CNC Neck Building

Bit is 1/8-inch shank with .023 inch three flute shell cutter from Precise Bits dot com. Feeds and speeds are specific for this bit and must be followed if you don’t want to break the tool. These are delicate but sturdy with proper handling. I have cut 5 fretboards to date, that’s 22 slots with 6 passes per slot, approximately 2 inches in length, or 264 inches per fretboard. The cutter is made for cutting extremely hard material, such as abalone shell, and is excellent in quality.

I’ve had to make my own jigs, sleds, helpers, holders, the works. All of these things will be available as plans with time. Plans available for download as PDF files at some point, or you can just copy and modify the stuff you like that you see here.


One thing I have right now is a DXF file for a standard Strat style bolt-on neck, which I modified to fit my headstock design. All of the sizing is accurate, so the neck would fit the neck pocket of any standard Strat-style or Tele-style guitar body.

A DXF file is a drawing file you can open in Vectric. Use the “Import Vectors” option and select the file after you’ve unzipped it.

Get the DXF file here


Facebook group logo made by someone associated with the group.

If you came here from a Facebook page about Vectric Tips and Tricks, then you’ve seen some of my work already. I’m focusing a bit more on making guitar necks now.

There’s a neck building page here that has some detail. (A new page will open when you click the link.) That’s the page I refer to for measurements, fret spacing chart, whatever things I can’t remember and put in one place for reference.

Necks are made in two parts — the neck “body” and the neck “fingerboard.” This two part process requires very different machining approaches.

The completed neck is made in steps:

  1. The blank stock is machined to receive the truss rod and fingerboard or fretboard (FB for short),
  2. The FB is created,
  3. The FB is glued to the neck
  4. The newly united neck and FB are placed FB side down on the neck sled and the neck contours are machined–roughing first, finishing last.

The fretboard is completely finished BEFORE it as glued onto the neck (using Titebond 1 yellow glue). Alignment of the FB is critical, and is easily done. I’ll show you how I do everything and you can copy my methods, and expand on them as you see fit.

I’d be happy to collaborate on any project, I’m available by video calling for no charge, up to 40 minutes, and am more than happy to share everything I know about building guitars and al their various parts.

Please reach out by email if you want to work together, or are just interested in knowing more, or want to stay in touch. I use a Nextwave Shark HD510 for my CNC, and Vectric Aspire for the CAD, and Nextwave Ready 2 Control CAM software for everything I do.

Email: tglander@gmail.com or call or text me: 949-351-6297. Or use my contact page.

More to come as I continue to build out this “how to” section of my site.