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View Full Version : To laser or not to laser, that is the question...



RPA_Ukuleles
07-06-2012, 02:42 AM
Hello, I'm putting this question out there to get opinions on using CO2 lasers in lutherie, and in this case specifically for inlay work. I know there's a lot of it going on in large shops (also CNC work) and I'm kind of on the fence about it - in terms of is it just another quality tool available for the luthier, or is it maybe too mechanical or is something lost in the craft by using so much modern tooling?
I've attached and image of a rosette I created on one of the lasers I use at my day job (I'm and exhibit designer/fabricator) and what I did was do a drawing in Adobe Illustrator, then put the soundboard into the laser and carefully aligned it and - zap, the laser etched away the area where you now see black, and left the design part "high". All I had to do was fill in with black epoxy and scrape down. I like the look, but I'd like it better if I cut the black out of say, ebony and dropped it in. Never the less, it's all done on the laser. Now it's not absolutely simple to do and there is a big learning curve, but still...

So, how do you feel about the laser as a tool for this kind of work? I will add that using the laser for templates, and marking pieces, and tool making is fantastic - but for the final work that was always the purview of the highly skilled/experienced craftsman... ?

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ukeeku
07-06-2012, 05:01 AM
My vote is to laser. the things you can do with it are endless. I feel that the use of technology can only push the craftsmanship of the ukulele to another level. I know a lot of shops use it to make sure they get consistent cuts. I love what you did and I would not fret over if it is "Skilled" or not. knowing how to do it, and knowing its limits is also very hard. I also love the fact that you are not leaving it etched and filling it in.
SO...Yeah. I know that my cigar box would not have been possible with "normal" techniques
http://ukeeku.com/2009/12/22/papas-boxes-concert-build-the-box/

thistle3585
07-06-2012, 05:08 AM
I do all my inlay work with one. No filler needed around the inlay, so you can get a nice clean fit. It also allows for much smaller detail work than what you could do by hand. The biggest benefit is the labor savings, plus the ability to do custom inlay work at a fraction of the cost. Here is a photo of the headstock of a uke I built as an auction item to benefit a seeing eye dog foundation, plus a mandolin headstock with my logo.

UkueBass23
07-06-2012, 05:08 AM
I agree. Looks beautiful to me. I would love to have a uke with that kind of detail. To me the looks of a hand made uke are still secondary to what kind of sound is coming out of it. Those elements are still very much based on the feel of the creator, not something that can be measured or created with a technological advance. Build on RPA!

Chris_H
07-06-2012, 05:45 AM
If you have it, use it. The tools we use are an extension of our artistic creative energy.

The Big Kahuna
07-06-2012, 05:57 AM
I used to get criticised for post-processing my photographs in Photoshop, levels/curves/exposure/dodging/burning etc. I pointed out that, 30 years ago, I used to do exactly the same things with different shapes of card on sticks in the darkroom when using the enlarger. The tools change, the results can only improve.

RPA_Ukuleles
07-06-2012, 08:51 AM
Well thanks for the input guys. I have been going overboard with the laser since the day I got here. It is an amazing tool - yet so simple. It's just an X,Y plotter with a hot beam of light. But it has taken a while to understand the subtleties of it and when to use vector or raster art, and setting the power levels. But again, one of the most useful aspects are jig, tool, and template making. I've made a series of arcs, taper guages, angles, bridge marking templates, and on and on. Made a dandy kerfing jig for the band saw, and full templates to build my drum sander. Not to mention it cuts perfectly accurate fret slots. But, the real gem in all of this for me is Adobe Illustrator. That is a tool that is indispensable for me. I can quickly and accurately draw anything I want and print it or send it to the laser. So of course your laser is only as good as the art you send it. By the way, I use a 50 watt Universal CO2 laser, with a 32" x 18" bed. Max work piece height is about 12".

Ukeeku - great wok on the cigar box. That woulda been tough with a wood-buring iron! Plus cedar in the laser smells like gingerbread cookies. A pleasant benefit.

Andrew - Perfect inlay work. Certainly do have to learn how to use the laser well to work on the different materials.

