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Developing Cad Dwg For Lp Dbl-cutaway

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I'm taking all the best things that I can find as far as drawings and plans for a Les Paul double cutaway and making a good, but simple working drawing for my guitar project. Due to domestic circumstances, I'm living at my office, which also houses my shop. My design/CAD stuff is in extremely close proximity to my tools, and that's a good thing. I need some advice on some of the dimensions so I don't have to make false assumptions and possible errors. Here goes:

1) I don't play guitar, at least not enough to know which end of the racket the handle grip is on. On my drawing, am I OK using 3/32" (0.09375") for the string height (between the fret board and string?

2) I plan on using a TOM bridge so, the distance between my top and string at the bridge is 0.421" plus 0.078"-0.098" for the thumbwheel, so if I use 1/2" (0.500"), I should be OK, huh?

OK, that's just for starters, I don't want to make anybody bored. It'd be nice if someone would look at my drawing file (.dxf or .pdf) as I go and head me off at the pass before I make a wrong turn. I'd be happy do any CAD stuff for anybody in return.



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I'm more of a player than a builder, but I'd be glad to put my 2 cents in.

I have a Les Paul DC Standard with a serial number saying it was made in February of 1998. I bought it in early 1999, and it's been my main guitar ever since. I LOVE this guitar, it's the best one I've ever had as far as playability and tone.

I'm no expert on building, and others in this forum are certainly way more qualified than me to be helping with this, but it seems to me that the answers to your questions are a matter of taste, depending on the setup. These measurements change during setup, when you're adjusting the truss rod for neck relief, etc. The strings can be raised and lowered to taste to fit your playing style, as long as the notes don't buzz out, and the intonation is correct. With that being said, I took some measurements on my LP DC to give you a ballpark figure to work with on your drawing.

1. The string height between fretboard and string is slightly different for each string, and different depending what part of the fretboard you're measuring (closer to the nut, or closer to the bridge). Especially if your talking thousandths of an inch. To make this easy, I measured the lowest-pitch E string, on the fretboard between the 6th and 7th fret, at a height of just less than 3/32. This measurement was from the top of the fretboard to the bottom of the string, and I'm using a small metal straight edge ruler, with 1/32 as it's smallest increment. To do it correctly to thousandths, feeler guages should probably be used, but this ruler is all I have right now. I would say 3/32 is good enough on your drawing, afterall, if you drink alot of coffee like me, you could NEVER draw a line that would be that accurate anyway! lol Wait...oh yeah, you're using CAD... guess I'm from the old school when it comes to drawing!

2. The distance between my guitar top and the string at the bridge, using the same string as above, is more like 5/8". When I say bridge, I mean where the string crosses the saddle. Also, my guitar is a carved top. The body carving directly under the bridge seems to follow the radius of the saddles.

I hope this helps. As I said earlier, I'm no expert on building, and I hope I understood your questions correctly. I do have one of these incredible guitars and at least can take some measurements of it. This should help get you close, anyway.

Best of luck!


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Thanks guys,

I'll post the file in a bit, I'm still tweaking some things. Lance, measuring with a metal scale is great. I don't plan on using any measurements finer than a 32nd of an inch, because when it come to sawing, sanding, carving, etc, who can really get cloer than that? Heck, I can't can't even see the white space between the 64ths on my drafting scale! So your measurements were precisely what I'm looking for. I'm cutting out the neck this weekend as I go. I'm a firm believer in the fact that you have to prepare yourself to make some BBQ wood along the way.

Thanks again and I'll post what I have so far a little later today or tonite.


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