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Ok, I messed up. This is my first attempt at doing an inlay. I inlayed a piece of ebony into maple and glued it with black epoxy. I probably should have sealed the maple with clear first but it is too late for that. Instead, I used wax on the surface of the maple to try and prevent the black epoxy from bleeding into the wood pores but forgot the the walls of the inlay route were a conduit for the epoxy as well.

inlay_mistake.jpg

So...is this mess salvageable? Any and all suggestions, admonishments, and scoldings are welcome :D

Thanks Gurus and thinkers outside of the box

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Try rubbing with a little piece of 000 steel wool. It might be enough to scour out the epoxy, but no guarantees, when that stuff sets its pretty hard.

Thanks Southpa - Yeah, I already tried to sand it down further with 100 grit and then I used an exacto to scrape out the contaminated pores (which helped a little). But as you can see it is still a mess. Guess I am going to have to chaulk this one up to learning the hard way.

What about trying it again with a bigger inlay? Cover up that one and use clear/amber epoxy this time :D

Guitarguy, thanks. I think that may be may only option.

Now if I attempt this again, is it a concensus that I should NEVER use black epoxy on maple again? Or is there an effective way to seal the pores to prevent the bleeding?

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Here's an idea. Mask off everything BUT the maple (ie: mask off what looks like epoxy to the sides) and then go over that WHOLE maple area with the black epoxy, and then sand back. That way you can keep the inlay,a nd it has a uniform look because ALL of it will have the black epoxy in the grain, not just the bled over part.

Chris

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Here's an idea. Mask off everything BUT the maple (ie: mask off what looks like epoxy to the sides) and then go over that WHOLE maple area with the black epoxy, and then sand back. That way you can keep the inlay,a nd it has a uniform look because ALL of it will have the black epoxy in the grain, not just the bled over part.

Chris

Hmmm, interesting idea. It certainly would be easier than putting in a new larger inlay. I think I will test on a scrap piece to see how it looks. Thanks for the suggestion.

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I was about to post a question along the same line. I was planning on inlaying a purpleheart inlay into a maple fretboard. Since i haven't tried it yet, am I going to encounter pretty much the same thing with the purpleheart bleeding into the maple?

The purpleheart will be fine. It is the glue you use that you have to be careful with. Best to use a clear/amber epoxy to avoid the extreme contrast of the bleedout if you are inlaying into maple. That way you won't screw up like I did -I think :D

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Why not try to add some kinda frame around your inlay?

It would look really cool and hide all of the bleeding!

I am open to ideas. When you say frame it, would you do it by routing out the bleeding area and filling with another type of inlay material, or colored epoxy, or ???

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What i'd do is overlay a .6mm ebony or dyed black veneer and start again as you'll never clear up the black that seeped into the maple. Perhaps this may be an option after you've exhausted all others as it wouldn't matter what sort of mess was underneath.

Jem :D

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This is the main reason against inlaying anything dark into anything so light. Wood dust will always fill the grain of aother wood, and Maple is pretty hard as well. Inlaying into a lesser wood would be worse.

If your going for black in maple I would suggest not using ebony but maybe recon stone, plastics, or some other material that won't darken it. I stay away from it completely.

That said, I am not the end all be all of techniques, so maybe someone has found a good way to do this. I would either avoid it, or go with something else black. Not ebony.

I have not posted in a while because I have been so busy with smaller comissions. I have something soon maybe worth doing.

Good luck.

Craig L.

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Why not try to add some kinda frame around your inlay?

It would look really cool and hide all of the bleeding!

I am open to ideas. When you say frame it, would you do it by routing out the bleeding area and filling with another type of inlay material, or colored epoxy, or ???

I was thinking routing out the bled area and filling with, say another wood or something contrasting... Would probably look nice anyways.

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This is the main reason against inlaying anything dark into anything so light. Wood dust will always fill the grain of aother wood, and Maple is pretty hard as well. Inlaying into a lesser wood would be worse.

If your going for black in maple I would suggest not using ebony but maybe recon stone, plastics, or some other material that won't darken it. I stay away from it completely.

That said, I am not the end all be all of techniques, so maybe someone has found a good way to do this. I would either avoid it, or go with something else black. Not ebony.

I have not posted in a while because I have been so busy with smaller comissions. I have something soon maybe worth doing.

Good luck.

Craig L.

I am not sure I understand what you are saying Craig. I understand about the problem of inlaying dark into light, but I am not sure why a black material other than ebony would work better. I didn't use any ebony dust in my glue, rather I mixed Black Colortone into my clear epoxy to set the inlay. The black epoxy then proceeded to bleed into the maple pores.

As I have 3 other necks with maple pegheads I want to inlay with a similarly shaped design, what type of material or preparatory steps would you recommend that would make it easier on a newb like myself? Thanks - Greg

PS - your work is absolutely gorgeous!

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