Templates are very irritating!

AndrewLP1081996

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Hello I am working in my first build and can't seem to get the hang of it. I'm making a humbucker, neck picket and control cavity templates for a jr. The humbucker is going to be directly mounted so a good template is vital. The problem I'm having is I can not get the template even on both sides. What is the best way to make the templates effectively? Thanks for the help this is reall driving me up the wall!
 

TheZ

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My advice would be to take your time. Almost all of my mistakes have been made while trying to rush something. And also, don't get too worked up about not having the hang of it. You've never done it before, and it's hard to get it right from the get-go. Just keep working on it, with patience and practice you'll get where you want to be!
 

AndrewLP1081996

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Thanks TheZ I will try again tomorrow. I've been using Forstner bits to hog out most of the template and then clean it up with my router. I will try that same method tomorrow with more patience. If all else fails I can buy a template! Haha
 

j.six

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Get the stewmac pickup templates, make copies of them, exhale, and move forward. It's gonna be okay, I promise.

Sully
 

Tone_Chaser

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The guys here make it look pretty easy don't they?

You can put two boards together at a 90 degree angle and use your router to get two sides and then put it to the other corner and do the other two sides.

You can clamp the boards down or screw them to your template to make sure they don't move on you.

Going slow at this point will get the best results as mentioned above. Make sure you coat the edges with super glue, once you get it right you don't want to have to redo it!:D
 

Knarbens

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Used strong double sided tape to hold them in place ...
maybe that helps?
 
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Key thing really is that you can't make an accurate templete free hand with a router.

If you could then there wouldn't be much need tfor templates to do a one off job you'd just do the cut accurately on the guitar itself. YOu either need to finish the tmeplate carefully with files/sanding etc, or you need to make a temporary jig (like the most excellent pictures in a previous post) to make the real jig.
 

emoney

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I like Sully's advice; buy a template either from StewMac or ebay and be done with it. Outside of that, random there has uncovered the issue. Not sure how you're using your router to make this template as free-hand routing is a pretty developed skillset. A lot of template work, I find, is done by hand and involves more sandpaper than anything.
 

pshupe

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Andrew - they don't have to be perfect like a lot of people show them here. Knarbens system shown is probably the best barring purchase of templates. Frankly, they are hidden under the pickup rings so really you could just mark them on the guitar and use a chisel if you like, or use your forstner bits for the corners and then chisel. It's hard to do things perfectly the first time. Just jump in and do it so it's functional and the next one will get better as you get more confident. You are doing a great job for your first build, with limited tools. Do not get discouraged.

Cheers Peter.
 

cmjohnson

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Got any machinist friends?

If so, ask them to do you a favor and machine out some master pickup templates for you, using pickup dimensions and diagrams that are readily available online.
 

AndrewLP1081996

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Thanks guys for all of the advice! I don't know what I will try next but I have alot of ideas to go one thanks to all if you. Knarnbens method looks really effective.
I have a question if I bought 2 of the stewmac templates and raped them together would that be stable enough. I read the reviews in them saying they were pretty thin. One of my problems is I don't have a pattern bit for my router. I need to order lots of stuff!

Edit* I found some cmc made templates on eBay for 15$ made of corain might get those based on today's attempt.
 

scimitar

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The other possibly radical approach would be not to use a template but work by hand directly on the body. For a one off job this is actually less effort than making the template and then using a router IMHO. Agreed you may have finish issues for a p90 since there is nothing to hide your mistakes but at least with hand tools things go wrong a lot slower so you have time to spot small mistakes before they become big ones:naughty:
So far I have only built 3 guitars but I haven't used a single template - of course for commercial production or replica making templates are pretty much essential.
 

AndrewLP1081996

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Thanks scimitar. I don't know if I wanna go to the hand tool side just yet! Haha. I'm not really going for a replica but I want to make it as accurate as I possibly can with my skill set. So I think templates are my best option for know, until I get more experience.
 

stmfitr636

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Thanks scimitar. I don't know if I wanna go to the hand tool side just yet! Haha. I'm not really going for a replica but I want to make it as accurate as I possibly can with my skill set. So I think templates are my best option for know, until I get more experience.
This is backward thinking. I wouldn't attempt to do something that I had no clue how to do... at 30,000 rpm. Re-think your skill set.

Good luck!
 

AndrewLP1081996

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Edit on post 12
If I taped two stewmac templates together to make a thicker template would that work ok?
(Stupid autocorrect)
 

DRF

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If you can't build a saw horse, you probably shouldn't build a barn...ok thats hokey but yrs ago when I was building my first template I kept thinking if I can't get this damn thing accurate, I have no business building a guitar. I know you're looking for a solution-just a little humour here.
 

John Bauers

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Take time, the templates are the build. Once they are made, is just a question of copying them (carefully). I use a combination of straight edges and blocks with my router and self guiding cutters to make straight lines. Convex curves, on a belt sander mounted at 90 degrees, concave curves on a drum sander mounted in a pillar drill (drill press). Like you, I also use forstner bits where I can but always in a pillar drill. If it goes a bit wrong I have been known to use 2 pack filler to repair.
 

AndrewLP1081996

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Thanks John I hope to get a spindle sanding attachment for my drill press soon. Thanks for the advice.
 


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