Black Acrylic Guitar Pickguard

Gallery of projects completed with MeshCAM

Black Acrylic Guitar Pickguard

Postby Doug » Mon Mar 20, 2017 10:44 pm

More progress on my guitar build; here is a YouTube video of me milling a pickguard for my Brian May Red Special replica. The [youtube][/youtube] tag doesn't seem to work on this forum so here is the link:

CNC machine: Stepcraft 2/840
Spindle: Industrial quality small HF spindle from StoneyCNC ( ... illing/490)
Material: 3.0 mm (nominal) cast gloss black acrylic (Perspex)
Spindle speed: 7,500 rpm
XY feed rate: 1,000 mm/min
Z feed rate: 30 mm/min
Depth per pass: 0.5 mm

2 mm 2 flute carbide end mill for the apertures (pickups, switches, potentiometers) and a Trend CNCM/3X4MMTC 90 degree V groove bit for the outline to obtain a 45 degree bevelled edge.

I built the toolpaths manually starting by getting MeshCAM to generate a pencil cleanup finish toolpath only. I then picked out the code for the apertures and the overall outline and copied and pasted it six times for each 0.5 mm pass.

There was a challenge with the V groove bit to generate the 45 degree bevelled edge: it needs to follow the outline exactly with no tool offset. I achieved this by setting a 'phantom' tool diameter of 0.05 mm with a 0.05 mm machining margin and 0.006 mm tolerance.


Stepcraft 2/840 CNC machine with 4th axis, TurboCAD V19.2 Pro Platinum, MeshCAM, GWizard feeds & speeds calculator, UCCNC. Hobby use: guitar building (luthiery).
Posts: 55
Joined: Thu Oct 13, 2016 9:56 am

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