mastercam neck 1
mastercam neck 2

Welcome to MasterCAM Neck CNC Machining

In this section, you will see details on the series of videos I created to help you machine a complete guitar neck with a CNC machine.  The software that I use to create the tool paths for my CNC machine to follow is called MasterCAM.  There are many other platforms like this, and some are even integrated into CAD packages like solidworks.  Reason why I mention this, is that if you do not have access to MasterCAM, the methods described in this series of instructional videos are very similar across all other packages.  A simple goggle search will reveal a myriad of software packages that can be used on your CNC mill to create tool paths.

The process for machining:

  • Create a model in 3D/CAD package/software (Like SolidWorks)
  • Export that model to a solid/.STL/.IGS/Parasolid etc.
  • Import this model into a CAM software Package (Like MasterCAM)
  • Create tool paths in the CAM software (These videos show this)
  • “Post” the instructions from the CAM software (so a CNC router can follow these instructions and cut the part).
  • Import the G-Code into your CNC router Machine Controller (I use MACH 3 to control my router, so this is what I Import the “G-code” to).
  • Place stock/wood on your CNC router, execute the code to cut the model.
  • Enjoy your creation!
  As noted, the instructional set of videos here detail the process of creating the mentioned tool paths in MasterCAM.  Again, the process is similar in other CAM software packages as well.  So with attention to this overall approach, success can be achieved.  In addition, a video included in this set, details the process of “posting G-Code” to Mach-3 for your CNC to follow.  This process is similar across other CNC controllers.


One of the great features of CAM machining, is the ability to be able to simulate your tool paths, before you cut anything.  This allows you to confirm that they are correct, that the outcome and overall finish of your part is as desired, and even more importantly, that the tool will not “crash” anywhere.  Knowing exactly how your tool will cut, and the paths that it will follow, makes all the difference in the world.  You can easily go back and refine the tool paths as needed, until you are 100% confident.

As you can see from the videos on this page, MasterCAM is quite capable of simulating well the machining of this particular Guitar Neck (front and back).  Depending also on the capabilities of your CNC machine, it also offers an estimation as to the time it will take to cut the parts.  This is really only scratching the surface as to what can be achieved.  Learning this process for guitars, is really learning it for pretty much everything! To cut the Inlays you see here, a very small bit is used, and the same is true for the fret Slots.  In this process, the Fretboard is also Radius-ed to a specific radius.

Mastercam Neck Machining Course DVD

What you will learn in this Video

  • How to properly prepare your model for importing into MasterCAM
  • How to work with coordinate systems
  • How to properly orient and import your stock
  • How to create tool paths for machining the Front of the Neck
  • How to properly flip the model, for machining the back
  • How to cut Fret Slots and Truss-Rod Channels
  • How to cut Inlays
  • How to post G-code
  • How to work with Mach3, and import G-code for cutting
  • How to simulate all tool paths
Price for the Video is US $60.00

Please use the button above to order these series of videos.  The instructions are shown in MasterCAM X2, but the procedures shown apply to pretty much all versions.  The newer version of MasterCAM has a bit of a different interface, but the tool paths I use, are still all there.  I have an older version of MasterCAM, and for my needs, I do not need to upgrade to the latest.  Since the cost of this software can be prohibitive, you might be able to find an old version, or use a student edition.  You will need to do some research here.

Once I receive notification of payment, I will provide you with direct links to download the content.  All you need is an Internet Browser (Firefox/Chrome/etc) to play these videos.  I can also ship you a disk, but you will have to incure the shipping.  A direct download is really the best option.

At this point, I can ONLY accept paypal payments.  You DO NOT need to have an account to order with paypal, simply just use a credit card etc.  I am a paypal VERIFIED merchant!