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 Post subject: inlay channel
PostPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2019 8:45 am 
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First name: Ed
Last Name: Minch
City: Chestertown
State: MD
Zip/Postal Code: 21620
Country: United States
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
I plan to inlay a rope up the fretboard from the rosette and onto the head to connect with my anchor logo. It will be a little less than 1/8" wide, and meander up the board, stopping to tie itself into a knot at the 12th fret.

One idea I like is to use a large wound guitar string for the rope, and another is to use an appropriate size and shape of silver jewelry "chain".

If I have a rope or a chain inlaid into a groove set in clear epoxy the groove will have to be a pretty reliably even width the whole length to look any good - I won't be able to fill any defects without obscuring the inlay. Short of cutting a template to guide a Dremel or a router, is there a way to get smooth, even grooves on a fretboard or head?

I see plenty of lovely work, but it is usually in ebony so minor defects can be corrected. I found this vine in a maple board that had to have a very nice line routed - how is this done?


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 Post subject: Re: inlay channel
PostPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2019 9:49 am 
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Joined: Sat May 17, 2008 1:11 pm
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Location: Spokane, Washington
First name: Pat
Last Name: Foster
Country: USA
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Ed, If I were faced with that challenge, I'd try setting up a platform next to the FB that would hold a template that a lam trimmer would ride along, like a curvy edge guide. But that's just my non-CNC take on it.

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 Post subject: Re: inlay channel
PostPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2019 10:29 am 
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First name: Dennis
Last Name: Kincheloe
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CNC is the safest bet.

Otherwise use a fresh bit and just do it. Try to move at a constant speed. If you have a scrap of similar wood, use it for practice to find the best speed. Do a dry run to make sure you can do the full length without stopping. It will be easier if you do it before cutting fret slots. Laminate trimmer is better than dremel with router base, which can let the bit wander independently of your motion (mainly a problem in woods with alternating hard and soft grain lines).

Alternatively you could glue two x-acto blades to a popsicle stick and use it to scribe the initial lines, and then use a single x-acto to carefully deepen them, then chisel it out, deepen them, chisel it out, until it's deep enough. But that would take a long time, and have a lot of opportunity for errors.


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 Post subject: Re: inlay channel
PostPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2019 10:50 am 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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Using Pat Foster's idea and have the router fitted with a guide bushing. Cut the channel in 1/16" deep passes so you are not thrown off course by the bit grabbing. This kind of a setup would make the job fairly easy and very accurate. There is no way I would ever try that pattern free hand, especially in maple.


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 Post subject: Re: inlay channel
PostPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2019 11:20 am 
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Walnut
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Joined: Sat May 30, 2015 10:01 pm
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First name: Blake
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You could look into square wire, they make silver in square stock sizes that would look good in a channel and hopefully need no fill in them to work.


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 Post subject: Re: inlay channel
PostPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2019 11:30 am 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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A template of acrylic or mdf and a router with a guide collar. One cut with a downcut spiral of the right size. It's a one shot deal.... make a steady deliberate cut from end to end.

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 Post subject: Re: inlay channel
PostPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2019 2:14 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
Brazilian Rosewood

Joined: Fri Aug 19, 2005 4:02 am
Posts: 2110
Location: The Woodlands, Texas
First name: Barry
Last Name: Daniels
B. Howard wrote:
A template of acrylic or mdf and a router with a guide collar. One cut with a downcut spiral of the right size. It's a one shot deal.... make a steady deliberate cut from end to end.


I never would have thought of that! ;-)


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 Post subject: Re: inlay channel
PostPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2019 2:38 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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Joined: Sun Mar 30, 2008 8:20 am
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With a steady hand and a little practice you could cut the channel with a graver. I practiced for about 10 minutes on a scrap of plywood and used an oval graver (onglette would also work) to inlay a guitar string. I first pulled the graver backwards to scribe the line for the graver to follow and then pushed it with the grain to cut the channel. I tapped the string in place and glued it with super glue. I then sanded the board to smooth things up. The graver is also handy for scratching designs in pearl.


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 Post subject: Re: inlay channel
PostPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2019 2:45 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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Joined: Sun Mar 30, 2008 8:20 am
Posts: 3533
Larger than life size. Cutting a reasonably uniform width channel was not difficult with the oval graver and if left a little tight tapping the wire in can make a very tight fit.


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