CNC Cutting a Guitar on The Laguna IQ

Whether you are a professional guitar shop or simply looking into what can be done with a desktop CNC, you’ll want to check out this strat-style guitar project created by Max Miller for the Laguna IQ desktop router. “Guitar makers are often looking at small desktop CNCs,” explains Miller. “When compared with others, the IQ is a beast.” One of the heaviest desktop CNC routers available, the Laguna IQ is excellent for cutting large blocks of hardwood with 6” of clearance under the gantry. The 3HP spindle enables craftsmen to make deep cuts with large tools, completing cuts faster and with a much better finish quality. “We actually have a lot of people who buy our IQ specifically to make guitars,” shares Miller. “We have a lot of customers who also make guitar necks on their CNC.” The Laguna guitar recently had its own debut. “We took it to a big woodworking show called AWFS just recently, and a lot of guitarists tried it out and loved it,” says Miller. “We also have quite a few guitarists here at Laguna who were impressed with the sound, especially when they found out that the electronics were just items that I could find cheap on Amazon.“

Project details

Guitars are relatively complicated projects because they require a mix of 2D and 3D toolpaths. Furthermore, they must be cut on both the front and the back so alignment is key to machining the guitar. In this video Max covers how he created the guitar, what tools to use, and an easy way to align parts when flipping to machine the backside. Even if you aren’t looking to make guitars you may be able to take away some useful information from this about how to cut projects that require several different processes on a router. The file is drawn and modeled from scratch in Rhinoceros 5 and then prepared for machining using RhinoCAM. You can grab a copy of the guitar files below. This was a budget build using alder wood. All the parts to complete the guitar were purchased on Amazon. Swamp Ash is another good choice of wood for a guitar body that can usually be found cheap. Feel free to use the file however you see fit. Make your own guitar using it or modify it to create something even cooler! Stay tuned for more Laguna projects in the future.

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