The Definitive Top Carve Thread

nuance97

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Hello Daniel
take a look at this video
By the way I love the color of that Light burst guitar
Interesting. Definitely easier than building a specific guitar just to have a Floyd
 

Rubetel

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Interesting. Definitely easier than building a specific guitar just to have a Floyd
Yes
This type of tremolo is designed to be installed on the same posts of a tune or matic bridge and the posts of the tailpiece and the nut safety are installed by removing the nut and screwing it in the same holes of the truss rod cover, being able to use without affecting invasively the integrity of your guitar and whenever you want you can remove it and replace your tune o matic bridge
 
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willio

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Recently came across some fine species that can take advantage of this template. Thank you for your efforts and sharing it with us here.

The woods:
Indonesian Mahogany, Indonesian Rosewood (sonokeling), Canadian maple.
 

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Mattia

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Hi folks, lurker here coming out of the woodwork to say thanks for this series of pics and plans. I’ve been building guitars (strictly hobby) off and on for almost 24 years, mostly PRS-inspired style for electrics and my own acoustic shapes. I’m busy putting together a CNC machine (long term project finally coming to a head), and started playing with Fusion 360 back in mid-July, with zero CAD background. I started my attempts at modeling carved tops with these Les Paul plans. Didn’t go so well first time around.



Since then I’ve been getting more comfortable with the software ((a few renders of initial own designs) and thought I’d challenge myself and model it properly. I’ve got the body mostly done, will do the neck as well (but without the Gibson headstock because lawsuits) and share source the file with a Creative Commons attribution - give back to the community. I would have loved to have some files to play around with and learn from when I was starting out!
I don’t own a Les Paul, so I have a few questions:

- what’s the proper back radius for this vintage?
- I’m assuming pots are drilled roughly perpendicular to the top, what’s the thickness under the controls supposed to be?
- Correct depth for the control cover recesses? 1/8”?

here is a preview of what I have so far.
00B83DDF-3CB3-48CB-B0A7-6830780C8760.png
 

nuance97

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Hi folks, lurker here coming out of the woodwork to say thanks for this series of pics and plans. I’ve been building guitars (strictly hobby) off and on for almost 24 years, mostly PRS-inspired style for electrics and my own acoustic shapes. I’m busy putting together a CNC machine (long term project finally coming to a head), and started playing with Fusion 360 back in mid-July, with zero CAD background. I started my attempts at modeling carved tops with these Les Paul plans. Didn’t go so well first time around.



Since then I’ve been getting more comfortable with the software ((a few renders of initial own designs) and thought I’d challenge myself and model it properly. I’ve got the body mostly done, will do the neck as well (but without the Gibson headstock because lawsuits) and share source the file with a Creative Commons attribution - give back to the community. I would have loved to have some files to play around with and learn from when I was starting out!
I don’t own a Les Paul, so I have a few questions:

- what’s the proper back radius for this vintage?
- I’m assuming pots are drilled roughly perpendicular to the top, what’s the thickness under the controls supposed to be?
- Correct depth for the control cover recesses? 1/8”?

here is a preview of what I have so far. View attachment 566411
Looks good.
The roundover radius on the back is 3/16”
Thickness under the controls is something between 1/4” and 3/16” (so long as a short-shaft pot will fit)
1/8” cover recesses
 

Mattia

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Looks good.
The roundover radius on the back is 3/16”
Thickness under the controls is something between 1/4” and 3/16” (so long as a short-shaft pot will fit)
1/8” cover recesses

thanks!

here is an initial model. Not perfect, for sure, but I think it’s close. And the neck is very non-Gibson in terms of headstock -use a modified version of my standard neck for this model. The tunomatic and tailpiece are models off GrabCad (Here, tailpiece by the same user)


for the fusion users: top created with a pair of lofts, using a cutout of the first to define the midplane for the second, which gave me smoother results. The neck is parametric (modify -> edit parameters to tweak things like nut width, headstock angle), although it breaks the model if you don’t roll back to before the heel and tenon were modelled, and then roll forward again. Not sure why. It’s version 1.

