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Wood Inlay Dots?


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Yeah check the better woodworking sites. You can get dowels in various kinds of hardwood. www.woodcraft.com has dowels in various kinds of hardwood.

Allthough, the endgrain on a dowel is not very pleasing. You might be better off getting a small sheet of veneer and cutting inlays out of it. Not sure exzctly how to do it.. i'm sure there is a circle punch of some sort out there you could use

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large problem that i have found with wood dowels...  the wood shrinks and expands at different rates so you get gaps in the wood. 

I inlayed a fretboard with birch dowels and this happened to me

So you're saying that wood against wood has larger expansion/contraction problems than wood against plastic, shell, or metal? :D:D

I've never had trouble with wood into wood in all the plugs I've ever made with a plug cutter, so long as the holes were drilled cleanly and the plugs were tall enough; nor has anyone I know. Maybe it's an endgrain thing with dowels?

Anyway, invest in a good plug cutter for the top dots; it'll surely come in handy for later projects too. For the side dots, have you considered sawdust and epoxy? At that size. it'd be awfully hard to tell that from wood. If not, I'm sure hardware stores carry very small birch dowels around your area.

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Almost everything expands and contracts with heat. All I'm saying is that it seems odd to me that this would be a problem with wood when it wouldn't be with metal, pearl, plastic or clay.

I am also saying that this is the first time I have -ever- heard of wooden plugs expanding and contracting at rates so different that it caused gapping.

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I just bought a 1/4 inch plug cutter solely for the purpose of doing fretmarkers in wood. It was about $11. As someone mentioned, the endgrain in most dowels sucks and exotic wood dowels aren't readily available anyway.

1/4 is about the smallest plug cutter out there. For smaller diameters, I read you can take a small brass tube and cut slots into the end with a file or hacksaw and bend them out a little like teeth. This creates a crude hole drill that will probably only last 1 or 2 times, but it's cheap and easy to make.

I also saw these screw extractors yesterday when I was at Woodcraft. Thought they might do the trick as well. Also, If you have friend who is a machinist (as I do :D ) they could make these things easy in just about any diameter you wanted.

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The screw extractors, unfortunately, only go as small as 1/4" too.

I wonder how hard it would be for a machinist friend to turn a bona fide stainless steel plug cutter in the plug diameter you want? It wouldn't have to be carbide or anything terribly fancy, as it wouldn't have to be terribly durable.

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The screw extractors, unfortunately, only go as small as 1/4" too.

I wonder how hard it would be for a machinist friend to turn a bona fide stainless steel plug cutter in the plug diameter you want? It wouldn't have to be carbide or anything terribly fancy, as it wouldn't have to be terribly durable.

I don't see why you couldn't just use SS (or any steel for that matter) tube in whatever diameter you wanted and cut teeth in it - just like the screw extractor. You might have a time trying to get the plug back out of the tube tho. But maybe if you put some extra holes or slots in it that would help. (I'm just thinking out loud)

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There you go.. I think what BigD was referring to is how a dowel behaves.. A plug is different as the grain goes with the wood. You inlay end grain into cross grain you're more likely to have movement. A plug cutter is the perfect solution. You can just get exotic veneer and use the plug cutter to make your dots. I might even consider that myself. Ebony dots in a maple fingerboard would be way cool..

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Has anyone ever found a sitethat sells wooden inlay dots? I am looking for 2 sizes, small ones for the side, and big ones for the front. I had considered getting plug cutters, but therye costly, and dont go small enough. any suggestions? Thanks :D

For an overly-veneered guitar, I made veneer dots

See picts here

I bought brass tubes -- diameter should be the "dot size" you want.

make some dots from veneer:

Cut a piece off and filed some teeth at the end of that piece; chuck this toothed piece into a drill and cut out some dots with it

(use zebrawood, it looks nice)

work the fretboard:

Use drill bit to drill dots into fretboard; cut off small rings of the brass tube & set into these holes; blob some epoxy and lay the veneer-dots; sand down after dry to level

practics on scrap first - be careful, because its easy to sand THROUGH the veneer dot. You'll get the "how deep the hole, how tall the ring, how much fill before veneer dot lays on, and how much epoxy to lay on top to sand down"

-- joe

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