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What's your roundover size?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by pilotjones, Oct 21, 2006.


  1. greater than 1/2" (> 13mm)

    25.4%
  2. 1/2" (12-13mm)

    61.2%
  3. 3/8" (9-10mm)

    7.5%
  4. 1/4" (6mm)

    3.0%
  5. less than 1/4" (< 6mm), including sharp (zero radius)

    3.0%
  6. binding rather than a roundover as standard

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. pilotjones

    pilotjones

    Nov 8, 2001
    US-NY-NYC
    To everyone here who builds, I thought this might be interesting, and useful:

    What's your favorite or most common or standard radius for the roundover on your bodies? Vote to the poll, and please give us any background information about your process or preferences in a post!
     
  2. Musiclogic

    Musiclogic Commercial User

    Aug 6, 2005
    Southwest Michigan
    Owner/Builder: HJC Customs USA, The Cool Lute, C G O
    I guess for me, it's not that simple, as I make 6 different body styles for basses, and 3 for guitar, and each is different. I would say 1/2" and 3/4" are the two main ones for basses.
     
  3. I voted greater than 1/2 as 3/4 I really like better, but my last build was 3/4 back and 1/2 on the top, it's an interesting combo really.
    The new build is all 3/4 and it's nice and round now, it leaves very little flat on a 1 3/4 thick piece.
    Dirk
     
  4. budman

    budman Commercial User

    Oct 7, 2004
    Houston, TX
    Owner/builder of LeCompte Electric Bass
    1/2" is most common for me, but I use 5/8" a lot and sometimes 3/8". One of my models has a flat top with no binding and no roundover on the top, though I round off the back. I'm just starting one that will have a full bull-nosed edge.
     
  5. pilotjones

    pilotjones

    Nov 8, 2001
    US-NY-NYC
    Thanks for the answers so far, everyone.

    WoodCraft has some of their store brand bits on sale, as well as a Whiteside, so that's one reason I was wondering.

    Also, I think this is useful because now people can look at the poll responses, then look up pics of the work of people who voted, and be able to say, e.g., "so that's what a 3/4" roundover will look like." So thanks again.



    Along similar lines, to expand the topic a bit: does anyone know what size a standard J-bass roundover is? Or any other common instruments that we might be able to pick up in a store?
     
  6. budman

    budman Commercial User

    Oct 7, 2004
    Houston, TX
    Owner/builder of LeCompte Electric Bass
    I have two MIJ Jazz basses here. One is 3/8" and one appears to be 1/2". I would guess 1/2" is what you would find on MIA J's. The two Warmoth J's I have look they have 3/8" roundovers.
     
  7. Fender Strats are 3/8"....that's about the extent of my common roundover knowledge.
     
  8. Suburban

    Suburban

    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    I use a 12.5mm, but I usually dig a slice too deep...that makes a nice sharp edge that I have to get rid of with the file.
    Ends up as a "semi-elliptic" thingy, that is really smooth!:cool:
     
  9. pilotjones

    pilotjones

    Nov 8, 2001
    US-NY-NYC
    Well, so far about 3 out of 4 use 1/2", and the others use larger. Nothing smaller. Thanks for the answers, everyone. While I would understand people wanting to keep things to themselves, it's nice that people will share in the discussion.


    I just checked the Carvin site since they offer a "standard" roundover and a "rounded body sides" option, but there are no numbers. But it might be standard 1/2" and optional full bullnose, maybe.


    Others I can think of with a full bullnose are Spectors, some Warwicks, and the Pedulla Buzz/MVP (except by the horns). I think Drozd goes past a bullnose, to an elliptical shape.
     
  10. you know, a lot of people carve their bodies by hand. check out the elliptical shape on Carl Thompson's ...on his site there are several in-progress shots that show this. Really nice.
     
  11. Suburban

    Suburban

    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    On production gear, like Fender (ouch, I hate that word, will never get a boat! :smug: ) you can find smaller radii.
    And acoustics have approx .2 mm radius...:rolleyes:
     
  12. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Maryland
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    I have done 3/4", which I like, but I only have the Porter Cable 693 and things get a little hairy with that big a bit in a smallish router. If I had a more beefy router I would do 3/4" more often.
     
  13. pilotjones

    pilotjones

    Nov 8, 2001
    US-NY-NYC
    Question: In doing the 3/4" with the weaker router, do you take a lot of stepped depth cuts?
     
  14. budman

    budman Commercial User

    Oct 7, 2004
    Houston, TX
    Owner/builder of LeCompte Electric Bass
    Yes, even with a stronger router I'll take two or three passes to make a rounder over no matter what the radius.

    I might add that the larger the round over radius the more encroachment it has on the precious real estaste that is the top and back. Depending on your design it can mess with the size of your control cavities and neck pockets.
     
  15. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Maryland
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    Either that or start with a 1/2" radius and then cut the 3/4". But the 3/4" radius bit makes the 693 harder to control even when it's not biting into the wood. Definately get your work clamped down tightly as well.
     
  16. pilotjones

    pilotjones

    Nov 8, 2001
    US-NY-NYC
    Somehow a handrail countour sounds sort of right for an instrument you hold in your hands. And it sounds like a possibility for use in neck shaping (per the other thread),

    If it's hard to control the 3/4 roundover, I can imagine it would be that much worse with the table edge/handrail ellipse, which has a 7/8 radial sweep. Sounds like something you might use inverted in a router table maybe.

    For that matter, does anyone do their roundovers on a router table, rather than router by hand on top?
     
  17. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Maryland
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    Yes, those huge bits are safer in the router table. But watch out for your work piece getting launched off the table and keep those hands away from the bit.
     
  18. Musiclogic

    Musiclogic Commercial User

    Aug 6, 2005
    Southwest Michigan
    Owner/Builder: HJC Customs USA, The Cool Lute, C G O
    I have very little problem with the larger bits in my routers. There are 3 keys to using Large daimeter bits in a router as opposed to a router table.

    1) stable/ level worksurface on both sides of the router base. I use an extended baseplate that protrudes 3" out from the stock base plate to allow for plenty of room between the body and support area around it.

    2) Stepped cuts of no more than 1/8" per pass. Yes it takes a little longer, but the results are well worth it in sanding time saved and less chance of chipout.

    3) Take your time. Do not try to make the cut too fast. A good sharp bit will help to control any router burn, and this will help to get a nice smooth cut with little to no chipout.

    Just my 2 1/2 cents worth.
     
  19. pilotjones

    pilotjones

    Nov 8, 2001
    US-NY-NYC
    Hey folks,

    I ran this poll / info thread a two and a half years ago. Recently there have been two new threads asking for roundover size details.

    Also, many of both the pro and the amateur builders who answered last time have moved on, to be replaced by a great new crop.

    So, everyone, let's do this again and add to the previous data and comments. Here's a recap of the initial post.
     
  20. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
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