Jump to content

Voting for March 2020's Guitar Of The Month is open - VOTE HERE!

Juntunen Guitars

Led Dot Inlays Question

Recommended Posts

So I have been planning a bass for the past few weeks that I won't be able to start until the summer or spring that I have been thinking about putting blue LED's in for fret markers but I'm not sure on how to do this. I found a good site online a while ago but that was on doing larger inlays like block inlays and I just plan on using dots. My question is should I just use 6mm LED's and install them vertically and then radius them down to the fretboard or should I use smaller ones and install them in on their sides and put a clear plexiglass dot or something over that and radius that? Is there a different way of doing it or something? Also how would I have to go about the side dots?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

LEDs have a specific viewing angle so ideally mount them face up. You can sand the package, but you run the risk of leaving it clear with a sharp glowing point in the centre rather than a nice diffuse dot. Try Few in scrap. A nice translucent milky dot placed over the top of a sanded LED works well as a diffuser. Pearl is to reflective to work well in anything other than impractically thin slivers. Experiment! :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ryan actually caught me in the middle of searching for some LEDs myself. I've been trying to source an aluminium U-channel truss rod for my bass and I have a little downtime with which to do other things like inlays or whatever.

These for example look good on the basis of their low profile and minimal lead forming required:

http://uk.rs-online.com/web/p/visible-led/1934746/

12 of these in parallel (using a "bus" configuration down each side of the board) could easily be fitted if 2mm holes were drilled in the relevant places and each LED epoxied or CA'ed in. A strip of tape with a hard caul should be enough to keep the LEDs flush with the surface until cured. The difference between the coloured diffuse lens and the CA/epoxy might be noticable so the water clear packages might be better, although that might make the individual markers difficult to see when off. Perhaps brass tubing surrounding them....hmm....

At least, thats how it figures in my mind. I most probably won't even do this, but there you go....my thought processes....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My only suggestion for any use of LED's (and this isn't anything new) is to do a burn-in before you glue the fretboard down. LED's do have a failure rate and it's better to run them for a few days to make sure you're ok. There's also fiberoptics, which I think is more common for side markers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Carl, are the LEDs you posted in that link square with a round top and those would be for side markers correct? As for the viewing angle, that was one thing I was thinking about with sanding the top but I'm not sure how much it would be affected since LEDs have rounded tops as it is but this would be making them a lot flatter I guess. When I mentioned laying them on their sides the point of that is to cover it with something else that way it would light up the hole or cavity it's in and shine up through whatever is covering it. I saw a picture of someone who did that with block inlays but they weren't clear plexiglass if I remember right I think it was more of a milky color so you couldn't see through it.

Dave, I didn't think about letting them run for a while before gluing the board down, good idea. I really don't like the idea of pulling a fretboard off ... I get to frustrated and bored with how long it takes to pull off an acoustic guitar bridge.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was actually thinking of main fret markers to be fair. It doesn't take big 5mm LEDs to illuminate positions, so those are small enough to be no bother fitting under the board without modification. The same principle applies to side markers, as it would be a pretty much the same to carry this out in a binding strip. Assembled correctly it would be extremely discrete.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was actually thinking of main fret markers to be fair. It doesn't take big 5mm LEDs to illuminate positions, so those are small enough to be no bother fitting under the board without modification. The same principle applies to side markers, as it would be a pretty much the same to carry this out in a binding strip. Assembled correctly it would be extremely discrete.

That's a really good idea actually. Out of curiosity, how do fiber optics work?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have put 5mm leds in a couple of necks.

It is not rocket science by any means.

A 5mm led has a good amount of round tip area on it. You can grind those down and still have a decent working led. If you go to far you will get a bad looking led, or failure by ruining it.

I usually test them to confirm they work.

Drill the hole.

Glue them in.

file/sand down the dome flush to the board.

wire and call it a day.

The filed top will kind of displace the led a bit since you just gave it a scratched surface to shine through. it will look like a glowing marker vs a led laser point, if that makes sense.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I presume you mean diffuse. I know what you mean though. It's the individual LED depth that makes it awkward though.

Yeah, exactly. I have been having brain issues.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...