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cml
08-02-2016, 07:49 AM
I'm looking to build my second ukulele, my previous and first build was an electric one. The next one is going to be an acoustic and I've ordered all necessary materials. But when cruising Stewmac.com, I realised I "needed" something to do binding channels with and DAMN those things were expensive. I'm already up to about 400$ in wood/materials/tools for this build and did NOT feel like spending 100$ on a router base. The first (acoustic) build probably is the most expensive one due to all special tools I dont have and because I had to buy extra material if I screw up ;), plus some cheap stuff to practice on.

Because of that, I decided to make my own as seen in pictures below. It's missing the center hole in which the dremel fits, because I dont have a correct drill bit yet (it's on its way). Top nuts are going to be replaced with wing nuts for easier adjustments.
The base can change both cutting height and depth.
Anything that looks VERY wrong with it or do you think it'll work? Mind you, I'm not looking to build dozens of ukes here, but perhaps 1 or 2 a year tops if time permits even that =), so a little fiddling to set it up is not a big issue.

Thanks!
93077
EDIT:
Here's mark II
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EDIT2:
...and mark III:
93387

Bob Orr
08-02-2016, 11:39 AM
Not so sure chipboard is the best material to use. I would use good quality birch multiply or acrylic. I made one with an acrylic base and an alloy top with a hole to just clear the thread on the Dremel. I take off the collar, thread the dremel through and re attach the collar and tighten it up and it works great.

Cheers, Bob

sequoia
08-02-2016, 07:23 PM
I feel your pain on the expense on the Stew mac base. However, my advice is to just bite the bullet and buy the thing. Nice piece of engineering for the amateur. Don't necessarily try and re-invent the wheel. Are you a tool maker or a tool user? Hey, the point is to make ukuleles..

dustartist
08-02-2016, 10:31 PM
You can make a base using a PVC fitting. The threads fit a Dremel perfectly. I used some clear acrylic as the base and glued the PVC to it with some Weld-On. Works a treat, as some might say. I can post a photo tomorrow if you are interested.

dustartist
08-02-2016, 10:35 PM
In any case, the Stew Mac base is not really what you want for bindings. Its great for inlay, however. I would get yourself a good laminate trimmer and a bearing and cutter set before I'd get a Dremel and Stew Mac base.

cml
08-02-2016, 10:41 PM
You can make a base using a PVC fitting. The threads fit a Dremel perfectly. I used some clear acrylic as the base and glued the PVC to it with some Weld-On. Works a treat, as some might say. I can post a photo tomorrow if you are interested.
I'd love to see a picture!

cml
08-02-2016, 10:51 PM
I feel your pain on the expense on the Stew mac base. However, my advice is to just bite the bullet and buy the thing. Nice piece of engineering for the amateur. Don't necessarily try and re-invent the wheel. Are you a tool maker or a tool user? Hey, the point is to make ukuleles..
Thanks for the advice Sequoia! My order from Stewmac is already enroute though so it would be hard to amend that. I'll have to stick with my decision to make my own...
As for tool user or maker haha, I'm a mechanical engineer and work in RnD of heavy duty engines, so trying to find solutions is quite ingrained in me ;), even if I do mostly project management these days. Besides I think this sort of stuff is fun too! If the end product is an ukulele, then all the better :).


Not so sure chipboard is the best material to use. I would use good quality birch multiply or acrylic. I made one with an acrylic base and an alloy top with a hole to just clear the thread on the Dremel. I take off the collar, thread the dremel through and re attach the collar and tighten it up and it works great.

Cheers, Bob Thanks Bob! Lets consider the first one a prototype, I'm working on mark II :).

cml
08-03-2016, 01:38 AM
Mark II is done, I still need to get some wing nuts to replace the top nuts, and I need my 19mm (3/4") drill bit to drill the center hole for the Dremel. I plan to fasten it just as Bob described above. New material is a bit of laminate flooring I had left from changing the floor in my wife's walk-in closet.

Notice the two holes that are drilled on the front end of the base, they are intended for a simple acrylic sound hole cutter and rosette routing jig I'm working on.

