Making a Telecaster Style Guitar on the 2550 CNC Router Part 1: Making The Guitar Blank

IMG_4328-bWe are making a Telecaster Shaped Guitar, this is an ideal choice for first time guitar builders because of its classic design, relatively simple geometry and bolt on neck construction. Making guitars is not our forte, but it is a popular wood application for CNC Routers, especially if you’re looking to mass produce for resale. Because of the 2550’s ability to precisely route and engrave wood and other materials, it allows us to easily maintain the necessary tolerances to ensure the guitar will intonate and play correctly. There are probably a few different ways you can go about building a guitar on a CNC Machine, this is just one possibility that we chose for this blog. We’re hoping that we can give ideas and inspire others out there and show the capabilities and possibilities of a Vision 2550 CNC Router / Engraver.
guitar-visionsoftwareAlthough we can create the vector files on Vision Software, as a time saver we downloaded vector files from two sources as opposed to creating it from scratch. The sources are Terry Downs’ technical drawing (see Source 1) and dimensions from the Stewart-MacDonald website (see Source 2) for the bridge mounting holes. The vector files were imported into Vision Software, and adjusted for the suit our needs.


  1. Terry Downs’ technical drawing:
    1. Original source
    2. Current source
  2. Stewart-MacDonald’s bridge dimensions
    1. Traditional 3-Saddle Bridge for Telecaster

Joining Two Pieces Of Ash Wood For The Guitar Body

IMG_3753  IMG_3777-b

IMG_3793-b  IMG_3812-b

For the body of the guitar, two pieces of ash wood 1 ¾” thick by 8” wide and 18” long were jointed together. A generous amount of wood glue was applied on the edges of the two pieces of wood, and clamped together over night. Once cured, the now single piece of wood is then planed to ensure the top and bottom surfaces are flat and parallel before machining on the 2550 CNC Router / Engraver.

Note: Guitar manufacturers will create bodies from multiple pieces of wood because single pieces that are large enough for a guitar blank are typically much more expensive and not as readily available.


Attaching To A Sacrificial Piece Of MDF

Now that we have a large enough piece of wood for our Telecaster Guitar body, we will be attaching it to a Sacrificial Piece of MDF.
We will go over that step on our next post so come back in couple of weeks to learn how we made a Telecaster Guitar on a Vision 2550 CNC Router!

To read other post on making a Telecaster Style Guitar Body, click on the links below.
Part 1-Making the Guitar Blank
Part 2-Attaching Blank to a Sacrificial MDF
Part 3-Bits & Cuts
Part 4-Machining the Back
Part 5-Making a Custom Pick-Guard

Click the link to watch a short video of the
2550 CNC Router machining the front face of the Telecaster Guitar.

Click the link to watch a short video of the
1612 Pro engraving a Pick Guard for the Telecaster Guitar.

Author: Luke Davis

Social tagging: > > > > > > > > > >

Leave a Reply