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ChuckBarnett
05-08-2018, 05:40 PM
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,

Titchtheclown
05-08-2018, 06:08 PM
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.

DPO
05-08-2018, 09:10 PM
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?

ChuckBarnett
05-09-2018, 03:28 AM
I think I simply got tangled up in asking too many questions at the same time. I will be more careful. Sorry about that.

Timbuck
05-09-2018, 09:17 AM
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/showthread.php?46839-Core-Bit-Search-Experiment-Update&highlight=tube%2C+dots%2CDIY

Allen
05-09-2018, 10:09 AM
For wood I use my laser. Very quick and clean. For pearl I use my CNC.

hoji
05-09-2018, 02:25 PM
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.

ChuckBarnett
05-09-2018, 03:29 PM
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.

ChuckBarnett
05-09-2018, 03:31 PM
Great stuff, hoji!!!

I love the ingenuity!

spongeuke
05-09-2018, 04:37 PM
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.

ChuckBarnett
05-10-2018, 01:36 AM
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?

spongeuke
05-10-2018, 06:53 AM
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.
108922

dasuol
05-10-2018, 11:41 AM
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.

108925

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
05-10-2018, 12:49 PM
I regularly use diamond core bits for everything from wood to shell.

ChuckBarnett
05-10-2018, 01:47 PM
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. :)

ChuckBarnett
05-10-2018, 01:52 PM
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-00823A-Diamond-Drill-Piece/dp/B00ODSS5NO/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1525996157&sr=8-3&keywords=diamond+core+bits

Titchtheclown
05-10-2018, 03:18 PM
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/tradeflame-wood-burning-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.

copper999
05-10-2018, 03:54 PM
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.

dasuol
05-10-2018, 06:10 PM
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.



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.



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?

ChuckBarnett
05-11-2018, 05:36 AM
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. :-) :-)

Ken Franklin
05-12-2018, 09:02 PM
Lately I've used aluminum or brass rods to make the dots.

sequoia
05-15-2018, 01:58 PM
What diameter holes on the face? I'm guessing not more than 3/16" (what, 4.5 mm?) Twist drill, or??

I'm kinda picky on what looks good when it comes to dots. Some I think are too big and some are too small. I think 5mm looks good on a tenor fretboard and 1/16" on the side dots... Your best bet for drill bits for the fretboard holes is to use a brad point bit like these Fisch bits. Pricey for sure, but they cut with no tear out or wander. I love them.

http://www.stewmac.com/Luthier_Tools/Types_of_Tools/Drill_Bits/Brad_Point_Drill_Bit_Sets.html

ChuckBarnett
05-16-2018, 05:23 AM
I think I will be 'picky as well. And paying for the right tool is a good idea.
Thanks, Sequoia! :-)

ChuckBarnett
05-16-2018, 05:24 AM
Ken, that is fascinating!
Is your process for that detailed somewhere? I'd like to see it, or pictures of what they look like. :-)

sequoia
05-17-2018, 09:07 AM
Another option is to fill the holes with stone dust. Below I used turquoise. Easy and looks good.

109024

ChuckBarnett
05-17-2018, 04:25 PM
How cool is that! You folks just come up with all sorts of amazing stuff.

Ken Franklin
05-17-2018, 10:11 PM
Ken, that is fascinating!
Is your process for that detailed somewhere? I'd like to see it, or pictures of what they look like. :-)

I drill a hole in a scrap of wood to the depth I want for the dot. I drill a smaller hole through the scrap so I can push the dot out with a pin or nail. I put the scrap jig in a vise, insert the rod and hacksaw it off. I CA glue the dots a little proud in the fretboard holes and sand them flush. I use 1/8" rod usually. For the side dots I put 1/16" rod in and cilp them off with some nippers, glue and sand flush. That's a little faster.

I used to use MOP dots but sometimes the they don't reflect at the same angle and could eventually be a CITES problem for anyone shipping overseas because they can be confused with listed species. The metal dots reflect evenly and are CITIES approved. :)

orangeena
05-17-2018, 10:31 PM
If you use brass, and cut it on the bandsaw, my advice is don't pick the piece up immediately after cutting. That sucker gets hot and burns both finger AND thumb at the same time.
Guess how I know!

Max

ChuckBarnett
05-18-2018, 11:49 AM
😲
Owie!!!!!

Titchtheclown
05-29-2018, 01:28 AM
I just had a realisation that I have never seen fret dots made from cookie monster style googly eyes!!!!

ChuckBarnett
05-29-2018, 05:28 AM
Perhaps there is a challenge there? Or perhaps the deterrent is self-evident?? :-)

Titchtheclown
05-29-2018, 07:34 AM
Only a fool would try it.

