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Combining Inlay Materials On The Fretboard


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So this guitar I'm planning on doing in the spring...

The last thing I'm up in the air about are the inlays in the ebony f/b. My thought was to take some "hollow block" inlays and fill the blocks with the same wood as the cap. The only problem I'm having in doing this is that the interior wood will have to be finished while the ebony will not. Even if it's a very matte finish, it'll still look radically different than the rest of the f/b.

What issues would be run into with this operation?

Does anyone have any thoughts or input?

Has anyone done something like this? If so, what were your experiences?

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Could you get some acrylic impregnated wood that matches? The stuff they sell for turning and other uses With the resin worked all the way through the wood like that, (they do it under vacuum or something?) it's basically pre-finished, and will polish up to a fairly high gloss. Perhaps one of the places that does that will do the process on your offcuts if you want to be real particular about the matching.

Also, while ebony doesn't need a finish, you always could just do the whole neck, put a finish on the ebony and everything. I know I've seen rosewood fingerboards with a finish on them. Perhaps one of those heavy epoxy-based finishes like I've seen on some fretless basses lately.

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The center of the squares will be filled in with redwood burl, which is very soft. I don't believe for one second that redwood burl will hold up with just oil.

The pieces I have are already impregnated with Ploycryl. It's a stabalizing agent for burls which makes it able to be turned without disintegrating. At this point, they should be able to be finished, but I have no confidence in it holding up to the wear it'd suffer on a fretboard. My thoughts were to bulletproof it with some poly, then fit it to the hollow block inlays.

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What I would do is either finish the wood before hand, or put it in and leave it just a shy thin and then mask off everything but those blocks and put something like nitro or poly and then level it after it cures. Best I can think of right now.

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