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Here's an inlay I've actually been working on for quite some time now. I cut about half of the pieces when I first started out doing inlay and found it WAY to hard for me. Now that I'm a little more seasoned in the art I decided to cut the other half of the pieces. Turns out I'm still not that pro by any means, it's still got a couple gaps. Things don't fit together 100% perfectly, however I like to think I'm getting better, especially since this was a REALLY hard design in that there are some really small pieces, and alot of the pieces touch two or more others making it so you can't just file until it works... cause it might then not work with the other pieces it touchs :D

Either way, without further adieu here's the pieces resting on some curly claro (it's not actually inlaid into anything yet):

froginlay.jpg

It also needs to be engraved for the pupils and to seperate the two toes on the left side.

Chris

PS: I don't plan on using this in all honesty. So if someone wants to use it on a guitar (please only people that actual want/will use it) and can deal with a little gap in pieces (will use black epoxy) in order to get a free inlay I'd be happy to inlay it into any piece of wood you wanna send, be it a headplate ("branch" is perfect length to stretch from where one tuner would go to another) or a wooden control cavity cover, etc.

The inlay is at max points 2.25" x 1" x 1/16" and uses recon stones; imperial jade, varasite web, green/yellow gaspiate, lapis with variation, and red coral, as well as some black MOP.

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Turns out I'm still not that pro by any means, it's still got a couple gaps.
What do you mean you aren't a pro? That looks amazing! :D I would be proud to call that my own, and I'd even pay for you that inlay, but sadly I don't have any extra wood to send you at the moment....but some lucky person will be thrilled to get that. Great work. :D
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Chris, I like it and I think it is good work. I'm a relative inlay beginner and have still been limited mostly to block inlays, so I appreciate how much effort you put in to this. Good results.

Save the inlay - perhaps inlay it into a small box made from leftover guitar wood or something - and give it to someone who will appreciate your efforts.

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Chris, a quick one to consider in that recon stone doesn't take very kindly to engraving so i'd take it easy as there's nothing worse than ballsing it up at the last hurdle - my scrap bin containes a number of trc's as testement to this fact :D

Jem :D

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Hmmm...i'll have to have a seach for that, personally i've never had much success with engraving recon and i read an article when i was just starting out by either Larry Robinson or Will Laskin saying he avoid's engraving on recon - perhaps just a personal prefference. Anyway, perhaps Craig's post will enlighten me.

Jem :D

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Well, seeing mine was the post in reply you'd have thought i'd have remembered it - perhaps the past 42 years of drink and drug abuse IS finally getting to me :D

Hmmm...think i'll have another go, the problem i had was the material's change in density which made the 'graver suddenley shoot much farther forward, or sideways for that matter, than i'd planned. I'm not the greatest 'graver anyway so perhaps this will be some good practice - now, who can i unload yet another key ring on :D

Jem B)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Your not using the graver properly.

Grit engraves recon constantly. Almost all of his pieces have some engraved recon stone.

If your graving too lightly it will slip out on you. If you have full control of the graver and start light then go deeper it will work better.

One thing about engraving I noticed is that everyone has a way of showing you how to do it properly, and none ofthe ways worked for me. I read books, watches videos, none helped that much.

Just keep practicing, don't do what you think is best via others- do what is comfortable, and succesful for you.

Craig L

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Your not using the graver properly.

Grit engraves recon constantly. Almost all of his pieces have some engraved recon stone.

If your graving too lightly it will slip out on you. If you have full control of the graver and start light then go deeper it will work better.

One thing about engraving I noticed is that everyone has a way of showing you how to do it properly, and none ofthe ways worked for me. I read books, watches videos, none helped that much.

Just keep practicing, don't do what you think is best via others- do what is comfortable, and succesful for you.

Craig L

You're right Craig he does but i did read something somewhere - dangers of the internet in the early stages of learning i suppose - did someone say Mr Litc...................lets not go there. I'm sure you're right about engraving in general, i'm being a tart about the initial lines and you're right, the graver's going where it wants to go, i back off even more because i'm scared of ballsing it and then it all goes haywire. Engraving is something i really need to practice rather than 'have a go at'. Oh, and remembering from either Grit or Larry's books i think my graver needs to be sharper than it is - perhaps part of the problem in the first place!