Why is everyone looking at me?

ChuckBarnett
06-05-2018, 01:17 PM
Okay, I am trying to figure out how to cut Koa into 3/16 in diameter dots. I think I want to stay away from end grain and do this on the flat. Anybody have an idea?

ChuckBarnett
06-05-2018, 02:19 PM
Looks like a dead end for a 3/16" plug cutter. Apparently that is too small to manufacture.

Friesen5
06-05-2018, 02:43 PM
How about a 3/16 brass tube that can be purchased at a hobby shop? Chuck it in a drill and sharpen one end against a file or fine sandpaper. Maybe file a few small teeth. Now use the drill press and try to cut a dot. You will probably need to press and clear multiple times.

Iíve used this on balsa in model airplane building. With patience, I think it should work on harder wood. Please report back if you try this.

Mervin Friesen


Okay, I am trying to figure out how to cut Koa into 3/16 in diameter dots. I think I want to stay away from end grain and do this on the flat. Anybody have an idea?

ChuckBarnett
06-05-2018, 02:58 PM
Certainly worth a try!! :)

I think that may have been in the post Timbuck dug up earlier -I think it was copper...

ChuckBarnett
06-07-2018, 03:57 PM
Not sure if this will work, but I have Koa dots that are 3/16 in in diameter. They're pretty small, 3/32" in height. I will have to be careful. Set up a practice board and a depth stop when I drill.

I'm also unsure about the pattern. That looks fairly busy to me. I'm a guitar picker not a ukulele man. I welcome your perspectives

I may not be fast but I sure am slow! :-)

Sven
06-07-2018, 09:03 PM
I’d lose the double dots at the 5 and 12. And maybe they’re a tad big.

Ken Franklin
06-07-2018, 09:19 PM
Chuck, if you get a 3/16 inch drill bit with a countersink you can remove the bit and drill countersink plugs with a drill press. It works a lot better than standard plug cutters. You can get whole sets for different size plugs but this one is for 3/16 inch plugs. https://www.amazon.com/DEWALT-DW2569-Style-Countersink-16-Inch/dp/B0000225OX

Titchtheclown
06-08-2018, 01:34 AM
I almost always have single dots at 3 5 7 9 14 and double at 12. Sometimes put a bling thing at 5. Pete Howletts Owl is a better example than mine.

ChuckBarnett
06-08-2018, 02:54 AM
Iíd lose the double dots at the 5 and 12. And maybe theyíre a tad big.

Thank you, Sven! I think I was going off of what I thought other people were doing. But looking at it I agree about the too big of dots. If they weren't in such contrast color wise to the fretboard it might be better. I do consider the victory to even have made them at all.

ChuckBarnett
06-08-2018, 03:00 AM
Great idea, Ken! That's what I was looking for -that sort of an idea. A lot less difficult then what I did. First I used a quarter inch plug cutter which was the smallest I could find. Then I drilled holes of varying depths in a piece of wood to set the long koa 'plug' in so as to give it support. Then I chucked a 3/16 inch leather punch in the drill press and simply forced the punch over the top of the koa. And then swapped it out to a shallower hole to continue through four stages over a three-quarter inch distance. That got me about five dots!

ChuckBarnett
06-08-2018, 03:03 AM
I almost always have single dots at 3 5 7 9 14 and double at 12. Sometimes put a bling thing at 5. Pete Howletts Owl is a better example than mine.

I kind of like the double dots at 12, and I will look at Pete's work. Thanks, Ian! This forum is invaluable!

ChuckBarnett
06-08-2018, 10:30 AM
GREAT NEWS! I tried Ken's idea about taking the bit out of a countersink and using that as a sort of plug cutter. I bandsawed strips of material to 3/32" in depth and then cut the dots out of that. That way I had face grain showing at the top of the fretboard. You can see the dots arranged simply sitting on the fretboard. That's the great news.
I measured the dots at just a hair under 4.5 mm in diameter. So I need a 4.5 mm Brad Point bit. Not sure that you can buy that all by itself. Anybody know where I would go to get that? I don't want to pay $50 for a set from Woodcraft or the like.

Titchtheclown
06-08-2018, 01:15 PM
GREAT NEWS! I tried Ken's idea about taking the bit out of a countersink and using that as a sort of plug cutter. I bandsawed strips of material to 3/32" in depth and then cut the dots out of that. That way I had face grain showing at the top of the fretboard. You can see the dots arranged simply sitting on the fretboard. That's the great news.
I measured the dots at just a hair under 4.5 mm in diameter. So I need a 4.5 mm Brad Point bit. Not sure that you can buy that all by itself. Anybody know where I would go to get that? I don't want to pay $50 for a set from Woodcraft or the like.

