I haven't posted in a while but it's not because I'm not doing anything. I'm actually working on three builds at a time, including working on my first carved top (or archtop) guitar. This is in the style of a Gibson CS-336. It is sorta like a shrunken ES-335, with the exception that the construction is quite different. An ES-335 has bent ribs (or sides) and the top and back are pressed laminated wood. The CS-336 is constructed by hollowing out a slab of mahogany and the top is carved. In order for the top to be able to be carved it must be thick enough. I am starting with a 5/8" nicely figured maple top.
Before beginning the top carving, I initially used a forstner bit to hog out most of the insides and that was followed by a router. In addition, I had to rout the channel for the binding (I didn't take any photos of that procedure). Also, I had to plane the appropriate angle for the fingerboard (and neck) to ensure that the strings are the right height at the bridge. After this is done, I can begin the top carving.
I have placed the maple top on the body with only screws at this time. I will need to remove the top and carve out the inside of the top. The objective is to have the top approximately 1/4" thick. Once that is achieved, I will be able to rout the mortise for the neck , cut in the f-holes and complete carving the top.
I started carving by hogging off a large amount of maple using an attachment to a grinder. That is followed by using a small concave bottom hand plane. Of course all of this will be followed by a lot of sanding... To access the electronics I installed an access hole in the back. This is accomplished by using various routing templates. There is a lot of work ahead...