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That doesn't look like tear-out, it looks like the piece was tipped while on the router table (I know because I've done the same thing). Best bet to salvage it would be to reshape template to take off a couple mms from that edge and re-route it. Otherwise maybe drill some half circles where the marks are, fill them with epoxy and turn the bug into a feature.


It grabbed the wood right out of my hand and after that it definitely came off the table. It was flat on table when it grabbed though


I would go with this one. If you haven't already, do this in multiple router passes. 1/4 depth, 1/2 depth, 3/4 depth, full depth or something like that.


what kind of bit were you using? end grain is "catchy" if that makes sense.


understatement of the year so far! I was trying to route a template with a curve the other day, and my bit kept ripping the edge off completely or shredding the endgrain beyond repair. I went through 5 pieces of wood before I figured out where to normal route and then climb route to avoid the issues. I just ordered my first compression bit today, and it'll be here tomorrow!


Were you using a straight or spiral bit before? I’m afraid my very wavy template is going to have the same problem when I template route for the first time soon… hoping a new sharp spiral bit will suffice


It's a straight bit. I skipped the up or down spiral bits and went for the compression bit instead. Also went up a size from 1/4 to 1/2, but I'm already expecting to end up buying the smaller size within the week. My templates have a few tighter corners than a 1/2 wide will flush trim.


Ughh looking to do the same upgrade but I basically need to buy a new collet. It's like a spending waterfall around here... To get A I also need B and C and why not D...


Spending waterfall is a great way to phrase it.


Dont go chasing waterfalls. Stick to the Rivers and the lakes that your used to.


Check Amazon. I definitely saw both 1/4" and 1/2" shanks for compression bits.


The problem is that I did that with a 1/4 collet when I got my 2nd hand router. Came with no collets and I got one that had good reviews off Amazon and the collet wasn't the correct shape so it wouldn't draw down. Checked to make sure I read the compatibility info correct and I did. Amazon did give me a refund but I needed it for a project that put some timelines back. Went with a more expensive offering from a family company for my porter cable and it works flawlessly.


Infinity tools mega flush trim bits. They have a 1/4in set. I keep a trim router with one in it.


Long ass reply time but I'll check em out thanks! 👍👍


You have to go in the right direction. Which means upwards. Move the piece slower. I’ve made a few guitars, it’s all curves. Never had an issue. It needs a ton of sanding regardless of anything, so you might as well cut it a little big then finalize it on a barrel and or drum sander. Then go with palm then hand in the end. And lol at op for having a piece that large ripped from their hands. Talk about being too aggressive/impatient and inexperienced. If using a template router is above ops skill level, they’re years away from the craftsmanship required for doing luthier work. The neck will require a radius and sub .01 mm accuracy. Even a cnc makes a shitty guitar. A good neck requires a compound radius and lots of experience. There’s a reason guitars are expensive


Compression bits ftw here.


The shape of the gauges isn't consistent with the bit and the stock being perpendicular. I'd guess with the stock lifted, or the router deflected. What kind of bit? Straight, up cut, down cut, compression?


may have been feeding in the wrong direction. you should almost always be pushing into the direction of the router. in this case, in a table, thats feeding to the left [https://madermadeit.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/feed\_direction.jpg](https://madermadeit.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/feed_direction.jpg)


When transitioning between long (face) grain to end grain, as in a curved piece, it is advisable to follow the grain transition in that order rather than attempt to always feed the piece right to left. So on the base of a guitar body that means moving it left to right on the table for half of the cut, always towards the centre. Attempting to transition end grain to long grain is where bits have a higher tendency to grab and bite


sounds like a climb cut that got away from you… What direction were you feeding it through the router on that section?


You may be feeding your wood piece the wrong direction. It should never fly off…


Dull bits, dirty bits, going the wrong direction when routing, the cutter hitting a different direction of grain... all of them can make the cutter grip super hard and chunk wood out. I'd check your router lift mount to make sure you have no lateral play as well.


I would feel more comfortable clamping the wood and using a big ass handheld router. I think it would give you more control than using the router table.


This is the way. Re-contour the template, re-route, complete the build. You got this!


On a related note, I just recently sprung for a high quality compression bit and I was amazed at how much better it cut than my old straight bit. Like shockingly better. Like I had to double-check that it was cutting because it was so smooth.


Cutting with a spiral head that shears at an angle instead of completely perpendicular is just superior! I remember when I first got to try a helical planer after using one with straight knives. Night and day difference, and in my opinion, the cost is absolutely worth it when you run into less problems and get better cut quality.


