Troubleshooting a guitar carve mishap


I went ahead and begin a Telecast guitar carve on a pine slate the other day. Everything worked out pretty well until the end when it was doing the finishing and got rickety when smoothing out the upper portion of the guitar. Consequently, the alignment skewed off path and required me to have to stop the machine about 10 minutes shy of it finishing. What resulted was a guitar pocket that is imperfect, misaligned, and rather janky in design.

My question is this - how I would be able to run the system again to be able to get the guitar pocket perfect but not have to wait the entirety of the whole cut again?

I’m still new and don’t know too much about how to troubleshoot. All I know from what I’ve read is that if the machine stops, you have to start complete over again. This is hard if the cut happens to be a three hour car and you’re just waiting for the last 10 Minutes.

Could someone please provide me some suggestions?

Are there premade templates specifically for guitar pockets? If so, how would I be able to make sure that it was executed perfectly when the guitar body is now independent from the original slate. It just seems like it would be hard to eye the carve perfectly.

Thank you!

First of all, I’ve made scores of telecaster bodies. If all you need is the neck rout, I would redo the drawing and just have the neck rout to deal with. I have had great success in having a modular program that I can cut and paste the various tasks. This takes a bit more time, but is useful in case you want to add a humbucker rout or put the control cavity on the back.

So my 2 cents is for you to do a perimeter rout program. Then make a pickup, wiring channel, and neck rout program. A control cavity program , and lastly the neck holes and bridge mounting screw program. You will have 4 sets of text gcodes and then you can mix and match them.

You can also open the gcode in a text editor like notepad, and cut out and edit what you have. Then do a test run cutting air to see if it will do what you want it to do.

Routing shallower depths and then changing the z- depth in the text editor should leave you with a cleaner finish.

Here is a link you may want to look at.

Using an X-Carve CNC router to make an electric guitar. | Telecaster Guitar Forum (


Thank you so much for your advice, Martin!

I will go ahead and try to figure it out this weekend and hopefully be able to bypass the issues I ran into. I appreciate your help!

1 Like