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Koendb
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07/04/2021 11:15 pm  

Welcome @tej ! It is a lot of fun, building guitars and man this forum is packed with nice people. You will love the great atmosphere here.


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darrenking
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08/04/2021 12:08 am  

the list stated a 11mm straight cutter for routing the truss rod channel

Hi Tej, welcome to the best and most supportive guitar making forum in the world! You will find everyone is completely on your side (so long as you don’t want to make banjos! eh TV?) and we all a share triumphs and disasters in equal measure. Also learning from everybody else’s mistakes is just so much faster than having to make them all yourself😂😂

I think that the 11mm truss rod cutter may have been one specified for a box section truss rod that Mark used in the past and you are correct in stating that the most common style of single and double acting truss rods only require a 6mm or 1/4” ball nose cutter to machine the correct slot. Either that or it is the cutter being specified to machine the truss rod cover rebate into which the thin strip of wood is bonded prior to the fretboard being glued on.

except those for making a fret board

If only there was a fret slotting jig in Mark’s online shop!! (🍅🍅🍅 ducking tomatoes being thrown for shameless commercialism!)

You are going to have a load of fun here and never be afraid to ask any question, everybody loves to help.

Cheers

Darren


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Boo
 Boo
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08/04/2021 9:21 am  

@darrenking 🍅🍅🍅🍅🍅🍅🍅🍅🍅🍅🍅🍅🧃🤣

Online guitar making courses – guitarmaking.co.uk


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rockpile99
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08/04/2021 9:29 am  

Hi Tej

Welcome to the most friendly and helpful forum (for any topic) on the internet.

Just to echo what others have said - keep it simple for your first one as it's certainly not as easy as the videos on YouTube make it look.

When it comes to tools you'd be surprised how little you need (necessity is the mother of invention after all) . I mostly built my first guitar body on a Black & Decker workmate using a jigsaw, some cheap rasps from B&Q, a hand sanding block, and a Screwfix router. Where I 'splashed the cash' was on some good quality router bits from Radian Tools. When it comes to necks, if you get your fretboard pre slotted and a radiused then a good levelling beam, fret hammer, and crowning file are probably enough. Chances are you already have the other misc DIY type tools like drills and saws etc. Just build your tool collection as you can afford it.

Top tips: Don't rush and stop for beer/tea/sleep if you're tired or stuck. It's a better to pause and think things through (or ask on this forum) than to fix a cock up. That said, mistakes are great learning opportunities 😀 

 

Guitar making is the art and science of turning expensive wood into sawdust.


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Boo
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08/04/2021 9:42 am  

@tej Yeah, @darrenking is correct. You must use your judgment about which cutter to use, depending on which truss rod you use. If the truss rod is 11mm, use and 11mm cutter. If the truss rod is 6mm, use a 6mm cutter. You may not need to cut the truss rod slot as deep either if you are using a smaller truss rod. Use your measuring callipers to measure everything and act accordingly to those measurements. In Mark’s videos, he has everything matched up to the stuff he is using and I’m sure he says to measure and cut accordingly if you are using different sizes of truss rod. That goes for everything also, you will have to do things slightly differently to the course videos if you choose to use a different bridge of tuners for example. Measure everything, take some time to think about it and measure again. If you are unsure about anything, ask. Remember that if you change one thing, such as the bridge, from a design, it can have a knock on effect to everything else. 

eg. If you followed the course and when it came time to fit the bridge and you decided to fit a different bridge, all the measurements would not match up. If you decided you wanted to use a flat, hardtail bridge instead of the wraparound bridge, you couldn’t because the neck break angle has been built into the construction. 

This is why it is so important to draw out your design from the start and make sure you have accounted for everything. Once you know everything is right, stick to the design, don’t deviate from it. 👍

Online guitar making courses – guitarmaking.co.uk


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Tej
 Tej
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08/04/2021 2:15 pm  

good quality router bits from Radian Tools

@rockpile99 interesting you mention Radian Tools, as I was looking at router bits today as mine are all dirt cheap and won’t do for fine work. Obviously they’re hugely more expensive than most other cutters so would appreciate views on why they’re justified price wise? Happy to spend on quality tools but would prefer there to be more than marketing in that decision!

If the truss rod is 6mm, use a 6mm cutter

@boo that’s what I’d presumed based on what I’d seen so glad I’m not entirely misinformed. I will however hold off buying a cutter until I’ve got the parts.

Next on my list for tooling are sur forms of one sort or another, not something I’ve used before so again advise welcome. Should note I’ve not searched posts in this so if it’s something that’s been done to death I’ll shut up and get searching 😉

…on an elaborate journey to turn trees into music.


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rockpile99
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08/04/2021 4:14 pm  

I bought Radian based on a recommendation but they're certainly well made, very sharp, and spare parts like bearings are available. I didn't buy a straight cutter (as a 6mm one came with the router) but the flush trim, plunge, and round over bits have been brilliant. The flush trim will quite happily cut through a template, 2" of maple, part of a workmate bench and stay intact (one of those learning opportunities I spoke about) 😀 

Only sur form thing I've bought was a 'micro plane'. It's good but so far I've found my Shinto saw rasp more useful - they're well worth the money and you don't have to pay crazy prises if you go somewhere like Axminster tools rather than luthier suppliers. The 'guitar makers rasp' on guitarmaking.co.uk is pretty good value for money too when you compare to other tool suppliers.

Guitar making is the art and science of turning expensive wood into sawdust.


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Tej
 Tej
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08/04/2021 4:59 pm  

@rockpile99 thanks, so which bits have you actually used then at what size, there are 5 from the guide notes with the round over being optional? Sadly limited to a work mate so good to know I’ll be good for personalising it if needs be 😉

…on an elaborate journey to turn trees into music.


