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Inlay Technique with Larry Robinson, Review

Total Topics: 26
Total Posts: 261
I just finished watching Larry Robinson's video last night and thought I'd share some observations.
First, it's about 2 1/2 hours long. And he goes through every step involved from creating an inlay to touching up the finished piece. With this DVD, he creates a butterfly. And along the way, he talks about the different tools needed, all the different possible materials, and where to get ideas, such as from design book. He then talks about tracing the object, and he makes several traces, improving each one. Afterwards, it's on to gluing up the tracing to the selected materials, cutting the pieces, gluing them all together and tack gluing them to the surface in which they will be inlayed.
All the techniques from scribing to chalking to routing and gluing in the piece are thoroughly covered as well as finish leveling the piece and touching up any mistakes.
Safety is covered very well. The dust from materials used can be hazardous to your lungs so good dust collection is a must, and the tools can cause injury if not used properly.
There are plenty of do's and don'ts, as well as corrective measures if something goes wrong.
All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed the video and look forward to trying my hand soon. His voice is somewhat "subdued" - which was distracting at first, but I got used to it. Reminds me of my days as an Air Intercept Controller, where calmness was a virtue. I would highly recommend this for anyone considering inlay of their instruments.
I've got the other 2 videos he did, Intermediate and Advanced Inlay Techniques, and will add them to this thread once I've finished watching them.

Mar 12, 10 | 8:17 am

Total Topics: 26
Total Posts: 257
The 2nd video, Intermediate Inlay Technique, was pretty much just an extension of the first. He did an elaborate vine inlay on a guitar fretboard. It had several hundred pieces, and showed just how far you can go with inlay on a f/b. He briefly touched on engraving - I would have liked much more. But he said there are reference videos and books that deal exclusively with that, so he just showed a little bit about it.
As with other facets of building a guitar, Inlay requires meticulous preparation, exactness in application, and significant follow-up if the results are to be worthwhile. It ain't for the faint-hearted.
I'm not sure I want to try anything as detailed as he did with the vine, but if I did, armed with his explanations, I feel I could succeed.
More to come on Advanced Inlay Technique.

Mar 17, 10 | 8:26 am

Total Topics: 26
Total Posts: 257
For Advanced Inlay Technique, Larry goes into inlaying signatures, hand lettering, working with non-flat surfaces, such as necks and arched tops, as well as 3d type work on guitars. I was especially interested in the work he did with the back side of a neck, inlaying pinstriping, with curls, turns, etc. on not only the length of the neck, but the volute and heel as well. This seems to be very delicate work, but his explanations of how-to are very appropriate. For example, he uses straight and slightly curved pieces of inlay for the majority of the work, but cuts out circles and sharply bent pieces and discusses how to make them all match in width. The scary part is when he's up around the volute and can't use a router base at all. The depth and everything else is free hand. Although I don't imagine myself ever building an archtop guitar, he show how to deal with the angles, radii, and all that goes with that in installing huge inlays. Pretty fascinating stuff all around.
After viewing all 3 videos, I've come away with a tremendous appreciation for the art of inlay. I've seen prices charged by some artists, and now understand exactly why they are so high. Done right, it's awfully time consuming. Larry explains very well the why's and how's of inlay work in all three volumes. I would recommend them to anyone who wanted to do this type of work. He will arm you with the tools you need to do anything in the inlay world. All you need is the patience and persistence to get thru it all.
Now, where can you find some cheap paua?

Mar 18, 10 | 8:00 am

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