Big K - I know Exactly where you're coming from with the Photoshop challenges. Photographers took a looooong time to switch over to the "dark side". I did darkroom work back in the day, now I do the same work, just a different tool, like you.

What software are you guys using to create the art for the laser?

Even tho we embrace technology to help us do what we do, I love that there will always be craftsmen that do the work by hand - and I will do some by hand as well. Guess there's a fine line where artisans vs. those who need to maximize production make conscious choices in their tools, knowing that both methods are valid.

I'll post some more of the inlay I've done with the laser.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
07-06-2012, 08:55 AM
That's an attractive rosette. I'm intrigued with what lasers can do and how they've found their way into the lutherie environment.
I have mixed feelings about lasers and inlay work. On one hand you can achieve results that can be next to impossible to do physically by hand, as you've shown with your rosette. It's also much faster since you're not cutting by hand, which adds an incredible amount of skill (and time). And the fit is indisputable. It seems ideally suited for receptive or intricate designs, especially in a production situation.
The down side, in my eyes at least, is that has that "laser look" that I see all too often on instruments these days and lacks a certain degree of character or soul. As I've mentioned all too often before, when deciding on which process or which finish or which tool to use, choose one that best fits who you are as builder. I think a laser is a legitimate tool, it's just one I wouldn't use. I enjoy inlaying by hand and being able to change a design without a moments hesitation. Some may argue with me, but I feel a bit of pride knowing that I've created all my inlay work by hand. It fits who I am.
(Or maybe I'm just too stoopid or lazy to learn to use a laser!)

Kekani
07-06-2012, 09:29 AM
I agree with the use of a laser, and if I had one, I'd use it!

As it stands, I don't, so I'll relegate myself to doing "imperfect" inlays by hand. Of course, Martin's Millionth Guitar was done by hand, and its subsequent versions are done by laser. Which would you rather have?

I guess it's like my dream of a Shelby Cobra; I can't get the real thing, so I'll have to settle on a replica (with modern technology like engines, suspensions and brakes, I'll actually have a faster car). No, it doesn't have the mojo, but it's attainable, and the coolness factor is still there, just like the laser inlayed offshoots of the Millionth Guitar.

Lasers make duplication of detail attainable to everyone. That doesn't mean I'm not proud of the fact that when people see my tattoo inlayed on my bass, they're amazed that it's done by hand. Appreciation for artwork still exists.

Aaron

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
07-06-2012, 09:51 AM
I'll relegate myself to doing "imperfect" inlays by hand.

I'd settle for the imperfection of Harvey Leach, Grit Laskin and Larry Robinson any day!

mrhandy
07-06-2012, 10:27 AM
Ive been fooling around with some laser work myself. I started having my headstock logo lasered, then just do an epoxy fill when i do my grain fill. I can also make it any color I want either by tinting the epoxy or first filling with paint... I'm actually really enjoying clear epoxy at the moment.
I have also done a couple ukes with laser work on the back... one was a quote that a customer wanted, and the other was a collaboration with a graphic designer friend... lets see if i have a pic handy... sorry if you cant read the quote, but it is a verse from a song, it was a wedding present from the bride to her husband.

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Allen
07-06-2012, 10:38 AM
I think that the trick with using things like lasers and cnc mills is to choose your designs carefully. The possibilities of unbelievable intricacy are easily within your grasp, but does that necessarily make for a good design, or just one that looks like a computer and some high cost machine made it. For me your rosette while undeniably perfect falls into that machine made side. As you are asking the question, you may have that same impression.

We all see these types of things hanging on music store walls. Relatively inexpensive Asian made instruments tarted up to catch the eye of the buying public. All good and well if that is your market. But when it comes to a hand made instrument, for me at least I don't want my instruments to look like I was made in some factory.

So to get to the point of the question. If I had a laser or cnc mill, yes I'd be using it. Simply as a time saving and accurate tool. Just like any other tool at my disposal. However I'd be steering away from designs that made it look like a computer and machine fabricated the parts.

Kevin Waldron
07-06-2012, 10:41 AM
Let me say that I agree with most of the comments made about the laser. We have used it extensively in our luthier business and actually have two different machines.

