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Abalam Purfling


87kevin
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So i just did a couple of guitars with a 1/16" wide, .03" thick purfling around the perimeter of the body. These are carved maple top neck-thoughs btw. So all went well except for one thing - when I glued in the pcs with CA glue - the glue naturally turned the maple darker around the channel. Most notably on the faux binding on the outside of the purfling.

I thought no big deal, after sanding this will all come out. Well, sort of did but I had to sand TONS to get it to come out - long after the abalone was flush and smooth with the top. I sanded too far in a couple of spots and the underside of the shell started to show through and the stain was still visible.

So is there any way to avoid this in the future?? The two thoughts I have are 1 - get thicker (.05) abalam stock and sand like a mofo, or 2 - just coat the whole surrounding faux binding area with CA so it will stain evenly at least.

Any thoughts?

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Also, try switching to epoxy. Just did a piece on maple, no problem at all.

For abalam? CA has too many advantages for purfling, IMO, certainly if a quick wash coat of shellac will solve all the problems he has. It's easy to install purfling then simply flood and have it all perfectly in place. Less so to fill things with epoxy, then fit (tightly) all sorts of tiny bits of pearl, methinks.

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Thanks Mattia, that sounds like the perfect solution. Cant believe I didnt think of that earlier.. Good old lacquer would probably work too huh?

As far as epoxy goes, I've done it but i hate to work in 5min windows with stuff as intricate as inlay. Plus it's messy. With CA i can lay the strips into the slot on my own time and flood with CA like Mattia says. Ideal except for the staining. And the superglue on my eyeball but that's a different story:)

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Do what all us acoustic builders who install binding with CA glue (with or without abalone/abalam): seal the channel with one or two wiped/painted coats of shellac first. Keeps the CA out of/off the wood, and everything sticks just fine. Sands off easily afterwards.

Wish I'd have known that trick a few days ago :D I now have a bit of sanding to do to remove some CA marks...

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