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Machining a guitar on a CNC

Machining a guitar on a CNC

This article is about how I’ve made a guitarbody on my CNC machine. The drawing of the guitar was done in Fusion360.

I started with getting the right dimensions for the pickups and tremolo. To be sure this would fit right I made a testpiece on MDF. It is just a piece of 15mm thickness, but it gives a good idea about dimensions and makes it easy to testfit everything. It is a double sided milling job; I wanted to get the rear part correct as well (the part that hold the springs and create the free space the tremolo needs). You can see the holes on the side of the stock, these are for the the dowels when I flip the part.


The CNC machine took 25 minutes to do the front and about 35 minutes to do the rearpart. I programmed that the last job that would cut out the outer shape , to leave some tabs to hold it steady while doing so. This I could sand down by hand later on.Schermafbeelding 2018-08-22 om 21.41.11 Schermafbeelding 2018-08-22 om 21.41.51

I screwed down the block of wood, the stock, firmly on to the scrapboard after first having made the flip-dowels. The job of the front starts off making these holes again for when it’s time to do the rearside.


IMG_2161 kopie

As you can see the ‘steps’ are clearly visible, these will be sanded later. The steps are 0,5 mm thick; perhaps I could make the steps smaller but that that would also increase the job time considerably. I’ve used a 6mm flat bit, 2 flutes, 32 mm long; next time I’ll try the ballnose 6mm. You can clearly see the tab on the side, doing it’s job perfectly.

IMG_2167 kopie IMG_2164 kopie

Now it’s time to sand the body. I used a sidegrinder with a sanding piece on it to do the rough work; the steps and the tabs. I used a normal sanding machine to do all the sides, top and fillet curves.

IMG_2177 kopieIMG_2176 kopie IMG_2171 kopie

That’s all for now, now it’s time to do the neck, more on that later!

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