Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Mother of Pearl Inlay

 I decided to redo the fret markers on the Les Paul that I built a little over a year ago.  I purchased a set of mother of pearl (MOP) Les Paul markers from Stewart Mac and I am in the process of installing them.  A Dremel tool router is used with downward cutting bits.  The MOP blank is placed on the curved fret board and a fine knife is used to scribe around the perimeter of the MOP blank.  The blank is then removed and a light coat of talc is applied so that the scribe shows up in white.  The depth of the cut is the thickness of the MOP plus the height of the frets minus a little for dressing the MOP.  I built this Jig for making perfectly straight cuts for the straight top and bottoms of the MOP.  The neck is bolted to the jig and sits perfectly centered and level with the two metal rails.  The shuttle slides down these rails and has a set of lock screws to hold it in place.  The base of the router sits along this shuttle and allows a straight cut.  The rest of the profile is done by hand.  Here are photos of the jig and the first fret inlay.

One down eight to go...

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