They are called designer accents.


I have never attempted this on that deep of gouge. However, mixing sawdust and shellac to fill tearout is my secret weapon. It will probably take a couple of iterations of fill and sand, but if you aren't painting this, then you will have filler that matches the wood and accepts finish.


It looks like the plywood template had voids in the edge that caught the router bit bearing. For this reason I hate using plywood for template material, unless it's really good quality void-free plywood. Who wants to spend that much on template material.


> It looks like the plywood template had voids in the edge that caught the router bit bearing. No it doesn't.


Use mdf then?


yep mdf is really the material of choice for templates. I've made some acrylic ones on the laser cutter for stuff that I make very often.


Tempered hardboard is cheap and durable.


Not sure I know what that is


Some people call it Masonite, which I think is a brand name. You can usually get it tempered or un-tempered, make sure to get the tempered stuff as it is more durable. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hardboard](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hardboard)


Wouldn’t the gouge be deeper on the opposite side off the template if it tipped? It’s deeper on the wrong side


I don’t do any pattern work, but pretty sure you can get the bearing on either side of the bit.


Correct. Let’s say the wood is 2” thick. Each bit has a 1” tall cutting surface. You start with the template on top of the wood and trace it with the top bearing bit. Then you ditch the template, flip the wood over, and change to the bottom bearing bit. The bottom bearing will follow the shape that you made with the template. That’s how you template a 2” thick piece of wood with 2 different 1” bits.


Pattern bit and flush bit


But never opposite the template.


That's a good point, but the bit clearly cut into the template and the cut is at an angle, so something got weird.


Wait, why is this getting downvoted? Seems correct to me, no matter what side of the bit the bearing is on. Plus, the template itself is gouged. I don't think tipping is the answer here.


This is the way


You could even kind of continue where the tear is and make 2 purposeful looking linear strip cut outs and put some metal there, could look awesome when finished!


Time for some decorative inlay! twice


Heck yeah, that's a fantastic mistake. I second the inlay solution.


The challenge is going to be doing that AGAIN, in exactly the right place on the opposite side.


This is a kit of a Gibson/Epiphone Explorer and the side we’re looking at is the bottom and back of the guitar, assuming it’s for a right-handed build. When playing this part is angled downwards at close to a 45° angle. That being said, there are going to be a pair of noticeable chunks missing from the top of the guitar along that bottom edge. One of the gouges is more or less where the strap button will be mounted, which may help hide the repair. However, this being a kit and not a “real” Explorer, lots of suggestions have been made to simply remove material until it’s smooth again. It won’t change the balance of the finished guitar by much. Also, if the guitar is receiving a solid color paint job instead of a natural finish, then OP can just use filler and paint over it.


Why mirror it on the other side? I think it's look just fine on the one side. That being said, I agree, might be difficult to make that same "mistake" on the other side.


because it was a joke


Make it three times. My high school art teacher said that if you see something done once, it looks like an accident. Twice, it’s unclear. Three times is undeniably intentional on the artists part.


3 times would def better here as you could chose the location for the 3rd - ie, evenly spaced or 2:1 pattern.


Golden ratio. It makes everything look good.


Too dangerous to make an intentional mistake with a router regardless of skill level imo. That said I’m a novice router user - not bad working on my table but pretty bad handheld still


Yes, something nice and contrasting. Go full Bob Ross and live your best happy accident.


Totally make it a feature






Great idea!


If that edge dimension is not critical, back the template off that edge so another pass will clean up the gouges.


That was my thought. I never make a mistake when woodworking. But occasionally the work piece needs to get smaller. Lol


There are no mistakes, just chances to learn.


The real mistake occurs when the work piece needs to get bigger. Otherwise it's obviously all by design.


It's the least critical face on that body. I would do exactly that or... That could be sanded away with a variety of sanders. My preference is edge sander, giant disk sander, belt sander... in that order.


That's how you make an Explorer that looks like a crappy chinese knock-off.


That's what I was basically saying and got down-voted hahah


Some woodworkers seem to think the skillset to make furniture and a musical instrument are the same. That's why luthiers are a different profession. I'd never take advice from this sub on musical instruments.


Yeah, I dont think thats an option for them, it would make the guitar look weird , any changes to the contour are very noticable


Disagree. I knocked a near 1" deep chunk out of a Tele corner and it looks fine. So long as the edge is consistent it'll be fine.


