As noted in my "introduction" thread, I'm embarking on some guitar building for "personal enrichment" purposes including increasing my CNC skills as well as satisfying my musical itch. I'm a lousy guitar player, but there's still no harm in creating something that hopefully sounds good in the hands of someone who knows what they are doing! At any rate, I referenced CNC. While a lot of folks work with purchased bodies and necks or cut/shape by hand, since I have the machine, I'm going to use it. Part of that is because I want to take advantage of modeling to create my own personal variations virtually before committing to expensive hunks of wood. While I'm capable of taking an existing plan/drawing directly to design/toolpathing (cutting instructions to the machine), for this first effort I purchased Alex Navaro's (3DCNCGUITARS if you want to Google it) '62 Telecaster files to use as an instructional part of the process. He's also been very helpful in answering a few questions I had before I started modifying some things to suit my perceived needs better. There is also one thing to keep in mind...yes, I'm cutting out the parts with the CNC, but there is still the same amount of work in preparing them as there would be if they were being made with other tools, outside of less manual stock removal on the neck, particularly the back side. Prior to the included photos below, I already cut a few necks to refine the process for me and prove things out as these are cut as double sided workpieces. I also did a test fingerboard but the instrument will get a new one that I recreated to insure it was modeled with the desired radius. Finally, I did cut two body templates. While these could be used traditionally to establish a line for a bandsaw cutout, my purpose for them is to be able to set them on a body blank and determine where my center line needs to be oriented for the best possible visual appeal for a body where the wood will be visible. (non-painted bodies) I did two; one with the traditional Tele pickup arrangement and one with a two HB pickup arrangement. The latter is because I don't anticipate using a pick guard on that arrangement and visual in that area is also important. For this first build, I chose to do a laminated neck rather than a simpler flat board. My test pieces were fine with the flat board in both maple and cherry, but since I had some material that had some very nice "fleck" on edge of some maple, I decided to leverage that for the first "real" neck. I did change the headstock profile a little...'just a personal thing and a chance to see what modeling that entailed. The top of the neck gets cut first and that includes using the machine to refine the thickness to the "correct" 20.74mm (I work in metric by preference when I can) as well as shaping the headstock, cutting the 10mm holes for the tuners and cutting the accommodations for the truss rod. The neck blank is flipped and the alignment holes on the centerline are used to precisely place it so the back side can be cut to profile. There are two steps to that...a "rough" cut which removes the bulk of the material and a "finish" cut that completes the profile. The surface is contoured correctly, but it's not finish-ready...no different than using other methods in that respect. So that means a whole bunch of sanding both manually and with appropriate tools. The final sanding doesn't happen until the fretboard gets glued on just like in any other methodology. And at that point, we have a neck that's ready for next steps. Here it is with my test fingerboard taped on. That alone is instructive as it helped me to understand the headstock end of the fingerboard better so I can trim that end more effectively when I cut the actual piece to use on this instrument. I love the constant learning process! Next up will be said fretboard and the first body...which will be posted after I do the work.