I think it needs to be mentioned that the laser is not for the faint of heart or those that don't like to be precise with drawings or like to use the computer .... if you like to fly by the seat of your pants don't buy a laser.

You must draw everything that your going to cut or engrave or at least purchase the art work. As has been mentioned the capability are incredible but the laser still want do anything more than the operator / draft person has the skill to do. With each material that you laser you have to experiment and determine what settings the laser needs to operate on and if you change lasers ( in our case where we have a large laser and a medium laser with different wattage's ...... things change even though machines are from the same manufacturer ) There are a few more things than just X,Y,Z to consider in using the laser. Lasers actually pulse fire and you can control this..... you can control power, time duration and several other factors like speed control for vectors in curved area's and a number of other enhancing factors. Most modern lasers will also allow 3D of items with the correct software...... they typically use 256 colors of gray scale to determine 3d depth.

We have stopped doing inlay for others, (personally have gotten to a point where it wasn't fun and there are other area's of luthier with the laser that I enjoy more).

Software that is commonly used is Adobe Illustrator, Corel Draw, Autocad, Turbocad, Rhinoceros, Artcam, Aspire and a number of other vector based drawing programs.

As others have said it is a wonderful tool ....... negative to me is the amount of time that it takes to draw and process something. If it's something that is repeatable from day to day you can't compete but if it's a one of a kind the laser may actually take longer than a skilled craftsman. As with all tools you have to choose the best tool for the job.

Materials we have lasered .... name it........ including butter, candles, meat, cake, carrots, wood, plastic, metal, pearl, rock, brick, marble, the list just goes on.

Be glad to help if you have specific questions. For instance ebony is one of the harder items to laser on, for one it is dark in color ( laser is more absorbed ) the other the density. Mirrors are another item that is hard to laser but can be done. We have used white, black and all other kinds of colored acrylic, Corian, imitation stone products, and several others for inlay as well as real pearl, Abalam, mussel shells, abalone shells, wood and several other items.

Attaching some examples.

Blessings,

Kevin

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mzuch
07-06-2012, 12:37 PM
Is the any way to buy or build a laser setup relatively economically? A quick Google search found some kits, but all seem to run into four figures for a complete system large enough to accommodate tenor necks, including from a kit. I already have and use Adobe Illustrator, so that helps I guess.

Beau Hannam Ukuleles
07-06-2012, 01:06 PM
I'd settle for the imperfection of Harvey Leach, Grit Laskin and Larry Robinson any day!

As would I. I like a small amount of imperfection in an inlay- it is like a crooked smile on a beautiful girl, utterly charming.

dofthesea
07-06-2012, 01:48 PM
I have to admit there is a certain look to handmade and machine made. To each his own I guess. I prefer the handmade hands on approach.

Kevin Waldron
07-06-2012, 02:10 PM
Lasers are something that you really don't want a problem with. You need the laser tubes and mirrors and lenses to be focused where they where intended to be aimed. You can cause permanent eye damage, sever body parts, and all kinds of unpleasant things. For this reason I would recommend a purchase of a laser from a known manufacturer for your first machine. There are a number of new entries on the market some good and some not so good. Used is OK but the life of most CO2 laser tubes ( the part that actually fires ) is limited to about 7 years...... some more some less..... in our case with our machine the rebuild is about $1200 per tube other companies are higher some cheaper.

I have seen lasers on the market for as cheap as $3000-$4000 dollars new but they are usually small. Some lasers have pass thru doors that you can open on either side or in the front ( one of our machines does one doesn't). The other problem with lasers is the service.. all commercial lasers use either stepper motors or servo motors for controlling the head/laser final beam output ...... there are just a lot of intricate electronics that can and will go bad. If you choose a company that is slow in sending or having parts when you break down you might as well not have a laser.

