Grey Van Kuilenburg is a custom guitar builder. Pictured above is a body for a seven-string guitar that he carved and assembled from ash, bubinga, and rock maple. In an interview about his work, Kuilenburg described how involved is carving a guitar body that is not only beautiful, but functional:
The process is a long one, but the readers digest version is you select the tone wood, find the centerline, route out the cavities for the pickups, electronics, and the neck pocket (lot's of slow caution there. it needs to be as perfect, as straight, and as tight as possible. This is where a great deal of tone is either lost or gained.) Do whatever drilling is necessary for the bridge you're using, I do a lot of mock ups with the parts to make sure everything fits and has room. You cannot measure enough times, or be careful enough!!! Then shape it, and break out the chisels. After its finished, I do a great deal of sanding, then finish it or send it to the paint shop depending on the piece. In this case I went with a three part oil finish that I like to use. It's very protective, but it feels like raw wood so it plays fast and feels more natural.
Link | Interview