Tool advice

Discussion in 'Luthiery, Modifications & Customizations' started by cip 123, Jun 1, 2018.

  1. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire gearwhoricus americanus

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    like ray said, if you plan on doing bookmatches the easiest way is a bandsaw. You can do them by hand or with a sawzall (i've done it before but it's a fucking nightmare) too.
    I'd say bare minimum=
    1. good rasps (japanese shinto rasp, dragon file) and/or chisels
    2. a jigsaw or a bandsaw to cut the body out (get some lower tpi teeth to rip the body, you can clean it up with a rasp later)
    3. lots of clamps *don't cheap out on clamps*
    4. good no-load sandpaper
    5. a drill or a drill press (drill presses are more stable/accurate typically) with high quality bits
    6. hand planer or router with sled (depending on your budget/preference for power tools)
    Woodworking is an expensive hobby, but good tools should last your lifetime (excluding drill/router bits).
     
  2. BlackMastodon

    BlackMastodon \m/ (゚Д゚) \m/ Contributor

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    Fair point. I have a cheap Craftsman bandsaw that's a bit of a parts bastard so it's not the best and I'm sure it needs a proper tune up. Right now it can't cut straight to save its life.
     
  3. BlackMastodon

    BlackMastodon \m/ (゚Д゚) \m/ Contributor

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    Fair point. I have a cheap Craftsman bandsaw that's a bit of a parts bastard so it's not the best and I'm sure it needs a proper tune up. Right now it can't cut straight to save its life.
     
  4. LiveOVErdrive

    LiveOVErdrive CNC hack

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    Band saws are weird in the way they cut straight. I'm nowhere near being an expert but their "straight cut direction" is not usually the same as the direction of the blade with no load. Ive had to mount my fence at an angle in the past.

    Also: Low tpi blades are the business.
     
  5. DistinguishedPapyrus

    DistinguishedPapyrus SS.org Regular

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    My most useful tool is the router. I bought a fairly cheap entry level Ryobi, appx. $70, still use it primarily to this day. Absolute workhorse, and I love it. It has LED's that light up the cutter area while it's running, that's a HUGE help. Two other tools I've acquired which I could possibly get by without but have also greatly proven their worth is the drill press and spindle sander. I do several big steps in a build with those. Aside from that I don't have any mounted or stationary power tools, not even a band saw. I use a few hand tools like jig saw, circular saw, power drill, dremel... etc. Another thing that I do for every build it buy a sheet of MDF. That stuff is nasty to cut but makes some awesome templates and gluing/clamping supports. My builds so far have each been a little unique and I have not greatly re-used many of the templates, so MDF works out fine for something that you'll use a few times but don't mind if it gets a little dinged up.
     
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  6. DistinguishedPapyrus

    DistinguishedPapyrus SS.org Regular

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    That's something that pisses me off about band saws. You can get a brand new blade and tension it as much as you want but it's gonna try to wander if you feed straight in perpendicular to the table. I think it'd best work out with a very large blade like a couple inches in width.
     
  7. LiveOVErdrive

    LiveOVErdrive CNC hack

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    I've heard some people use a curved fence so you can angle the board how you need it but it will stay the right distance from the cutting edge.

    I've been lucky with my current resawing blade in that it cuts straight. 3/4 inch width.
     
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  8. spudmunkey

    spudmunkey SS.org Regular

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    That's pretty brilliant. Although, I was picturing it as concave at first, and couldn't figure out how that would work. :lol:
     
  9. MikeNeal

    MikeNeal SS.org Regular

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    If your bandsaw blade doesnt cut straight you are doing something wrong.

    Its either a tension problem, square problem, set up problem, speed problem or the wrong blade for the job. If you're resawing wood and using a blade skinnier the 3/4" you will probably have less then desirable results.

    Its important when buying a bandsaw to make sure it will accept the thickness of blade you need for whatever jobs you're trying to do
     
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  10. LiveOVErdrive

    LiveOVErdrive CNC hack

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    Drift is normal though, right?
     
  11. Grand Rabbit

    Grand Rabbit SS.org Regular

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    Some drift is normal, but it should only be so much to the point where you can slow your feed speed and the blade will correct itself. Bandsaws are supposed to be able to cut straight.

    If your blade is aligned on the top and bottom wheel, with the teeth of your blade resting just past the center line of your wheel, or slightly past that, then it should cut straight and be able to have a straight fence no problem.

