Pin Routers

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Glenn Ohman
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Pin Routers

Post by Glenn Ohman »

What are your favorite operations to use your pin router for?

Glenn

Simon Magennis
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Re: Pin Routers

Post by Simon Magennis »

Never heard of a "pin router" - no idea what it is or what it might be good for. :-)

Glenn Ohman
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Re: Pin Routers

Post by Glenn Ohman »

Simon Magennis wrote:Never heard of a "pin router" - no idea what it is or what it might be good for. :-)
Pin routers (also called overarm routers) are extremely useful machines - especially for guitar making. Below are some examples. In my limited experience operating one I have found it to be vastly superior to a router table or a hand held router for most operations.

Image

http://www.vintagemachinery.org/photoin ... 4619-A.jpg

Image

http://www.vintagemachinery.org/photoin ... 3445-A.jpg

And a real old belted one.

Image

http://www.vintagemachinery.org/photoin ... 1400-A.jpg

Glenn

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Dan Smith
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Re: Pin Routers

Post by Dan Smith »

Bennedito uses one for cutting F holes in his arch tops.
Ever-body was kung fu fight-in,
Them kids was fast as light-nin.

Jason Rodgers
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Re: Pin Routers

Post by Jason Rodgers »

If I had a sturdy unit, I'd use it for pretty much everything: all solid body thicknessing, shaping, and cavity routing, all neck shaping and truss/CF channels, you name it. Hmm, maybe I should get a pin router.
-Ruining perfectly good wood, one day at a time.

David King
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Re: Pin Routers

Post by David King »

These have been the foundation of solid body guitar making for the last 75 years. Fender and Gibson probably had dozens if not hundreds of them now all replaced by CNC most likely. If you have the room for one and 3 phase power for the 7.5-10HP motors they came with you are all set. There is almost nothing they can't do with the proper jig plate. Creating accurate jig plates may require a CNC or at least a milling machine for accuracy. Of course you can have someone else make them for you if you can come up with a CAD drawing.
OR you can just cut them by hand and clean them up with sandpaper until you are happy with the results...

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Randolph Rhett
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Re: Pin Routers

Post by Randolph Rhett »

The last time I toured the Taylor plant it was almost exclusively purpose built pin routers and shapers. I have not been to the Fender plant (if one still exists in the US), but I suspect their production machines are still carving necks and cutting out bodies using templates and pin routers or shapers. Taylor has CNC, of course, but they seem to use them more for low production options like short scale fingerboards and 12-to-body necks, prototyping, and jig making. CNC machines are great for prototyping or creating one offs, but for fast and efficient cutting of the same shape over and over again they are not very cost effective.

For a small luthier shop that has a specific model a pin router may be much more useful and economical than a CNC machine. There are shops that specialize in template and mold creation using a CNC machine that can make your template; or for standard shapes and layouts templates are already available for sale.

Disclaimer: I have a CNC machine. I don't want it to seem like I'm knocking a CNC. I'm not. I'm very happy to have my machine, and encourage anyone to slip down this rabbit hole with me. However, I built my machine mostly because I was interested in the technology and tinkering. I am also not full time professional luthier with a brand and a following. Therefore I have the freedom to tweak and modify my designs almost from one guitar to the next. In a way, every guitar I build is a "prototype". For that I am glad to have the flexibility of the CNC. However, if I was building a specific model and trying to sell 5+ a month I think a pin router and maybe a good copy-carver would have been a much better investment.

Jason Rodgers
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Re: Pin Routers

Post by Jason Rodgers »

I appreciate your thoughts on the uses and utility of pin routers vs CNC, Randolph. Good things to consider.
-Ruining perfectly good wood, one day at a time.

Greg Martin
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Re: Pin Routers

Post by Greg Martin »

since the pin follows any inside or outside template giving you a duplicate of that template,it becomes a very usefull guitar making machine. My little shop fox holds its own for routing pickup cavities or outside profiles. fixtures can be made to rout the radius on a neck or simply use it with a round over bit with bearing like a table router. once you start using one you will find more and more applications. The only downside is the massive amount of dust it creates,so devising dust collection is a must.
Checkout guitar builder Ryan martain and his pin router here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TLU0TYPK80w

Stephen Neal Saqui
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Re: Pin Routers

Post by Stephen Neal Saqui »

Dan Smith wrote:Bennedito uses one for cutting F holes in his arch tops.

I'm happy to hear that, 'cause that's the only use I've found for mine but boy does it do the job!

Paul Kincaid
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Re: Pin Routers

Post by Paul Kincaid »

I use my home-built pin router for roughing out the inside of archtop tops and backs after carving the outside. I also like it for making wooden pickup rings and roughing out relief carvings.

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Pete Halliday
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Re: Pin Routers

Post by Pete Halliday »

Can you share pictures of that home built pin router? I'm really looking to find a used shop fox as they don't seem to be available new any more and have thought about working something out using a mounted plunge router.

David King
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Re: Pin Routers

Post by David King »

Pete,
That Shopfox was a copy of a Bosch tool with a few other permutations in between.
It looks like Veritas sells a kit for a very small pin router
http://www.veritastools.com/Products/Page.aspx?p=212

Greg Martin
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Re: Pin Routers

Post by Greg Martin »

The veritas is the poormans onsurd router. I always thought having the pin on top had advntages

Art Davila
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Re: Pin Routers

Post by Art Davila »

Randolph Rhett wrote:. In a way, every guitar I build is a "prototype". For that I am glad to have the flexibility of the CNC. However, if I was building a specific model and trying to sell 5+ a month I think a pin router and maybe a good copy-carver would have been a much better investment.
I have a shop made copy carver that can be lock into a position for use as a pin router. I did not make it but I was there to figure out what I wanted and I showed the machinist several designed copy carvers and told him what I liked about one and what I saw as a deficiency. What came out is still not perfect but I can live with it until, I can afford to have a new one built. But the thing that does work best is the pin router.
I have a lot of experience on how "not" to do things.

Art Davila
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Re: Pin Routers

Post by Art Davila »

I have a lot of experience on how "not" to do things.

Bob Francis
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Re: Pin Routers

Post by Bob Francis »

Art that's brilliant!
Thanks for posting

Chris Walsh
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Re: Pin Routers

Post by Chris Walsh »

I posted a few pics in the archtop section...but I'll drag one over here too... This is my latest task for the pin router. I have so many uses for that machine..from template routing..rounding over the greater part of necks....f holes... etc. I can't imagine using the style with the router on the bottom...I wouldn't drop money on that ...Ryan Martin has the setup you want.
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