#1
I have a Telecaster body that is currently routed for single coils, and I'm planning to route it for P90s because I am a blasphemer.

Now, I don't have access to a router, but I do have access to a beast drill press.
I was gonna get some routing templates from Stewart Mac or something.

Can I use a drill press, and get decent results?
#2
Considering you'll cover up the routes with the pickguard anyway, you don't need laser presicion or anything.. A lot of people take out bigger chunks of wood with a drill press before routing to final shape anyway, so you'll be good as long as you know what you're doing with the drill press

I'd say you don't even really need the stewmac templates if you're only drill pressing it. Just use your own humbuckers to make templates
#3
Actually, you bring up a good point. The pickguard will not cover the bridge pickup. The bridge pickup is also going to be a P90, sorry, I guess I forgot that bit. Haha.

I was planning on refinishing the guitar, so the bridge would be turned into a standard hardtail bridge with proper string spacing for the pickups.
Last edited by forsaknazrael at Dec 4, 2011,
#4
Yeah you surely can, if you have good skills, and the right drillbit.

It'll look rougher than a router'd job, but if you use spindle sanding drums you can clean it up pretty decent. stewmac sells expensive ones to give you an idea what I'm talking about:
http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Tools/Sanding_Tools_and_Supplies/RoboSander/Robo-Sander.html

I bought a set of 4 with spare discs for $20, they dont have the bearing on the bottom is the only difference.

Also for routing templates, you can make you're own, from this template pack:
https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1189486

Its in the Guitar Building, Repair, and Templates zip, theres a pdf with tele blueprints. It can be a bit of a process to get the pdf to print to the right scale, but you will save $$.
#8
Do you have dremel or similar tool? You could just use a barrel sander on that since you already have your depth in the main slot. You can enlarge the cavity with the barrel bit.
#10
A drill press goes up to around 3000 rpm

a router goes up to around 25,000 rpm

thats a big difference so no, they cannot do the same job.




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#11
Quote by LeviMan_2001
You can always do a decent job with a very sharp chisel if you're good with it.
+311

Jojo, a very sharp chisel will go through Alder or Ash like butter. That's what I did to the neck PU of a Tele, from SC to P-90. I measured maybe 8X.



Also, there are a bunch of Dremel-like tools for cheap. Check out Harbor Freight.

#14
Quote by Absent Mind
A drill press goes up to around 3000 rpm

a router goes up to around 25,000 rpm

thats a big difference so no, they cannot do the same job.


^ I found this out the hard way. My drill press doesn't spin fast enough or have enough torque to do clean routing.
#16
Rough out with a drill press, clean it up with a chisel.
I'd reccomend not buying from a store like Home Depot, Rona or Lowes. They carry cheap chisels not necesarily made for fine work.
The main difference between a cheap and good one is the tempering of the steel. There's a fine balance between too brittle as to have the chisel chip or break easily and too soft, which would cause the chisel to not hold it's edge very well.
Check out Lee Valley(www.leevalley.com).

If you aren't using a router, don't bother with a template. Make the dimensions for the cavity yourself and lay it out on the wood.

--timbit
..I was watching my death.
#17
Quote by timbit2006
Rough out with a drill press, clean it up with a chisel.
I'd reccomend not buying from a store like Home Depot, Rona or Lowes. They carry cheap chisels not necesarily made for fine work.
The main difference between a cheap and good one is the tempering of the steel. There's a fine balance between too brittle as to have the chisel chip or break easily and too soft, which would cause the chisel to not hold it's edge very well.
Check out Lee Valley(www.leevalley.com).

If you aren't using a router, don't bother with a template. Make the dimensions for the cavity yourself and lay it out on the wood.

--timbit

Wrong!
#18
Don't try to use the drill press as a router. Hog out the majority of material with suitably sized "Forstner" style drill bits, then use a wood chisel to make the sides straight. You start by using a small diameter drill bit to establish the corners of the square hole you're trying to create.

