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I really need a router. Actually I have 3 routers. All get used a lot for different things. My Colt is used the most. I've used it to build stringed instruments (83 so far) to remodeling my kitchen. I've had very good luck with Bosch power tools. Mine lives with other well used power tools.
Eat it all - use it up - wear it out
I haven't pulled the trigger on a router (yet) because I do not have much of a woodworking/mechanical background. I basically picked up CBG-ing 6 months ago with a grade 8-level of technical education and have had to learn the ins and outs the hard way with hand tools. And it's worked all right so far; my builds certainly aren't perfect, but I've learned a lot. But getting a router seems like a big investment of both money and time. I wouldn't want to spend $30 for a crappy Harbor Freight router (now that I've bought some of their planing and shaving tools & seen their product quality); it would have to be a pretty decent tool. I'd also have to set aside a chunk of time just learn how to wield it. I've made the mistake of taking a brand new tool to a build that I've spent weeks on; the results are usually brutal. There will come a day when I need one, and I will break down; but until then, hand tools for me.
To reprise my original reply......
I spoke of using a router and making templates and such was intended in the context of general use. I personally dont use one to shape a guitar neck per se. With the exeption of using a router table and pattern bit at times to duplicate a headstock shape, or for rough in, or set up as an edger for jointing thin woods.
I do use small and medium routers in other operations such as holes, openings, slots. Especially in bridge making, which I am setting up better jigs for as I figure out better ways to do them. Or for creating a pickup opening for mag pickups. Solid body builds get a lot of router use. I am expanding my tooling for binding and inlays, but currently have only a basic binding and a soundhole inlay setup for acoustic bodies.
Medium and big routers for counter top building, small router for laminate trimming etc..... etc......
CBG's? Only occasional use.
Apologies for any redundancy...I don't have time to read the whole thread right now...
Someone also asked in another post what a spokeshave costs. I was unhappy to see spokeshaves cost $90-130 at a 'serious' woodworkers store locally, one of the only ones that didn't go out of business in the last year or so. I'll bet they are quality ones.
About 2 weeks ago I saw one for $29.95 or so at a chain store like Menard's or similar (I don't remember)..started looking a lot more practical.
Then I got a flyer from Harbor Freight this week, and they had flat and curved face spokeshaves for $5.99 (might have been a sale price...the flyer is good until Feb 27, 2011).
The usual caveat applies with inexpensive tools (remember the work gloves,safety glasses, two hardhats and a baseball cup, if applicable). I call such sources them 'disposable tool stores' ...cheap enough to use one time and see if they work. Some are fine, some...well, depends on your expectations. I tend to lose tools due to accumulation of too much stuff...I might already have 1 of something in the garage and 2 in the basement, but can't find any of them. Cheap tools come to the rescue then.
Yeah, a bastard file can do less damage than an SOB router...
When I had a wood shop class in high school, the 'bring it home' safety instructions about a bandsaw included alerting us that it's a common tool for butchers...works great on fresh or frozen cows and pigs, so you can count on it working just fine on human fingers.
I also learned you don't cut round dowels freehand - you can get whacked in the stomach when it gets thrown by the blade...NOW they tell me! A v-shaped holding fixture prevented that.
Lionel Berthelon said:
I think I'd want a tabletop bandsaw instead, I have a porter cable router and it ate the shit out of my perfect headstock after catching a grain once while round back of neck. I'll stick to bastard files and drum sander
That small router is good, depending on what you are using it for. If you're rounding of the back of necks, then no... too small and probably wouldn't work in a table. If using it for shaping tops, cuting designs and routing pockets for pups, then it could be really handy. I have a full size bosch on a table that I use to start necks. This discussion has me motivated to pull out a 1/4 drive that has been setting in a cabinet for over 2 year.