MDF template denting

frankpaul1

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So I've started a Les Paul build (pics will follow) and created some 18 mm (5/8") thick MDF templates. I've tested these by routing some wood with a Freud template router bit, but the MDF is denting in the places were I apply pressure to keep the router tight against the maple. It dents about 0,7 mm.

Is this normal or am I applying too much pressure? I think if I use less pressure on it the router will be all over the place. Could you please advise?
 

Ole'Lefty

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There is something going on-new MDF should not dent that easily. Is your bearing free? I do recommend sealing MDF with shellac, maybe a couple coats. It helps with humidity and somewhat hardens the surface.ole'lefty
 

frankpaul1

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I checked the bearing, it spins free. The shellac could be a good option. Any other tricks to harden it somewhat?

I suppose the denting of the bearing is not so much of a problem for one guitar, but for repeated use of the template it would become a problem.
 

single cut 54

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Try brush on cyanoacrylate ,let it dry and lightly sand if necessary.
 

alk-3

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that sounds odd to me. you shouldn't need very much pressure to keep the router running along the template unless you're doing a climb cut.
 

frankpaul1

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Perhaps it's the fact I'm using a 550 watt Black and Decker router. Is this router sufficient? Or perhaps I'm just frightened the router will lead it's own life when loosening the pressure on it.

Do you recommend building a jig to fix the router for template routing or do you do it by hand?
 

alk-3

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i would work on a few scrap pieces to get the hang of it, the rotation of the bit should hold the router snugly against the template, but all that goes out the window with a climb cut, which is when you run the router the wrong way around the template, which i suspect is what your doing if your finding the router wants to pull away.
I try to stay away from bearing bits because if the bearing seizes you're in trouble. you can imagine a cheap little ball bearing running at 20,000 RPM with lightweight machine oil as the only lubricant. Instead i would use straight bits and template guide bushings.
 

frankpaul1

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Thanks for the advice. Can you suggest a couple of useful bits? I have a 1/4" shank router.

Still wondering if you would recommend fixing the router with a jig or do it by hand?
 

alk-3

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I would suggest some long (2"+) 1/2" straight cutting bits, spiral is best, but not a must.
I don't know what kind of selection you'll have with only a 1/4" router. Can you get a 1/2" collett for it?

depending on the task at hand I sometimes clamp the work piece down and use the router by hand, but sometimes I use a router table. When making guitars I try to use a pin router as much as possible, but not everyone has access to one of those.
 

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