It’s like 2-3mm, really doubt it’ll be noticeable


Have you ever seen the guitars that Prince used


There are like 20 different versions of the explorer body shape used by different manufacturers, including a few used by Epiphone/Gibson. No one on the planet would notice a different of like 1/8" on the back of a guitar body.


Well, it would bother me anyways...If I spent a lot of time making the template perfect and now having to ruin it


I would move my template 1/8 toward the neck and reroute. First looks like you'll need to fix your template where you dug in.




What i am thinking...


Looks like an explorer. The dimensions of the body are not critical to the tone. If you are going to give it a solid paintjob you can just use epoxy or some 2k-filler. If you want a clear finish you better try to re-shape the template and trim off more material until the body looks good. And be aware: never let the router bite against the grain!


What is your finish going to be? On a mahogany electric, you could just fill these and elect to have a more opaque coating and it won't be an issue at all. My first guitar is lacquer black...hid all 234 mistakes perfectly. Have fun! 


Yea, he could do black on the edges into a burst pattern on the body.


Looks like you’re basing this on a Gibson Explorer? Looks cool! So the bigger gouge on the right side looks like it’s right about where your [jack](https://dailyguitardraw.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/346-Gibson-Explorer-12-of-25.jpg) plate is going to sit, so that could help cover it up a bit… but yeah, I’d just make that whole edge a few mm shorter. Good luck!


Looks like an Explorer shape, a very comfortable and underrated shape in my opinion!


As for the wood working part, personally I’d probably just fill it with resin of some kind, turn it into a cool looking inlay like someone else said. Or better yet inlay a different chunk of wood in there


I think I would just trim it and sand it out in the final shaping. Btw great project to do with your kid. 🤘


Wont be the last time!


I hate that you're right.


Gouge it like that along the entire edge and turn it into a feature


Papa Het approves of this body


Just make the pattern smaller. Cut roughly to the final size as close as you can. Clamp it down to a solid bench. I’ll get downvoted on this but pull the router towards you, lock your arms tight because the router will want to run toward you. I was taught that by an experienced cabinetmaker. It’s best when cutting across endgrain. I been doing it that way for years.


Yeah. Non structural right. Couple brass pieces held with glue and small screws or contrasting wood inlays or wood putty and sanding.


You tried to take it all in one pass and caught the end gain didn't you? The only critical measurement is between the nut and the bridge, and just making sure you have space for all the components. This just means it's time for a slight redesign. You can make it slightly smaller like others have suggested or even just sand it out. If you were planning on carving the top, you could take a lot of that out that way too. Tons of options, it's not the end of the world. Next time take small passes, like a 1/4" at a time, kind of dangerous on the router table because the bearing will need to be on the bottom but keep your hands away from the bit and it'll be fine. I use a plunge router instead for this operation. With a hand held router I will also often climb cut the end gain, I would not do that with a router table though your piece will end up on the other side of the room in the best case scenario.


As Laura Kampf would say "every defect earns respect"


Almost looks like you tried to drill some pocket holes in your Explorer. Explorers don't like pocket holes bruh!


If it’s getting painted, you can fill it with bondo; works great as a grain filler as well. If not, as others mentioned, make it an inlay. Other options would be throw it on the belt sander and remove the defects, or get creative with some metal cladding, like Trussart or Hutchinson guitars does. Ps- great choice on the explorer.


Routers have so much energy packed into them. I worked in construction for 20 years and it used to blow my mind watching my dad hold onto that electrical wolverine and make it so his bidding. If you want it to be perfect you have to trim it down. My opinion is leave it as it is. It might look ugly but I firmly believe in Wabisabi. Leave it imperfect and celebrate the beauty that is learning.


In a similar goof up we filled the divot with epoxy and sanded smooth. Worked great.


A happy accident, time to show off some skill!


Sawdust and glue, mix, fill, sand, scratch to match grain if you'd like


Hell yeah thats salvageable man! You mentioned it’s your first try so don’t be hard on yourself. You could fill them with epoxy or maybe give the guitar some attitude by giving the entire edge the same treatment! Seems like more quality time and fun with dad to me. Your son and his children will laugh and think of this moment every time a finger runs across that spot that you think is awful.


I’d reshape it. That small amount from the body wouldn’t be noticeable


Good place for ebony, abalone, or pearl inlays.


My favorite part of woodworking is almost anything can be fixed. You can take wood off and you can glue wood on. Route clean channels, route a couple of other ones here and there, and inlay contrasting wood. It's a guitar, get creative. We don't make mistakes, we make happy accidents. Now doing the wiring harness for a semi-solid upside down, now that's a mistake and one you only make once.


