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Discussion Starter #1
I've been getting some great info here regarding some building questions I have so now for a couple of others. Canadian tire is having a great sale this week on a table-top drill press and a plunge-router and table. Simply....am I going to need either of these? I have a nice router and a great cordless drill. Other than the tuner holes in the headstock, of what use woud a drill press be to me?? (I think I should be able to handle with a sharp fast drill and a securely clamped down headstock) Just thought I'd ask as if there is some either of these will make things considerably easier, the deal is just too good to pass on this week.

Oh and also does anybody on here have any experience with the soundhole routing attachment or the binding routing attachment from LMI or StewMac?? They say that they are for Dremel rotary tools but I have a real nice, great quality Mastercraft Rotary tool......anybody know if these are generally universal units where these attachments should fit all of them? Thanks a lot.
 

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Hi,

I have only built solid bodies, but I can tell you of one of the pitfalls you can expect when buying cheap generic tools.

Reach - The distance between the part of the tool that does the work and any obstruction that the tool has.

I recently bough a cheap drill press, and it does not have enough reach to drill most of the holes in a strat body as the pole wich the table and drill is mounted on has only 4" of clearance from the drill bit. It is only good for drilling the tuning peg holes and the neck plate holes, and some pick guard holes.

I bought a bandsaw at the same time, and it has the same problem. I can't cut a body on it without flipping it over a few times durring the process.

Since I am doing R&D, I can get by with these tools for most of my work. For anything that is being sold or will be a finished product, I have to rely on my brother-in-law for as he has a full shop.

I think you can get by with whatever you have if you are creative enough. Holes need to be drilled straight, so you can use a guide block. There is no substitute for using the right tool for the job though as everything is easier and better results are easier to achieve. I'm certain that some people could build a perfectly nice guitar using only hand tools, I don't think I could though, so I try to use the best tool for the job.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Cool, thanks for the info. I thought that the drill press might be too small as you had mentioned so thats why I thought it might only be good for the headstock. As far as quality though, is Mastercraft with a lifetime warranty really considered "cheap tools"? They are usually not so inexpensive, they just happen to be half off right now and any of there other stuff that I've evern used has been top notch.
 

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If you allready have a good router spend your money on a nice table. I'm not impressed with those cheap plastic ones on sale. Lee Valley has a kit to build your own. I bought a 10" Ryobi drill press at Home Depot that has enough reach for me and only cost approx. $170.00. Two of the most valued tools IMHO.
 

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Antz_Marchin said:
Cool, thanks for the info. I thought that the drill press might be too small as you had mentioned so thats why I thought it might only be good for the headstock. As far as quality though, is Mastercraft with a lifetime warranty really considered "cheap tools"? They are usually not so inexpensive, they just happen to be half off right now and any of there other stuff that I've evern used has been top notch.
I am by no means an expert on the subject, but I have been told that buying tools at Canadian Tire is akin to buying a guitar at Wall-Mart.

In my opinion, the Canadian Tire stuff is at my level and most of it works for me, and that is where I buy 90% of my tools. Aparently the higher end lines that they carry can be had in professional shops for cheaper, but again this is hear-say as I have never looked into this myself as I usually buy the standard line stuff.

There should be some others out there with more experience than me with a first hand opinion for you though.
 

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My opinion may be a little biased, since I am a woodworker by trade and wood working tools are my livlihood.

In a nutshell, I dont recommend ever buying cheap tools. Even that statement has to have a qualifier... there are times when something needs to be done quickly and once, in that case a lesser priced, lower quality tool (whether electric or non power) is fine.

However, IMO if you intend to persue woodworking/guitar building as a hobby... save your money for good quality stuff. For electric hand tools, black and decker's industrial line & DeWalt are two of my faves. Makita makes a good tool, some others like Ryobi, Skill, etc are not nearly as well made.

For routers, I HIGHLY suggest buying a good, industrial quality 1 1/2 to 2hp horsepower NO FRILLS router. Something like a DeWalt DW 616 fixed base, able to take standard guide bushings and nothing to get in your way. SOme of the cheaper routers with a zillion gimicky accessories are just crap.

For stationary tools like drill presses, etc. if you dont want to buy a bigger name brand, then I suggest taking a look at a place like Busy Bee tools. They have some pretty good deals on "offshore" made tools that are decent quality and much less cost than American made stuff. Again, spend your $$ on good castings, a good motor and forget about the frills. When you buy tools I find the stuff marketed to "home DIY's" like those from Canadian Tire are in many cases unnecessary and gimicky and of no real use.

One overlooked tool that you may really enjoy is a smaller router, often sold as a laminate trimmer. For guitarbuilding they are great! You can use it for most of your needs and still single hand hand it for stuff like binding channels, etc with the trimmer base and guide.

