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Truing SIdes - Preperation Tip
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Author:  Hesh [ Sun Jan 03, 2010 10:05 am ]
Post subject:  Truing SIdes - Preperation Tip

Here is a tip that I learned from Mario Proulx that saves me lots of time! [:Y:]

After gluing the top and back plates onto a guitar rim one way to nix the overhang that we leave on our plates is to use a flush-cut router bit either in a laminate trimmer free-handing it (perhaps with a shop-made donut) or with the trimmer in one of the various types of binding channel cutter jigs.

As you all know prior to cutting the actual binding channels it's important to first true up your sides so that the binding cutter router bit is registering/riding on a uniform side. This makes for a more uniform binding channel.

If you go from the flush cut bit which does not always really cut flush to sanding/truing your sides the top and back plates including some end grain will be hitting the sanding block when you attempt to true up your sides. This can and will greatly slow down your progress if sanding by hand with a block.

Mario's tip is to after cutting the plates flush or close to it use one of the bearings that came with your binding cutter bit set that only takes off a very small amount of material just beyond flush with the sides. Adjust the bit so that it's depth is less than what you would use for your bindings and again it's a bearing that will not cut as deep as you would use for your bindings either.

What results is that the back and top plates are taken out of play while you true up your sides to cut the actual binding channels. In addition this also acts as a bit of a pre-cut removing some material and reducing the amount of material that you will be removing when actually cutting the final binding channels. Another benefit is that this less aggressive final cut is also less risky since it's taking a smaller bite.

I just did this technique this morning and instead of sanding my sides now of which I HATE sanding.... [headinwall] [headinwall] [headinwall] I thought that I would take this opportunity to slack off and write this toot of sorts sharing Mario's method that he shared with us on the OLF in the past.

Here we see my flush-cut bit installed in my laminate trimmer and covered with dust and dirt... :shock: :? The tape over the bearing is a tip that I received also in the past on the OLF from Uncle Bob aka Zootman aka Bob C. The idea is that the tape will reduce the tendency of a bearing to leave a crease on a side if the laminate trimmer is not perfectly square to the side or your bearing does not turn absolutely freely. Thanks Bob!!


Once we cut off the overhang with the flush-cut bit we now install the binding cutter bit only with a bearing that we probably never have used prior. The bigger the better so long as the bearing leaves some cutter edge exposed. The intent here is to cut a shallow binding ledge that is not as deep in depth or height as the final binding ledge will be.


Here is the resulting "pre-binding ledge."


I am using my Stew-Mac cutter that is in need of sharpening and was replaced with an LMI cutter set because the largest bearing that came with my LMI set does not operate smoothly - time to call LMI on Monday. You can see the fuzzies - sure sign of a dull bit and possibly dull operator....


No matter what binding cutter jig you use the principals of this tip should translate well for you and save you some time sanding the sides.


And the obligatory shot of some dirt in my shop... :shock: :D


Sorry I digressed - again... So what results is that the back and top are now out of play as you true up/sand your sides prior to making your actual binding cuts.


I normally use a maple block that I floss on my surface plate to true-up sides but I can't find it this morning.... [headinwall] and kind of have some memory of using it as a shim inside a wall when I built my shop... idunno oops_sign


That's it, thanks to Mario for the tip and thanks for looking! :)

Author:  gozierdt [ Sun Jan 03, 2010 10:49 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Truing SIdes - Preperation Tip


Nah, I'll bet the free life of that dirt was about 3.4 milliseconds laughing6-hehe

But seriously, this is a great tip- Thanks Hesh!!

Author:  MaxBishop [ Sun Jan 03, 2010 10:55 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Truing SIdes - Preperation Tip

Thanks, Heshie,

I think this is one of those small details that makes the difference between a good job and an excellent one. Where would I be without the OLF and mentors like Hesh? Take a look at my first guitar and you would get some idea. On second thought, just trust me. It ain't pretty!

Thanks again,

Author:  Ken McKay [ Sun Jan 03, 2010 1:21 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Truing SIdes - Preperation Tip

Good stuff Hesh.

One of the best tools I use for sanding sides is something I borrowed but can recall from who. Get some cutting board material HDPE or something like that, and cut it to a piece about 4 inches wide by 10 inches long and the come around 1/2 inch thick. Curf it so it is flexible along its length leaving about 1 or 2 mm at the bottom of the kerf. Buy some adhesive back sand paper and stick it on. It is a very useful tool for both convex and concave curves and leaves a great surface.

Author:  Hesh [ Sun Jan 03, 2010 2:46 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Truing SIdes - Preperation Tip

Thanks Guys!! :)

Ken my friend that is a great tip!!!

Author:  Mark Groza [ Sun Jan 03, 2010 4:07 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Truing SIdes - Preperation Tip

That's a great tip for saveing time sanding which i don't enjoy myself either. [:Y:]

Author:  SteveSmith [ Mon Jan 04, 2010 10:18 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Truing SIdes - Preperation Tip

Hesh, that's a good tip and Ken, yours will be useful as well. Thanks guys!

Author:  Hesh [ Mon Jan 04, 2010 3:04 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Truing SIdes - Preperation Tip

Thanks Mark and Steve! [:Y:] :)

Author:  Ken C [ Tue Jan 05, 2010 12:29 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Truing SIdes - Preperation Tip

This is a great tip that I have been doing since I first saw it mentioned by Hesh some time ago. It truly does speed up leveling the sides.

Good show, Hesh [:Y:]


Author:  Hesh [ Fri Jan 22, 2010 11:37 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Truing SIdes - Preperation Tip

Thanks Ken but the real thanks goes to Mario - that is where I learned this from.

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