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Inlay on maple


Hotrock
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Before I hijack alloyguitars thread:

I was planing on inlaying on a maple fretboard, it's not the most complicated inlay, but it's no dots either. Would it be possible to use ebony as the inlay materal (I was going to use black plastic) and would this help with the problems of filling the any gaps. Luckily the inlays that I want to make don't really have any straight edges so the odd little ballsup shouldn't be too bad.

I heard that if you mix a load of the sawdust in with the glue and apply this to the outside edges of the inlay, it splurges over the top and when sanded acts like a good coverup. :D

Come on guys, kick another one of my plans in the knackers! B)

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I think you should be able to do it. As long as it is not a complicated shape and you have decent tools to do the cutting of the maple with.

You may already know this, but I'll tell you anyway:

Cut your inlay material first and get it exactly the way you want it. Glue it to the fretboard with some Duco or similar type glue. Use a sharp exacto knife to scribe around the edge of the inlay material. Remove the inlay very carefully and slowly. If it breaks at this point, you've got a problem. Take some dark colored chalk and scrape it over the area. Rub the chalk dust into the scribed lines and get rid of the rest. Now the outline should be very clear and easy to see when routing. Use a small (depending on the sharpness of the radius of your shape) spiral down cut bit with your Dremel/Foredom to remove the maple. Cut close (maybe even on the line) but keep in mind any excess removal will result in an ugly gap.

I'm not aware of any good tricks for hiding gaps in maple. Even if you use black filler, I think it will stick out and look bad. For this reason, I would cut just inside the line and take your time to get the wood routed to the right size.

As usual, a practice piece would be a good idea (the usual disclaimer, blah, blah, blah).

Good luck.

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