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Carved Acoustic Back

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I got this idea to do a carved back for the acoustic I'm working on...and I did the CNC work today. I'm really happy with the outcome, this back shape is really ergonomic - way more comfortable than the average 15' radius...! The wood is black walnut.

This is carved out similar to the way you'd do an archtop - it is carved on the back as well as the front. It is about 1/4" thick at the peak and about 3/8" thick at the bottom of the carve. The bottom is milled flat so that I can glue it right to the kerfing/end blocks.

As with the bridge I made the other day, I did all design work using Rhino..

I am going to assemble this one without bracing...I'm very interested to see what kind of sound I get out of this in the end.

Here's a side view (sorry about the poor lighting)


Here's a skew view of the back right off the CNC


Here's a frontal view of the back right off the CNC


Here's the frontal view sanded (it didn't take too long to knock the tool lines off)


Fun stuff...I have a few ideas regarding inlay for this one but I haven't decided which design to go with.

Let me know what you think of a flat top, carved back acoustic!


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My Guild has a carved (curved) back and no bottom bracing. Allegedly the shape of it provides enough structure that it's not needed. Dunno about that since their higher end guitars still had bracing instead (this is all back in the pre-Fender days, haven't followed them since forever) but it's definitely holding up and sounds great.


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Cool that you are doing well with the machining. I question whether I would want to make a back quite that heavy to avoid bracing(although it would be slick for archtop plates), but it may be just the ticket for your design. Now I have been VERY interested in the use of composite tops and sides. Your machining could open up some really cool oportunities in pre-carved skinned tops and maybe even sides. I look forward to seeing lots of cool ideas from your shop.


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I've heard that Guild did something similar but I have never played one of them. I'd like to see what shape they made the body. Also, you have to admit that it's cooler to have a solid piece of carved wood than something that's been thru a curved plywood press....!

I totally agree-- it's not more comfortable on my guild at least. Looks cool and the guitar as a whole sounds great. :D
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Pretty sure it's not plywood. I recall it being solid wood when I ordered it, though the literature I have on-hand only says "mahogany neck, back, and sides" which doesn't necessarily mean it's not a mahogany laminate of some sort. Still, I have every amount of faith that whatever you come up with in this endeavour will be cooler and have more "wow" factor than my D-25. Looking forward to seeing this come along!

With regard to your curiousity-- it just looks like a dreadnought. The arched back is fairly subtle.

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