Guitars! guitars! Guitars!

Thanks Trent, I use the templates at this site:
then I drop it into Inkscape, clean it up and import into Easel. I still need to tweak my Easel dwg a bit because the neck pocket is not to my liking and I have also added in routs for my B bender.
What software are you using?

I’ve only got my x carve a month ago, so still working things out. I plan to move over to fusion 360 at some point. I eventually want to do a full neck as well but I think that’s some time away.

Nice! It seems like Inkscape is the “go to” tool, lots of us use it here on the forum. There is tons of help and videos for it and its free. I used Inkscape to add the middle pick up to the Tele and add the neck pocket. I know there is a standard Tele file on here somewhere that you can customize easily. I should let you know that the forearm contour was not done with Xcarve, I used a 10" sanding disc that I attached to my table saw for that.

Though much of what you say is true, I’m thinking you might scare the guy off, haha!

I studied archtop building some years ago. Nothing on a professional level, just my own research, and seeking out builders to ask advice of.

Bob Benedetto was very gracious to share his time over the phone. I highly recommend his book,

What I found in my research is that many people who built archtops had no experience in woodworking at all. A lot of those folks purchased all the tools they needed because they had none prior to building. They were that green at it! They did it all with inexpensive, consumer grade tools.

I met one older woman near me who got into building. She showed me eight guitars she made, including a Dobro. She was quite an inspiration to say the least.

My entire reason for posting is for Sergio’s benefit. Having the x-carve will decrease the amount of time spent in getting the perfect shape. In addition to that, you actually can get the perfect shape! I can’t imagine the process of creating an archtop with a drill press, as defined in Bob Benedetto’s book. That’s the exact reason I never even tried. Yes,I’m kind of lazy! However, with having an x-carve to take care of some of this work, building an archtop is number one in my bucket list. There will indeed still be a lot of hand work, but the x-carve has cut the drill press method in half, if not more. Forget about the inlays!

In short Sergio, go for it. The worst that can happen is that you scrap some wood, big deal. To cut down the expense risk, make your first out of pine. Others have and they turned out nice. You won’t get the same sound as you would with a good tone wood, but the practice will make that one look better, and spending the cash on good tone wood will put your mind at ease having built the “junker” first.

Good luck my friend. I sure would like to see what you end up with.


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That’s a beauty, Bill! I “assume” you did that on the x-carve. What kind of time did it take? I’d like to see that finished.

@ToddSmeester It doesn’t take long for the routing on the XC, I think it took about an hour if I remember correctly. It was going to be a BBender (Tele Tramp stamp) but I boogered up the position for that route and had to plug it. So then I decided to try a few things and this is how it turned out


I see you have white, and black scroll designs. Are those just carved into the wood and painted, or are they some kind of inlay material? Looks really nice Bill. Thanks for the view.

The black is done with the laser and the white was v-carved and filled with epoxy.

good morning from Detroit Fellas,
I’m Will and I’m a Master Luthier. Everything I’ve done up till now has been done by hand the old fashioned way. Now that I have got an X carve , I hope to be able to move my instruments into the future by being able to simplify my Process and
make my product more accurate. Ive watched a few tutorials and have cut some basic files to get aquainted with the machine,(I do have some experience with the CNC process as I build a "Shop Bot for a Company That I worked for but it was for a plasma cutter for steel, and I have experience on a "Prototrac Bridgeport) Ive gone and searched for some cad files and Dxf and Svg files but am having a hard time loading them into Easle… They always come up with an Error in the time code? Can anybody give me some pointers? What may I be doing wrong?
Can anybody recommend a Good Cad program where I can convert to G Code?

thanks for your input and time. I look forward to Chatting and sharing.

Will VonLinsowe
VonLinsowe Custom Guitars, (Facebook: VonLinsowe Custom Guitars If you would like to see some of the Work I’ve done and Pics of the Shop)

I started using Rhino3d about a dozen years ago. I use CamBam to convert 2d into gcode and Meshcam to convert 3d into Gcode. They both work well. I haven’t really used Easel because quite frankly Rhino does everything I need to do.

Thanks Martin, I downloaded the Student version of Fusion 360 and gonna try it, But I’ll keep those that you mentioned as reference just in case… I appreciate ya!

Here is a walnut/cedar/walnut 7 string with a floyd rose…


I upgraded my xcarve over the winter and decided to give this Vox Shadow inspired guitar a whirl on it. The XC did the neck carve, fretboard, body, and pickguard. I cut the slots on my fret slotting system, but scribed the locations with the XC.




On my, I wish I saw this post first. Great info. Easel is good for flat work. 3d after I learn 2d then maybe v carve desk top , pro is out of my reach. Thanks Aaron

Cut out the body, neck and fretboard on the XC. A few lessons learned - next time I’ll scribe the lines and use a saw to cut the frets

That’s exactly what I did on this neck I just pressed frets into today. I use a Dremel bit in my chuck adaptor and run it like a regular bit. The fretsaw lines right up as the bit has a v shape. The setup was the same as the rosewood below.

Guitar building is more than the mechanics of cutting out a body and parts. I have made a few electric guitars and there is a lot of art in making a musical instrument. I would encourage you to make one and if it does not turn out quite to your liking then donate it to someone and make another one. The electronics are not all that expensive and the guitar can be customized by buying the bridge and tuners that you like. You cannot make a Les Paul because those were produced by master craftsmen with years of building experience. That said it does not mean that you cannot make a beautiful and great sounding guitar that is special to you because you built it. If you think you cannot do something I guarantee that is a self fulfilling event. If you think you can you can. That sounds so simple but you will never know unless you TRY. Give it a try…

I have to disagree with you Guy. If one has 3d drawing experience, you can make a Les Paul or other carved top instrument. If you don’t have that drawing experience, you can make the top carve templates and blend the terraces together. has links and threads to guys making them. It’s a series of steps that need to be done in the correct order, but you don’t have to be a master craftsman to do it these days.

One of my disappointments in instrument making was making a les paul standard copy. It kind of blew my mind how much more simple it was than I thought it would be. One should probably make a few teles, les paul juniors, and strats first though.

I used the Catto plans in here for mine:

Another option is to buy or build a digitizing stylus probe, and use an existing body to achieve the top carve by copying it. I’ve also done this when I first got into making my own LPs. You would need the software like Mach3 to do this.

OH this is a great idea! Going to do one today like this as I am not thrilled with how it cuts the fret slots.