Can I use a drill press as a router for this?

Bobo Fret

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So I have a guitar (alder body) that I'm installing a Sustainiac in, but the sustainer driver/pickup sits too proud in the pickup cavity. I'd like to route it out a bit to compensate. I really have no need to own a router, but I have a drill press. I don't even need extreme accuracy regarding how level it is on the bottom of the cavity as I can adjust it with the pickup screws, springs, etc. I just need to have enough depth overall.

So, stupid idea?

If not, is there any kind of bit I might be best advised to consider?

Tanks
 

donnievaz

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You could use the press to swiss cheese out the depth as much as possible and clean up the rest with a chisel. It won't be pretty but it'll work. Don't try to rout it out with the press, they're not made to withstand the side pressure.
 

Astronaut FX

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Another option would be to rent a router, or buy a used one for the job, then sell when finished. You should come close to breaking even.
 

Bobo Fret

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Yeah, I was going to get a router bit for the press.

I thought to get a used router and flip it, but a little more PITA than just getting a router bit for my drill press.

Yeah, the swiss cheese approach was what I was thinking. I know the drill press doesn't have anywhere the RPM's of a dedicated router, so lateral movement would probably be a butcher job.

I could just use a forstner bit made for a drill for swiss cheesing, yeah? I've got a couple. Might need a tiny one for the corners, though.
 

swiveltung

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You could use the press to swiss cheese out the depth as much as possible and clean up the rest with a chisel. It won't be pretty but it'll work. Don't try to rout it out with the press, they're not made to withstand the side pressure.
^^^^^I think this, trying to use a router if you don't have experience can be dicey, you may end up with a mess, marred finish, crack etc. There are various wood drill bits that work well for taking material out. Or a router bit in the drill press... one that is basically like an end mill. https://drillsandcutters.com/1-4-x-...FLQFlwBElvt9wkoCW4EDipGlanOsdbhab8aAttG8P8HAQ
 

John Coloccia

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Don't use a router bit in a drill press. The side pressure/vibration is quite likely to loosen the chuck and it'll fall right out, spinning at high speed. It's only held in with a friction fit morse taper. Mills are held in with a drawbar.

I've personally see this happen multiple times when people don't listen.
 

Bobo Fret

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It's all fun and games 'till someone loses an eye. ;)

I actually just checked and my 15mm Fisch forstner drill bit exactly fits the contour for all the curvatures of the pickup cavity. I have a larger one for the rest of the cavity. Swiss cheese it is!
 

Otto Tune

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3,852
The problem is wood grain. Some parts are harder that others. As you try to freehand the route, it will grab and jerk and your wood will get damaged.
Now, if you're trying to dig a bit deeper, then hold the work firmly, lower the drill bit, then move the work and repeat. Yes, a forstner bit will be the best.
Router bits will be too short to reach into the cavities.
 

Mark Kane

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Maybe a dremel tool. You will probably find other uses for it around the house. It would be perfect for what you're talking about.
 

202dy

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Rickenbacker "routs" were originally done on a drill press with a Forstner bit. Clean up with sharp chisel.

Router bit + drill press = accident waiting to happen.
 

UsableThought

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1,649
The OP has already found a solution, but if he hadn't, I second the Dremel suggestion for cases where smallish amounts of grinding/cutting/drilling are required in close quarters. I didn't own one until recently, but once you have it around you realize that many oddball tasks can be accomplished more easily w/ it than not. The small motor/high speed paradigm means no issues w/ grabbing or torque.
 

VaughnC

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Taking little bites, I've had good luck with this rotary bit in my drill press. Don't remember where I got it...but it also works very well for widening neck pockets.
pdHjYx8Bj
 

202dy

Member
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441
It never ceases to amaze. Question is asked. Pro's chime in with experience and solid advice. Then everyone else looks for a workaround, high tech or not.

Dremel tools can be used for this task. With a proper router base installed on the tool, it takes a long time. But it will work. It is asking a light weight tool to do a heavy job normally reserved for a tool rated in horsepower. Not ant power. The router base costs more than a Forstner bit, by the way.

Drill presses are used to bore through holes and stopped holes. With a couple of attachments they can be pressed into service to do a few other things. But never as well as the tool that is dedicated to the task. Why not use it for the purpose it was intended?

Buy the proper sized Forstner bit. Set the depth stop. Clamp the work. Bore the waste to depth. Move and clamp as necessary. Clean up with a chisel. Quicker than a Dremel. Safer than a router bit or end mill.

Probably more accurate than most folks can do with a chisel and mallet. Faster, too.
 
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