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 Post subject: Fret position dots
PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2018 11:57 am 
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Joined: Thu Jul 09, 2015 7:46 pm
Posts: 50
First time Builder. Having trouble finding 3/16 inch wood dots to go onto a maple fretboard for a tenor ukulele. I originally wanted to make my own but it doesn't seem that I can find a way to do that. Plug Cutters don't come in smaller than quarter inch diameter. Somebody suggested a daimond saw but from what I've read they can tend to burn wood. I don't want to have end-grain on the surface so working with a dowel is not an option. Any ideas? Have you ever done this?
I did experiment with making a sort of putty using Titebond and sawdust ( in this case Koa) and if I had to do it I guess I would. But I'd rather have a nicer grain pattern even if the area of each dot Is quite small.

As always, gratefully,

Chuck Barnett


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 Post subject: Re: Fret position dots
PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2018 3:40 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 03, 2018 12:56 am
Posts: 91
Maybe take the quarter-inch dots and sand them down to 3/16 by hand? It's more tedious than it is difficult. I did this with celluloid guitar picks to replace some missing mother-of-toilet-seat inlays on a neck.


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 Post subject: Re: Fret position dots
PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2018 4:21 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jul 09, 2015 7:46 pm
Posts: 50
Wow, that certainly sounds like a challenge!


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 Post subject: Re: Fret position dots
PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2018 8:55 am 
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Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2014 12:14 pm
Posts: 1058
So you want, probably, ebony dots?

Here is an idea you can try. Buy a piece of steel tubing with a 3/16"" id, for example https://www.mcmaster.com/#6100K339
Cut off a piece about 2" long and file some teeth on the end. You'll need to use it in a drill press, it won't cut very deep or fast, and you may need to re-file the teeth. Bur I bet it will work well enough to get enough dots for a fingerboard. It may work better if you bend the teeth to put a little set on them.

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 Post subject: Re: Fret position dots
PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2018 6:25 am 
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Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2006 7:09 pm
Posts: 5600
Location: Hegins, Pa
take a drill bit glue the dot on the upper end insert in drill upside down use the drill to spin it the use sand paper to sand it down us a razor blade and cut it off the bit

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 Post subject: Re: Fret position dots
PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2018 10:59 am 
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Joined: Thu Jul 09, 2015 7:46 pm
Posts: 50
Great ideas and I may try them. But I found a trick that might just work for me. I took the bit out of a countersink and chucked that. I bandsawed 3/32" thick strips of koa so that the face grain was on the flat. the one by one I gently cut out over a dozen dots with the countersink. Turned out to be just a hair under 4.5 mm in diameter so I ordered a 4.5 mm brad point drill to make the holes. I'm pretty happy with how that turned out!

In the photo, the dots are simply sitting on the fretboard.
Attachment:
koa dots.jpg


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 Post subject: Re: Fret position dots
PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2018 10:49 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 10, 2010 10:50 pm
Posts: 2324
Location: Seattle
Get some metal drill bits and drill a hole the size of dot that you want in a bit of soft steel bar stock 1/8" thick or whatever they have at the hardware store. Then drill a few more hole each maybe a 32nd or 64th" bigger. Cut out some of your dot material and square it up to the size dot you want maybe 8" x 3/16" x 3/16". Then starting at your largest hole and hammer the the wood through the largest hole and then through each of the holes until you go through the 3/16 hole. Then you can slice off your dots.

You can buy premade versions with lots of holes.

Attachment:
dowel plate.jpg


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 Post subject: Re: Fret position dots
PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2018 6:15 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jul 09, 2015 7:46 pm
Posts: 50
John, I like the concept. I think a friend was explaining that to me in a simpler fashion. This would work best for following the grain of the wood instead of trying to do something cross grain?
I think I will be happy with what I have produced thus far by way of face grained dots in the koa that I have been working with. I'll get a picture up after getting back from a conference out of town and getting the 4.5 mm Brad Point bit from eBay. I am excited to see how this works. And learning a lot of tips and tricks like this one along the way! Thank you, once again! :-)


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 Post subject: Re: Fret position dots
PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2018 1:14 am 
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Joined: Thu Jul 09, 2015 7:46 pm
Posts: 50
SUCCESS!!!
One more small step on the journey!

Cannot thank you folks enough!

Chuck


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