Body joint cut. Your thoughts sought.

DaveR

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I tried that same router jig thing on my very first center seam and it was not a great idea. Didn’t cut well and felt very dangerous. A shooting board is a much better idea. Or if you don’t have a good hand plane, make a right angle fence of some sort and put some sandpaper down to a flat surface. Slide your blanks back and forth until they are flat and square. This is how I ultimately did it and it worked out okay.

And yeah, patience is key. You’re in the right place to learn stuff. Go slow, seek advice, listen to the good people around here!
 

Brek

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Hey thanks all, you are right, patience, for sure. Regarding the shop, there is no excuse for what they sent out as done. I don’t know why I’m not pissed about it tbh. I simply won’t use them again, it has made me a bit more determined to think I’ll do it myself. I was struggling getting anywhere close on my first go hence sending that part out to see what the ‘pros’ can do. I am pleased with my approach today. Process was:

I ran the big circular saw across with the pieces about 3mm apart, and was surprised that it took 4mm, the outer diameter of the cutting edges was 3mm. So that’s new knowledge. I had trued up blade to 90 deg, but there was a bit of wobble, will recheck blade tomorrow.

I measured bit width, and test ran router though with the pieces 12.7mm apart. Then looked at measurements again, made a small adjustment, I noticed that the wood had cupped very slightly so one piece was not square to base I was working on. I thought a while and decided on screwing it from underneath in three places to hold it tight to base board, the small holes left, of which two are in the pickup area and one will be hidden by maple cap.

I then spaced to a midges under width of cutter at top of the work piece and did one pass, very little wood removed, but edges squared better, but wobbled a touch at the end. So extended the rail for the rounded edge or router base and did another pass after adjusting work pieces a bit closer(about .5mm). Then stopped as was feeling like I needed to.

Tomorrow tests will be done on scrap wood for trying the shooting board. There was a germ of an idea in my head about what needed to be done to remove the slight bow left, I think my solutions where leaning to overly complicated, the shooting board and good quality plane is perfectly capable of getting a perfect joint, unknown at this stage is, am I?We’ll see. A mate of mine buys old tools to sell on and has 2 number 5 planes for me to have a look at, hopefully good quality. Will watch a few more YouTube vids as well.

this:


damn, what a price. Out of my budget, unless I send router table back.
 
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Bainzy

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This was a nightmare for me when starting out as well - how do I get wood flat. Everyone seemed to solve these problems using power tools, but I had little success using a router as the jigs I built had too much flex in them for accurate jointing. Now that I know how to use a plane, I think router jigs for jointing and thicknessing small amounts of wood are a bit ridiculous, unless you have a ton of material to remove and can't be bothered to resaw.

I ended up wrecking some alder I was going to use for a body, took too much off it because I faffed with router jigs to straighten the edges, and then tried hand planes but really didn't know what I was doing. Maybe one day it'll be wings for a neck through guitar...

The best thing I did was stop building guitars for a bit and learnt how to use hand planes properly. Also investing in a good hand plane makes it much easier - if you want to skip the learning curve, by an Axmister Rider plane (more affordable) or a Lie Nielsen. I now use a 5 1/2 LN jack plane for jointing bodies and managed to restore my late grandfather's Stanley No.4 for more general purpose work. You should be able to get old Stanley Bailey or Record planes pretty cheap in the UK, and you can spend the money you save on an excellent blade, some self adhesive sandpaper or scrapers (to flatten the sole) and if you're feeling really posh, a better cap iron.

If you clamp the boards together and plane them together, you balance out human tendency to plane at a non-perpendicular angle. You need to keep checking with a good straight edge and only take whisper thin shavings off the high spots. Sorry for the blurry photos, they're from 2007 back when digital cameras were pretty naff in low light.
 

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Bainzy

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I don't think you'd need a No.7 plane by the way, I drool over the Lie Nielsen and Clifton #7s but couldn't justify one for building guitars as a #5 is long enough to plane a normal neck blank if you are careful.

This should be good to go out of the box, they are good quality, well machined and with decent blades:


One final thing I also forgot to mention. Wood moves when you change it's environment or when you cut it. Sometimes a lot. I have had a lot of headaches trying to plane some troublesome woods (with any method), I once had some figured maple that no matter how much I tried to correct it, it just kept warping.

I doubt that's the issue with your mahogany given the shape and appearance of the piece, but it's something to always bear in mind on your journey. Green wood (not dried) is to be avoided, and even kiln dried wood is stored for decades before use by some instrument makers because of these issues.
 
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fatdaddypreacher

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i have only and always used my table saw. never failed me. i joint one edge on each piece, then make progressive nibble passes, slowly, reversing slabs a couple or three times each, ending up with a slow steady, non stop last pass on the edge to be mated. never had an issue. been doing this for ten years and all joints are still tight and right....patience and a method. me with a hand plane is like freddy krueger with a new box of razor blades.
 

jkes01

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Check out Crimson guitars vintage tool shop for used planes.

No jointing planes at the moment, but a few jack planes.

 

larryguitar

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Before I had a jointer or knew how to use a router table well, I'd have taken a big flat beam (the one I use for neck prep) stuck some 80 grit on it and flattened those edges with that. In fact, I used to use a flat beam with a perfectly square fence attached to it to get perfect right angles with hand tools.

Slow, but hard to screw up. And the slow pace will also make it hard to remove more material than necessary; you'll be too anxious to stop.

Larry
 

Brek

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Well my mate came through, a nice old Record number 5 plane for $40, he cleans them up and sells on eBay, sold me this one for what he paid. Really nice old plane. Blade looks like plenty of use left in it. Might need a bit of a sharpen.

I have the jig thing sussed, but as a few have mentioned a lot of faffing about with the potential to still go wrong, when a plane, once mastered can do it in minutes,

I made a flat sanding bed, glued a long length of 60 grit to a thick piece of ply, all I managed to do was make the bow worse. A fence would have helped.
 

ARandall

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I have also used a new (ish) 1.2m level with sandpaper stuck to it (a quality one with a wide flat machined surface) to true up heavily flamed maple that a plane just didn't deal with well.

Its a hard thing to sand straight too, but a long edge and even easy pressure (letting the paper do the work) is the trick.
 

jkes01

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Check a local cabinet shop for remnants or old granite samples, they might even give them to you :thumb:.

Both Corian and granite are plenty flat enough for guitar work. I have a few samples I keep sandpaper stuck to for making nuts and a couple of granite back splashes which are perfect for leveling or getting edges “scary sharp” with sandpaper.

@Brek, show us the plane :cool: Could point you to some tuneup videos if you’re interested.
 

Zeegler

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If you don't have the money or the space for a well set up jointer, then a decent plane is ESSENTIAL. Used planes can be picked up relatively cheaply and then it's just a matter of learning to hone the blade. I used to think hand planes were a pain in the ass and not much good for anything, until I learned how to properly sharpen the blade.
 

Brek

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I had some granite which would have been perfect, was about 4 inches wide and longer than needed. In an effort to be tidy chucked it out a couple of years ago. Doh. Not got room for jointer at all, I think the plane is way forward, spent the morning looking at view utoob vids showing how to set them up, mine need flattening on base and sides made 90 deg I can do it with sandpaper, but need a granite block, lol, so thought about sending to guys who did my cylinder head, as long as cheap of course.
 

jkes01

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Sides don’t need to be 90 degrees to the sole. That is why the blade is adjustable laterally.
 


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