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Advice On Inlaying Abalone Dots To A Pre-radiused Fingerboard

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I purchased a pre-slotted and pre-radiused rosewood fingerboard for my first neck, and I have glued it to the neck, and routed it to shape. Before I start installing frets, I want to inlay some nice abalone dots I purchased. I want to offset them so they sit between my E and A strings.

I intended to use a brad-point drill bit of the same diameter as the dots, to drill the holes for them (about 6mm in from the edge as per one of the tutorials). The only instructions I have found, discuss adding the dots before radiusing the board, thus the radiusing procedure reduces the wood down to the dots which are slightly recessed. As mine is already radiused I am hoping for suggestions on how to approach the job.

My thoughts were to drill a much shallower hole, and to do it with a hand drill which I can hold at a slight angle to perpendicular to suit the curvature introduced by the radiusing. My aim would be to get the dot to sit very nearly flush so that only slight sanding would be required, and hence not change the radius much.

Does this sound OK?

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Sounds fine to me, yeah.

When you're level sanding the dots you may want to keep a decent straight edge handy to make sure you're not taking any wood off where you shouldn't be. Take it slow and you should be fine!

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Get a radiused sandy block that is the same radius as your board. This will allow the block to mainly ride on the dots until that are flush with the board.

The blocks I use are 8" long so it only hits the high points. This should allow you to make it perfect.

Good luck with it.

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