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 Post subject: Re: Fretboard Inlay
PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2019 11:36 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2014 8:13 pm
Posts: 1982
I've had a chance to took at the design and I've decided:

1. The second rose from the bottom needs a leaf on the left side, or something. The stem is long and empty.

2. The butterfly in fret 1 looks like a Japanese kamikaze plane, and needs to be redrawn and recut.

Other than these 2 items, I think the design will work.


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 Post subject: Re: Fretboard Inlay
PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 8:34 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2014 8:13 pm
Posts: 1982
Okay. I added a small leaf off of the second rose from the bottom to balance the design more. I also redesigned the Kamakazi butterfly. Hopefully, it looks more like a butterfly than an attacking pterodactyl.

I wasn't sure how to inlay this material, which is extremely thin. It simply cannot withstand sanding. I had an idea of inlaying it below the surface of the fretboard, then filling the headspace with thin ca glue. I inlaid a piece of the material in an off cut of the actual fretboard, complete with radius. I didn't go deep enough to compensate for the radius, and as I feared, the veneer sanded off. I inlaid another piece, 2x the thickness of the inlay. Since it's so deep, I filled the void with ca glue, allowed it to dry naturally, then added more to compensate for glue shrinkage.

The procedure worked better than I hoped, and provided proof of concept. I wasn't sure if you'd be able to tell that the inlay actually lays below the surface. You can't. If anything, it seems to bring out more dimension in the shell. I was extremely pleased at how it turned out. I sanded the concept piece to 320g.

Today, I cut and shaped the board to size, so I could lay out and inlay the design. I laid out the design without glue, since I didn't want the wood veneer base permanently stuck to my board. I managed to get the design outlined.

Since the design is below the surface, and I have no way of sanding the top to clean it, I'm not too sure how to fill any voids from mistakes while inlaying, another dilemma.

I decided to try not to make mistakes while routing, which needless to say, makes this an extremely slow and intense, inlay job. I got half done today and I'm totally exhausted, and my muscles are actually sore from being in one bent over, tensed position, all day. I'll finish tomorrow.


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 Post subject: Re: Fretboard Inlay
PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 9:16 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 8:03 am
Posts: 1119
Location: Chestertown Maryland
Diane

Good idea on the CA coating. Does it seem hard? Nice work

Ed


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 Post subject: Re: Fretboard Inlay
PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2019 7:45 am 
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Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2014 8:13 pm
Posts: 1982
ruby@magpage.com wrote:
Diane

Good idea on the CA coating. Does it seem hard? Nice work

Ed

Thank you Ed. Yes. The CA is extremely hard, which is why it was my #1 choice. Even when sanded to only 220g, it revealed the shell instead of looking like scraped up plastic. The CA glue will only fill the depressions containing the inlay and it will be level with the surface of the ebony.

So far the one thing I would change about this inlay is the substrate. The wood veneer made it more difficult to cut, because it wasn't hard enough. A thicker wood veneer would have been more stable and therefore more easier to cut. I tried hardening the veneer with ca glue, but ca glue, while hard, is also brittle. It makes the wood veneer break easily. But, I'm pleased at how the inlay is working out.

The shell veneer allowed me to buy several different types and patterns of shell for a lot less than I would have paid for thicker material. The down side was figuring out how to safely cut it and inlay it. Now that I know how to work it, I can design more elaborate inlays.


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 Post subject: Re: Fretboard Inlay
PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2019 10:32 am 
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Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2006 7:09 pm
Posts: 5936
Location: Hegins, Pa
nice indeed

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John Hall
Blues Creek Guitars Inc
Authorized CF Martin Repair Center
president of Association of Stringed Instrument Artisans
http://www.bluescreekguitars.com


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 Post subject: Re: Fretboard Inlay
PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2019 2:27 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2006 7:09 pm
Posts: 5936
Location: Hegins, Pa
here you can incorporate lots of things, insects , a bee thorns , you are limited only by your imagination . Enjoy the process. I envy your artistic ability

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John Hall
Blues Creek Guitars Inc
Authorized CF Martin Repair Center
president of Association of Stringed Instrument Artisans
http://www.bluescreekguitars.com


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 Post subject: Re: Fretboard Inlay
PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2019 2:36 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2014 8:13 pm
Posts: 1982
Thanks John, but this late in the game I'm afraid to touch it. Lol.

Besides I've just finished it. I've just flooded it with the first coat of ca glue. Itll take two, possibly three times to fill the inlay even with the board.

It dawned on me at 3am (why do I get ideas at 3am?), that fretboard inlay usually starts small on the bottom, growing larger as it goes up the board, because of fret size. I made it the opposite, because that's the way Rose's grow. So, I made a mistake in design. Nothing I can do about it now! As a result, the large roses will have frets near the top and or bottom of them.


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 Post subject: Re: Fretboard Inlay
PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2019 2:37 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2014 8:13 pm
Posts: 1982
I have to install the butterfly antenna!


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 Post subject: Re: Fretboard Inlay
PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2019 5:57 pm 
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Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2018 6:01 pm
Posts: 18
It looks awesome - well done!

Diane Kauffmds wrote:
So far the one thing I would change about this inlay is the substrate. The wood veneer made it more difficult to cut, because it wasn't hard enough. A thicker wood veneer would have been more stable and therefore more easier to cut.


Have you considered laminating two thinner layers of veneer with opposing grain? I recently tried a very simple inlay job using just veneer (I'm not attempting shell until I've sorted out some trustworthy dust extraction) and found that the jeweller's saw was much more controllable when I did that.


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 Post subject: Re: Fretboard Inlay
PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2019 6:37 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2014 8:13 pm
Posts: 1982
robinsonb5 wrote:
It looks awesome - well done!

Diane Kauffmds wrote:
So far the one thing I would change about this inlay is the substrate. The wood veneer made it more difficult to cut, because it wasn't hard enough. A thicker wood veneer would have been more stable and therefore more easier to cut.


Have you considered laminating two thinner layers of veneer with opposing grain? I recently tried a very simple inlay job using just veneer (I'm not attempting shell until I've sorted out some trustworthy dust extraction) and found that the jeweller's saw was much more controllable when I did that.


Thank you. Yes, I thought I'd do it like that the next time around. I had no issues controlling the saw at all, probably because the shell stabilized the wood veneer to a certain point. But, even with the shell and wood combined, the layers were too flexible.

I made my own work board, because the jewelers board was way too wide. I made one out of 3/4" mdf, but interestingly, one side of the cut in the board would flex, making the cutting board uneven.

I finally used a piece of 1" thick black walnut. I made 2 cuts in the 7" x 5" board, one with the table saw, which left a gap of about 1/8", and the other with the bandsaw, which I widened to 1/16". These gave me stability to cut the shell/wood combo, especially the tiny pieces, using the jeweler's coping saw.

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