Something else that I haven't mentioned is the room that the laser is in. This room needs to be a relatively clean. ( by this I mean it doesn't need to be where there is a lot of sawdust or the potential for dust ) We also have two cnc's and although in many ways the machines operate similar they are different and they must be maintained in separate rooms. One big difference in the cnc and the laser is the fact that with the laser you basically lay whatever you want to mark/cut etc. in the machine sometimes you may have to spread it out and use double sided tape magnets etc. but the laser never physically touches the item. The reverse of this is true with the cnc you must have your item held down firmly or the router will through it off the table. Fixturing is always a challenge with the cnc and is much more involved and sometimes requires as much drawing as the part/item itself that your trying to shape/cut. Rarely are laser parts fixtured in the same way.

One other consideration is the plans/files themselves. Coming from a general contracting background our thoughts from day one have been if we couldn't draw it we probably didn't need to build it. With that said we have had someone drawing on the average at lest 40 hours per week for for more than 4 and 1/2 years. ( That's not one person but several ) Granted we are involved with more than ukulele instruments.

Hope this helps in your decision for or against lasers.

Kevin

Dan Uke
07-06-2012, 02:36 PM
I am very open to lasers as the leaves in the fretboard from Kevin Waldron looks fabulous and similar to Devine's work. Since they can cut different materials, I would think it would bring the costs of inlay work down.

There are only a few great inlay artists / luthiers out there and for some buyers, they are too expensive or the luthiers are not taking any more orders.

Liam Ryan
07-06-2012, 03:05 PM
I think you're thinking too much. If you've got access to one, use it.

Just try to not to do yourself a disservice by doing things that look cheap and nasty.

DeVineGuitars
07-06-2012, 03:41 PM
I just got a laser myself and all I can say is I can't believe I went so long without one. It truly opens up so many possibilities that I never would of thought of before. Like a few people have said, it is just another tool in the workshop like a chisel or saw (only waaaaaay more expensive). And even though it will do the cuts for you, you must still design, draw, layout and inlay by hand. which is still very difficult when you are talking about pieces that are the size of a pen tip. It makes you expand your skill set to include computer drawing and knowing how woods will react to the laser beam. And did I mention they are expensive.:)
I could definitely go back to my old way of doing things... but I wouldn't want to. It's a real time saver.

oudin
07-06-2012, 07:45 PM
I appreciate that Chuck uses the term "near-impossible." Lasers do not enable you to do anything that cannot be done by hand. But they sure do make the job easier. I think laser engraving will become standard for fast custom-production work. What is important in my opinion is that the clients know what they are getting. Some clients will not know enough to care, but most will. When we buy an exquisite ukulele, more than likely we buy the lore and craftsmanship as much or more than we buy the actual product. We value inlay for the process as much as how it looks. Ultimately I feel that if the clients are only told "inlay" and nothing more, then it better be hand inlay or you are being dishonest. Sure, it's just another tool, but where do you draw the line? Can I pay someone to do my work, claim the work is my own, then insist that 'it's just another tool'? That only ever goes over if it's specifically, thoroughly, and promptly delineated to the client.

thistle3585
07-07-2012, 03:41 AM
That's how I look at it too Chuck. I don't like doing inlay work. I just don't have the knack for it. If it weren't for the laser then I'd either forgo any inlay work or use a decal on my headstock.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
07-07-2012, 07:12 AM
I appreciate that Chuck uses the term "near-impossible." Lasers do not enable you to do anything that cannot be done by hand. But they sure do make the job easier. I think laser engraving will become standard for fast custom-production work. What is important in my opinion is that the clients know what they are getting. Some clients will not know enough to care, but most will. When we buy an exquisite ukulele, more than likely we buy the lore and craftsmanship as much or more than we buy the actual product. We value inlay for the process as much as how it looks. Ultimately I feel that if the clients are only told "inlay" and nothing more, then it better be hand inlay or you are being dishonest. Sure, it's just another tool, but where do you draw the line? Can I pay someone to do my work, claim the work is my own, then insist that 'it's just another tool'? That only ever goes over if it's specifically, thoroughly, and promptly delineated to the client.

