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Inlay dots? How do I cut them?


JiMoSiTY
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I'd be surprised if those hole punch things really work with something as brittle as abalone. As far as I know, the dots are made by using a plug cutter (from Home Depot, ...) but I wouldn't think it would be easy to do. Maybe since you say it works with scissors it will work with one of those hole punch jobies?

If you do end up cutting the shell with something that creates dust, be careful about the dust - it's very harmful. Most people wear a respirator. - Just in case you didn't know.

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you might already know this, but you can buy pre cut circle abalone at stewmac.

Page.

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Standard Ibanez inlay dots are 6.5mm, 1/4" works fine. Laser won't cut shell worth a damn, I've tried many times and talked to my suppliers about it. The laser heats the shell to much and it basically starts to disintegrate. Water Jet cutting is very common for shell. You can cut round dots with a plug cutting drill bit, but I would suggest using a cutting oil so the bits don't dull as fast and then wash your abalone in acetone. However, your very thin abalam sheet that you have will probably crack. I would honestly try a hole punch, but dont' be slow and gentle about it, get it in your hole punch and SNAP! punch it as hard and fast as you can. It will probably sheer a nice clean edge.

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How thin is it?

I would think you would not want to inlay anything less than .03,

Just sanding it could take off as much as .02.

Eastern (japan/ China) inlay artists work with .02 to .03, but the inlays are basically unstable, and crack easily. Spend $5.00 and buy real dots from rescuepearl.com

Just my two cents.

Craig

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I was able to use a 1/4" hole punch for all except the 24th fret, those I did by hand.

I did use a hole punch, worked ok but not great.

I tried doing it very fast and that failed most of the time, doing it slow just enough to get thru the abalone worked, then I punched a piece of heavy cardstock to get it thru the rest of the way and that worked better.

Thanks guys.

I saw that stew-mac had the pre-cut inlays, but I was trying to use up some stuff I had laying around...

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Laser won't cut shell worth a damn, I've tried many times and talked to my suppliers about it.  The laser heats the shell to much and it basically starts to disintegrate.

We use laser to cut our inlay. I have no idea what you're talking about as far as shell desintegrating. It doesn't happen to our stuff

Ok, I'll take your word for it. I've tried using laser to cut shell, its always given me a brittle edge with a white powder all around it. I talked to the guys at DePaule supply about it as well and they said laser is a very poor method of cutting shell as it makes the shell more brittle as well, but hey, if it works for you that's all that matters. I was just relaying my personal experience with laser and what the suppliers have told me.

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As it sits, after hearing from you that you have successfully cut shell with laser I took a couple more blanks back to the laser shop to see if they can make them cut well. How are you running your laser? Power as high as possible and moving the beam as quick as possible to keep the heat out of the shell as long as possible?

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I just want to clarify what i said.

Abalam wont work, i tried it personally.

MOP will, according to the laser operator, as they said they had done some for a fellow before, and then even let me look at the cad patterns (it was a tribal thingy).

But, i didnt actually see them cutting the MOP.

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Wow, where do you guys manage to get your hands on a laser? I just bought some perfect 3/8" (~5mm) Mexican abalone dots from a place called the Rockhound Shop, 25 cents each.

I would imagine they're talking about laser milling, which isn't cheap, but I would imagine it's quite efficient.

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  • 1 year later...
Wow, where do you guys manage to get your hands on a laser?  I just bought some perfect 3/8" (~5mm) Mexican abalone dots from a place called the Rockhound Shop, 25 cents each.

I would imagine they're talking about laser milling, which isn't cheap, but I would imagine it's quite efficient.

Hello to everybody. I am new here, I searched the forum but I haven't found any results on quiery "Offset Dot Inlays".... well, I found this topic similar to my question (even someone on the first page had mentioned different sizes of Ibanez JPM, RG 3xxx and USA Custom fingerboard inlays...)

Well, if anyone could tell me (measure me) what are the radiuses of those offset dot inlays?

I know that 3-5-7-9 inlays are the same radius, 12 is little smaller, 15-17-19-21 and 24 are even more smaller.... am I right? Please correct me if I'm wrong, and please give me the exact radius numbers.

(P.S. that's the most sexy inlay of all times.... offset... so simple, so charming :D )

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