Make sure to take into account the depth of the centering points on the drill bits, so you don't come blasting out the back of the body with them.
#19
If your using a chisel you will need to know how to sharpen it properly and sharpen it straight out the box as it will be honed and ground by the manufacturer which won't be very sharp. Also when working with it regularly sharpen it, I seguest using a diamond stone they are fairly cheap and u just use water to lube it when sharpening.
#20
before I got a sharpening system, I used the "scary sharp sandpaper" technique for sharpening. I would use spray adhesive to attach 400 and 800 grit sandpaper to a piece of mdf, flattent the back of the chise (maybe the most important step) and then using a guide, sharpen the bevel (freehand works but not as well). For my hand planes, I would go up to 2000 grit and then strop it on a piece of leather to get the wire burr off. Seriously, learn to sharpen. There are plenty of resources on the internet.

more available at this link and you can google some more. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scary_sharp

Also, I think either home depot or lowes carries some decent marples chisels. Based on the excellent review from Wood magazine and Fine Woodworking, I gave them a try and they are very good, almost as good as my 2 cherries and swiss chisels. I would look at either a 3/4 inch or 1 inch chisel.

Lastly, to get straight sides, I have seen people place a block of wood over the line they want to chisel and then rest the back of the chisel against it so that the chisel moves up and down and not back and forth.
Last edited by Rusty_Chisel at Dec 9, 2011,
#21
Quote by Ippon
Wrong!


Might I ask you support your opinion?

Rusty_Chisel,
I have never seen a Marples chisel at Home Depot. I checked their website, no Marples was to be found. Perhaps it's in American Home Depot only.

I've never used the Scary Sharp method, but I have looked into it as Planer and Jointer knives can be sharpned this way. It clearly works just as good as any other way.

Sharpening is much quicker and easier if you have a grinder. Honing is a lot faster since you are only honing a small part of the blade. When the bevel is flat, grind it.

Wet stones are relatively cheap. The 1000x/4000x combination water stone is all you really need.

--timbit
..I was watching my death.
#22
^ I bought an inexpensive Narex for less than $10 for 1-time use. Based on initial research then, it was sufficient since I had no plans to get into woodworking ... just change a route from SC to HB. The chisel was flawless for the task intended.

If I did go into woodworking, it'll be carpentry, ala Norm Abrams, a badass.
#23
timbit,

I just checked the lowes' website (now that i think about it, that's where I bought them). it looks like they replaced the parples with either stanley or taskforce. this sucks.

maybe sears would have something decent?

However, if he is just doing the pickup cavities, then the stanley chisels, once properly sharpened are more than up to the task. I have a few that I use for rough work. I just sharpen them whenevr I need to.

IF you go the chisel route, you are more likely to hurt yourself with a dull tool since it will slip. sandpaper or an oil or water stone will get you there.
#24
Quote by Rusty_Chisel
timbit,

I just checked the lowes' website (now that i think about it, that's where I bought them). it looks like they replaced the parples with either stanley or taskforce. this sucks.

maybe sears would have something decent?

However, if he is just doing the pickup cavities, then the stanley chisels, once properly sharpened are more than up to the task. I have a few that I use for rough work. I just sharpen them whenevr I need to.

IF you go the chisel route, you are more likely to hurt yourself with a dull tool since it will slip. sandpaper or an oil or water stone will get you there.


For a one time thing, a cheap(er) chisel will do the job. Personally, I'd like to get the best for my money even if it is a one time thing.

Dull tools cause much more damage than a sharp one. They crush the flesh and whatever else may be in you rather than sever it. The body heals a clean cut much better than crushed cells.

I use my fathers Stanley chisels for scraping glue. Before I took them, he used them for removing tile, breaking concrete, opening paint cans and just about anything that will damage the chisel. I've got them sharpened up nicely, they just don't hold their edge. That's why they are for the most part, glue scrapers.
..I was watching my death.