I think it looks rather snazzy :D!
931109311193112

Any opinions =)?

little timber
08-03-2016, 04:28 AM
maybe some springs on those bolts so you could dial in the depth of the binding ledge easily? looks really nice!

cml
08-03-2016, 07:02 AM
maybe some springs on those bolts so you could dial in the depth of the binding ledge easily? looks really nice!
Thanks for the nice comment and also the suggestion. I'll see what I can dig up or scavenge from my big box of "random useful stuff", perhaps I'll have a few springs there. So far its built from stuff around the house (I had to get the 3 longer screws, the ones from the prototype needed a too deep counter sink for the new thinner material), so at least one goal is achieved - to keep costs down.

sequoia
08-03-2016, 06:40 PM
In any case, the Stew Mac base is not really what you want for bindings. Its great for inlay, however. I would get yourself a good laminate trimmer and a bearing and cutter set before I'd get a Dremel and Stew Mac base.

This is good advice. I have an SMD base because I was loaned one on a mostly permanent basis by a retired luthier so it was free along with all the little attachment bits. Lucky me! I rather like the thing and I use it for inlay (works good!) binding too, but it does leave some things to be desired for cutting bindings channels which I won't go into. It does work however and I've used it to cut perfect binding channels, but it is a hairy process and a Colt router and base would be better. However I don't have a good laminate trimmer. Sometimes we have to work with what we have even if it is not ideal.

cml
08-04-2016, 10:57 AM
Good stuff. I stopped by my uncle's house today after being out shopping tools (TAS anyone? :D) and asked to borrow his dremel. I explained what I was going to use it for and he said, oh you need a router? I brought both the router and the dremel home.
93149
This is what you fellas meant no? I reckon it will work :), I'll do some trial runs first of course. What's best to use, high or low speed on the router?

sequoia
08-04-2016, 05:09 PM
Actually that is a big old plunge router and not really the thing you need. However, almost anything can be adapted to the job. I would recommend if you are just starting out to do as much as you can using hand tools rather than high speed spinning bits of sharpened steel that can do serious damage to fragile bits of wood. Do it first by hand and then go to the power tools when you want to do it quicker. What's the hurry?

cml
08-13-2016, 09:00 AM
Mark III (last one?) is now done! Shown below with a simple jig that has holes for the inner and outer edge of the rosette channel, and one hole for the sound hole. The little thing beside it is an attachment for routing binding channels.
93386

little timber
08-14-2016, 04:42 AM
that looks great! simple and functional.

cml
08-14-2016, 07:06 AM
Thanks Little Timber! I did a test run today, it worked great. Pics are in my build-along thread :)!

Kekani
08-14-2016, 10:01 AM
I think you need an actual bit for your Dremel. Downcut bits work well for the rosette channel, and the soundhole for that matter.

cml
08-14-2016, 10:10 AM
I think you need an actual bit for your Dremel. Downcut bits work well for the rosette channel, and the soundhole for that matter.
Thanks for your feedback kekani, you dont think the bit I have is going to work? Results today were good, but it was in mdf and that's very forgiving! Would a downcut bit do better?

Edit
For reference:
93412
Im not using a drill bit btw, if the drill package in the background gave that impression. The bit in the dremel is a spiraled router bit, with the bottom sort of like a star. It's meant for routing and came with the dremel.

Kekani
08-15-2016, 08:39 PM
Thanks for your feedback kekani, you dont think the bit I have is going to work? Results today were good, but it was in mdf and that's very forgiving! Would a downcut bit do better?

Edit
For reference:
93412
Im not using a drill bit btw, if the drill package in the background gave that impression. The bit in the dremel is a spiraled router bit, with the bottom sort of like a star. It's meant for routing and came with the dremel.
Comment was made on the bit in the Dremel; didn't notice the drill bits. The bit you have looks more like a shaping bit than one designed for routing. I may be wrong, but that's what I see in the pic.

Also not sure how square of a channel that bit is leaving.

cml
08-15-2016, 09:53 PM
Comment was made on the bit in the Dremel; didn't notice the drill bits. The bit you have looks more like a shaping bit than one designed for routing. I may be wrong, but that's what I see in the pic.

Also not sure how square of a channel that bit is leaving.
Thanks Aaron! I ordered a down cut bit on your recommendation. No point in letting a few dollars in savings ruin the top.

Kekani
08-16-2016, 02:51 PM
Thanks Aaron! I ordered a down cut bit on your recommendation. No point in letting a few dollars in savings ruin the top.
I'm confident you'll like it, but please report back anyway.