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Ibanez Jem vine inlay


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Since I have an itching desire to make one of these myself, I have two multi-part questions:

1-What type of wood does Ibanez (or better yet, what should I) use for the curved vine? Since I am assuming I will need to cut the wood with the vine contour as one piece...should I cut it with or against the grain of the wood? How thick should the wood be from which I cut the vine?

2-Although inlaying pearl or abalone leaves is always nice, I am interested in creating a vine with bright color such as the green vine on the Jem77FP. What clear plastic material does Ibanez (or should I) use? When coloring the vine, should I paint the actual inlay or the fingerboard (in the cavity, on the wood itself)?

Thanks for any and all suggestions.

Brent

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Hey dude, check out the LGM site, you'll see some different examples of the Jem vine.

The actual stem, use a single piece of wood the full length, don't try to cut the curves, it is so thin it will bend into the route for the stem no problem. I use spruce usually for the vine, but I have even used Stainless Steel on the Chrome vine I did. soak the stem in hot water for about 10 minutes and put it in your route, it will bend easily. I do mine about 1/32" thick, that way I can use a standard inlay bit to cut the route.

The actual Jem vine leaves are neon paper under resin, there is a product called crystal clear that dries dead clear. fill the cavities with that so it's flowing up higher than the fretboard, then warm it just a bit with a hair drier and all the bubbles will come out. Then you level and polish the same as any other material.

Jeremy

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Thank you both for the information.

Jeremy,

Nice pics on your site...you do great work.

The actual stem, use a single piece of wood the full length, don't try to cut the curves, it is so thin it will bend into the route for the stem no problem...soak the stem in hot water for about 10 minutes and put it in your route, it will bend easily.

That's interesting. When composing my inital post, I thought about the possibility of soaking the wood and then setting it...but I thought the wood would expand too much to set in the route. I guess you don't have much of a problem with that?

I do mine about 1/32" thick, that way I can use a standard inlay bit to cut the route.

How do you get a sheet of spruce so thin? Is that the same thickness as a top/veneer for a gutar body?

The actual Jem vine leaves are neon paper under resin, there is a product called crystal clear that dries dead clear.

Questions:

Can you point me to a supplier of resin? Is that material harder or softer than, say plexiglass?

Where can I get Crystal Clear?

How do you adhere the neon paper to the resin?

Thanks for your time and information!

Brent

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first of all, the spruce, you can buy it in 1/8" x 1/4" strips from model airplane suppliers, then you can cut yourself a strip 1/8" x 1/32". it won't expand enough that you need to worry about it, and I usually soak it, and put it in the route and let it dry, it won't go all the way in, but once it's dry, it's shrunk back down,and will hold the shape (the truth is, you don't really need to even soak it, but it does curve nicer without kinks) then you can glue the preformed piece in.

As for the resin, it's a product that model railroaders use to make lakes and other "bodies of water" it's just an epoxy resin, but it doesn't have that yellowy tinge most epoxies have.

It hardens every bit as hard as plexiglass. The problem with using plexiglass and lexans, is not much sticks to them, the bonding becomes an issue.

As for the paper, since the resin is in liquid form, you have to lay the paper into the route first, I like to glue it down, then pour the resin on top, but do a test piece first, you want a paper that won't absorb the resin, or it will change the color.

Another little secret, to a plastic that will work, but is kind of a pain to use, is cut up a jewel case for a CD. that plastic is crystal clear, polishes up great, and is cheap :D

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I'm creating a vine inlay template in case anyone wants one to print out. The vine stem is a bit wider because I'm doing a full abalone vine on rosewood and want it to stand out a little more. However, the leaves are pretty much to spec.

I finished the drawing last night but I'll be out of town until next Monday so I probably won't have anything until then... :D

Gabe

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Hey everyone, I got back from my trip and have finished touching up the vine template and made MANY MANY photocopies. And yes, it's for a 25.5" scale neck. I'll be going through my shell to pick out the right pieces that look good throughout the fingerboard. Again, the vine stem is much thicker than normal due to the material and color of wood I'm using for the fingerboard. The leaves and such seem to be 100% accurate.

I do not have a scanner. Therefore I cannot scan this in. I'll see if I can borrow one from someone. Or maybe I can send a photocopy of the vine and someone out there can scan it in for me.

Oh, my e-mail at Jemfest.com is down until further notice... if you need to contact me, do so at jemfest@hotmail.com.

Thanks,

Gabe

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I have a reasonable scanner and would be willing to try and scan it in and can send you the resulting file if you want? If you want me to do that, bung me an email on divabanana@hotmail.com Bear in mind I'm in the UK and the mail service is shite (just ask Brian about a CD that was supposed to get to him about a month ago!) so don't know how long the photocopy would take to get to me.

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By the way, how deep is the routing for the vine inlay? I once saw a photo of a set of Jem fretboards (not attached to necks) at the Hoshino factory and the tree of life inlay had been routed right through the fretboard. Is that how they actually are done or do you suppose they were prototypes or test fretboards? How deep do you do the inlay Jeremy?

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I've never seen a vine that went right through, and I've changed fretboards and vine colors on those. I route as deep as I need to to leave a very small amout of my material above the board to level, for ex, if my material is .050" thick, I'll route .040 - .045 deep.

I don't like to go any deeper just because it's a pain, the glow in the dark vine has to be routed .120" deep to keep a good thickness of material to hold the glow charge.

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