Stew Mac Pickup rout Template trick.

H.E.L.Shane

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OK... Last night while routing pickup cavities.. i sneezed and took a bite out of one of my 1/2" templates.. thankfully, it just messed up the template...

I thought about just tossing a stew mac pup template on there but decided against it.

So i got out my master and made another... then I thought about it....

The reason i don't use the Stew mac templates anymore (beside the fact that i have built complete templates of my own) is that they are too dam thin, to get more than half the bearing on your router bit in contact with the template, your cutter is usually just barely clearing the top of the guitar.. this and not having the bearing in full contact with the template can give bad results.... (there is a GAP between the bearing and cutter on most bits becase the bit flares slightly where the shaft meets the cutting head.. this means that to get a good cut, the bottom of your bearing will be riding somewhere on the order of 1/2 the way up the template and at only 3/16th thick.. thats not much contact surface)

Then i said "wait a minute" and rummaged in the junk drawer, and found an older Stew Mac template with a few nicks out of it.... Hmmmmmm..

Got a new perfect template off the hook....

I Sandwiched the bastids together (old one on the bottom) so that the alignment marks, screw holes and routs were prefectly aligned and ran water thin C/A around the edges.

Now I got closer to a 3/8 inch plexy template (Rather than 3/16th).. and using a 1/2" cutter length bearing bit.. it works the same as my LP templates.. screw it on (keping the screw holes to the INSIDE of the template holes... those Stew Mac templates screw holes are a bit wide for some reason) set the bearing so that its in full contact with the TOP (good) template and yep.. the top of the cutter is cofmortably above the top of the guitar.. maybe 1/16th... cut the rout... pull the template.. finish the rout and its to depth... aweseome...

now i got my "one off" and custom template set up so that i'm not pissing around with that skinny stew mac template all the time

It only took 15 years to tink of that one.....
 

MRJ5

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Excellent solution! :thumb:

Some of my best "Ah Ha" moments came when I least expected it as well.

Good tinking. :D
 

Roman

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Sounds like a good solution.

Myself I have never had any luck with plexi templates. I find they are good for one use only, so I have used the stew mac ones just to use for making a plywood one.

They always melt! Brand new bit, brand new bearing, no matter what they seem to melt.

Greg told me a trick once of using some copper shielding tape, but I haven't tried that yet.

My experience with the templates is I just cant trust them...........in plywood I trust.


:D
 

EagleOnyx

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Too late now, but the stewmac website has a video on these that says to do the same thing. Lol
 

H.E.L.Shane

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Sounds like a good solution.

Myself I have never had any luck with plexi templates. I find they are good for one use only, so I have used the stew mac ones just to use for making a plywood one.

They always melt! Brand new bit, brand new bearing, no matter what they seem to melt.

Greg told me a trick once of using some copper shielding tape, but I haven't tried that yet.

My experience with the templates is I just cant trust them...........in plywood I trust.


:D


EXACTLY... thats why I always copy them and then just use 'em for one offs..

I ruined ONE guitar body becasue the bearing melted the template, created a divot, and took a chunk out of it.. and the bearing wasnt even bad!!!!

I've foud that it USUALLY happens when you dont have full contact with the face of the bearing... like i mentioned above.. if you only have a 16th of an inch of the bearing on the template... that suckers gonna spin and melt...


As to the copper trick... yep.. that works! (or aluminum tape that you can get at lowed for on pipes.. and thats much cheaper ;) )


BUT... I use that trick for more than just keeping the bearings from eating the template... The pickup opening on the S/M templates is too big IMHO.. when i make my wood templates, I put a couple goes of metal tape on the inside of the stew mac template, thus making the dimensions of my templates slightly smaller :thumb: (i tried masking tape.... dont do that.... it can get.... messy)
 

H.E.L.Shane

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Too late now, but the stewmac website has a video on these that says to do the same thing. Lol

Ya know... I should pay more attention... but for some reason.. i gott learn the hard way... :laugh2:
 

greenhorn

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I just stack multiple bearings on the bit if I have to use a crappy thin template. I too hate them that thin.
 

EagleOnyx

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I originally thought that 3/16 MDF would make a good template and made a bunch of templates from it. then I tried to use those templates...
 

TKOjams

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Sounds like a good solution.

Myself I have never had any luck with plexi templates. I find they are good for one use only, so I have used the stew mac ones just to use for making a plywood one.

They always melt! Brand new bit, brand new bearing, no matter what they seem to melt.

Greg told me a trick once of using some copper shielding tape, but I haven't tried that yet.

My experience with the templates is I just cant trust them...........in plywood I trust.


:D

Same here!!:thumb:
 

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