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 Post subject: top inlays
PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2020 8:29 am 
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Joined: Wed Feb 13, 2019 9:52 am
Posts: 198
Thought I'd start a new thread for top inlay ideas. Larry Robinson's book intro explains how he got into inlays by covering an accident. I've been wanting put inlays into the spruce and have my accident on the purfling routing to push me over. Would love to hear what anyone has to say or just post a pic of your favorite one as I'm still designing.

I've considered a gold MOP sunrise that sorta wraps around the edge like a Dali painting. pearl water and landscape. Using different materials. I don't really like the painted cowboy scene guitars or ones that have little critters frolicking up the fretboard. so perhaps i'm posting because maybe I don't like this idea.

I'm also not sure yet if inlaying a bigger scene like that on an spruce top with a radius is just out of my league. Any technical whammy's noobs forget over regular inlay work which I'll say I'm at intermediate level. Probably the largest mosiac without spruce in-between would 5" or so.


Let's see what you got. :D


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 Post subject: Re: top inlays
PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2020 9:07 am 
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Joined: Mon Dec 03, 2018 9:12 am
Posts: 71
The most striking top inlay that comes to mind for me was a rosette that looked like it had exploded - so there were blocks of rosette-looking inlay scattered around an area larger than the usual rosette. It looked pretty good to me.

Two things that come to mind -
1- its been easier for me to inlay into dark material than lighter Filling gaps is sawdust and glue. Doing that in spruce isn’t going to look as good. So your inlay needs to be really spot-on.
2 - wrapping around an edge - what are you going to do about crossing the binding? I could see this working with an arm bevel - starting from the top, crossing the bevel into the side. I almost think it would have to go across a bevel so the graphic would “flow”. Crossing a hard 90 degree edge from top to side, I have a hard time visualizing how that would work.


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 Post subject: Re: top inlays
PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2020 12:36 pm 
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Not impossible to do, but extremely difficult to inlay into spruce cleanly. What does your purfling issue look like?--Bob


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 Post subject: Re: top inlays
PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2020 3:35 pm 
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Posts: 198
Thanks for the reply. I have just a small gap where the end graft is. I'm planning herringbone and could even put a row of purfling to cover it. I really liked the one I saw posted a few months back with b/w up up top w/ the herringbone. I believe I could patch it w/ some cut aways i saved but started to explore inlay ideas. My original post was hasty. I think I am going to do some inlay into the spruce but just a little partial circle w/ sun rays on the top at the end graft and nothing too big.

You can see my mistake. I should have done the binding channel 1st and simply forgot my graft channel was there. I thought I'd do some experimentation. But do like this idea where a sun is there on the lower bout, a sunburst, and perhaps some stars and moon on the headstock. I'm really just trying to break out of the standard trim. Opportunity knocks. You can see crack right there too. Perhaps something matching on the bridge wings.


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 Post subject: Re: top inlays
PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2020 4:57 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2014 12:14 pm
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Any thoughts on how inlays may affect he tonal response of the top?

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Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.
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 Post subject: Re: top inlays
PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2020 12:56 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jul 03, 2015 2:45 pm
Posts: 268
That is not an uncommon mistake. Here is a link to how Martin did an inlay on their uke top at the engraft https://reverb.com/p/martin-style-3-cen ... BoEALw_wcB

If the link does not work, just search for Martin Style 3 Ukes. This link came from Reverb, where there is a good photo.

Many builders have done inlays like that on the back too, if you want symmetry
You may have to cut and paste that. I'd keep the inlay very simple. No sharp points or you probably won't be able to make it clean. A small inlay over the tailback won't affect the sound at all. Good luck!--Bob


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 Post subject: Re: top inlays
PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2020 1:00 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jul 03, 2015 2:45 pm
Posts: 268
Well I see the link does not work. Gotta love computers! Just do a Google search for Martin Style 3 ukulele and you'll find it.--Bob


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 Post subject: Re: top inlays
PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2020 9:24 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 13, 2019 9:52 am
Posts: 198
Brilliant, Bob! This 20's style 3 is JUST what I was looking for. So glad I posted this thread. This one has the overall look of the guitar I am building w/ "28" style trim. This uke's fretboard has 5 piece purfling right down the middle. Oh yeah. that's happening. THANKS!

https://www.theukulelesite.com/martin-1920-s-soprano-style-3-rare-vintage-ukulele.html


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 Post subject: Re: top inlays
PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2020 11:05 pm 
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Looking forward to see what you come up with. Good luck with your building.-Bob


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 Post subject: Re: top inlays
PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2020 2:44 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2014 8:13 pm
Posts: 2322
I'll be looking forward to updates. It'll be great watching what you do here.


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