Headstock Carving Bit

About 10 years ago I stumbled across this bit while browsing the internet for guitar making information. At the time I was building a slotted headstock, so I was delighted to come across a safer alternative to a bearing router. And at that time, my woodworking skillls were not quite up to par, so trying to cut them in my hand would have been ugly. Robbie O’Brien’s video series ‘Luthier Tips Du Jour’ is where I first learned of it. And he learned the technique from Antonio Tessarin, whioe studying Spanish guitar making.

My father in law owns a tool an die shop, full of surface grinders and diamond wheels. I mentioned the idea to him and he came to my shop one day with a couple of carbide drill blanks sharpened up for me. I used them for years with great success and finally decided that this might be a useful tool for other luthiers. I reached out to Robbie and asked if he’d mind if I made some to sell, and he agreed it could help some folks out and to go ahead. They’ve been selling like crazy and I’m really excited to be able to bring something useful to the instrument making community, with Robbies help of course. The advantages of the tool in my own opinion are that with the small diameter you can get into some tight contours, such as my headstock which has a 3/16” radius, or some of the more elaborate Spanish guitar headstock designs. It is also much safer to use than a router bit and is far less likely to accidentally damage the work and tear out is almost non-existent. I actually achieve a pretty decent finish from mine, only needing to be cleaned up with 180 grit sandpaper afterwards.

The details of the tool are:

-Solid Carbide

-3/16” Diameter, approximately 3” long

- Sharpened on both ends

-Ti-Coated. This is a titanium nitride coating that adds lubricity and longevity to the tool, and also makes it less likely that the carbide edge will chip during use. All in all, it extends the life of your cutting tool.

-Cost is $21 each. Please contact with your mailing address for a quote on shipping costs.


Heres a quick video to explain briefly how the tool works and how to use them.

If you’re interested in ordering one (or more) please contact me and provide a mailing address as well as an email address associated with your PayPal account.