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 Post subject: Pattern / Shaper work
PostPosted: Sun Jan 30, 2011 3:53 pm 
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Koa
Koa

Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2005 3:00 pm
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Location: United States
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Here is a little bit of video of me making chair rear legs. This is exactly the same procedure I use when I do runs of neck blanks.
IMPORTANT! This is a Shelix cutterhead. Because of the nature of pattern work it is not feasible to have blade guards. DO NOT assume that you are capable of these types of operations if you are not very experienced with such work. Your little router table is not in the same league.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 30, 2011 5:35 pm 
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Koa
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Nice video! I have been very close to purchasing the Shelix (Bird) cutterhead for my shaper for pattern work. In the past I have always used a router table for pattern work but the since the router bits are much smaller on diameter there are many limitations. What can you tell me about your experience with the Shelix style cutterheads?

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 30, 2011 11:00 pm 
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Koa
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The Shelix is a beast for sure. Overkill for most guitar operations, but since I have it I can blow through pattern work in short order. As said above it's not for the in-experienced, and it requires a reasonable sized shaper (mine is 3 hp) to run smoothly. I had to have a machine shop make an over tall spindle to run it. Jigs need to have substantial mass to dampen vibration/chatter. I make mine out of 2 layers of 1/2" plywood laminated together. You may have noticed that feed is left to right. That is due to the spiral pattern / down shear orientation. So if that motion freaks you out you'll want to re-consider.

For guitar building a good router table with a 2-1/2 " tall spiral cutter will do the trick. This is one that Paso Robles Carbide (now out of business) used to make. I hear that another company has bought the tooling and is making them, but I'm not sure who it is.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2011 1:04 pm 
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Koa
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Chas...thanks for the info. I have a very similar router table that you have shown in the picture and have been using a Freud 2" long pattern bit for a long time. It isn't a bad setup but last year I purchased a Robland X31 combination table saw, shaper, planer, jointer, motiser. It is a nice setup and always thought the 3HP shaper would work great for necks. Currently my router lift isn't mounted since I am limited on space so I am really consider selling the router lift & router and purchasing a Shelix head in its place. I recently built a CNC router much of my pattern work that I previously used my router table for. What I am ultimately trying to figure out if I can dump my router lift using this type of setup.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2011 6:00 pm 
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Koa
Koa

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Hey Brad,
I'm not familiar with the Robland machine, so I can't say for sure it will work properly. Call Byrd and double check they make a cutter that fits your arbor (metric diameter? length, etc), and that the downshear / rotation isn't an issue (my shaper is reversable).
Again, I'll say this is not a light duty set up, and be very sure you're comfortable with all the risks.

-C

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