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Recon Stone Purfling


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That's not recon stone, it's turquoise(which is also a stone). If you look very closely, you'll see that it has very fine veining in it, so cracks probably would blend in if you use black epoxy. However, thorn uses a lot of cnc equiptment, so I would venture to guess that he had all of the perfling precut to the exact dimensions of that guitar.

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Hey Chris,

That's recon lapis, same kinda material as the recon turquoise in Navajo. It's a dark midnight blue/purple color.

I rip it into straight strips, and also a variety of arcs ranging from 2" - 10" radius. By taking time to file the ends of each little piece, you can get it tight and fairly seamless. The fact that it has a fine black matrix pattern within the material, similar to turquoise, helps conceal the breaks/joints. Thorn #102 features onyx purfling, #168 turquoise, and a couple others with coral, orange spiney, malachite etc. There's probably 50 different recon stones to choose from.


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Thanks Ron, it's not often that I see you post on here, so to get a reply from you's a real treat. It's amazing the simple ideas you pass over, I hadn't even thought "duh i can file down the edges to make them fit better". Either way, I hope to one day do it with blood jasper, which has some nice black webbing which should make that whole "black epoxy to hide joints" idea pretty good. Or is that not a good idea to try out (the epoxy). A tutorial of purfling with recon stone would be a nice add (cause i think all we got is one for shell... which is pre-cut for this, and breaks/blends a little better I imagine) Hint hint anyone???


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Like Batfink said,

You don't need a tutorial for recon stone if you have one for pearl. It's treated the exact same way as pearl. The only thing is that most types are far more breakable at inlay thicknesses than pearl, so you have to be real careful with it. A CNC is most likely best for cutting it. I do it all by hand and lose a lot of pieces, most of which are not even thin small strips.

I haven't used lapis recon in a while, but if I remember it cracks easy. The thing is it's SO dark you would most likely never notice it, as long as it didn't fracture any out too much. One tip is to leave your pattern glued on during the inlay/gluing stage, then just sand it all off at the end. That way the paper pattern holds it together a bit more.

Good luck

Craig Lavin


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Ron,  are you ripping those recon stones into strips on your cnc?  If so, what do you use for a cutter.  How about spindle speed and feed?


Yes, I rip the strips on a CNC.

95% of all the pearl/abalam/recon stone I CNC cut is with a .031 cutter @ 30K rpm, with a feed rate ranging from 5-10 ipm depending on thickness, intricacy, or how much of a hurry I'm in.

On rare occasion I'll use a .025 for cutting.

I'd love to post here more often, but like I've said before...by the time I read a thread, it's usually taken care of better than I could have said :D



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