I’ve got the profiles tweaked to the splines and the height, which don’t adhere all that well to the isocurves, but I think the look is right. For machining, the tenon and pickup cavities are extruded at the 4 degree angle of the neck plane.

comments and suggestions more than welcome, still pretty new at modeling! Do and modify as you see fit, if you do use it I would love to hear about it, and credit this post/resource!
31CCC7C3-3D79-4D1C-8E35-B89D7AA0466B.png
 

Kennoyce

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thanks!

here is an initial model. Not perfect, for sure, but I think it’s close. And the neck is very non-Gibson in terms of headstock -use a modified version of my standard neck for this model. The tunomatic and tailpiece are models off GrabCad (Here, tailpiece by the same user)


for the fusion users: top created with a pair of lofts, using a cutout of the first to define the midplane for the second, which gave me smoother results. The neck is parametric (modify -> edit parameters to tweak things like nut width, headstock angle), although it breaks the model if you don’t roll back to before the heel and tenon were modelled, and then roll forward again. Not sure why. It’s version 1.

I’ve got the profiles tweaked to the splines and the height, which don’t adhere all that well to the isocurves, but I think the look is right. For machining, the tenon and pickup cavities are extruded at the 4 degree angle of the neck plane.

comments and suggestions more than welcome, still pretty new at modeling! Do and modify as you see fit, if you do use it I would love to hear about it, and credit this post/resource! View attachment 567096


Awesome work, and thanks for sharing! I've messed around with modeling the carve top using NX, but I don't have the CAM license for NX, so once I eventually build a CNC I will have to lean Fusion so this will be very helpful!
 

SammyDavis51

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Brother those tops are very good !!! Did you use a regular router and body templates ?? I’m very new to this I know that probably sounds like a stupid question
 

nuance97

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Brother those tops are very good !!! Did you use a regular router and body templates ?? I’m very new to this I know that probably sounds like a stupid question
This is the overview of the process, and the “plans” sticky-thread contains the topographical map used to make this top. (It’s slightly modified to improve it since I did mine)

https://www.dropbox.com/s/4sushhsj2gfp8wv/GOLD STANDARD Vintage Les Paul Plans V-2.0.pdf?dl=0
 

the great waldo

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Awesome work, and thanks for sharing! I've messed around with modeling the carve top using NX, but I don't have the CAM license for NX, so once I eventually build a CNC I will have to lean Fusion so this will be very helpful!
Hi
I've downloaded the file but the main file comes up with an error message saying that New design cannot be created from local design containing external references. Any ideas how I can open it. the bridge and tailpeice open fine.
Cheers
Andrew
 

Tian2718

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Hi everybody,
First of all, thank you so much, Scott, Frank and Daniel for sharing your work ! And thanks to everybody for sharing such passion on guitars !
I'm currently trying to build my first LP copy and I reproduced your templates. Once I'm done with the carving of the top, I wonder how to do the 4° neck plane, before to route the neck pocket. And same question for the pickups plane (1,5°), before to route the pickups holes.
What tools can be used and how? What jig? What are the different steps?
I made a jig like Scott is using in a video showing hox to carve the LP Top, the jig "suspend" the router. Can I use it?
The question may have been already asked, sorry for that, but if you could give me some indications or provide some relevant links, I would be very greatful !
 

vicrichard

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Hi! I'm new to this forum and would appreciate some advise. I'm going to start building a kit from Precision Guitar Kits. LP carved top and neck with paddle headstock. The quality on these is very nice. My only issue is that the top has a pronounced "re carve" resulting in a pretty sharp/prominent edge. I'd like to round this over as much as possible. I'm more interested in function/comfort rather than classic Les Paul looks. All the same though - I'd like it to look well done.
I wouldn't mind if the round over significantly removed wood from where the Faux binding will be.
Thanks in advance for your input and advise!
 

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