Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 16

Thread: Epoxy for neck inlay?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    Posts
    48,991

    Epoxy for neck inlay?

    Folks, for "personal enrichment", I'm working on my first electric guitar project which seems like a nice way to combined my woodworking, CNC and music knowledge into an interesting exercise. While "tradition" would have me inlaying a second material into markers on the neck, I'm wondering if there is any functional issue with "merely" using black dyed epoxy for the simple inlay on these first efforts? The fingerboard in question is maple and will be left natural in color. (Tele type guitar for this first one) Your thoughts?
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  2. #2
    I can't see it being a problem if the inlay is small, Jim. My preference is to use wood or shell for inlay, though.

    Photos? Can't wait to see what you come up with and how it progresses.

    David
    David

    Nothing to do with woodworking at all, just our music at church (I'm the guy with the Koa Takamine) - Go to YouTube and search for Airline Baptist BC - enjoy!
    YouTube Woodworking Channel for David Falkner (just search for me by name)
    Romans 3:23

    Etsy shop - CurlyWoodShop

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    Posts
    48,991
    David, it's pretty much only the 6mm "dots" on the fretboard and maybe side markers. Before I get "fancy" with inlay work, I want to focus on making the actual instrument work out. Thanks for your comment that it will likely be just fine.

    I'm starting with a Tele because it's about the simplest design and while I already worked out the body from an original plan, I opted to get Alex Navaro's Aspire offering so I'd have everything for a complete instrument and be able to see how certain things...particularly the neck and fretboard...were done by an experienced maker before I jumped in fully. I've made a few minor visual customizations to make it my own and tweak for the hardware I intend to use. I will certainly be posting some photographic "evidence" once I start cutting. I've only done a sample fretboard so far and cannot complete it until the nifty .022" end mill arrives for cutting the fret slots.

    The one thing I did work out today is "retaining" a close friend's husband to help with the final intonation and testing. They are both singer/songwriters and he's an amazing guitarist. I'm a keyboard player and while I have rudimentary guitar and bass skills, it's been decades since I played in a meaningful way. I want experienced hands to help me with that final setup.
    Last edited by Jim Becker; 05-26-2019 at 7:56 PM.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    In the foothills of the Sandia Mountains
    Posts
    14,983
    .022 - I hope you bought a few of them.
    Please help support the Creek.

    My mechanic told me, "I couldn't repair your brakes, so I made your horn louder."

    - Steven Wright

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Bucks County, PA
    Posts
    185
    Looking forward to seeing this! FWIW I think epoxy would be too soft for the markers on a fretboard, unless you are talking about the tiny ones on the edge of the fretboard of some guitars.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post
    David, it's pretty much only the 6mm "dots" on the fretboard and maybe side markers. Before I get "fancy" with inlay work, I want to focus on making the actual instrument work out. Thanks for your comment that it will likely be just fine.
    Assuming you're placing the dots in the traditional location, center of the fingerboard between strings 3 & 4 on their respective frets, the strings shouldn't be in contact with the markers. If you bend strings often you might slide one past the inlay dots but it's not like you'll be hitting them continually.

    David
    David

    Nothing to do with woodworking at all, just our music at church (I'm the guy with the Koa Takamine) - Go to YouTube and search for Airline Baptist BC - enjoy!
    YouTube Woodworking Channel for David Falkner (just search for me by name)
    Romans 3:23

    Etsy shop - CurlyWoodShop

  7. #7
    WEST System manual recommends powdered graphite for blackening their epoxy. That's what is used to "caulk" veneered teak deck seams laid in epoxy.
    "Anything seems possible when you don't know what you're doing."

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    Posts
    48,991
    Yes, traditional "dot" markers in the normal locations, albeit offset toward the edge of the neck as a visual design element. Nothing fancy and nothing that would have contact with the strings.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Shorewood, WI
    Posts
    735
    You might want to test it first to make sure the color does not soak into the endgrain of the recesses. Powdered graphite should not with maple, but it's worth a check. If it is a problem, all you'd need to do is pretreat the recesses with epoxy, and add the colored epoxy after that had hardened.

    Hardness of epoxy depends on the type of epoxy (If it's specially labeled "tough", it's probably less hard,) the mix ratio (Think of resin as mortised and hardener as having tenons. The strongest structure will result when the numbers of mortises and tenons match,) and the filler. If you have more than 30% filler, the hardness of the solid will approach that of the filler. (J Appl Polym Sci 84: 2178–2184, 2002)

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    Orwell, NY
    Posts
    166
    If you want black dots I would make a dowel out of ebony and use that, or get black plastic dots online. I mostly use brass dots cut from brass rods, or sometimes pearl or plastic if that's what the customer orders. I think it will be hard to get epoxy to fill the hole up well and look good, my guess is it may not stay as round as you would wish. Using a drill bit to make the hole and a matching dowel or dot will be easier, too.
    Zach

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    Posts
    48,991
    Zachary, these fingerboards are being milled with my CNC, so the holes are perfectly round and an exact size. I'm only considering this for simplicity so I can spend more time on the harder work for the first efforts, but yea, I may just inlay round stock, anyway. This is more about curiosity right now.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  12. #12
    If you are making radiused fingerboards drill the inlay holes first, fill with round stock of your choice, cut off a little above the surface and then cut the radius and level the inlays at the same time.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    Posts
    48,991
    Quote Originally Posted by Bradley Gray View Post
    If you are making radiused fingerboards drill the inlay holes first, fill with round stock of your choice, cut off a little above the surface and then cut the radius and level the inlays at the same time.
    This sounds like a good method for simple round inlays. I'll have to calculate the depth to cut the holes prior to the radius cut, however, since the current toolpath for the female side of the inlay is automatically calculated from the surface of the 3D model by the software.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  14. #14
    You can just set Z 0.020" lower than normal to cut the pockets deeper (or whatever you need). That will keep you from having to make any changes to your drawing, unless you want the changes so you don't have to make adjustments later at the CNC.

    David
    David

    Nothing to do with woodworking at all, just our music at church (I'm the guy with the Koa Takamine) - Go to YouTube and search for Airline Baptist BC - enjoy!
    YouTube Woodworking Channel for David Falkner (just search for me by name)
    Romans 3:23

    Etsy shop - CurlyWoodShop

  15. #15
    Jim, I have used CA glue for all the fret dots I've installed. No problems at all.
    “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness..." - Mark Twain

    Diapers and Politicians need to be changed often... Usually for the same reason.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •