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Custom CNC Fretboard Inlay


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Hi all,

I am looking for someone who can CNC some fretboards for me.  I have the inlays I need the inlay pockets cut in the maple fretboards.  Any suggestions of builder who do this?  Surprisingly Google doesn't turn up anything.




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There are a few CNC-capable builders here on the forum, but it will help if you can let us know where you're located.

Be aware that unless your inlay consists of basic shapes (circles, squares, rectangles etc) it may be quite labour-intensive ($$$) to reverse-engineer the pockets to match the the inlay shapes. CNC inlay is normally done when the original design patterns and files for both the pocket and inlay shapes are available to the CNC operator. This is probably a reason why it might be hard to find a service on Google that will do it for you.

If you just took delivery of a pre-fab custom inlay set the normal expectation would be that you'd freehand the pockets to match each piece. In that respect you may have better luck finding a luthier with a good reputation for inlay work who could do it for you.

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I am in Raleigh, NC USA.

I'm looking to get several Maple fretboards cut with the Ibanez "disappearing pyramid" inlay pattern for some personal projects.

Like I said I have the inlays just need the inlay pockets cut.  

It's not a super complicated design.  Can CNC machines convert .jpg's?  I could create a black/white file like this one if it would cut down on the reverse-engineering. 






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I can do this. However, with out CAD files to match your EXACT inlays... I wouldn't guarantee the work at all. The reason is, inlays, especially in maple, you are working to tolerances of a few thousandths of an inch. So yes, this isn't a complicated shape, but without knowing the exact dimensions of your particular pyramid inlays... who knows if the routes will actually fit them, be too loose, etc.

You'll need a matching DXF or DWG (or other CAD file) to match your inlays to have this done right. Where did you get the inlays? They may be able to help with more info.


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