Jem :D

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I just got in my first ever graver today. A normal ol' square graver from stewmac. And I've now tried on scraps of both shell and recon stone. And recon stone is MUCH harder to do! I find that it gives alot easier making the graver dig deeper in each single pass and when that happens, instead of just leaving a nice little line it chips out small bits of stone which ruins it. I'd say it's a lot harder than shell cause with just a couple minutes of practise of scrap I have few qualms about engraving shell in my future, but the recon I'm kinda weery about...

Chris

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I just got in my first ever graver today. A normal ol' square graver from stewmac. And I've now tried on scraps of both shell and recon stone. And recon stone is MUCH harder to do! I find that it gives alot easier making the graver dig deeper in each single pass and when that happens, instead of just leaving a nice little line it chips out small bits of stone which ruins it. I'd say it's a lot harder than shell cause with just a couple minutes of practise of scrap I have few qualms about engraving shell in my future, but the recon I'm kinda weery about...

Chris

There is another way. I rarely ever engrave, and I never engrave on fretboards because it wares off. Instead of engraving, you cut through. Saw your lines in and then the colored epoxy will come up though the cuts and become the line. Not only will this work better with recon stone, but the results are better because there are no dips in the surface of the inlay which could could thinner finishes to look funky. Also, on fretboards, the line will never ware off no matter how much the guitar is plays. It can be harder to do than engraving, but I think it's worth it. For instance, there is no engraving on the head of this unicorn.

bodyinlay.jpg

Cliff

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I actually have thought about that several times. But I didn't know it would come out so sharp and nice looking like that. However, to do it right I'm sure you need more than one size of blade. Which at the moment I don't have. But I will look into getting some. I mean... www.widgetsupply.com sells packs of 144 blades (a dozen dozens) for like $8. And you can get that all in one size, or a mixmatch of sizes so you have all the different sizes you need. Up to this point I haven't needed anything besides my one size... but this may change my mind.

Chris

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Sounds a bit cheap. In my limited experience always buy swiss or german made - or domestic if there's any your side - blades, doing a quick price calculation those sound too cheap. The one's i got with my first saw were made in India and almost put me off inlay for life - total crap and probably wasted more pearl than the saw cost the way the things snagged and snapped all the time !

Jem :D

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Nope, I bought 144 number 1 blades awhile back and have gone through about half of that with the crazy amount of inlay I get up to. But not, they work quite well. I have no problems with them. Yes they do snap, but not so often to be annoying, but then again, all blades that small will snap eventually. I'm actually quite happy with them.

Chris

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Way to go Chris.

Your very first try at it and already your ready to seemingly give it up. B)

You had the graver for less than 24 hours right? :D

You know how you get better?

KEEP DOING IT.

Recon isn't that bad either. It's just a feel issue. You don't have any feel for it yet at all. You just started.

Start out doing small lines, then work up to curves. Curves take a while. Months- not days.

But you'll never get better if you don't keep at it. Looking for an alternative right now is extremely premature.

Sorry to sound frustrated, but I see a lot of young talent rush through ideas and give up because it didn't happen yesterday. :D

Chris keep doing it. It does get easier.

Craig L.

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WOAH Nelly?! Who said I was giving up?! I said that I was surprized at how easy lines came on shell and that they were MORE difficult on recons tone. Also, CSuttle offered the alternative to it, I didn't ask for it. And the only time I'd "already thought about doing that" was in the days BEFORE I bought my graver... cause like you said it's only been here some 48 hours now.

No no Mr. Lavin, you won't be getting rid of me and my inlay ANY time soon! And there's no WAY I'm giving up on engraving recons tone cause my whales have to have their mouth lines engraved... no question! Hell I've even started planning out an inlay project with heavy amount of engraving just to get some more under my belt (the pink panther :D ).

So no need to be frustrated, I am not one of those young talents that's just gunna give up... I plan to one day out sell you :D (lol... oh no he jus' di'int?!)

Chris

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Good to hear that Chris.

It does get easier.

Craig

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