CNC Guitar Making : Passion, Precision And Creativity

What do you get when you combine the military discipline of a US Army Officer with the creative flair of a musician and the precise skill of a craftsman?

How about one of the best first time guitar builds you’re ever likely to see, meticulously designed and created with a Digital Wood Carver CNC (DWC2440).

The luthier in question is Jeston Brummet from Nokomis Illinois, and this is the story of his unique guitar build.

Sowing the Seeds: A Lifelong Woodworker

Jeston’s journey as a woodworker started from a young age, growing up as the son of a carpenter and the eldest of four boys that would often find themselves in their fathers woodworking shop. 

“I got started doing woodworking as a kid, my dad has been a carpenter for as far back as I can remember, he had a woodworking shop, so me and all my brothers used to mess around with woodworking when we were all kids” says Jeston.

“Then in high school I started working in a machine shop, where we made parts for CZ, the Czechoslovakian gun manufacturer, and OPW, who make parts for gas stations. That was my first introduction to CNC machines.”

This early exposure sowed the seeds of a lifelong passion for woodworking and engineering that would be a constant in Jestons’ life, leading him from the benches of a carpenter's workshop and the machines of a metal shop to the disciplined halls of military service.

Adding Military Discipline to the Toolbelt

Jeston served in the US Army as an Officer right up until the end of 2023 - completing four years in the Army - and while in dutiful active service Jeston also continued to develop his skills as a craftsman and his knowledge of CNC operation.

While stationed for training at Fort Sill in Oklahoma, COVID hit and lockdown soon followed. Like many of us Jeston was forced into a lot of extra free time and his industrious nature meant that he wasn’t going to waste that time, so he turned his energy to learning the modeling software for his DWC2440.


“I had three weeks basically living in a hotel, so I'd go for a run in the morning then come back, and work on it on my laptop. I wasn't good at using the modeling software yet… so I wanted to get good at it”

“I spent pretty much those entire three weeks just modeling army designs - plagues, carvings - then I put the files up on Etsy and started selling them there.”

As Jeston finished his military service, he continued to pursue his passion for engineering and transitioned into civilian life with a job as a Manufacturing Engineer for Caterpillar (CAT).

The Showpiece CNC Guitar

Jeston’s varied experience, teamed with learning the modeling software and beginning to create and sell carving projects, were all key stepping stones on his path to realize his ultimate goal of designing and building his first guitar. 

“It all ended up helping me to be able to design the guitar, and to make changes quickly and to know what I was doing”

The project is one of dedicated craftsmanship and the result is a stunning 7-string, multi-scale guitar, made from honey locust, spalted maple, wenge, and padauk, reflecting Jeston's unique design preferences. Utilizing the precision of his DWC CNC - with an emphasis on the ease of use of the machines fourth axis - Jeston machined out each part with accuracy, from the spalted maple top to the ebony fretboard, while also using it to create precise jigs to aid the construction. 

“What I thought was really interesting about the machine was the way they do the fourth axis. I've used the fourth axis before and it always involved an indexer that you had to get into the machine somehow and bolt it down and make sure everything's lined up and what not…With the way the DWC one works you can just adjust the fourth axis easily then bring it out to the side and you're ready to use it, I just thought that was really cool”

The finished guitar really showcases Jeston’s burgeoning technical skills and artistic vision to present a unique musical instrument, and the blueprint for future creations under the Brummet Guitars name.

“I just kind of tried to do everything that I could think to do because I want to be able to make more guitars, so this one was supposed to be a bit of a showpiece”

Take a look at Jeston’s build in the video below.


The Burl Connection and The DWC Community

After learning about Digital Wood Carver - by seeing us at the Collinsville Illinois Woodworkers Show for a few consecutive years -  a crucial chapter in Jeston's journey unfolded when he crossed paths with Burl, the owner of Digital Wood Carver. 

A trip to Indiana to meet Burl and witness a machine in action cemented Jeston's decision. Burl's hands-on approach and insightful demonstration of the machine's software left an indelible mark, resulting in the DWC2440 being Jeston's machine of choice.

“Of any company I've dealt with for anything, DWC’s customer service has been top notch. From that first interaction with Burl to the technical support that they give.”

What sets Digital Wood Carver apart in Jeston's eyes is not just the machines but also the thriving DWC Facebook group - led by knowledgeable users like DWC’s resident expert Laney Shannausy - as a valuable resource for troubleshooting and sharing experiences.

“Anytime I've had any issue with it I've reached out to them, and they've got Laney Shannausy, he knows this thing inside and out. If I don't know what’s wrong with it then I can hit him up and he'll guide me through figuring it out and give me the solution.”

You can see and learn more about Jeston’s guitars and future builds here. Or even get in contact with Jeston here to talk to him about getting one made yourself!

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