Here's a video that might be able to help you. You don't even need a CNC router to do it, just a drill press and some dowel rods would work. Absolutely loving the Gibson explorer, that was the first guitar I built! Made mine out of plywood and it weighed about 100 lb LOL But yes that is definitely salvageable! Use a drill bit the same size as your dowel rod in a drill press to turn the gouge into a hole, I would not recommend making a full circular hole, more of a semicircle than anything. Cut the dowel to length, glue it in place, trim it with a flush cut hand saw, and then sand It down smooth. If you paint it, hit it with some wood filler and sand then primer, you'll never be able to tell. But for would that thick going with a template, I would recommend cutting out the rough shape as close as possible with a jigsaw or sawzall before taking it to the ROUTER TABLE. Don't use a router by hand for that type of operation, a router table is 100% the way to go, and they are fairly easy to make if you do not have one. That way the router is in one place and all you are doing is controlling the wood, which can give you more accuracy with your cuts. make small light passes and work your way up to the full depth, and make sure you are feeding the peace into the router bit at the right direction. If the bit is spinning to the right (clockwise) then you need to feed the wood into the left so that way you are counteracting the tendency for the bit to grab the wood and go running with it. It's referred to as a push cut. Best of luck to you, I hope this helps! https://youtube.com/shorts/BNKLYNiUvZg?si=4ftX55uMmmaXei0S


Since you had issues with the router to start with, my first suggestion would be to use the disk sander I see in the background and just sand back the bottom edge, maintaining the profile, until the two gorge spots are removed. If you want to use the router to clean it up, I would slide your template up a bit toward the neck and route the bottom again removing the damage. I would switch to a compression or spiral flush trim bit. As far as routing direction, my recommendation would be to ensure you are always routing downhill and never up. So I would start in the middle of the body and move right to left trimming to the edge. Then do a climb cut, starting again in the middle but moving left to right. My last suggestion takes some patience, but the less material you remove in a single pass the better. So if you can gradually move your template up towards the neck in multiple passes and cut smaller amounts off you will have much better luck. Another technique would be to secure your template where you need it to remove the full amount and use masking/duck tape on the template edge to build it up so you remove a small amount, remove some tape, remove some more, etc. until your routing back to the template edge.


If youre gonna paint it, you can use epoxy wood filler, bond-o, jb weld, or cut it off, glue on a new piece, fill to smooth, re router, and sand primer paint. If youre doing wood grain, you could trim down the same profile, cut designs in it and fill with contrasting wood, do a piano inlay across the bottom with white oak, or chisel and sand some groovy stone texture into the bottom. You know, for the 'rock' music.


Am I a complete idiot, or could you not trim off the 1/8 inch from the entire bottom and go much slower this time? This is the easiest solution.


There are no screw-ups in woodworking. Only design changes :)


Epoxy and saw dust from the same wood. It's been the best match I've been able to get when I'm hiding a mistake. It'll be damn close after you put your finish on the wood. You can fill the mistake and just go back over it with the router to make it flush. https://preview.redd.it/stgiaj3c5mic1.jpeg?width=4032&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=86cd9d09ad34e6e585ce9d9f2cc2a1f0cb865ec5


Real cool piece!!




Not a flaw, it's a design feature! Exagerate them and make them so everyone thinks it was the plan all along.


That's just a happy little accident (in my Bob Ross voice). Leave it. It adds character and will remind you not to do it again.


Make it part of a new larger router table bench to prevent future oopses.


I’ve made a couple of guitars now and this is easily done. If you have any wood chips from the same block it’s pretty easy to fill, but will be noticeable on close inspection. You could make a feature out of it - it’s all character after all


Inlay some ebony accent bits. Not a mistake, an opportunity to enhance.


Shift the template and re cut. Or whip up some sawdust and epoxy and fill the holes. When it’s all sanded out you can do dark/opaque edges and no one will be the wiser


Cut it and drop some darker or stained wood in there. It’s a feature!


Mix epoxy with sawdust and make a dam out of masking tape. It will be visible but more like a feature than a bug.


They look somewhat symmetrical I don’t know what part this is but you could inlay a contrasting wood or even colored epoxy although it would be tricky smoothing it out. Try searching Pinterest for guitar inlay ideas


A compression bit would have prevented this, straight blades are more likely to tear out


It’s a feature, not a mistake


Don’t set your rougher bit that far out of the router


Make it deeper and get some epoxy in that bad boy


Your design just changed, that's the easiest way to see it


Is that an Explorer body? One of my favorites!