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rockpile99
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08/04/2021 5:27 pm  

I started out with https://radiantools.com/collections/router-bits/products/4-flute-dual-bearing-router-bit-19mm-x-51mm (as it was capable of trimming bodies and necks in one pass but you could use a shorter cutter and do a few passes).

For cavities I first bought https://radiantools.com/collections/router-bits/products/3-flute-top-bearing-plunge-router-bit-19mm-x-10mm and finished the tighter corners by hand. I guess it depends on the plunge depth of your router? If it won't go very deep then a longer cutter might be better e.g. https://radiantools.com/collections/router-bits/products/3-flute-top-bearing-plunge-router-bit-19mm-x-32mm I didn't really have much a clue when I was first buying and got lucky that the 10mm bit worked.

Then I got https://radiantools.com/collections/router-bits/products/3-flute-top-bearing-plunge-router-bit-9-5mm-x-12mm for making a neater job of pickup cavity & neck pocket corners. (My router is 1/2" shank but came with an adaptor for using 1/4")

The round over bit https://radiantools.com/collections/router-bits/products/4-flute-r9-5mm-roundover-ovolo-router-bit is probably a little bit of an extravagance as what came with the router was OK (but parents wanted to get me a present). You can do round over by hand but it just takes longer ...

Guitar making is the art and science of turning expensive wood into sawdust.


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Tej
 Tej
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08/04/2021 6:32 pm  

@rockpile99 thanks for the breakdown, I’m in a similar place, I’ve only ever used routers for cutting square channels and messing about to no end with round over edge bits. I’m clearly missing something here with the bit where there is a bearing at the top and bottom, don’t quite see how that’s used, well aware it’ll be a lightbulb and/or feeling stupid moment when I find out!?

…on an elaborate journey to turn trees into music.


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rockpile99
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08/04/2021 7:06 pm  

It confused me too to begin with 😀 

You don't have to use both bearings at once - use whichever best suits the job you're doing and where you have the template.

Here's how I do it (the more experienced builders on this forum will probably tell you better methods).

For a guitar body I put the template on top of the body, sit the router on top of the template and plunge so that the top bearing follows the template and the cutter trims the body to match the template (the bottom bearing sits below the body).

I trim my fretboards to match the neck after gluing on, so in this case I sit the router on top of the fretboard and plunge so that the bottom bearing follows the neck and the cutter trims the fretboard.

Both these methods have the potential for cockups - if you don't keep the router flat you'll end up gouging into the body or neck. It would be far more accurate and safer to use a router table but I haven't got one (or a shed to put it in) so I've got to take my chances by going slowly and carefully with what I've got.

If you're not sure how somethings going to come out - try it on scrap wood first until you're comfortable cutting the expensive stuff.

Guitar making is the art and science of turning expensive wood into sawdust.


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rockpile99
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08/04/2021 7:08 pm  

PS - if you're not following a template for your body shape and just carving/sanding after cutting roughly to shape, then you probably don't really need the edge trimming cutter.

Guitar making is the art and science of turning expensive wood into sawdust.


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Tej
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08/04/2021 8:22 pm  

You don't have to use both bearings at once

@rockpile99 There's the me feeling stupid bit 🙂 I'll absolutely be making a template though they'll be worthwhile. As for the main routing bit I was planning to get a more shallow bit and go down the cavity in stages. I like the idea of the smaller radius bit to finish the corners of the pickup and neck pocket corners though. I think now I need to subscribe so I can watch the various videos through and get a clearer idea of what I want to do as I'm sure that in itself will answer many of my questions. First up the design course and digest that and take it from there, I'm hoping it comes with a way to stop time so I don't have to go to work until I've finished 🙂

…on an elaborate journey to turn trees into music.


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Boo
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08/04/2021 8:53 pm  

I think now I need to subscribe so I can watch the various videos through and get a clearer idea of what I want to do as I'm sure that in itself will answer many of my questions. First up the design course and digest that and take it from there, I'm hoping it comes with a way to stop time so I don't have to go to work until I've finished

@tej Yep, that’s definitely the best way forward. I enjoy drawing out designs, it really is an important step before the implementation stage. It’s not complicated, you don’t need to apply much maths or be particularly artistic, it’s quite simple really. It also helps you create your shopping list for all the parts you need, it’s an essential course. 
I would advise, for your first build, using all the parts that Mark uses for the set neck Bailey Bandsman. You will learn a lot and enjoy it, even you wanted to make a bolt on guitar and use different hardware, just do this first. I started out the same way you did, building kit guitars, mainly bolt on necks. When I found these courses, I was unsure at first because I hadn’t made a set neck guitar before and I just wanted to do everything that I was used to. I realise now though that that was just being silly and making the Bandsman was an eye opener. It means I can now make set neck and bolt on guitars. Wow! How did that happen? 🤘😁🤘🎸 

Online guitar making courses – guitarmaking.co.uk


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Tej
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08/04/2021 9:32 pm  

I would advise, for your first build, using all the parts that Mark uses for the set neck Bailey Bandsman

@boo So this sounds like a great idea in theory as one thing I don't want to do is put a lot of effort to ultimately make something that's really silimar to something I already have. In terms of the course (should note I've not looked into the detail) dose Mark go through the constuction of both set and bolt on I presume? The other thing I was aiming for was to make it a 24 fret guitar but I'm not sure if there is a reason not to at first, only considderation here is the body would need to be signifcantly more sculpted where the body starts. I'm thinking though that the set neck actually mak make this less problematic than it might be with a bolt on neck guitar where the pokect is almost enitrely exposed on one side, thoughts?

…on an elaborate journey to turn trees into music.


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