Guitar Body Test

Testing Easel using a guitar plan from the internet taken into illustrator and then saved as an SVG.
Does this look like it will cut correctly? Any potential issues with the way the file would process in the real world?
I’m seriously considering the x-carve or shapeoko 3 but leaning towards the x-carve based on size. I’ve built about 30 electric guitars in the past from parts or manually made bodies but see a lot of potential to expand what I’d want to do with a cnc from a time and accuracy perspective.
Any input is appreciated.

I think you will have to cut in 2 different stages. A 1/32" bit can’t cut the outline because of the 2" depth. I would make 2 separate project, one with just the holes and use the 1/32" bit, one for the pockets and outline.

Make a copy of the project first, then delete everything but the holes. Then rezero using a 1/4" bit and cut the pockets and outline with the holes deleted. Another way is the do the same thing, is change the depths to zero for the things you don’t want cut while using a certain bit. You can also ask for the 2 stage cut beta, but you will have to manipulate the program somewhat like I stated above because it cuts the outline with the smallest bit chosen. In this scenario, you would have to remove the outline (or zero the depth) and then you can rough the pockets with a 1/4" bit and then do the details with a 1/32" bit including the holes for the bridge and neck. Then you would have to change back to a 1/4" bit, change depths on everything but the outline to zero, change the outline to cut full depth and then carve that.

As long as you accurately rezero after the bit change, it should work great. X and Y should be consistent as long as you don’t get crazy with the tool change. Z zero is the easiest to be consistent with in my opinion.

The guys with more experience will chime in here, but that is how I would handle the project.


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Pretty much all of a guitar can be cut with a 1/4 bit. That is only a 1/8 radius on the pockets for pickups, electronics, tremelo, etc.

I’ve got an old Charvel neck from the early 80’s that is getting a new body.

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oh, Stew Mac sells endmills that match the sizes of fret wire. fyi

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Looks good to me. @SteveCarmichael made This guitar with Easel and X-Carve. He has detailed instructions and videos posted:

I watched the videos on that guitar early in my research of the x-carve. It really impressed me with the capabilities of the machine, I was also surprised how easy a simple tele body is in Easel. I’m guessing I’ll have to pick a different application for designing anything with comfort contours like a tummy cut or forearm cut.
Jason, in the long run I would probably build this more like a thinline with a seperate top that can hide the control routes etc… I have some ideas for advanced routing templates that make more sense than what you can get on the market today. I’m not sure that with the right templates a CNC will be time effective for making bodies. Necks are a whole different game though.
JDM, Ah Stew Mac great products… not so great prices. I’ll have to look at their mills though. Next step rob a bank or casino and get some cash together to get a machine.

I also want to point out Luthiers Mercantile

These are some great guys. Excellent customer service and products.

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Not to turn this into a guitar parts thread but I’ve had a lot of luck with stuff from Guitar Fetish also, especially their pickups but tuners and bridges have always been top notch. I spent a lot of time years ago on Project Guitar also, the advice like any forum takes some weeding through but there is some good knowledge there. I haven’t been on in about 5 years though.


They are great prices if you are Stew Mac, lol