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I'd like to create the right hand portion of the below inlay from sheet metal but have no knowledge of what is liekly to corode, or what thickness will be workable etc. I'm looking for suggestions from those more experienced with metals than i.

I am on a really tight budget and I do already happen to have some sheets of thin tin plated steel lying arround. I am wondering if they would be suitable.

I am plannng on laquerig the fretboard with high gloss nitro.. I dont know if this would adhere to the metal ok?

Capture.PNG.b1aaaccb9dd53d877c03d56811b4976d.PNG

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I've never seen any ebony fretboards with nitro over them before, could be cool but it's certainly not necessary given how hard ebony is. For inlay, I'd have thought sheet aluminum would be the perfect material, it's light, easy to cut and looks nice brushed or sanded to a higher sheen. In terms of budget, you don't need a particularly large piece if you cut each fret separately but it will probs need to be at least 2mm thick for the prism to be inlayed deep enough when taking into account the radius of the fretboard. Another option would be aluminum powder+glue because those thinnest parts of the wave will be feckin' awkward to cut for both the pieces and the cavities.

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Tin plated steel? Like that used on roofs and cans? The "tin" (zinc) is there to prevent rusting and if you cut it you'll get plain iron/steel. Lacquer will protect it to some extent, but at some point it will wear, leaving the steel prone to the corrosive sweat of your fingers.

A piece of rectangular wire might be useful. Silver can be a little expensive, some £30 for 2 metres of 2 x 1 mm wire but you might find other metals as well.

 

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I was going to recommend aluminum sheet as well. It can also be polished up to a very high gloss if desired.

SR

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22 hours ago, ADFinlayson said:

I've never seen any ebony fretboards with nitro over them before, could be cool

It will certainly be devsive, Its not to protect the wood, though protecting the inlay ill be an advantage. I just thnk a nice piano black/gloss type finish will work well with the contrasting colours and inlay a bit like this

Cherry+Blossom+Jewellery+Box.jpg

22 hours ago, ADFinlayson said:

it will probs need to be at least 2mm thick

I disagree on this point as if you think about it the metal will be maliable/bendy so can be cut flat then bent to the fretboard radius =). Im toying with the isea of using a franslucent material for the prism to be honest.

19 hours ago, Bizman62 said:

The "tin" (zinc) is there to prevent rusting

No i dont think i mean galvenised with zinc. I mean actual tin. At least i think its a tin alloy.
I was recomended it for mocking up amplifier chasis as you can solder directly to it and it will stick. (solder soesnt stick to most metals easily).

17 hours ago, ScottR said:

I was going to recommend aluminum sheet as well.

Nice, Any idea what thickness would have the right consistency. i.e can be bent by hand but stiff enough that if pushed i could file it?

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26 minutes ago, Urumiko said:

It will certainly be devsive, Its not to protect the wood, though protecting the inlay ill be an advantage. I just thnk a nice piano black/gloss type finish will work well with the contrasting colours and inlay a bit like this

Cherry+Blossom+Jewellery+Box.jpg

I disagree on this point as if you think about it the metal will be maliable/bendy so can be cut flat then bent to the fretboard radius =). Im toying with the isea of using a franslucent material for the prism to be honest.

No i dont think i mean galvenised with zinc. I mean actual tin. At least i think its a tin alloy.
I was recomended it for mocking up amplifier chasis as you can solder directly to it and it will stick. (solder soesnt stick to most metals easily).

Nice, Any idea what thickness would have the right consistency. i.e can be bent by hand but stiff enough that if pushed i could file it?

Yes metal can be bent, but it's a lot more likely to pop out. 

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8 minutes ago, ADFinlayson said:

more likely to pop out

Yes, think about springs. The more you hammer it the harder it gets. Of course there's ways to soften it again with heat.

@Urumiko, tin plated steel and tin alloy are totally different things. Plating is a layer the surface, allow is a mix. One common tin alloy is bronze which is a mixture of copper and tin. Tinned copper utensils aren't bronze but if you melt and mix them they will become bronze given the proportions are right. 

Anyhow, metals have been used for inlays forever so it's only a matter of choosing the right materials and methods.

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Well the tin plated steel doesnt seem to have any memory/springyness, its very maliabe.
Makbe i should use that.. It doesnt spring back in the same way an aluminium drinks can does say....

And come to think of it i could totally cut up fizzy drinks cans rather than buy aluminium sheet... lol

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