Sunday, May 29, 2011

Les Paul Inlay

I just finished the inlay work on the Les Paul neck.  Here are photos of the neck and guitar before (with the plastic dot markers) and after the mother of pearl inlay.

The jig (featured in an earlier post) worked really well.  There were a couple of details that will assist anyone trying to do inlay on a fingerboard that has frets mounted on it.

1)  It was hard to hold the Mother of Pearl (MOP) and scribe lines as described earlier.  I changed technique and made small pieces of card stock that filled the space from fret to fret and across the width of the neck.  I then scribed center lines and used double sided tape to hold the MOP in the center.  I cut out the MOP with an X-Acto knife and the held the card stock on the fretboard with double sided tape.  This worked really well as a means of marking the perimeter of the routes.

2)  Holding the MOP in place while the slow dry epoxy set was also a technical issue that needed to be resolved.  Because the frets sit high enough to block attempts to clamp directly on the MOP, I used small 1/4 inch long segments of 1/4 inch doweling as stand-offs for the clamps.  These short dowels were placed near the outer edges of the MOP and did a good job of holding it in place.

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