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Carved Top ?'s

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I'm at the stage in my first set neck build of an LP and need to know when you bore the holes for the pots?? from what I can see on the tutorials is it's done after the top is carved but I'm in the dark on how one would properly locate them. Are they done from the cavity outward allowing for any angle to meet the top angle?? If so, how do you do it cleanly when the bit breaks thru? thanks, Matt

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That's what I did on my last build. I also drilled my holes after I rough carved things, but before my final smoothing. That way any tear out was smoothed away at the same time I smoothed out any of the ridges and uneveness from carving.

Traditional Les Pauls, at least according to the blueprints I have from Stew Mac, have the holes drilled at an angle, so they follow the carve of the top. A portion of the control cavity is routed at an angle relative to the back, so the pots rest against a perpendicular surface.

When I did my second builds with a carved top, I didn't like that look, so I recessed each of the knobs slightly, basically just making a small plane parallel to the back of the guitar, using a forstner bit and careful sanding to smooth out the countours, so each knob almost sits in a dish. This look is often used on PRS guitars and many of the carved top guitars here use this style. I've read of some folks using a cove bit in a drill press to make this hollow, but I didn't have luck with that when I was experimenting.

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