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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I would like to make a guitar-shaped valet/jewelry box for my grandson for his high school graduation. He is an avid guitar player and I thought this would be a very suitable gift.

I have idea of how to do this but I wanted to run my ideas by others on the forum to see if my thoughts are reasonable of if there is a better way.

It will be shaped as in the attached image, I'm thinking about 8" long and whatever width is proportional. Probably make it out of figured maple about 2-1/2" thick.

What I was thinking as the easiest way to do this is to make a template of the interior dimensions (3/8" wall thickness). Then cobble together an overarm pin device allow me to move the stock to follow the template attached to the stock. Using a 1/2" straight bit, I would think that this would hollow out the interior of the box quite nicely, taking 1/8" to 1/4" passes. I have a router book showing sketchy plans for the overarm pin routing device, so should be able to make that.

Then, once I got the inside hollowed out, I can cut the outside, cut off the front where I would build and insert a drawer and cut a top to fit.

Sounds like a lot of details when written out but I cannot think of any other good method of doing it. I thought of using a pattern bit, but I'd have to make a very thick template to keep the bearing in contact with the template - my pattern bit (top bearing) is nearly 2" long. It would be easier to see what I'm doing this way, though.

So, what does everyone think of this? Any other thoughts/ideas or reasons why what I'm thinking won't work?

Jim
 

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Jim, sounds like a perfect job for the router skis and using templates for the inside and outside of the shape. There is a lot of information on making the skis and using them for projects like this in the template forum here.

Corey
 

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Hi Jim

Just my 2 cents :)

Sounds like a neat project :) , I think I would band saw the lid off 1st from the same blank block so the wood will match but then I think I would use a ski jig setup and not a pin router setup plus you will need to get a extra long bit to hog out the pocket ,it will need to be a 2 1/2" long bit or longer..and with a brass guide it will be easy.

The ski jig is a easy one to make if you want to see a snapshot or two just ask and I will post one or two...


Looks like Corey is a bit quicker than I with his fingers :) but we both think the ski way would be the best for this project :)


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Guitar Shaped Boxes

Jim
This is a typical project for the use of the template guides where this achieved with greater safety.
(1) Determine the size of box you wish to make
(2) Select the cutter you will use. (A Dish / Bowl cutter will leave a radius in the corners)
(3) What template guides can I use (Guide Bushes)
(4) Once you have setout the answers to the above you can now produce a template which will be the same shape as the final box but only larger. How much larger this cut out will be is determined by the Guide and cutter you will use to rout the internal surface of the box.
(5) Secure your timber to be used for the box to a Jig (Flat piece of MDF or Plywood)
(6) At each corner of the jig secure a 60mm x 40mm x box material thickness which will act as supports for the template.
(7) Fix the template to the four corner blocks (The jig should be secured to the bench)
(8) Rout the internal surface and it is important to use a set of skis for this step.
(9) Insert a plug into the recessed box the rout the external edge of the box with a combination of Template guide and cutter to give you the thickness of the box sides. (The 'Plug' should be a neat fit and can be cut with the router using the original template with the proper guide and cutter combination) do not rout all the way through leave 2-3mm for trimming.

(10) The same procedure is used to rout the lid and it may be necessary to produce a second template for this step (It's the way I normally do this step)
(11) Rebate on the underside of the lid can also be added before routing the external edge, (A second plug is required for this step)
(12) Rout the external edge again leaving material for trimming
(13) Add a beading edge to the top of the lid and maybe roundover the base of the box.

It is important that some knowledge as to how the guides are used before attempting such projects.
Tom
 

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Jim, You got replies from the best here. Tom O'Donnell has a reputation of being a great teacher and innovator. Bob will always find the information that you need and post either pictures or links to support and Corey has vast experience as well. Please keep us posted with your progress and good luck. Your project looks very interesting. -Derek
 

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Wow... all this template stuff. I wonder if it wouldn't be easier to just make it like a real guitar by bending the walls and then attaching a bottom and a top!

It sounds like a really cool project. I might steal the idea for my guitar-playing brother in law but I think I'll use my CNC instead. Teehee!

edit: for what MY opinion is worth, I would probably approach this like I would a bandsaw box. I'd shape the blank free-hand on the bandsaw, slice off the top, and hog out the middle with a good 'old bowl-making chisel/scraper. What fun!
 

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Make it like a bandsaw box.

Shape the blank on the bandsaw.
Saw off the top AND bottom.
Make an inside piece by cutting into the inner piece and going around the shape the wall thickness that you want the box to be.
The left over piece can have a piece sliced off the top of it, which is glued on the inside of the lid to make it fit nicely.
Drill hole in the top for guitar hole, either before or after gluing on the inside piece.
Glue back the cut you made to get inside.
Glue the bottom back on.

Much, much easier this way.
~Julie~
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Julie said:
Make it like a bandsaw box.

Shape the blank on the bandsaw.
Saw off the top AND bottom.
Make an inside piece by cutting into the inner piece and going around the shape the wall thickness that you want the box to be.
The left over piece can have a piece sliced off the top of it, which is glued on the inside of the lid to make it fit nicely.
Drill hole in the top for guitar hole, either before or after gluing on the inside piece.
Glue back the cut you made to get inside.
Glue the bottom back on.

Much, much easier this way.
~Julie~
That would presuppose that one had a bandsaw, right? I don't and can't see one in the near future I'm sorry to say. That leaves the router, table saw, jigsaw, or jack knife - router sounds like the best option.

