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Old 05-02-2003, 08:39 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Location: Richmond B.C Canada
Routing cavaties into a guitar body

i need to rout holes for a guitar im building at school. what would i use? i need to rout pickup cavaties, tremolo cavity, and the electronics cavaties.
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Old 05-03-2003, 12:54 AM   #2 (permalink)
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My brother in law built a guitar, he used a black n decker router.
that part worked out fine.
the fret board on the otherhand.......BUZZZZZZZ!!!!
he ended up useing a fretboard off an old accoustic
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Old 05-03-2003, 03:34 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Location: P.R. Mass.
The way I would do it:

I would make a template of the exact patterns you want to cut out of thin stock (I like hardboard, which can be found cheap at yards and home centers.) The template can be attached to the body using double stick tape. Use a (3/8" at least) straight cutting bit in conjunction with a router collar, which will effectively 'follow' the pattern. Note that the template will need be slightly larger than the desired holes b/c of the extra diameter the collar needs.

Plan on making many passes, especially if your router is less than 3HP, and/or if you are using a 1/4" shank bit. DO NOT rush the cut and and make shallow cuts in each pass. I had a thin fluted bit snap in half on me while running and flew right by me at sac level - that carbide could have been the end of an important part of me. If you have a need for square corners (which you really don't since all cavities are hidden, except possibly the neck/body junction) you'll have to chisel.

Out of curiosity, what are you making the body out of, and are you making your own neck (hard!)
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Old 05-03-2003, 08:19 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Location: P.R. Mass.
...Oh yeah - to make the job easier on your router and you, one can pre-drill the area to be routed (not too deep) in order to remove material before hand - using a spade or forstner drill bit makes quick work - just make it look like swiss cheese - then you'll not really need to worry about not 'trapping' the bit too deep in solid material.
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Old 05-03-2003, 11:28 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Location: Half-Bakedfield, California
well if you want informed advice on what to do about building a musical instument I sugjest you check out www.mimf.com I have built 4 guitars on their advice... they work pretty good... good luck
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Old 05-03-2003, 05:59 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Location: Richmond B.C Canada
cool thanks guys

im building the body out of alder. my school supplied the wood for me since it's a part of my woodworking project. i bought a guitar for $75 from a pawn shop, so im probably going to gut it, and stick all the parts in/on my new body, including the neck.
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Old 05-03-2003, 06:17 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Location: Grants Pass OR
a plunge router w/ a double fluted stright cutting bit, and make two or 3 passes....slow and easy is the key, I'm assuming you are gonna be attempting this freehand?
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Old 05-03-2003, 08:33 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Location: Richmond B.C Canada
yeah, there's no fancy stuff in my schools wood shop..
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Old 05-04-2003, 04:08 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Location: P.R. Mass.
Then use a drill press, set it to the correct depth and use spade or forstner bits (all set to the same depth on the press and drill
out the pattern. Clean up with a chisel.

Definitely not the ideal, but it can work if you don't mind an ugly cavity.
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Old 05-04-2003, 08:06 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Location: Grants Pass OR
Quote:
Originally posted by Dimebag
yeah, there's no fancy stuff in my schools wood shop..
ok, here is what I suggest, I would still go w/ the router w/ a Template bit, it will look like this

I would build a teplate thick enough for the bearing at the top of the bit to tide on while still giving you enough of the bit to make your cut at the proper depth. clamp the template onto the body of the guitar and make your cut. I make custom cabinets and furniture for a living, and while this is the simplest or the fastest way to do what ya wanna do, it will yield you professional looking results.
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Old 05-04-2003, 10:24 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Location: Wisconsin...
go to www.stewmac.com they have every type of template imaginable to rout tremolo/pickup cavities
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Old 05-04-2003, 11:39 AM   #12 (permalink)
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If you can't make a template, or don't have time to wait for it, just clamp on a straightedge, rout that side to the marked lines, then move the guide to the next side.
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Old 05-04-2003, 04:35 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Location: P.R. Mass.
Dimebag - just about all of these suggestions involve routers, but you say your school does not have fancy tools - does it have a handheld router?
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Old 05-05-2003, 06:41 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Location: Richmond B.C Canada
Quote:
Originally posted by apetaster
Dimebag - just about all of these suggestions involve routers, but you say your school does not have fancy tools - does it have a handheld router?
we dont have a hand held router, but we do have a router. its a a router bit that comes out of the top of a work bench.
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Old 05-05-2003, 08:21 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Location: Grants Pass OR
ok, that's a router table, most likely, if you look inder the table, you will find that it is a handheld router bolted to a table, ask your teacher about this.
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