For a couple of years I’ve been fooling around trying to get a CNC machine happening so I can ‘rough in’ necks. This has become more pressing now because I’ve had some ideas lately about how to make the necks more playable by accounting for how the shape of the closed hand changes as you move up it towards the body of the guitar. As the forearm pivots the hand shape changes.  I think a correctly designed neck profile that accounts for this will both feel better and lead to less fatigue or injury.  To explore this I need to be able to prototype a number of neck profile shapes and try them out. It’s easier to change a CAD drawing and run it than to carve a whole new neck by hand every time; and once I have the shape perfected, I’d like to recreate it. Thus the need for CNC. I’ll still have to do a lot of hand work to make each neck but I’m OK with letting a machine get the wooden block 90% there.  But first I need a machine.

I tried building one from scratch out of plywood and angle iron a couple years ago. I could never get everything aligned properly so things would bind and break. So I bought a kit that is way to small to make a neck but will provide a springboard for getting the kind of machine I need, with modifications.

The first picture is of the base kit. The second is of the same machine but with a taller Z axis. I need a minimum of 6 inches of travel in the Z so the heel block can be roughed in.

This is going to take some time and thought. A lot of both. Plus a bunch of farting around.