CNC routed templates
Need to know about CNC routed templates
- What is the difference between CNC and Laser cut templates? Not much. They both basically have the same accuracy. However, there are no center lines etched on CNC wood templates like in laser. Instead, a cavity or a drill hole can be used for lining up templates on the workpiece. CNC also has smoother edges since the workpiece is not burned by laser. CNC cutting uses a router bit so the edge is smooth. Laser cutting uses heat from a laser to cut, it is still smooth but with a slight burn.
- Also, 1/8" starter holes are used for any holes such as for tuning keys, bridge posts, etc. on certain models. This gives you more of a variety of hardware to use.
- CNC guitar templates will also have a small notch here and there protruding from the body or inside certain cavities. This can easily be sanded off. These notches are necessary. These are drawn in the file to keep the router from making gouges on critical areas of the templates.
- Certain neck pockets are slightly oversized/undersize. The best remedy for this is to use an oversize bearing on your router bit that will leave you 1/16" of material around the perimeter of the cut for oversized pockets. You can easily sand the rest to shape if necessary. For undersized templates, simply sand the neck pocket to shape. We do this to accommodate aftermarket necks. Some guys just don't like to work on necks........
- CNC cut templates have fuzzy edges when they are routed by a CNC machine. They are easily sanded off with 150 grit sand paper. The pictures below show before/after picture of a CNC cut part. This is a total of 10 seconds worth of sanding. Or, use a flat edge to simply rub it off.
- Exact replicas are not guaranteed.CNC cutting tolerances, commercial instrument variations, and other factors make it impossible to make 100% accurate templates. Most templates can be tailored to your taste by sanding or moving the template around during the building process. Neck pockets are usually smaller so they can be sanded to exact tight fight and to use commercially available necks.
- Do not use these templates unless you have researched for neck/bridge placement, scale, etc.. Basic woodworking skills are recommended.