    For bookmatching, however, there's also the problem of the strain being put on the blade itself, which can cause the cut to angle resulting in different thicknesses from one side of the cut to the other. I've used a cool resaw attachment for a fence which was simply a short, halfround piece of plastic jutting out of the normal fence. This gave me a pivot point on which to turn my work piece so that the tension of the blade wasn't fighting the rigidity of the workpiece pressed against a flat fence. Worked pretty well!
     
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  12. Walshy

    Walshy SS.org Regular

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    Alex Snodgrass has got you covered if you're having issues with your bandsaw. The main take home point for me is the seating of the blade on the tyres - the kerf should nearly be central, which is contrary to what many assume.



    In terms of luthier tools, I cannot live without the bandsaw, pillar drill, router, Japanese saw rasp, random orbital sander and hand planes. I'm still yet to get a planer thicknesser/drum sander due to wanting a really pro one. You can flatten and thickness your stock with a router sled setup which is an easy project. That's what I'm doing for now. It's messy work but it's accurate if you make a good sled. You can also route truss rod slots and stuff with a sled, which is handy.

    Someone mentioned nut files but they are pretty expensive for good ones. I avoid the need for them by buying slotted nuts which are slightly oversized. That way you're only removing material from the bottom of the nut to get it right for your build.

    Reliable measuring tools are critical as well. Vernier calipers, long rulers with machined metrics on them, a good protractor.

    I see you're in Scotland so I'd highly recommend Machine Mart for any of the bigger tools. Their Clarke BS350 bandsaw cannot be beaten, for my money.

    If you do get a pillar drill, just make sure the throat depth is big enough to accommodate drilling string-thru ferrules as this is a common option on fixed bridges. I learned from Sully on YT so have a look at his video to get a better idea of why the throat depth would be important.
     
  13. spudmunkey

    spudmunkey SS.org Regular

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    Whatever you get, figure out a way to test it's slop/variance/wobble/alignment, and see if it's soemthing that can be adjusted...don't just settle for, "Well, it was cheap, so this is about what I should expect".

    Check to make sure your squares are square. I bought almost $200 in squares from Rockler, and not a one was actually square. I returned them and got fewer, but better squares for the same price.

    I bought a laser level that I didn't test, and ended up cementing in fence posts that were 1/2" off, just 8ft apart. I returned it and spend triple on a better one, only to find out that the other cheaper one had an adjustment screw. D'oh...

    I bought a shitty Delta benchtop drill press that they gave a good discount on because it had some wobble. I took it home, remove and re-seated the chuck, and it's about 1/3 the wobble that it had before.
     
  14. LiveOVErdrive

    LiveOVErdrive CNC hack

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    Woah. That bandsaw video was an eye opener.

    I'm... Gonna go home and realign things... :)
     
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  15. MikeNeal

    MikeNeal SS.org Regular

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    The half round on the fence is a must for resawing guitar tops. What a game changer those are
     
  16. ElRay

    ElRay Mostly Harmless

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    :agreed:
     
  17. electriceye

    electriceye SS.org Regular

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    That's what thickness sanders are for. :)
     
  18. MoonJelly

    MoonJelly a subtle stinging sensation..

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    Once you go bandsaw, you might be tempted to go back. :lol:

    Mine is a crappy $90 Harbor Freight model, and it took some (a lot) of tweaking to get it tuned up. That said, it's all stock and it cuts like a bandsaw should. When it's got a sharp blade on it, I can cut a 2" body blank no problem. I have done neck profiles also, about a 3" thick cut, which saves SO much time compared to using a jigsaw/router/grinder/drawknife etc. I haven't cut anything thicker than 4" with it as the motor starts to lurch with most material over 3 1/2".

    I'm happy with it and I dream of buying a Grizzlyso I can do my own resawing (I already do, but it's the bastard type with a table and rip saw). No doubt about it, there's a learning curve, and it can be really frustrating at first. Once a bandsaw is really dialed in, though, you will start to really feel like you gotta have it. As a matter of fact, a lot of work will literally revolve around it.
     
  19. MikeNeal

    MikeNeal SS.org Regular

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    Speaking of blades. Change them frequently. I change my resaw blade every few tops. Especially if its a high silica wood
     
  20. Lemonbaby

    Lemonbaby SS.org Regular

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    MDF wears out your router bits a lot quicker than solid wood. I use 5mm birch plywood for the draft templates and transfer those for the final templates to 10mm beech plywood.

    You tried with the wrong jigsaw... :cond:

    ... but I'd agree that a cheap bandsaw will probably get you better results than a cheap jigsaw.
     

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