Making an Electric Guitar Body

Introduction

Last year I built a 3D router ¹ ² ³ to serve as a manual CNC machine, after seeing it in full flight in the video. It looked perfectly simple, and after building it, it has taken a while to sort out my systems for actually using it. But I figure; spending time getting the templates sorted, and everything perfect, will allow for unending repeatability of creating ‘perfect’ electric guitar bodies.

How it Works

Firstly, I have made two boards; one for the template and one for the wood/guitar body. The guitar body has already been roughly cut out using a jigsaw or bandsaw at this stage.

Attaching the Template

The back of the template board has 4 locations for attachment screws which fit close the edges of any guitar shape, regardless of whether they are for the front or the back of the guitar. Each body shape (front and back) are colour outlined to ensure that the mount points are within the body, and are not going to be in any template holes.Using screws, the template is then attached to the board from the back. This was initially a bit difficult, so I used double sided tape to hold the template in the right place while I used screws from the back to secure it. Next time, I should just be able to screw straight into the existing holes made in the template.The same process was carried out for attaching the body. The back of the body board is a bit more complicated, in that the mount screws have to go into places that are not going to be in lasting places on the guitar. To avoid this, the screws attach in places like the back vibrato spring cavity (for Stratocasters) and uses the same holes for the faceplate screws, or the string through-holes (for Telecasters). I’ve also used places for the elbow cutaway on a Stratocaster front to allow for attachment to drill out the back cavities.

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