Guitar fretboards are generally curved, so when fretting a fingerboard it helps if the frets themselves are also pre-curved (to a slightly smaller radius than the fretboard itself) before you try to put them into the fingerboard.
It has been a while since my last update, but work on the machine has been ticking along slowly. Family and work commitments mean that I can only get the odd hour here or there to work on it. The gantry is the largest moving part in the machine. It rides back and forth on the longest axis and moves the z-axis carriage from side to side. At this stage I decided to paint the MDF using a semi-gloss paint; the machine was still in pieces at this point and I figured I wouldn't want break it up when it was finished just to paint it.
This project by John Williams shows how you can make a guitar neck using a home-built CNC machine. John built the CNC machine with plans and a kit from HobbyCNC.com. (Check out www.cnczone.com for free plans). The software used was: Rhino 3D to design the neck, MeshCAM to generate the tool paths for the maching process and TurboCNC to operate the machine.
The plans are not very clear how the leadscrew should be supported or connected to the motors. I have decided to use the same skateboard bearings for the leadscrew bearing. These bearings are really designed to take forces perpendicular to the axis of rotation, but can deal with some force along the axis of rotation (like thrust bearings). The bearings are mounted in a square of HDPE plastic. The holes in the bearing mount are spaced using the NEMA 23 motor specification to allow the stepper motors to be attached eventually.
This project describes how to make a CNC (computer numerical control) machine that could be used to make guitar parts. CNC may not always be the most efficient way to make guitar parts (a band saw and pin router is often the most sensible way to do guitar woodwork) but they are a flexible way to convert complicated 3D computer designs into reality. A good discussion about the role of CNC in guitar making was posted over at project guitar .
The Landola guitars brand was established by the Mattson Brothers in Jakobstad, Finland in 1942. Their first factory-made guitar was launched after the end of the Second World War in 1946. Their company was originally called Munkers. In the following years the company changed names and ownership, but its customers always knew it as Landola.