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Precision Router Base and Proxxon IB/E - Bridge Slotting Jig

Does anyone know if the StewMac Precision Router Base will work with the Proxxon IB/E?

Also, is the StewMac the only and best option? I guess I'm wondering about the durability of an acrylic jig.

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Mine came from Stew-Mac too.  Not sure but MSC might be a source too, perhaps check them out on-line?

I've had good luck with spiral downcut bits - nice clean cuts.

china?

other wise awesome machine.

Hesh, As a Mechanical Engineer (with a bit more experience than I'd like to admit), all I can say is that design is awesome!  Kudos to Dave.

This is amazing! Are plans for this available or is it only for purchase? My current jig is a mix between Robbie's and Mike's pretty much.And i have used the Bridgeport multiple times. But I have always thought it more comfortable for my style to be able to rout slot after bridge is mounted and i have only been comfortable enough to do it a few times with my current jig and it did go well but for scale and compensation needs and accuracy this thing is the biz!

...Thank you so much for the post! so cool. Got the gears a turnin! 

Hey Hesh old buddy, can I work in your shop. Damn you got some nice tools. 

Hey Robbie... just cutting a saddle slot this morning and thought of you and the SM jig, etc.  I'm not lucky-enough (or rich enough:) to have a mounted steel rail-cutting jig like Hesh and FF have access to, so the SM jig will have to suffice... and it actually works pretty well when it's mounted solidly.

Here's how I clamp it down, and this is the minimum clamping!  One thing to watch-for is the overall levelness of the deck plate. Sometimes the guitar top will have a higher rise on one side than the other, and that makes for a saddle slot that's deeper on one end than the other... although it's easy enough to measure with dial calipers and shim accordingly.  And if the deck has to sit on the pickguard, the same caveat applies.

Thanks for the tips and photos, Mike!  Hesh was kind enough to lay his old jig on me and it arrived today. What a kindness!  I notice that there are foam strips on the bottom of the jig. Everyone complains about it sliding around so I've wondered whether anyone has tried anti-slip tape. If a tape formulation could be found that doesn't eat into finishes it might be helpful.

I have a Proxxon and the Proxxon version of the Precision Router Base. I'm going to copy the plexi router base that came with the jig and adapt it to my router base. I'll put up photos when I've got it together.  I'll use it for the Epiphone Texan that is currently 7th in line so it may be a week or two.

Wow... lucky YOU!  That was a very kind gesture on Hesh's part.  The foam strips are a mixed blessing, in that they protect the top, but (if not compressed all the way down) they could allow for some height slop.. which is yet another good reason for the over-clamping.  

Great idea on the tape... must look into that.  For anyone else using the SM jig, another handy tip is to wax all the edges of the sliding components with paste wax before each job... it minimizes "grabbing".

Looking forward to the pics of your new set-up!  Slot in good health! 

Glad to hear that it arrived Robbie and I hope that it works great for you!

I could neither afford nor justify buying a new Bosch Colt or a StewMac Precision Router Base to use with my Dremel to do my first saddle slotting gig.

I was determined to use my Proxxon rotary tool rather than my Dremel because of my experience with Dremels: they are wobbly and prone to bog down (if not burn up) under load.  The Proxxon IB/E may only have 1/8th horsepower but it is strong.

Most of you are probably familiar with the Proxxon brand. I'm very happy with Proxxon rotary tool.   It has good power, comes with 6 hardened steel collets, and the bearings are very smooth. The website says the ball bearing assembly allows runout of less than .002. They are made in Germany, BTW.

Being loath to duplicate a tool I own in order to perform a single job I tasked myself to find a way to use the Proxxon OFV Router Base I bought with my IB/E.  I drew a few sketches and found a simple solution. I disassembled the router base and lapped it flat, drilled some corner holes to hold an acrylic base, and ordered some 3/16" plexi off  FleaBay. Here's the dissembled aluminum base of the OFV before final smoothing: Here's the same piece with the new acrylic base. The bottom piece of acrylic is 68mm x 78mm and the top piece is 68mm x 50.8mm (2").  I used acetone in a syringe to glue the two pieces together and clamped them for about 3 hours:

Unfortunately, the acrylic base not very easy to attach or remove from the OFV router base . The OFV aluminum base is only 2mm thick (.075") and I didn't think I could tap holes without them wallowing out over time so I used Nyloc stop nuts.  However, once assembled, it works like a charm. It fits into the 2" wide channel of the slotting jig perfectly. I cut the smaller piece it a hair large, sanded the edges until it slid easily without wobbling, then finished the edges with micro-mesh pads to make them slick.

Here it is mounted on the router base. The front edges are rounded for full travel:

And sitting on the reassembled slotting jig with rotary tool:

This is a plunge router base with min/max depth stops. A thumbscrew at front left adjusts the cutting depth while the big green knobs tighten against hardened steel rods to immobilize travel. The StewMac Precision Router Base certainly looks better made, but I think this unit performs pretty well, especially after tweaking.

It's midnight...tomorrow I will cut a slot. I replaced the adjustable ceramic bridge  on a '64 Epiphone Texan with a rosewood insert. I will first level the insert to the top of the bridge then cut the saddle slot.  I'm really excited to get this contraption working...now to do the work and to hear the finished instrument!

For those of us doomed to suffer with a Dremel, Frank Ford has a tutorial on how to shim the loose bearing with a small piece of 1 inch shrink tubing here:    http://www.frets.com/FretsPages/Luthier/Tools/DremelBearing/drembea...  This worked great for me.

Thanks, Mark, I've seen that. I think I've read every article on frets.com at least twice including the machine shop articles.

When my last Dremel quit it was 6 days old and I immediately exchanged it and it has seen only light duty since. That's when I became fed up...I had burned out 3 Dremels in 2 years...and bought the Proxxon after reading many, many reviews on various sites. Nothing like German tools...except Swiss, Japanese, and American tools made in the USA.

Finally located a 1/4" straight router bit to flatten the rosewood insert after driving all over town. I guess it will be manana.

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