Project produced with EnRoute Pro and CNC router by MultiCam.

This is a project we did a while back; I think you will find it interesting.

One of our customers has an alligator products business. This customer is also a musician with friends in the music industry. We were asked to produce a 1 of a kind guitar for Hank Williams Jr… Hank likes alligators!

We were asked to make a guitar with an alligator skin texture and alligator bone inlays…This is how we did it.

First we scanned a section of alligator hide…we imported the bitmap image into our Enroute Pro program and applied it to a relief in the shape of the guitar body.

Next we used the sweep 2 rails function to create the slopes where the arm will rest and for the belly cut on the back. We used the island fill function in EnRoute to create the pockets for the electronics.

After toolpathing, the file was sent to our MultiCam 5000 overhead CNC router for machining.

The tool of choice for the texture was a ¼” ball nose…the feed rate was 180 in. /min with an overlap of 90% of the diameter. The pockets were created with various end mills.

We made a file for the fret board and used the spiral function to create the pockets for the octave marker inlays. We used a 1/8” end mill with a .005 inlay gap. EnRoute makes thing easy!!!   (LOL)

The inlays and pick guard were to be made from alligator bone. This was a tedious process. First we placed pieces of alligator bone in a form, poured a resin around the bone and milled to a thickness of 1/8”. We then cut uniform pieces of bone approximately 1” x 3”, placed these pieces(like putting together a jigsaw puzzle) in another form and re-set in resin…this allowed us to create a sheet of bone from which we were able to cut out the pick guard & inlays.

We used EnRoute once again to produce the machining file for the pick guard, sent the file to the MultiCam and let it do its thing.

John (my son that runs our laser shop) created engraving files for laser etching Hanks logo on the bone pick guard, inlays and neck head.

The guitar was given to Hank for his birthday and was placed in the Country Music Hall of Fame.