMG's are too, not all pups are the same depth.
  16. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    It matters if you care about the quality of your work - as opposed to doing a hack job. Some don't care - it's up to you.

    Good note about checking depth as well as side measurements. I will note that, getting the hole deeper is easier with a router than with a chisel.

    I think it would be worthwhile to learn how to do the routing, and practice the process using scrap lumber. But then I like the opportunity to get a power tool and learn new skills - and I care how the work looks when I'm finished.

    Pawn shops usually have a few routers - just check prices so you don't pay retail. BE CAREFUL with a router - they can cause damage to you and to the work piece. Wear eye protection, too.
  17. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY

    I have to beg y'all to look at the picture again or at all! Seems to me some didn't look at it. There is already a huge rout there that extends well past the space in question and of course a PG is needed. This doesn't look like a collector piece: correct me if I'm wrong. Op needs to reshape the existing rout.

    Other guys here on TB have done similar work with a simple dremel, patience, and a go slo attitude with excellent results.
  18. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    ^^Good point! A Dremel would be a decent option, as there's not a great deal of material to remove, fingers probably would remain intact, and it lends itself to touching up as needed. (Why dint I thunka dat?)

    I vote Yowza.
  19. 202dy


    Sep 26, 2006
    Using a Dremel tool for this job is like fighting an armored division with a bean shooter. It is not the right tool for the job. Hogging hardwood lumber requires horsepower. A laminate trimmer or full sized router is the proper tool. Carbide tipped bearing bits with a good template are also handy.

    By the way, a sharp Dremel router bit may not be the best tool for removing an entire finger, but a close encounter with a small bit spinning at 30,000 rpm will almost certainly necessitate a change in playing style. Probably earn yourself a new nickname, too.
  20. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY

    Oh here we go. OK so YOU can't use a dremel without taking a finger off? Wow. I have used a dremel on red oak shaping with fantastic results; but alas it wasn't on a bass but a similar amount of material was removed. I used very coarse sanding drums, large and small and it ate the oak like butter, extremely easy to control and maneuver. Did you even look at the pic?

    BTW dremel are variable speed.

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