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sequoia
05-21-2017, 06:34 PM
I decided I needed to inlay some of them diamond thingies in my fretboard so I took the plunge (!) today. I mean how hard can it be? Instead of practicing a little first I took the plunge. Here is what I learned right away:

1) Practice first.
2) Pencil lines are always fat. Doh!
3) Glue and saw dust will only take you so far
4) Get the diamond exactly on axis

I learned a lot and can do much better in the future. Nothing like experience to sharpen skills. Below a picture of what the non-luthier will see. Nothing. Looks good from a distance. And what the luthier will see close up. Not pretty. Ick! I can do much better.

100434 100435

Pete Howlett
05-21-2017, 09:52 PM
These are diffiuclt to do by hand. I used to have to do 5 in a morning once a month - I made a template to draw around and used a scalpel to mark my lines. I then ground some chisels to the width of the diamonds. Drill out centre, chop sides and hey presto! It gets easier the more you do it!

Timbuck
05-21-2017, 11:06 PM
I dont know if this will help or just wind you up ;) ..but this looks easier than I imagine it really is.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oXCRNMpbl38

Michael N.
05-22-2017, 01:21 AM
I spot glue the inlay and scribe around it with a scalpel.

sequoia
05-22-2017, 06:36 PM
I dont know if this will help or just wind you up ;) ..but this looks easier than I imagine it really is.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oXCRNMpbl38

Yeah, I think the chisel way to go at it is maybe better than routing out. Anyway, this is the kind of thing a guy could get better at with a little practice until it is easy peasy. I was just a little surprised that it wasn't as easy as I thought.... Went back and filled the nasty voids this morning with more sawdust glue and it looks much better. Still a botched job, but a botched job nobody will notice except me... and you.

UkulelesRcooL
05-22-2017, 08:06 PM
Sequoia, I personally liked the way you used the dots with the diamond...
Very creative... Looks pretty cool too.. I may borrow that in the future....
Youre right about the practice thing of course... the more we do something the better we get..
Glad you posted this as its given me added info with others sharing their methods...
Im with you on the chisel way to go.. or maybe a combination of that and routing.. I havent done any diamonds except to advise and watch my friend when he did his tenor...
He used my gravers and one of the problems with using them is you can crush the edges by prying the material out of the inlay gouge your making..
so drilling out the center is a good place to start and then work toward the edges that youve used a chisel on.... thus keeping your edges clean and crisp. Course the using a scalpel is a good idea too in keeping your outline tight...
Very good info.... I think someone said here if your not working your not making mistakes, the more mistakes you make the more you learn..
paraphrased..

UkulelesRcooL
05-22-2017, 08:09 PM
I spot glue the inlay and scribe around it with a scalpel.

That way you can see the inlay on the FB to make sure its positioned correctly? Great idea....

Vespa Bob
05-23-2017, 05:16 AM
Thanks for posting your diamond inlay results, sequoia, I learned quite a lot from the responses. My attitude towards doing something for the first time is similar to yours, "It looks simple enough, who needs practice?" Wrong!

Bob

Michael N.
05-23-2017, 06:00 AM
That way you can see the inlay on the FB to make sure its positioned correctly? Great idea....

It's the obvious method. Scalpel gives a much finer line than any pencil. Rout or use a chisel to clean up to the scalpel line. You can also do inlays that happen to have curved edges.
It's how this was done, much harder than inlaying into rosewood or ebony, very unforgiving.

http://i56.photobucket.com/albums/g193/mignal/7fb31c72-a4e9-45d6-a766-726d4b37801c_zps48d07390.jpg (http://s56.photobucket.com/user/mignal/media/7fb31c72-a4e9-45d6-a766-726d4b37801c_zps48d07390.jpg.html)

UkulelesRcooL
05-23-2017, 02:50 PM
It's the obvious method. Scalpel gives a much finer line than any pencil. Rout or use a chisel to clean up to the scalpel line. You can also do inlays that happen to have curved edges.
It's how this was done, much harder than inlaying into rosewood or ebony, very unforgiving.

http://i56.photobucket.com/albums/g193/mignal/7fb31c72-a4e9-45d6-a766-726d4b37801c_zps48d07390.jpg (http://s56.photobucket.com/user/mignal/media/7fb31c72-a4e9-45d6-a766-726d4b37801c_zps48d07390.jpg.html)

I cant imagine how unforgiving.. I can see myself grabbing another FB and doing the.."This is my practice bit"... but if I messed up a soundboard... Id definitely be hating myself if I did that..
Very nice Michael...........looks like a tremendous amount of work there...
Glad you guys shared your methods... it helps a ton to have a few tips... now comes the practice..
I watched my father in law do some diamonds... But its been awhile since that time.... if you dont do it you forget the procedure...

Timbuck
05-23-2017, 10:08 PM
Michael...I counted 37 diamonds on that top...If I manage to put 3 neatly on a FB it would be a major event for me..wonderful :cool:

Michael N.
05-23-2017, 11:50 PM
21. The larger main diamonds were made away from the soundboard, before inlaying. Still 21 too many! I have to say it but I'm not a fan of that amount of inlay. Much prefer instruments that look understated. Form over bling.
The difficulty isn't ruining the soundboard (that's easily done too) but it's inlaying into a light coloured wood. Same goes for maple fretboards, much harder than doing the same than on an ebony fretboard. The other technique that you can use to offer an advantage is to cut, file or shape the edges of the inlays so that it becomes tighter the further it's inlaid into the substrate, kind of wedge shaped. That's how the really fancy floral type marquetry pieces are done.

Timbuck
05-24-2017, 01:25 AM
21. The larger main diamonds were made away from the soundboard, before inlaying. Still 21 too many! I have to say it but I'm not a fan of that amount of inlay. Much prefer instruments that look understated. Form over bling.
The difficulty isn't ruining the soundboard (that's easily done too) but it's inlaying into a light coloured wood. Same goes for maple fretboards, much harder than doing the same than on an ebony fretboard. The other technique that you can use to offer an advantage is to cut, file or shape the edges of the inlays so that it becomes tighter the further it's inlaid into the substrate, kind of wedge shaped. That's how the really fancy floral type marquetry pieces are done.

Ah yes ! "The Window Technique" I think it's called, done with the scroll saw table set at 7 degrees....when I first heard of it I asked a marquetry guy "what is it" ?..He said when you make a mess of it you chuck it out of the window ;)