So...how exactly do I do it? How do I carve the top of a maple piece for a Les Paul copy? Do I keep the part flat where the pick ups, the knobs and selector switch are, or do I slightly carve them too?

My other question is, how do I put inlays into the fret board. I know I router it out, that's not a problem. how would I router out the little parts, the ones bigger then the router bit? Also, do I glue it in with like a mix of glue and wood filler? Or will wood filler alone do (knowing I'll need wood filler for messing up the routing a tad, ha)?

Also do I glue the pots in at all?

Thanks, ha
your answer for the les paul carve i believe will be the whole thing has a slight carve, even the pickup cavity part(i don't know for sure because i've never built a less paul im a strat man) but i have seen in several places that the whole body is carved. to fit the pickup covers you have to find the radius of the carve, and rough out the shape onto the base of the cover with a small saw or i guess even an exacto knife. then you put a piece of sandpaper on the top of the guitar so that the grit is facing up and sand it down so that the base of the cover gets the shape of the top so that its an exact fit, if that makes sense to you

for inlaying i use a dremel with a small bit. i glue the inlay in with cyanoacrylate and then use a filler to fill the messups

To achieve the less paul carve what i would suggest is a combination of carving tools and a random orbital sander on a high speed with a low grit (other people may suggest different ways of achieving the carve but this is what i do.)
Pretty good advice. You might also want to look at the STEW-MAC Website! They have some free how-to videos and instructions posted. They sell instructional books for these types of tasks too .
Quote by violinmore
Can you rout the body before carving the top?

That's the easiest way to do it, you know everything being flat and all.
'Aim at perfection in everything, though in most things it is unattainable. However, they who aim at it, and persevere, will come much nearer to it than those whose despondency and laziness make them give it up as unattainable.'
For the inlays I also use a dremel. For sharp points in the inlay design, I use an exacto knife.

A couple tips...

1. Save the saw dust created from dremeling out the cavity for the inlay. I mix the saw dust into the epoxy. The saw dust will tint the expoxy to match your fingerboard and help hide any gaps between the inlay and the fingerboard wood. You will have to use your judgement on how much to mix in. I simply keep adding it until I think it's right.

2. I glue the inlay onto the fingerboard first(I use Duco Cement for this), then use an exacto knife to trace the outline of the inlay into the wood. I then remove the inlay by desolving the glue with acetone. Next I take chalk dust and rub it into the scribe marks created by the exacto knife trace of the inlay. The chalk dust gets caught in the scribe marks from the exacto knife and makes it much easier to see where you should be removing wood. Don't worry about the chalk getting caught in the grain of the wood because it will be removed when you sand the fingerboard.

Good luck!