I like to start with the peghead first. The width of the peghead will determine the width of the fretboard. Since this will be a carved peghead, I need to add extra wood to make sure I have enough to work with. However, the tuning peg box is still the same basic shape that I fell in love with years ago.
This process has evolved since I first built these instruments. Back then, I would shape a solid block and then chisel out the peg box. I had almost no power tools to work with and my resources were the old-timers from the hollers of Appalachia. My fancy-schmancy power tools certainly speed things up, but ultimately, I still must work each component by hand until it feels right.