View Full Version : I inlayed my own inlays...

10-13-2009, 06:29 AM
...and they came out okay. I screwed up my 10th fret dot. The drill bit traveled a little off center. :eek:

I've got a Martin S-O Uke that I love but I really like having neck position markers so I had to put them in myself. I figured it would be a good beginner's project. I decided to do the traditional "O" style dot pattern, one at 5, 7, and 10. I think my choice of size was a little larger than traditional O-dots.

I made the mistake of practicing on a piece of mahogany (a cigar box) instead of a piece of rosewood/morado. The morado fretboard on my uke is much harder wood than mahogany.

Oh well, it worked well enough. I kind of hate myself for screwing up the 10th fret, but it's my uke and I love it so I'll live with it. d

I drilled with a 7/64" bit installed in a file handle (http://www.homedepot.com/catalog/productImages/400/bb/bb7d56f8-a7ae-4457-92dd-301315afdb11_400.jpg) and spun it by hand with a light touch. Once I broke the surface I put on more pressure and went about an 1/8" deep, mayby less.

Then I would use the back of one of the files from the file set which happened to be 7/64" and spun it round in the hole to smooth out the hole and file off the rough edges.

On the third dot I think the bit traveled because of a knot under the wood that I didn't see. Once I got just below the surface I noticed a hollow under the fretboard! Weird. Anyway, it worked well enough.

I then filled the dots with a self-hardening two part white clay called "magic-sculpt (http://www.artplace.com/polymer-self-hardening-clay/magic-sculpt-self-hardening-clay.html)".

It worked really well as a filler and has just the right "clay dot" color. I just overfilled the holes, smeared it off with my finger and then polished it with a damp papertowel until it was smooth and even with the surface and the extra clay was cleared from the surrounding wood.

I'll post a few pictures tomorrow. :music:

In the meantime, here is what I was going for. (http://www.ukemaker.com/images/UkeGallery/Martin-O-2048.jpg)

and here are two before photos:


10-13-2009, 06:57 AM
I can tell I just woke up when I thought there was a real man holding your ukulele in the first picture.

But that looks great. Can't wait to see after pics.

10-13-2009, 07:11 AM
Magic-Sculpt..?..In the UK we can get a similer 2 part substance from Art Shops called "MILLIPUT" it comes in two small tubes...it's used for repairs and restoration in ceramics and it sets as hard as pot..This will do the job just as well, also.....http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Milliput-Superfine-White-WORLDWIDE-AUTHORISED-DEALER_W0QQitemZ220483865528QQcmdZViewItemQQptZUK_ Crafts_Ceramic_PotteryMaking_SM?hash=item3355dccbb 8&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14

10-13-2009, 07:21 AM
Ha! No, not a real man at all. Just a little old monkey doll my wife picked up.

The Magic-Sculp sound like the same thing except it comes in small playdogh tubs. It already looks and feels like soft clay. You just mix together equal amounts until it is all one color and then you have about 4-5 hours to work with it before it sets like stone. Great stuff for patching up plates mugs etc. It has a naturally faded white color that looks just right for a neck inlay dot.

10-13-2009, 01:39 PM




10-13-2009, 02:12 PM
Hmmmm My new Guitar doesn't have the inlays... Me thinks I just got an idea!

10-13-2009, 03:35 PM
Oh THAT off center. I wouldn't have noticed if you hadn't pointed it out. Its still in the middle of the neck, which makes it look fine.

Matt Clara
10-13-2009, 05:03 PM
Oh THAT off center. I wouldn't have noticed if you hadn't pointed it out. Its still in the middle of the neck, which makes it look fine.

My thoughts exactly.

10-13-2009, 07:38 PM
Looks great! I wish I was that brave...I can barely even change the strings on my uke.
And I actually forgot what you said was wrong with the 10th fret and had to check your post...Couldn't spot it! :D

Matt Clara
10-14-2009, 02:44 AM
Hmmmm My new Guitar doesn't have the inlays... Me thinks I just got an idea!

Actual mother of pearl or abalone is relatively inexpensive (http://www.hanalimastore.com/servlet/the-Inlay-Material/Categories).

10-14-2009, 04:23 AM
Yes, I'm lucky that it shifted in that direction. If it were not still aligned with the center of the neck I would be very frusturated. Still a drag that all my test inlays were spot on and then my LAST hole threw me for a loop. Oh well. I'm happy with the results. Thanks for looking.

Oh, and I had considered those inlay dot sets of MOP, but thought they might stand out too much on this stripped down, no frills, S-O Uke. Plus I am a big fan of Fender guitars and their clay dots.

and a few more photos for no reason: