Guitar body carving

New Home Forum Mostly Printed CNC – MPCNC Advice – MPCNC Guitar body carving

This topic contains 7 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Bill 12 months ago.

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    I want to cut guitar body and neck on my brand new MPCNC machine. I am looking for advice on which router and router bits would be the best fit since guitar bodies can be 1.75 to 2 inches thick. I presently have the standard DW660 snap to it and I can’t imagine that a 1/8″ shaft bit can cut 2 inches deep. I know I can change the adaptor and put a 1/4″ shaft bit on it but at 30000 rpm I guess I cannot go too big on the router bit.
    I think the best routers bits for that would have a 1/2″ shaft but is there a router who can hold 1/2″ shaft that will not put too much weight on my machine without compromising acuracy?



    I never tried to build a guitar yet but I’m not sure the best solution would be to cut the entire thing on the MPCNC.

    What I would do is to make the outside shape at about 20 mm deep with a 1/4 bit, all the pockets, then flip the board, repeat this operation and finally separate the guitar body of the rest of the board carefully using a jigsaw or a bandsaw. Then after a bit of sanding it should be fine.

    This way you don’t need to bother about cutting too deep, and it should not make much difference as if you had cut the whole thing completely with the CNC. Just a little bit more manual work.



    The best way would be to cut just past the 1″ mark and flip it and cut an Cut an inch from the other side. Doing it this way you could also sculpt both sides and pull out a nearly complete part when done….it is a slightly advanced thing to do (the flip) but after your first one it really isn’t a big deal. Learn it on something small and it should be easy. I would work just like the bit change “article” from the home page (some old guy coding), instead of swapping bits you will be flipping the material over.



    This is kind of what a cnc mill is for, we can easily make a template and cut out the rough blank on a band saw but a full 3d sculpt is pretty incredible thing to see. It will be a long job though, but you can do some amazing things this way.



    Thanks for the advice, actually I was planning to use the CNC to define the overall shape and complete it with the bandsaw and a pass on the router table with a flush bit but some of the pocket, especially the one for the pots and switch goes 1.5″ deep. No choice to go that far. I found some long 1/4″ bit that I guess can do the job. The question is can I use the DW660 which run only at 30000 rpm or would that be too fast and burn wood or the bit.
    My other choice, I have a Bosch Colt who’s got variable speed. Would that be a better choice? This would mean printing the attachment for this specific router which I found on the thingiverse site but for me that mean master the 3D printing stuff which is totally new to me.
    The combination of bit size/speed/ how much material to remove is quite a challenge to master. Any rule of tumbs you can suggest?
    I also understand the challenge of doing both side carving and that’s why I choose the old Fender Telecaster model which is a simple 1.75″ slab with some pockets on one side only. No fancy arm rest carving. The only things that goes through are 6 small holes for the strings and 4 for the neck attachment.
    Talking about these holes, it would be simpler to use a drill bit with the right size but to position the holes, the machine is so precise I would rather let it do it. Can we attach drill bits to a router to have the MPCNC drill the holes?



    You can use speed controllers, the dewalt is overpowered and you will be fine doing it, there are 2 easy way to do it, I have a page about it in the information section.

    You can use the cnc to mark or pre drill the locations and finish it on a drill press as well.

    I don’t like the colt see the FAQ’s.

    Rule of thumb, test cuts on the intended material! I do a lot of them, something simple, 2 minutes or less each. You will learn a ton.

    Yes you can drill holes. If they are just regular holes I would use the cnc to just mark or pre drill the position and do the grunt work on the drill press. If you can do it in 2 minutes on a drill press, better than taking a lot more time on the cnc. Tapered holes or stepped use the cnc a regular hole, just drill it.


    In addition to these great advices:

    Don’t bother too much with the deepness of your pockets, you can use the CNC for the first 20 or so mm then create a router jig with the CNC to manually rout until you get to the correct deepness.

    It will save you from the hassle of finding a complex solution to this simple problem 🙂



    I picked up a speed controller for my DW660 along with a cheap tachometer. I can dial the router down quite a bit now, which can make a big difference when pushing a bit around.

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