Jim
 

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`duckarrowtypes Wow... all this template stuff. I wonder if it wouldn't be easier to just make it like a real guitar by bending the walls and then attaching a bottom and a top!
From your posting I gather that you are not one for using the template guide method of routing.

Jim....That would presuppose that one had a bandsaw, right? I don't and can't see one in the near future I'm sorry to say. That leaves the router, table saw, jigsaw, or jack knife - router sounds like the best option.

Jim You are correct the router is the best option with the use of the template guides What Guides do you have for your router I may be able to give you more information on how to complete your project like what size of template you will require and the cutters to use

~Julie~,,,Much, much easier this way.

Julie I assume from what you have stated that you already have tried it with the use of the guides or are you just guessing?

Jim
What experience have you with the use of the guides? I have already submitted an article on the 'Introduction to the use of template guides' and it appears as a 'Sticky' for all to see and download, It may be of interest to you to get uou started.

Tom
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Tom, I don't have any guides and have never used them. I have a Bosch 1617PK router set with plunge and regular base (regular base is semi-permanently mounted in my router table). From what I gather, I cannot use regular guides with this router - I must either use the Bosch guides or get the Bosch adapter and then the guides.

I hate to plead poverty and I know that the guides aren't that expensive, but I am retired and on a fixed income and right now, after a winter paying for fuel oil at $3.50+ a gallon, I can barely afford to buy a little wood.

Perhaps in a month or so I might be able to come up with the $30-$50 to get the adapter and guides but, by then it is going to be too late to make this box for my grandson's graduation. I was hoping to come up with some way to do this with the equipment I have but perhaps I'll just have to give up the idea and just make a rectangular box with a drawer. Oh well, I appreciate all of the suggestions and help!

Jim
 

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Jim,

Do you have a flush trim bit? You could build your box in a laminated or built up style. Make a pattern, rough cut out the inside and outside of your box with a jigsaw, scroll saw or coping saw, then rout to the pattern. Glue that to another thickness of stock, and do the same thing. repeat until you get the depth of the box you want. Glue on your bottom, use the same bit to flush trim it to the outside shape of your box.

A little extra work, but it will get you by on the cheap until you can spring for template guides later. Then, you can experience how handy they are.

If you don't have a flush trim bit yet, get a 1/2 inch dia. 1/2 inch shank one. You'll use it for all sorts of things.

Hope this helps,
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I do have a flush trim bit and that sounds like the best answer at this point. Be easier than cobbling up a pin router setup.

The flush trim bit I have is exactly what you specified - 1/2" cutting dia, 1/2" shank, shear-angle, cutting length of 1-3/16", with bottom-mounted bearing.

Jim
 

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template tom said:
From your posting I gather that you are not one for using the template guide method of routing.
Oh no, I am fine with using templates. For this one-off box I figured that he'd be spending AS much time making the templates than he would making the box! I foolishly supposed that the original poster had a bandsaw.
 

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~Julie~,,,Much, much easier this way.

Julie I assume from what you have stated that you already have tried it with the use of the guides or are you just guessing?


Tom

Apologies to you, Tom. Instead of saying "Much, much easier this way." I should have said "Much easier this way."

~Julie~
 

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Hi duckarrowtypes and Jim and Others

I need to say a thing or two :)

Read Tom's post one more time,,,he is a GEAT teacher,, Like you it was hard for me to get it at 1st.....
It took a long time for me to get it,,BUT I'm Slow :) ,but once I did you will be amazed like me how well the template way works..I know you say money is hard to come by but if you add the guides to your router a whole new world will open up to you..
You can find the Bosch guide set on Amazon at a great price or you can just add the a new base plate but I do recommend the Bosch set ,it has a 1 3/8" OD guide ( 35mm) that works well for template work plus it comes with a insert that you can use for the stanard PC type guides as well..

You will hear Tom talk alot about the 40mm guide you can make your own with just abit of plastic ( slip on ring) if you want..

If you get some time read Tom's post below it will help you get it.
http://www.routerforums.com/guide-bushings-templates/1741-introduction-use-template-guides.html

The Plunge router can do it all from making the template ,by the way all you need is one, to get the job done...the ski jig Tom posted is the real key to get the job done easy...it's easy jig to make and can be used for many other router jobs, once you make one you and use it you will see like I did,, that's it's not just a jig it's new way of using your router and it's a SAFE way of doing.

I'm almost sure you will say like I did at 1st., Tom is all wet ,,BUT once you get it you will say like I did WOW ! ! ! I didn't know it could be so easy and safe.. :)

I will get off the soap box now and let you do some home work :)


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duckarrowtypes said:
Oh no, I am fine with using templates. For this one-off box I figured that he'd be spending AS much time making the templates than he would making the box! I foolishly supposed that the original poster had a bandsaw.
 

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Apologies to you, Tom. Instead of saying "Much, much easier this way." I should have said "Much easier this way."

~Julie~

Apology accepted Julie I'm so glad you tried it with the use of the guides . At what stage did you give up? Maybe you could post your pics or if I may repeat myself again are you still guessing?

Tom
 

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I'm almost sure you will say like I did at 1st., Tom is all wet ,,BUT once you get it you will say like I did WOW ! ! ! I didn't know it could be so easy and safe..

Bob

Thanks Bob for those words of support which were repeated to me today at our local wood store When it was said 'They will never know until they try'

Tom
 
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