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 Post subject: Re: Fretboard Inlay Help
PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2022 7:37 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
Brazilian Rosewood
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First name: Bryan
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City: St. Louis
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RusRob wrote:
Just found a reference to knife scales,

This may be of interest to someone here.

https://beyondwoodproducts.bigcartel.com/product/glacier-shokres-turning-block

They have a huge selection but there are many others, just search "knife scale blanks"


Cheers,
Bob

Great suggestion. I used those acrylic blanks for the blue river stripes in my St. Louis flag peg head. It doesn’t really look like abalone but in the OPs case, it may not need to. There are tons of colors to choose from. Stop by Woodcraft they have a whole shelf of pen blanks to choose from.

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 Post subject: Re: Fretboard Inlay Help
PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2022 8:24 pm 
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First name: Bob
Last Name: Russell
State: Michigan USA
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That looks great Bryan, I love that contrast between the maple and the blue.. makes it jump right out.

The more I am looking at knife scale material it seems a perfect alternative to real shell. in some cases I doubt the average person would ever know it.
I can see where it would appeal to the Eco-frienly folks beehive

My original idea was Abalone "shark fin" fret markers... But some of these blue swirl blanks resemble water so it could fit in with the concept.


Just ran across this site that sells sheets of it in different thickness and up to 12"X12"

https://kirinite.com/products/kirinite-blue-pearl?variant=34975913476257

Cheers,
Bob


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 Post subject: Re: Fretboard Inlay Help
PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2022 2:59 am 
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Cocobolo
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Recon stone. Masecraft.

Blue Lapis, as fretboard markers. Sorry, only got a blurry pic right now, but you get the idea.
Attachment:
F864BE8D-474C-45C0-B328-778DC4FC4765.jpeg


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These users thanked the author Aaron O for the post: RusRob (Thu Dec 08, 2022 11:22 am)
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 Post subject: Re: Fretboard Inlay Help
PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2022 10:13 am 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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Location: The Woodlands, Texas
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If the thin shell is partially transparent then the reflection of light will be reduced. However, if you take a black sharpie and coat the back of the shell before glueing into place, the reflective property is restored. The sharpie also will hide the edges of the shell if you coat that too. This works on thicker shell also.



These users thanked the author Barry Daniels for the post (total 2): RusRob (Thu Dec 08, 2022 11:22 am) • bcombs510 (Thu Dec 08, 2022 10:29 am)
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 Post subject: Re: Fretboard Inlay Help
PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2022 11:23 am 
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Brazilian Rosewood
Brazilian Rosewood

Joined: Sun Mar 30, 2008 8:20 am
Posts: 5502
Bryan Bear wrote:
This might be a dumb idea so feel free to pile on, but could you laminate several peices to get a reasonable thickness then just level it as normal? You would sand through the layers unevenly and have “witness lines” but isn’t that kind of what abalone looks like anyway?


Laminating it sounds like a great idea! You could either scrape off the black paint between the laminations or possibly remove them chemically. If the paint is thin enough it may not show on "sand throughs" if they did occur. The material shows well defined segments when enlarged. Skillful sand throughs might actually soften the segment edges.


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 Post subject: Re: Fretboard Inlay Help
PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2022 11:46 am 
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@Aaron O,
Never really thought about stone but have seen a bunch of it looking for shell blanks. I have been looking for Abalone or composites and have just passed anything that doesn't fit into that look. But I will keep that in mind, so tanks for the tip.


@Barry Daniels

The shell I ordered has a black backing and it is pretty intense in color. I think what they do on this shell to get the different colors is they paint the back with the main color they want the final product to be and then paint black over it. If you checked out that link they have a bunch of different colors of Abalone (like this blue),

Thanks for the tip.

@Clay S. and Bryan Bear,

I was down in the shop last night and took a small piece to see what happened if I sanded through. It exposes the black but it actually doesn't look much different than the actual shell.

I don't think it would even be noticeable if you remove the coating on the back. However it may start getting expensive to double or triple the thickness.

Cheers,
Bob


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 Post subject: Re: Fretboard Inlay Help
PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2022 11:52 am 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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I personally try to avoid sanding through layers of ablam because it starts to look weird. It definitely looks less like natural solid shell when you do this.


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 Post subject: Re: Fretboard Inlay Help
PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2022 12:51 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
Brazilian Rosewood

Joined: Sun Mar 30, 2008 8:20 am
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I could be wrong, but I think abalam has a top "show" layer and then uses underlayers of the less desirable, less showy parts of the shell.
What Bob bought might be a "show" layer without the backing that abalam has - hence the reason it is so thin.
Chuck Erickson and Larry Sifel developed and patented the material, but like so many other things coming from the Orient, it is hard to say what a person is buying these days.
An interesting read on Abalam from the Duke of Pearl site:
https://dukeofpearl.com/store/ABALAM-r- ... c131113001


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 Post subject: Re: Fretboard Inlay Help
PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2022 2:30 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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Joined: Tue May 13, 2008 10:44 am
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Location: Virginia
I was going to say the same thing about laminating it but backed off thinking, in that case just buy some thicker stuff ;)


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 Post subject: Fretboard Inlay Help
PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2022 9:43 pm 
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Koa
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Clay S. wrote:
For those who have used Abalam I have a couple of questions - how thick is the "show" veneer?

Most Abalam I have here is 0.030-0.060” thick, much like my solid slabs. While there appears to be a “show” side, you don’t sand though very easily — and likely with fewer consequences than solid shell, as you’re not likely to sand through the figure.

I generally use solid shell for headstock logo inlay where it’s most effective if the figure runs though the letters. I use Abalam for rosette rings and strips — with careful colour matching at joints, they are actually less obvious than those between solid pieces.

From the sounds of it, the OP has a thin veneer made using the Abalam patent. As I said earlier, it’s designed for appliqué, not inlay.

FWIW, Martin adopted Abalam having tested it before the first patent in the late 90s.


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