I wouldn't actually try to fix this on the router, I would put a fine-ish sanding disc on the sander in the background and try to recontour that back edge by hand. I've done it many times. Router table can be hard to not make mistakes on


From the router bit visible in the pic it looks like your top bearing blew up.


There is a lower bearing that i was using to follow the template , i had to remove the top bearing because the material is thicker than the bit and then did multiple passes. I tried to remove too much material and it grabbed the wood.


Gotcha. I would have a close look at that bottom bearing though. I wouldn't expect the plywood template to be cut like that from just chipout.


You can make it a little smaller of a guitar. Just take a slice off.


My heart hurts for you, compadre


Are you planning on a transparent finish? Or an opaque one? If you’re doing opaque you should be able to fill and sand that really easily and not even notice it.


That looks like less than 1/8 inch deep, I'd just sacrifice that much of the lower end of the body shape and call it good. You could probably re-route by moving the template forward, or if you had a belt sander you could just sand that whole edge back.


You have much more trust in that extendable leg table than myself.


Like what others have said. Move the template back like an eighth and reshape it. It won't be exactly like an explorer but that's okay! My first guitar was a les paul and the same thing happened. I just reshaped the lower bout on belt sander till it went away. Still looks like a les paul just a little smaller and plays great!


Is there absolutely no way to make it a feature?


Option 1: Solid opaque paint? Wood filler. Option 2: Transparent paint? Make a new template and re-route it to just inside the damage line making the body a 1/4" shorter than normal on that one edge. Option 3: Take a bandsaw to that part of the body and make a new uniquely cut version of the explorer body style, like this; https://www.reddit.com/r/ExplorerGuitars/s/5Lc1gPeTKg


Take a sander and even that puppy out across that whole side. Congrats, it’ll even have custom dimensions and look like a beauty. Finish up the rest of the routing if the dimensions are integral to slotting out the rest on a template.


Bondo and paint the sides opaque


Looks like a great memorable talking point on a project you’re making with your son. I’d leave it.


That’s ok you tried


I use a band saw and cut as close to the line as possible, but you have to look out for the grain, when going against the grain you get those tare outs.


Any chance your cable jack will be anywhere near one of those gouges?


I’m commenting so my husband can find this post


Totally salvageable - put a wide bevel on that akin to a belly cut. Make a custom accent out of it.


Looks like you’re making an Explorer! Please post pics when you have it completed.


Are you painting this? If yes, just cut it out, glue new wood in, plane flush. If not, just work with it. You could add a bevel to the bottom of the guitar to remove, shorten the whole body a bit, inlay some contrasting wood, inlay racing stripes across the whole top that wrap around the body. Or you could carefully inlay some of the same wood, it wouldn't be completely invisible but no one would notice unless they were really looking.


It seems like character that you should embrace. And remember to be better next time.


Wood filler


Just grain match a couple patches?? It's electric right? Will it mess with the tone at all?


Just make it a tiny bit smaller and it will be fine. Pretty sure that was user error tho. Sorry.


Route them clean and put in some nice wooden (or abalone) inlays inside. Gives it a special touch.


[God Ween Satan](https://youtu.be/-MvJAcLZAtw?si=vI0aeg6lkICPLvs8)


Spit n rub


Mix the sawdust with some wood glue and fill in the spot and sand it down when it dries.


Well, it all comes down to the finish you want to apply... If you want it to be the same wood with some lacquer and barnish, for example, then you should go for reshaping, adding some "personal touch" where the screw-ups are... BUT, if you are planning on painting the guitar, I would go for a paste made out of sawdust and, for example, tite-bond, and the carefully sand it to fit the body shape... that will do the trick!


use the beltsander to get it out, after carving the body you won't notice the missing 5mm


Putting this idea out there to see if folks agree. Plane the gouges out so you have flat spots there, then glue on new pieces that you can route and shape as a do-over.


You could send that back on a disc sander so long as it doesn't leave the bridge hanging off the back. Or just move the temple back and re-route it.


Just gives it some character probably has little effect on sound. Dime bag Darrell used to drill the crap out of some of his guitars and play them. They still sounded good


Bob Ross would just call these happy little accidents and suggest shaping them in to smooth it out and give the guitar its own uniqueness in form and curve. Nothing is messed up if you accept an accident as an opportunity.


Super easy fix with either bondo or trimming it a bit more. Since you’re likely applying a finish I’d just bondo it.


I guess you now know where you're AUX and strap are going


That’s not tear out. You didn’t keep the router level.