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Inlay Epoxy

Total Topics: 7
Total Posts: 18
I am about to attempt my first inlay. I've read up on it and watched some youtube videos. In everything I see, they use tinted epoxy to fill in the gaps but I couldn't find detailed information on what the name of the epoxy is and where to get it.

May 24, 10 | 7:39 am

Total Topics: 16
Total Posts: 309
Stewmac has black epoxy that works extremely well inlaying ebony.

May 24, 10 | 7:45 am

Total Topics: 7
Total Posts: 18
If I am inlaying a Rosewood headstock I wouldn't get the black I would go with the clear and the Rosewood tinter right?

May 24, 10 | 8:02 am
blues creek guitars Authorized Martin Repair Ctr

Total Topics: 52
Total Posts: 1011
I use CA and if I do use Epoxy it is 5 minute Epoxy. I use a tint to color the epoxy. I don't make it opaque . Custom Pearl Inlay carries the right stuff. 518-483-7685
John Hall
Blues Creek Guitars Inc.
Authorized CF Martin Repair Center

May 24, 10 | 8:28 am
Ken C

Total Topics: 30
Total Posts: 554
I used tinted epoxy. 2nd John's recommendation re Custom Pearl Inlay. That is where I got my inlay materials.


May 24, 10 | 10:08 am

Total Topics: 27
Total Posts: 668
I use normal 5 minute epoxy, but I mix powered wood of whatever the parent wood is (if it is rosewood, I just sand a scrap of rose and mix the dust into the epoxy, same with ebony or whatever). Works perfectly with darker woods, but when I tried it with koa the line around the pearl is darker than the parent wood. Route as closely as possible to the pearl, fill the cavity with your epoxy mixture, level the pearl with the headplate and let the epoxy poof up around it. When it has hardened scrape level and sand.

May 24, 10 | 1:48 pm
Running Dog

Total Topics: 1
Total Posts: 103
Wood dust in epoxy (or Titebond, CA, any glue I've used) always ends up darker than the surrounding area. Makes sense: you're getting it wet!

That doesn't matter for inlays into ebony, in fact, the darker the better. But for rosewood, koa, and good luck, maple, you need something that's closer to the color of the wood. On a recent inlay in koa done by Larry Robinson, he inlaid carefully and used NO pigment in the epoxy. The background and surrounding koa made the gaps unnoticeable.

I like 5-minute epoxy colored with powdered pigments. Liquid pigments can soften the cured epoxy if you use too much. Two or three colors are all you are likely to need. Black is obvious, "burnt umber" usually works for rosewood and such, and a lighter brown for koa. For inlays in maple, I just work as close to the outline as I can, glue up with CA, and fill with Titebond and dust. Not perfect but better than anything else I've found. For complex inlays in maple and other light woods, use CNC.


May 24, 10 | 7:47 pm
Ken Hundley

Total Topics: 40
Total Posts: 2169
I used 5 minute epoxy with black analine dye for the black-faced zebrawood OM I am doing. It did slow down the drying time considerably, and took a couple days to fully cure, but it worked fine otherwise. I would 2nd the idea of using a powdered dye instead of the liquid. I haven't tried inlaying in anything lighter than wenge

May 26, 10 | 9:36 am

Total Topics: 22
Total Posts: 67
Ditto what Rick said. Powdered burnt umber pigment mixed with epoxy works a treat if you're working with rosewood.



May 28, 10 | 9:03 pm

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