FRETS.COM Illustrated Glossary

The infamous guitar making robots
© Frank Ford, 6/15/01; Photos by FF (except as noted)

Computer Numerical Control. Simple as that, a computer guides the machine to do the work exactly as the programmer directs.

Here, Tom Ellis (left) shows off his programming skills to Richard Johnston:

His CNC machine is a small one, dedicated to cutting multiples of mother of pearl inlay patterns:

Some of Tom's clients are large manufacturers:

At this point, CNC machines are used to make parts for instruments, but are not involved in actually assembling them.

Designed originally for metal working, these two behemoths are some of the biggest type of CNC mills used in guitar manufacturing:

They are capable of really heavy, precise work.

Below, the big CNC machine forms the back of a peghead, changes cutter head and trims the end, changes again to drill the tuner holes.

Simple stuff for a big machine like this one. In fact, these big CNC machines sometimes make parts for other CNC machines. . .

Back to Glossary

Back to Index Page