Because it is such a small job you can easily make aspade bit. Start with a suitable nail. Hammer and or file it flatish at the end. Shape the end a bit like a spade bit. Practice on scrap wood till you get the results you want.
Or start with a cheap set. File the 5 down.
I havent seen fractional brad point bits outside of mega big bit sets.

DPO
06-08-2018, 02:35 PM
You seem to be making this more difficult than it needs to be. Lee valley sell a Veritas plug cutter 6mm
$18.00 marry this with a 6mm brad point bit the also sell for $9.20 and you have a permanent solution going forward for $27.20. I have used this combo for ten years, and over 50 banjo ukes.

ChuckBarnett
06-08-2018, 06:01 PM
I know, right? :-)

I think what's driving this is my desire to have smaller dots. 3/16 or smaller. And perhaps I should simply be content with what works rather than what I would like at this point.

ChuckBarnett
06-08-2018, 06:03 PM
Because it is such a small job you can easily make aspade bit. Start with a suitable nail. Hammer and or file it flatish at the end. Shape the end a bit like a spade bit. Practice on scrap wood till you get the results you want.
Or start with a cheap set. File the 5 down.
I havent seen fractional brad point bits outside of mega big bit sets.

I certainly am impressed with how many of you folks make your own tools. Perhaps I will develop some of those skills along the way. :-)

Ken Franklin
06-08-2018, 09:36 PM
To my eye 6mm is a little large for fret markers on an ukulele.

DPO
06-08-2018, 11:45 PM
To my eye 6mm is a little large for fret markers on an ukulele.

I disagree, but to each his own.

ChuckBarnett
06-09-2018, 03:13 AM
I disagree, but to each his own.


And I think that is the key -What make me happy or pleased with my work as an individual. Whereas for many of you, you have some measure of 'artistry' in your wiring, I am pretty low in that area. My 'creative' side is mostly seen in "What do I like that I can imitate?" So I ask, listen, learn and slowly form my own opinions.

And I'm okay with that. :)

TjW
06-10-2018, 06:01 AM
GREAT NEWS! I tried Ken's idea about taking the bit out of a countersink and using that as a sort of plug cutter. I bandsawed strips of material to 3/32" in depth and then cut the dots out of that. That way I had face grain showing at the top of the fretboard. You can see the dots arranged simply sitting on the fretboard. That's the great news.
I measured the dots at just a hair under 4.5 mm in diameter. So I need a 4.5 mm Brad Point bit. Not sure that you can buy that all by itself. Anybody know where I would go to get that? I don't want to pay $50 for a set from Woodcraft or the like.

https://www.mcmaster.com/#brad-point-drill-bits/=1d83u5a

The 5/32" is a little under 4.5 mm.

Ken Franklin
06-11-2018, 09:19 PM
I can get wire gauge sized bits from a metal supply in town. A #16 or #17 might work. They're usually pretty cheap. Not brad bits though.

ChuckBarnett
06-12-2018, 06:06 AM
I was able to order one (4.5 mm b/p) thru ebay. I think it is a Fuller brand. Will get it by the weekend. :-)

ChuckBarnett
06-15-2018, 02:23 PM
😁😁
My first fingerboard position markers installed!!

Curious though that guitar fingerboards are typically marked at the ninth fret rather than the 10th.

DPO
06-15-2018, 04:09 PM
����
My first fingerboard position markers installed!!

Curious though that guitar fingerboards are typically marked at the ninth fret rather than the 10th.

Looks good.

Ken Franklin
06-16-2018, 10:45 PM
Way to go Chuck!

Titchtheclown
06-30-2018, 08:36 PM
I just had a realisation that I have never seen fret dots made from cookie monster style googly eyes!!!!

Only a fool would try it.

Now I have110157

ChuckBarnett
07-01-2018, 03:57 AM
That is GREAT!!! Seems perfect for that uke!!

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
07-02-2018, 09:00 AM
How about a 3/16 brass tube that can be purchased at a hobby shop? Chuck it in a drill and sharpen one end against a file or fine sandpaper. Maybe file a few small teeth. Now use the drill press and try to cut a dot. You will probably need to press and clear multiple times.

Iíve used this on balsa in model airplane building. With patience, I think it should work on harder wood. Please report back if you try this.

Mervin Friesen

I use brass tubing frequently for cutting dots in woods. Diamond core bits work well on recon stone and pearl shell.

ChuckBarnett
07-02-2018, 09:48 AM
Thanks, Chuck. That's something I think I want to try. :)