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"simple Metallic Inlay"does It Work?


Hongbo Zhao
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My view is, that tutorial was written before the guy actually tried it out. I can assure you, ive tried it, and IT DOESNT WORK. Why? Well, the solder is soo hot, the resins in the wood come out, which effectively stops the solder from sticking. The wood also cools the solder too quickly, so i doesnt get into the corners.

If someone HAS done it successfully, id like to see proof.

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humm.. I've never seen that tutorial and I thought I read everything.. lol

Interesting concept, but does it actually work? I'd take Perry's experience as a no, and I do trust his experience. Although I've never tried it myself, I just don't see how it could work very well. I'd rather use sheet of metal, like cSuttle suggested, and cut the inlays like you would shell. I know some guitar builders will use brass, and if it was clearcoated over wouldn't tarnish.

While we are on the subject of inlays. The paua purfling that some guitar builders use is way expensive to buy. I'm sure they have ways to buy a big sheet of this and cut it out to whatever size they want. The only thing I have is a bandsaw that could possibly do something like that, but I'm scared to buy a sheet of it and find out I can't cut it into small strips. Anyone have experience in cutting purfling?

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Yeah i tried that on a scrap piece of pine luckily before i did it on a guitar. I burned the pine trying to heat the wood up and drip in solder before it cooled too much, it seems like i tried everything to get that solder to mold, but it just wouldnt work...maybe we're all just missing a curcial step?

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While we are on the subject of inlays. The paua purfling that some guitar builders use is way expensive to buy.  I'm sure they have ways to buy a big sheet of this and cut it out to whatever size they want.  The only thing I have is a bandsaw that could possibly do something like that, but I'm scared to buy a sheet of it and find out I can't cut it into small strips.  Anyone have experience in cutting purfling?

I don't, but I've seen several little jigs people have made to do it. Most of them basically amount to a dremel, firmly mounted sideways, with a little cutoff wheel, creating a kind of micro-table saw, if that makes any sense. You'd probably want to create something to catch the pieces once they're cut clear through.

A bandsaw seems like it would be extraordinarily wasteful.

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The only person I've seen show a picture of doing that is from Thorn's site.

Cutting Paua Purling Picture

I don't have a cnc machine, so.. I guess I'll have to devise something that will get the same results. The way he does it looks to be as wasteful as using a bandsaw, but probably way more safer. The cutoff wheel idea is a good one, might have to try that. The reason I want to cut my own is because if you price it out, it way cheaper this way, than buying them already cut into strips.

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Plain 'ol pure silver, non-sterling, and square wire. I used 1.5mm for the wider stuff, and 1mm (very tiny) for the thinner stems. I got mine from cookson gold in the UK, but really, and jewellery/crafts supply place should carry it. Basically rout the channel for it, fit the wire into it (may need a bit of bending with pliers), wick in some superglue, then fill the gaps, voila. It's incredibly easy compared to doing a shell vine, and it looks very good.

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Sorta going back to these metalic inlay idea, I've seen someone take strips of silver placing them on a sheet of mica and then using a butane blow torch to melt them. The cohesion of the liquiefied silver turns them into little balls with a flat bottom once they cool. You could probably inlay these and file them flat, but it still seems like more work than just using a punch on a sheet of metal and inlaying that.

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