View Full Version : bone or ivory for inlays/fret dots?

06-15-2010, 03:21 AM
I am ordering a custom uke, and one of my wishes is that I have plain, white fret markers and inlay (not MOP).

Does anyone know where you can buy blanks made out of bone or ivory? None of the luthiers with whom I have spoken seem to know of any. Please help.

Thanks in advance,

06-15-2010, 04:02 AM
They are easy to make
Rough cut and round a piece of bone so that you can fit it into a drill press chuck. Decide what diameter you want. Use the drill press to turn it.
Use a simple gauge like this:
to check the diameter.
I use files and sandpaper to make cylinders. Then saw off dots.

06-15-2010, 04:07 AM
Try Here... http://shop.ebay.co.uk/?_from=R40&_trksid=p3984.m570.l1313&_nkw=bone+blanks&_sacat=See-All-Categories

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
06-15-2010, 05:33 AM
I inlay ivory frequently and I still have a healthy stock of it left over from my scrimshaw days. I recently bought about 15 pounds of clear, light colored mastadon ivory from the Arizona gem show, primarily because it was such a good price. It's out there and not that difficult to find.
Slabs are easily made by first epoxying a tusk chunk onto a plywood cradle and running it through a band saw with 8 to 10 TPI. Wear a mask when working with ivory! I'll then run the small slabs through the thickness sander after sticking them on a piece of plywood with double backed tape. To make dots of any size pick up some brass hobby tubing that has the approximate diameter you need. Cut a 3" section and chuck it (pardon the expression) in to your drill press. Chamfer a sharp edge to the tubing by holding a file to it while it's spinning. Just like using a plug cutter, it is so easy now to punch out all the dots you need.
Good luck

06-15-2010, 08:43 AM
thanks for the replies all.

Chuck, you wouldnt happen to be willing to part with some ivory, would you? :D

I'd love to buy one of your ukes (I am getting this custom made as a welcome-home-from-afghanistan present to myself) but I just don't think I can swing the price that your ukes command (and from everything I've heard, are well worth.)

So, yeah, if you have a small slab of ivory you'd be willing to part with, shoot me a PM.

Thanks all,

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
06-15-2010, 09:01 AM
Check your PM.