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> Custom Fret Inlays
JesseJ
post Apr 17 2012, 04:29 PM
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Hey everybody at GMC smile.gif

I thought about a cool new topic: What does everyone think about custom fret inlays ?

I thought it would be sweet to buy a Strat or something like that and do some inlay work on it . For me the dot's get kind of boring , I would love like a tree of life kinda thing ( pretty much like the Ibanez gem ) So I was looking around the internet and it seems that there are 3 ways to get it done .

1: Get it done at a guitar shop . but from what I've heard that is pretty pricey sad.gif

2: I found out online you can buy special inlay stickers. And they come in ton's of different options , But I am worried that those would fall of or wear and look bad so I'm not to sure about that option ?

3: Or I know some guys install them by cutting out special material and then routering out A tiny portion of the fretboard and then placing the inlay there and it doesn't stick out at all .

I don't know that much about guitar's but I just wanted to know what your guy's thought's are and if anybody has made there own inlays or gotten them done at a shop or tried out inlay sticker's ? Maybe you guys know a whole different method ?
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Sensible Jones
post Apr 17 2012, 06:36 PM
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QUOTE (JesseJ @ Apr 17 2012, 04:29 PM) *
1: Get it done at a guitar shop . but from what I've heard that is pretty pricey sad.gif

2: I found out online you can buy special inlay stickers. And they come in ton's of different options , But I am worried that those would fall of or wear and look bad so I'm not to sure about that option ?

3: Or I know some guys install them by cutting out special material and then routering out A tiny portion of the fretboard and then placing the inlay there and it doesn't stick out at all .

Hey Jesse,
Options 1 and 3 are pretty much the same thing! Yes it is expensive, I've done quite a few for people. The reason it's expensive is because it's a very long, time-consuming process!

To do a Vine/Tree of Life inlay from scratch would go like this:-
First, carefully remove the Frets without damaging the Fretboard!!
Then:-
1) Source the Inlay material. (Bone, mother of Pearl, Abalone, Wood, etc)
2) Cut the Inlays to shape.
3) Mark the Inlay shapes on the fretboard VERY CAREFULLY!
4) Rout the fretboard to shape, checking the Inlay fit all the time!
5) Glue in the Inlay.
6) Repeat for each individual piece of inlay along the neck!
7) Clean any Glue spillage and polish fingerboard
8) Refret the Fingerboard.
9) Dress the Frets.

There, simple, eh??
wink.gif

I've seen those Vinyl Sticker sets and they look quite hard wearing, also, once applied you could carefully coat with a Clear-coat or Nitro Coat to help protect them!
smile.gif smile.gif

This post has been edited by Sensible Jones: Apr 17 2012, 06:37 PM


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JesseJ
post Apr 17 2012, 07:52 PM
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QUOTE (Sensible Jones @ Apr 17 2012, 05:36 PM) *
Hey Jesse,
Options 1 and 3 are pretty much the same thing! Yes it is expensive, I've done quite a few for people. The reason it's expensive is because it's a very long, time-consuming process!

To do a Vine/Tree of Life inlay from scratch would go like this:-
First, carefully remove the Frets without damaging the Fretboard!!
Then:-
1) Source the Inlay material. (Bone, mother of Pearl, Abalone, Wood, etc)
2) Cut the Inlays to shape.
3) Mark the Inlay shapes on the fretboard VERY CAREFULLY!
4) Rout the fretboard to shape, checking the Inlay fit all the time!
5) Glue in the Inlay.
6) Repeat for each individual piece of inlay along the neck!
7) Clean any Glue spillage and polish fingerboard
8) Refret the Fingerboard.
9) Dress the Frets.

There, simple, eh??
wink.gif

I've seen those Vinyl Sticker sets and they look quite hard wearing, also, once applied you could carefully coat with a Clear-coat or Nitro Coat to help protect them!
smile.gif smile.gif


Thanks so much ! haha sounds easy enough , jk . Wow that would be a long job ! I should probably do that on a cheap guitar first.

What material would you recommend to use ? Is one better than next or is it just personal preference ?
And one more question what is dressing the frets ?


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Sensible Jones
post Apr 17 2012, 09:14 PM
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QUOTE (JesseJ @ Apr 17 2012, 07:52 PM) *
Thanks so much ! haha sounds easy enough , jk . Wow that would be a long job ! I should probably do that on a cheap guitar first.

What material would you recommend to use ? Is one better than next or is it just personal preference ?
And one more question what is dressing the frets ?

If you want to try it just use some scrap wood. I wouldn't even try on a cheap guitar!
The actual inlay pieces will be no more than 1-1.5mm thick.
As for material? Personal preference, light woods against dark woods, MoP/Abalone are light so they set off against darks for better effect. You can also use metals such as Brass, Silver or even Gold!!
The other thing is to have the right Tools for the job!! Most important!

Dressing the frets is when you've put the new ones onto the fingerboard and it's the process of levelling the frets to each other and the fretboard, removing any sharp edges and chamfering the edges along the neck.
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This post has been edited by Sensible Jones: Apr 17 2012, 09:15 PM


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PosterBoy
post Apr 18 2012, 10:50 AM
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Schroeder guitars have some amazing inlay work on them

http://www.schroederguitars.com/guitars/ga...per-semi-hollow


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JesseJ
post Apr 19 2012, 09:36 PM
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QUOTE (PosterBoy @ Apr 18 2012, 09:50 AM) *
Schroeder guitars have some amazing inlay work on them

http://www.schroederguitars.com/guitars/ga...per-semi-hollow


Wow I went on the Schroeder website and those are some of the most beautiful guitars I have ever seen !


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Sensible Jones
post Apr 20 2012, 03:27 PM
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Hey Jesse,
Just to give you an idea of how the process goes:-
Scale drawing of design....


Inlay pieces cut from sheet, or made of separate parts and glued together, design traced onto fingerboard which is then very carefully carved to accept the inlay pieces....


Inlay glued in and cleaned up, frets put in and dressed...


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