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Inlay Materials Choice Help


verhoevenc
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So I've really enjoyed the design help I got with a shape I'm working on, so I figured I'd try it out for some inlay work as well!

I have a new bass shape that sort of reminds me of a sperm whale. With that in mind I wanted to do a sperm whale inlay. Alone they generally just look like amorphous blobs... so I'm going for sperm whale vs. giant squid. Here's the kicker... I want it to match well with the materials the bass is out of. It's a neckthrough that's curly purpleheart center, mahogany sides, and pinstripe maple/black. Since it's a neck through you will see these materials from the top. The body wings are hollowed EIRW.

I generally like my inlays to be mostly shell for chatoyance, and less wood/reconstone as just color accents. Here's my best combo I've worked up so far: Black and White MOP for the whale, Pink and White MOP with curly purpleheart for the squid. Fretboard is black (Gabon) ebony. I'm also considering making the squid's fins and sucker tip out of a white epoxy that glows blue in the dark...

Is there something else ya'll would recommend? I'm happy with the whale, not sure about the squid. Tying in the purpleheart is proving difficult.

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All opinions welcome,

Chris

Edited by verhoevenc
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Looks great!  I think your material choices sound really good - I'd say for the squids fins and suckers, go with the white MOP for the chatoyance & to compliment the whale, I imagine the glow in the dark epoxy wouldn't give you that.  I think perhaps that one squid arm could be a little bigger/thicker, the second one down, just my opinion!  I think it looks great, but, I'm partial to giant squid attacks.  Maybe green abalone for the squid's eyes...maybe you could make each individual whale tooth out of bone lol 

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The acrylic they use for pen blanks have some potential.

http://www.woodcraft.com/search2/search.aspx?query=pen blanks

I'm sure I've seen this stuff in sheet form and even a source posted in a build a few years back......but what it's called and where it was sourced escapes me just now.

SR

It was whalehazard that posted it maybe.....

Edited by ScottR
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Happy to share the finished product. The reason for my "nokia grade" videos was actually YouTube. I had to export them at that quality so that YouTube would let me upload such long videos. Awhile back they either upgraded me, or changed that, I don't know... but I did get a notice I had a 10 hour single video limit though... either way. By then it was too late as I don't know how to go back and "upload better versions" without killing the video, view counts, etc.

Chris

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  • 2 weeks later...

ah great design. When you break the top and bottom edges, the image field becomes a slice of a much larger field. That looks better than trying to cram a design into a fretboard space. My next inlay is a large one and of possible cephalopod-like origin. Maybe not. Maybe more in the ancient godlike creature realm.

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In the end I stuck with the original plan. I'm sorry, I didn't take any progress video either... I'm just too swamped lately!

Moment of truth, what do ya'll think?
22C6B2AE-6C47-43A0-8D0E-4D1A1819EF07_zps
The pencil markings show where future engraving will be done after the board is bound in more ebony and radiused. As you can see from where the "tabs" I've left are, that once those are removed any messiness at the edges will be chopped off and end flush with the binding.
Sorry about the not-so-pink look of the squid's tail... it was really hard to photograph this from an angle that didn't have something flashing light at you haha.

For those interested the materials are as follows from first appearance left to right: Ivory MOP, pink MOP, curly purpleheart, black MOP, white MOP. Also, the whale's eye is white powder and black plastic... did I mention the white powder glows blue in the dark? :)

Chris

Edited by verhoevenc
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  • 2 weeks later...

It's just a great well-put-together piece all round Komodo. The choice of material for contrast, placement and maintenance of negative space (Ebony) around the piece gives it a lot of impact. Too many inlays look "stuck on". This is clear and dimensional. I haven't done an inlay for about seven years. I really should get my pantograph finished....

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