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 Post subject: Fretboard Inlay
PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2018 8:27 am 
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Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2014 8:13 pm
Posts: 1874
I've done inlaying in the past, but all of it has been with precut designs. I finally got brave enough to design, cut, and inlay my own design. I'm using veneer, which for the moment is more cost effective for me. It gives me a lot of shell colors and choices, without too much monetary outlay. It's very thin, so I've glued the shell to wood veneer to stabilize it.

The fretboard is a short scale board. I've drawn and redrawn the design, until I was happy with it. I made several copies of the design. Then I numbered each piece to be cut, both on the master drawing, and on a copy.

I'm using a #11 x-acto knife blade to cut each piece out, then I'm gluing it to the piece of shell that I want to cut. The shell has "grain" lines, for want of a better word. I'm trying to orient the pieces with these lines, so that it's appealing to the eye once cut. For instance, the shell for the butterfly wings, changes color depending on orientation, so one direction the bottom wings look bluish, and the top pink; they change to the opposite when viewed from another angle.

I'm using a small coping saw and I have 3 size blades, #2, 0, 2-0. Cutting isn't as hard as I thought it would be. Once I get going, it's easy to stay on the lines. My biggest challenge is stems.

This is what I have done so far. I've just started cutting. The pieces do fit together nicely. I need to clean the wood fibers from the edges. Some of the glued shapes have fallen off, so you can see what's happening. I've not done the butterfly body I'm thinking of using another material for it.

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 Post subject: Re: Fretboard Inlay
PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2018 9:12 am 
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Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2014 12:14 pm
Posts: 1158
Impressive!

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 Post subject: Re: Fretboard Inlay
PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2018 11:35 am 
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Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 8:03 am
Posts: 1084
Location: Chestertown Maryland
What did you stick the pearl to the wood with and how will you separate the two? Will be a great feeling when it is done.

Ed


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 Post subject: Re: Fretboard Inlay
PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2018 2:11 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2014 8:13 pm
Posts: 1874
ruby@magpage.com wrote:
What did you stick the pearl to the wood with and how will you separate the two? Will be a great feeling when it is done.

Ed


I just used ca glue, to glue the shell to the wood veneer Ed. It's on there permanently. The shell is veneer, so it's very thin and translucent.

I put the white MOP and white abalone on white maple veneer, to keep it white, and the paua and other dark shell, on dark wood veneer. I will inlay the shell/wood veneers as a unit, once again, using ca glue, just like I would if it was solid shell. It's going into n ebony fretboard, so it's important to me that the white shell, stays white. You won't know that the wood veneer is under it.


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 Post subject: Re: Fretboard Inlay
PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2018 6:43 pm 
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Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2018 6:01 pm
Posts: 17
Very, very impressive!

I've just attempted some very basic dart inlays in a fretboard (using wood veneer rather than shell) so I have some appreciation of how much work's gone into this - massive respect!


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 Post subject: Re: Fretboard Inlay
PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2018 6:49 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 8:03 am
Posts: 1084
Location: Chestertown Maryland
I was unaware of the veneer pearl. I recently cut an inly out of abalone that was less expensive than most, and found out the reason was it was laminated layers of abalone. when I cut it, it would delaminate and I would have to glue it back together again before continuing - I will NOT do that again.

Ed


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 Post subject: Re: Fretboard Inlay
PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2018 6:19 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2014 8:13 pm
Posts: 1874
This is how much I've gotten cut. I still have the leaves to cut out. Then, I need to fit everything tight and glue them into units, like the flowers and butterflies. I've not made a decision on the material for the butterfly bodies yet. I think I'm going to use metal for the antenna.

I should be done cutting tomorrow. I know you can't see all of the shell detail. Some still have the paper with numbers on them.

Through the magic of photoshop, I put both papers "together" showing the whole fretboard layout.


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 Post subject: Re: Fretboard Inlay
PostPosted: Sun Dec 30, 2018 9:34 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2014 8:13 pm
Posts: 1874
Everything is cut out. I'm starting to glue the flowers and butterflies together into units. I'm using diamond needle files to file the seam lines for a better fit.

Obviously, I'm no pro. I've never taken a course, so I'm just figuring it out so I go along. The pieces could be cut more accurately for a better fit. Hopefully they won't look too bad when inlaid.

I've only worked on one flower and one butterfly. I put a piece of waxed paper over the drawing to help me place the pieces.


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 Post subject: Re: Fretboard Inlay
PostPosted: Sun Dec 30, 2018 10:05 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2006 7:09 pm
Posts: 5872
Location: Hegins, Pa
learning to do the process is one thing being able to draw I admire. I can't draw for beans. I have to rely on patterns. Sweet indeed. Love the rose theme

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 Post subject: Re: Fretboard Inlay
PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2018 3:28 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2014 8:13 pm
Posts: 1874
Thank you John. I don't have any trouble drawing, as long as I don't have to draw a human. I kept this design very simple.

I've joined the pieces from the 7th to the 17th fret. I'll finish tomorrow. I decided to use a short piece of copper wire that I hammered out, for the butterfly bodies. I'm using thin wire for the antennae too.

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