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Thread: Make your own fretboard dots?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Arlington, WA U.S.A.
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    132

    Default Make your own fretboard dots?

    Do any of you make and install fret marker dots? Planning to use birds eye maple for a fretboard for this tenor. Thought about tying in Koa that is being used as accenting by making the dots of Koa. Don't know how to do that, but I'm guessing many of you might.

    Gratefully,

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Canberra, Australia
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    Default

    A plug cutter is designed for making plugs to fill set diameters. Two types straight and tapered. Straight is probably best for set diameter fret dots. The tapered ones are designed for deeper holes and being hammered in place without glue.

    Diamond core drill bits will cut harder things like oyster and abalone shell.
    Hollow punches and a leather workers rotary punch fill out my arsenal of dot making tools. They work on thin plastic like icecream containers or bread tags.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
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    Default

    As Tich said, plug cutters are the way to go. Lmi have a set of three for not many dollars.
    I use them on all my instruments.

    PS. Why do you start dual threads?
    Kind Regards
    Dennis

    dpophotography@yahoo.co.nz
    Southern Cross Instruments
    New Zealand

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
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    Arlington, WA U.S.A.
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    Default

    I think I simply got tangled up in asking too many questions at the same time. I will be more careful. Sorry about that.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Stockton on Tees..North East UK.
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    Default

    There was a thread some years back where MOP dots were successfully cut out from the shell with copper tube in the drill press.

    Here it is http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/...%2C+dots%2CDIY
    Last edited by Timbuck; 05-09-2018 at 09:26 AM.
    http://ukulele-innovation.tripod.com ebay i/d squarepeg_3000

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Cairns, Australia
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    2,169

    Default

    For wood I use my laser. Very quick and clean. For pearl I use my CNC.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Posts
    11

    Default

    For the side dots on my uke, I took a scrap of walnut a bit larger than a pencil amd sharpened the end to a conical poit using... A pencil sharpener. Then just dipped in glue and stuck in the hole and cut flush. Worked pretty good! Im hoping this will work for fret dots as well. I have used the plug cutter before and that works ok, too.

    For shell dots I have taken a dowel or plug and ca glued a piece of shell to the end. Then sand the shell to the exact diameter of the rod it's glued to. Then cut off witha little wood backing left and inserted into fretboard hole. That was not perfect, but bot bad.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
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    Arlington, WA U.S.A.
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    Default

    Regarding having posted this thread twice, it looks like I have identical wording in both threads. I have found that working from my phone has been a little confusing for me. At times I don't know if a thread actually posted or not. I think that's what happened here.

    Apologies once again. I've asked moderators to help me delete the one with fewer replies, so we'll see.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
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    Default

    Great stuff, hoji!!!

    I love the ingenuity!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Petaluma, CA
    Posts
    484

    Default

    For side dots, I've used a round toothpick (not the tapered section) slightly glued in the proper sized hole. They are inserted cut off flush and smoothed over and dyed to suit. The end grain of the tooth pick will dye very dark. Also white round sections are available on line.

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