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bryanperk
07-14-2010, 06:54 AM
Whenever I look at a ukulele, the first thing that has always caught my eye is whatever the builder has inlayed into the headstock, or the fretboard or wherever, and now I have built up my confidence with building ukes to the place where I feel like I may have a chance at being successful with a fairly simple inlay.
The problem is, I don't know what tools I would need to even begin. I have a large amount of tools at my disposal, and can always go and buy more, but I just need to know what kind of stuff I would need to get started. Can anybody help?

Bradford
07-14-2010, 07:47 AM
I use a Dremel with a router base and the Stew-Mac carbide spiral downcut bit. Be aware that these bits in the smaller sizes are very easy to break.

Brad

Steiner
07-14-2010, 09:06 AM
Plus a jeweler's saw with blades. I got stuff from Rio Grande Jeweler supply. I also use a good filtered mask and some magnifying glasses. Thin CA glue is a necessity. I'd listen to anything Chuck Moore says too.

ksquine
07-14-2010, 09:33 AM
a cutting board too. Just a thin piece of wood with a slot cut in it to support the shell while you cut

Allen
07-14-2010, 10:22 AM
You might find this build log of a guitar I completed some time ago of help. The link is to the second page and about 1/2 way down I document some inlay I did on it.

Inlay on headstock. (http://www.anzlf.com/viewtopic.php?t=1172&postdays=0&postorder=asc&highlight=norman+blake&start=25)

fahrner
07-14-2010, 11:01 AM
You might find this build log of a guitar I completed some time ago of help. The link is to the second page and about 1/2 way down I document some inlay I did on it.

Inlay on headstock. (http://www.anzlf.com/viewtopic.php?t=1172&postdays=0&postorder=asc&highlight=norman+blake&start=25)
That is first rate Allen. Very nice work.

Pete Howlett
07-14-2010, 11:36 AM
Really good eyesight....

thistle3585
07-14-2010, 05:08 PM
A laser or CNC. :)

I have the utmost respect for anyone that can do inlay work by hand. Honestly, I haven't the skill, patience or physical dexterity to do it. Kudos to those that do.

Kekani
07-14-2010, 06:44 PM
Here's what I started with:
Dremel, with router base
Stew Mac Downcut bits (1/32", 3/64", 1/16")
5" Jeweler's saw, LOTS of 3/0 blades
Drill (and #75 bit)
Xacto knife
CA Glue
Sanding blocks
Borrowed copy machine

Here's what I use now:
Foredom Flex shaft tool, with StewMac and custom bases
Downcut bits (1/32", 3/64", 1/16", 3/64", 1/8") from Kekani427 on eBay (that's me)
5"/4"/2.5" Jeweler's saw (use the 4" the most for harder material, 5" for wood, and 2/5" for small stuff with the 6/0 blades)
Even MORE 3/0 blades and some 6/0 as well
hand drill (and micro bit set)
Xacto knifes
tweezers
CA Glue
West Systems Epoxy
Wood dust (mostly ebony)
Sanding blocks
gravers (onglette, knife, squares)
Laskin engraving filler (mostly black, but got some white and red as well)
Enamel paints (about 8 basic colors)
paint brushes
mini files
copy/scanner machine
tracing paper
digital camera
computer

And I'm sure there's more, but really, its not a whole lot of stuff. The most expensive items are the materials.

Hope this helps. Aaron

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
07-15-2010, 07:30 AM
I have most of the things on Aaron's starter list........
BTW, everyone needs to get their downcut spiral bits from Aaron. Best prices you'll find on them and they'll rock your inlay world. Ask him about his dust elimination system. For $10 he'll probably sell you a roll of "flags".

(See you Sunday Aaron)

Pete Howlett
07-15-2010, 08:00 AM
Aaron - I can't locate your store on eBay. Help please...

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
07-15-2010, 08:10 AM
PM him Pete. BTW, I'm selling dust eradication flags for a dollar each. :)

bryanperk
07-15-2010, 08:22 AM
I have most of the things on Aaron's starter list........
BTW, everyone needs to get their downcut spiral bits from Aaron. Best prices you'll find on them and they'll rock your inlay world. Ask him about his dust elimination system. For $10 he'll probably sell you a roll of "flags".

(See you Sunday Aaron)

Thanks everybody! and Chuck what'd you mean by "flags"? Maybe I just don't understand some of the terminology for this kinda stuff yet, but that one definitely went over my head haha

fahrner
07-15-2010, 08:24 AM
PM him Pete. BTW, I'm selling dust eradication flags for a dollar each. :)
Does that include shipping?
Any other colors besides blue, green or natural?
And hey; I thought you were setting up to make cabinets this week?

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
07-15-2010, 08:41 AM
Does that include shipping?
Any other colors besides blue, green or natural?
And hey; I thought you were setting up to make cabinets this week?

All right, the gig is up.
A couple of years ago Aaron showed a bunch of us at a guild meeting how to attach a little piece of tape to the shaft of a router bit, creating a little flag that blows the dust away as you are routing. I cut a piece of tape, about 1/4" X 1 1/2" long and wrap half of it around the shaft and then fold the end back onto itself, creating a flag that is about 3/8" long. Works better than the annoying blowers we were used to.

And yes, my ukulele building days are on hold for a bit while I make mama happy by using up all my ukulele koa on some custom kitchen cabinets.

bryanperk
07-15-2010, 08:58 AM
Oh wow, I never would have thought of that! It's so simple, but that's exactly what makes it such an ingenious idea! I'm definitely gonna have to try that next time, cause I would imagine it'd make it a lot easier to see exactly what you're doing