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Epoxy, Ca, Titebond For Dot Inlays?

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I'm getting ready to put 4mm abalone dot inlays (and 2mm side dots) into my cocobolo fretboard.

I've read from different sources, variously, that black epoxy, superglue, or Titebond should be used.

From what I understand, black epoxy is best for filling and hiding any gaps around the inlay. These are just dots, and I have drill bits that are exactly the right size, so I'm thinking black epoxy is not necessary for my installation. Is that correct?

Any pros and cons for superglue or Titebond?

Also, I've already radiused my fretboard (12" radius). I'm setting the dots into the bass side of the fretboard rather than centering them. Do I need to shim the bottom of the neck (it's not shaped yet) against the drill press table to account for the fretboard radius so that the holes for the dots are at the right angle? Or is it such a small difference as to be ignored?


(I did search for this, by the way, and didn't come up with anything.)

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I have not done a lot of dots, but so far my preferance is to use CA, I guess I just like the quick setup time.

As for shimming the neck to get a strait hole, I probably would.

It will allow your bit to enter flat to minimize any wobble / travel / tearing.

Another consideration is the thickness of your inlay.

A thin dot set at an off angle risks being sanded through on the low edge.

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Epoxy or Superglue will be fine. You are right on the money about using tinted or adding wood dust to epoxy to help hide gaps. If you really have no significant gaps tinting is not required. Titebond would get the job done on simple dots, but generally does not adhear as well to shell(vs Epoxy or CA). It also sounds like you have a handle on how to inlay in a pre-radiused board.

Peace and good luck with your project, Rich

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I tried both CA glue with dust and epoxy with dust.

I liked the CA glue as it kept the shine a bit more.

I fill the gaps with dry dust then add the CA glue to wick in the glue.

One thing I like about CA glue, is that when using epoxy and the ooze comes out, it's hard to see exactly where the top of the MOP is and it might seat too low or too high.

If the inlay is perfect epoxy works good too.

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