Midnight Woodworking


Kyle’s Guitar – day 3

While the back panel was curing, I loaded the front panel into my CNC and started the carve.

About 4 hours later it finished. Unfortunately the board was slightly thicker than I programmed for and it did not cut all the way through.


The hole for the tail piece did cut all the way through so I cut away the tab that held the waste in place.

To save carve time on the CNC, I had it route a clearance path around the F-hole and control cavity, then I used a larger bit, in a hand-held router to hog away the rest in about five minutes. My CNC uses a 1/8″ diameter bit to reduce the load on the motor, and it would have taken several more hours to have the CNC do the work…

Once carved, I cut away the waste around the body with my band saw.

I pulled the clamps on the back panel. Now that it has cured, I wanted to see if the twist had been removed. Unfortunately, it was not. I was a little surprised, Maybe I should have introduced a slight twist in the opposite direction before clamping it up. Oh well, too late now…


I used a bit of double-sided tape to fill in the ends that were not covered by mahogany. They were not in the carve zone, so it did not really matter what material I used.

I noticed a few gaps outside of my carved areas. Since they are at the edge, I realized that they would present a problem for the tracking roller on my CNC. I added a 1/4″ wide strip of oak to either side for the roller to ride on.

Now after all that work preparing the back panel, I accidentally loaded it into the CNC upside down and started to carved the back of the guitar onto the mahogany side. That was rather frustrating. It was also the last of my mahogany…

This past weekend I went to a used tool auction. There were a lot of local vendors selling wood and tools off the back of their trucks, out in the parking lot. One of them was a local gentleman who has a saw mill. He had some very good prices on wood so I picked up a piece of Osage orange, and a small pile of sycamore.

I have never worked with sycamore before, but it had a beautiful grain, so I sent a picture to Kyle and asked if he wanted to redesign the guitar to have a sycamore back rather than a mahogany center. He agreed, so we picked through the stack till we found a darker piece.

I think it will look perfect, re-sawn and book-matched. That will be this weeks project as soon as I can find the time…

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