In terms of hand tools, I suggest a good set of chisels, drill bits, smaller hand plane, some good files/rasps and measuring tools. A place like LEe Valley is a great place to buy good quality piece at a time.

ANyhow, like I said... I make my living with woodworking tools so I may have a biased opinion.

Andrew
 

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ajcoholic said:
My opinion may be a little biased, since I am a woodworker by trade and wood working tools are my livlihood.

In a nutshell, I dont recommend ever buying cheap tools. Even that statement has to have a qualifier... there are times when something needs to be done quickly and once, in that case a lesser priced, lower quality tool (whether electric or non power) is fine.

However, IMO if you intend to persue woodworking/guitar building as a hobby... save your money for good quality stuff. For electric hand tools, black and decker's industrial line & DeWalt are two of my faves. Makita makes a good tool, some others like Ryobi, Skill, etc are not nearly as well made.

For routers, I HIGHLY suggest buying a good, industrial quality 1 1/2 to 2hp horsepower NO FRILLS router. Something like a DeWalt DW 616 fixed base, able to take standard guide bushings and nothing to get in your way. SOme of the cheaper routers with a zillion gimicky accessories are just crap.

For stationary tools like drill presses, etc. if you dont want to buy a bigger name brand, then I suggest taking a look at a place like Busy Bee tools. They have some pretty good deals on "offshore" made tools that are decent quality and much less cost than American made stuff. Again, spend your $$ on good castings, a good motor and forget about the frills. When you buy tools I find the stuff marketed to "home DIY's" like those from Canadian Tire are in many cases unnecessary and gimicky and of no real use.

One overlooked tool that you may really enjoy is a smaller router, often sold as a laminate trimmer. For guitarbuilding they are great! You can use it for most of your needs and still single hand hand it for stuff like binding channels, etc with the trimmer base and guide.

In terms of hand tools, I suggest a good set of chisels, drill bits, smaller hand plane, some good files/rasps and measuring tools. A place like LEe Valley is a great place to buy good quality piece at a time.

ANyhow, like I said... I make my living with woodworking tools so I may have a biased opinion.

Andrew
I couldn't agree more. I have some cheap tools that have done a great job for a number of years but I would never replace them with the same. If you don't require precision or heavy use they are fine. Another thing is to determine what tool you are likely to need for now & the future. You don't want to buy tools that will be maxed out all the time but there is no point buying a 12 " cabinet makers table saw to rip a sheet of 1/2 inch plywood every now & then.
 

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Lowtones said:
I couldn't agree more. I have some cheap tools that have done a great job for a number of years but I would never replace them with the same. If you don't require precision or heavy use they are fine. Another thing is to determine what tool you are likely to need for now & the future. You don't want to buy tools that will be maxed out all the time but there is no point buying a 12 " cabinet makers table saw to rip a sheet of 1/2 inch plywood every now & then.

YEs, its always a question of what you intend to do in the future... for a one time thing, I wouldnt go for the "best" but if you intend to persue it as a hobby spend some $$ on better quality. You wont regret it.

AJC
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks Andrew, I'm definitely going to pick up the best stuff I can. Right now though as a few have said, some slightly cheaper stuff will work but will not be "lifetime tools". For now, that's ok with me, I have 2 terms of school and 1 summer off left. I need to get building with a budget that I can afford before I start to work full time and don't have the spare time to learn. As I finish school and start to work/make a decent income, I'll pass my tools on and gradually replace them.
 

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Ants,
your tools will reflect on what your work will turn out like. As for the rosette, spend the $100.00 for the rotary tool base and the soundhole rosette routing jig. Your mastercraft rotary tool should work fine on the base that Stewmac sells and if you can't afford a drill press that is deep enough for the rosette get the soundhole rosette routing jig. I got this when I first started making guitars years ago and I still find that from time to time I still need this tool for some odd job. Don't depend on the plastic base that came or comes with your rotary tool and always use the down cut end mill bit for cutting your slots for the rosette.
Dennis
 

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cougar2 said:
Ants,
your tools will reflect on what your work will turn out like. As for the rosette, spend the $100.00 for the rotary tool base and the soundhole rosette routing jig. Your mastercraft rotary tool should work fine on the base that Stewmac sells and if you can't afford a drill press that is deep enough for the rosette get the soundhole rosette routing jig. I got this when I first started making guitars years ago and I still find that from time to time I still need this tool for some odd job. Don't depend on the plastic base that came or comes with your rotary tool and always use the down cut end mill bit for cutting your slots for the rosette.
Dennis
Great tool. I use the router base for setting inlays,
 
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