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Thread: Make your own fretboard dots?

  1. #11
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    Mar 2017
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    Arlington, WA U.S.A.
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    I like the idea! I haven't tried staining in close quarters like that yet. You don't have trouble with the stain bleeding into the neck?

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
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    Petaluma, CA
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    I've used that technique on finished necks. The dot shows up better with little or no finish. I assume the dye would bleed into unsealed wood.
    DSCN0759.jpg
    Last edited by spongeuke; 05-10-2018 at 07:19 AM.

  3. #13
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    Oct 2016
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    Salt Lake City, UT
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    I will usually just make a putty by mixing wood glue with sawdust from one of the accent woods I'm using. Then I drill a hole a couple mm deep at each marker position, fill the hole with the putty, let it dry and sand it flush. It dries very hard and because you make it out of dust from the actual wood you're using on the uke, it's guaranteed to match. That's the easiest way I've found. Here's an example I recently did with a maple board and walnut dots.

    2018 05 10 065557_preview.jpg

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    Big Island, Hawaii
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    5,130

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    I regularly use diamond core bits for everything from wood to shell.
    Chuck Moore
    Moore Bettah Ukuleles
    http://www.moorebettahukes.com

  5. #15
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    Mar 2017
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    The photo is encouraging given that I'm doing a maple fretboard myself.

    You must experiment with the color first? White glue? Tight Bond?

    What diameter holes on the face? I'm guessing not more than 3/16" (what, 4.5 mm?) Twist drill, or??

    Sorry... I AM taking copious notes on this build and surely hope to not clutter up the forum when I get on to number #2.

  6. #16
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    Great to hear from you, Chuck!!

    I've never used them so hunted around some. Some how I've got to believe that there must be a minimal quality for these bits that one should shoot for? So... the item below might not make that list?

    https://smile.amazon.com/Neiko-00823...mond+core+bits

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Canberra, Australia
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    467

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    To expand the range more comprehensively
    Any roundish plastic from coathangers to lollipop sticks to chopsticks to knitting needles.
    Thin round wood including bbq skewers home made and store bought dowels.
    Epoxy and superglue mixed with anything from coloured chalk to glitter. The baking soda trick earns a special mention.
    Copper wire.
    This woodburning kit https://www.bunnings.com.au/tradefla...g-kit_p5910279
    Screws. I bought a big set of mixed stainless steel screws from Aldi and the smallest screws are too small to use for anything else but fret dots. Brass and gold passivated also look nice.

  8. #18
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Location
    East Yorkshire
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    21

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    Hi all,
    Does anyone know the diameter in mm for Abalone dots for an Alulu tenor uke? I wanted to order some along with one of their tenor uke kits and replace the fret dots that come fitted. Thanks.

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Salt Lake City, UT
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    37

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChuckBarnett View Post
    You must experiment with the color first? White glue? Tight Bond?
    I usually just use Titebond. I had a Gorilla Glue brand wood glue, but it seemed to alter the color a bit. I haven't tried white glue, but would be a little nervous that it wouldn't set up quite hard enough. The putty made with Titebond seems to stay true to the color of the wood the sawdust came from, so I have just stuck with that. Definitely try it out a few times on some scrap first to see how it goes.

    Quote Originally Posted by ChuckBarnett View Post
    What diameter holes on the face? I'm guessing not more than 3/16" (what, 4.5 mm?) Twist drill, or??
    Whatever diameter looks good to you. I usually land somewhere in the 1/8 to 3/16" range. That's another plus to this method. You don't have to worry about trying to match your drill bit exactly to the diameter of the object you stick in. Whatever size of dots you want, just use that size bit. I usually just drill the holes on the drill press. After the fret slots are cut, but before the frets are placed. That way I can sand the whole fretboard down level after the putty dries.

    Quote Originally Posted by ChuckBarnett View Post
    Sorry... I AM taking copious notes on this build and surely hope to not clutter up the forum when I get on to number #2.
    Notes? What are those? Seriously though, good on you! I should take a lot more notes. I just end up having to figure stuff out over and over again each time. Oh well, that's part of the fun, right?

  10. #20
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    Mar 2017
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    Thanks, again, for this idea and the specifics! I like the freedom to come up with the right diameter this offers. I like the idea of sanding once those dots are in place as well. :-) :-)

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