Hi to everybody,

I have to route the body of a telecaster. I have the template: I found it on the web:

I don't know how to route the narrow cavity between the neck pup and the control cavity. I haven't found a flush trim router so little. How do you do that?

Thank you for your help

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Hi Stefano,

Pattern following (that's their correct name)  router bits are available in 3/8th inch size from specialty router bit supply houses on the web or from STEWMAC PART NUMBER 0583 Router bit 3/8th " dia @ $26.95.

Alternatively you can manually set up a guide fence for your router base and cut the slot with a 1/4" plunge bit (stepping the fence sideways to get the overall width).

If you are not a vintage zealot just drill the pickup cable channel (bore/hole) from the neck pocket through the two pickup cavities with a long (aircraft bit) drill and then drill the rear pickup cavity to control cavity hole sideways just like 90% of modern Teles.

Hope this helps, Rusty. 

Steve, this dude is a total ...

I'm making the bit tomorrow. This method rocks. Really love the safety factor.

Yep - I looked at this and asked myself;    "why didn't I think of that?"   and a little voice inside my head said "because you have a primal instinct to survive".   

This video should come with a compression bandage, two liters of blood for a field transfusion and instructions how to put 911 on your speed dial.


I would never put my hands that close to something that sharp spinning that fast in wood.  Too unpredictable.  One slip....goodnight Irene.

It wouldn't be that hard to put something on the side to keep your hands away - remember, the cutting area is actually pretty small. I would think that a pvc pipe cut in half and mounted to the table would serve as a pretty good guard, and I would probably do the woodturner trick of putting some tape on the bit to act as a warning that I'm getting too close. (Works great when using a nasty 4-jaw chuck.)

The key is being completely alert and focused. You'd have to be absolutely alert, stable, and well-rested, with great lighting and eye protection. But then, the same is true of table saws and band saws. (I suppose I could call out the people here who don't keep the guards in place on their table saws as doing something perhaps even more dangerous than this video depicts!)

This doesn't look THAT dangerous to me. Of course you would need to be careful but the only cutting surface is on the tip which is below the level of your fingers and buried in the wood. As Mark mentioned, a band saw is probably more dangerous. Of course it would be better to have the correct tools for this work but this doesn't seem to be all that dangerous to me in the mean time.

When ridiculous rubbish like this goes wrong - and it does all the time, it is lethal, happens in less than a heartbeat and voids your workers compensation/personal injury insurance because of the improvised and unstandardized nature of the contraption.

The unfortunate nature of this whole redneck engineering proliferation is that the authors, publishers and promoters of this sort of junk lure the young, amatuerish and trusting souls out there into taking a cheap alternative path for which they cannot be held responsible for.   

With bandsaws and overheads etc you know what you are up against and have the ability to train to avoid accidents - you also have engineering limitations and material strength accounted for in the design and use of the equipment (or should have) - with this stuff you have a thin piece of HSS drill stock, hand machined,  chucked in a non-colleted head with no guards.   Take your own appendix out with a mirror and a steak knife or disembowel yourself with this system.

Your choice, but at least you have been warned.


  Well, Rusty, I suppose we will have to disagree.

  I have a belt sander that stands upright on a wooden base because most of the time it's how I need to used. It certainly wasn't made for this but the only time I've every hurt myself, in decades of belt sander usage, was once when I was using one as it was designed to be used.  All of the tools we use are capable of hurting us. If they couldn't they would be useless to us. I certainly don't think that it's "anything goes" but it's not unreasonable to search for others ways to use the tools we have available.  In this case, I simply do not believe it is as fraught with danger as you do. It would certainly require a high level of caution and care but so does a band saw or a table saw.   

  As you know, I am an amateur ( and possibly "amateurish" too)  but I've had decades of working with these tools.  I'm not blind to what COULD happen and IF I could afford the "correct" tool every time, I would certainly purchase it. I see no reason that I should allow that fact to limit what I can do. Caution is called for but caution is always called for.


Section A-A on that drawing shows to use a 1/4 drill to connect the two routed areas.

Most people forgo the intermediate routing, and use a long 3/16" drill, using the method pictured here (not my pics, from the interwebs...):

Kind of tricky to get the angle just right, actually some math involved if you want it dead on.....

I assume you are aware of all the build threads at TDPRI, there are probably a hundred or so on how to make a tele!


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