You've made this point well. It's why I go out of my way to state on my web site that I do NOT use lasers or CNC machines to accomplish my work. It's a bragging point for me. But I've got absolutely no problem with those who use such machines and it's been proven to have a legitimate place in our craft. My neighbor has a laser and he does a lot of work for artists including some of the builders here. He's tried to get me to take the walk over to the dark side but I won't go there unless I'm forced to. If I didn't have the hand/heart/eye skills then I'm pretty sure I might. It's just not a look I'm into right now. For me personally, the artistic aspect of building is at least as viable as the craft. I encourage readers to look at the work of Grit Laskin. None of his pieces line up perfectly, their not supposed to. Like many artists, he respects the value and character of line and uses it to his advantage. It's the perfection of imperfection.

Kevin Waldron
07-07-2012, 11:53 AM
Chuck and Andrew,

I appreciate hand work and artistry very much, ( and both you guys build wonderful instruments ) but I personally find that both your statements are some what biased towards your beliefs ..... It appears to me that if your really going to be a purest then put away the jewelers saws, rasp, routers, files, steel knives and go back to flint and rock for cutting tools. ( at what point in time where the tools that you now use considered better or more modern than the flint? )

Let me make a suggestion and a possible a compromise for both world..... have an open mind to begin. What about a hybrid of both worlds. Use both hand and laser to accomplish the look that you both like.

We have taken the time to draw in vector format ( this is basically a cad line not a photo ) large amounts of DePaul's hand made inlay products. I'm attaching a photo from the site ( http://www.luthiersupply.com/ ) and I'm attaching a vector drawing of the outline of the inlay we have done. I don't actually have this one cut but you can get the picture. Pocket with the laser and place the hand cut inlay in place. I would challenge you that if you weren't told you wouldn't know that it was done with both laser and hand cut inlay. ( If the pocket needs to be larger as if it's done by hand not a problem simply modify the file to make it some what larger. .... Typically with the lens that we normally use the pocket will be .0035" larger than the original drawing.. anyway ....but for a non-machine look maybe even more tolerance )

Just some other thoughts.

Kevin

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Pete Howlett
07-07-2012, 12:29 PM
If you have the Dyer style tree of life inlay scaled to a 17" scale length fretboard then I would be interested in putting these on my Dyer Style harp ukulele...

Kevin Waldron
07-07-2012, 01:02 PM
Pete,

This the one?

Kevin

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Pete Howlett
07-07-2012, 02:26 PM
The very one! I love this :)

Kekani
07-07-2012, 02:27 PM
Chuck and Andrew,

I appreciate hand work and artistry very much, ( and both you guys build wonderful instruments ) but I personally find that both your statements are some what biased towards your beliefs ..... It appears to me that if your really going to be a purest then put away the jewelers saws, rasp, routers, files, steel knives and go back to flint and rock for cutting tools. ( at what point in time where the tools that you now use considered better or more modern than the flint? )

Let me make a suggestion and a possible a compromise for both world..... have an open mind to begin. What about a hybrid of both worlds. Use both hand and laser to accomplish the look that you both like. . .

Of course their statements are biased on their beliefs. Did you intend to make it sound like a bad thing?

In a production environment, or for replication like a logo, a laser is certainly tops. Not so much for the one off custom stuff that the artist gets paid for, by the hour. Imagine Larry's cut from Martin, or any of Grit's stuff as well.

Of course, why is it that one of the pics in Larry's book shows him cutting a Santa Cruz logo? I got paid to hand cut and inlay a Kamaka logo on an older instrument, something they do on their own now with laser. The market exists, and as Chuck stated, it's bragging rights, for the artist AND the client.

Besides, cutting material with my Knew Concepts saw and routing out with my Foredom and tape flag on my inlay bits, then hand engraving and filling with color is very enjoyable.

Inlay, in the hands of those that do it by hand,is not just another addition to the instrument (which a laser can bring to the masses reasonably), but another art in and of itself. Engraving takes that art into another skill set. Chuck does both of them very well, and he gets to enjoy all aspects of his efforts.

Aaron

thistle3585
07-07-2012, 03:14 PM
Kevin,
I think you lumped me in to the wrong category. As I said, I don't like cutting inlay so I do it with a laser. No argument here.

I do take exception to the comment "Ultimately I feel that if the clients are only told "inlay" and nothing more, then it better be hand inlay or you are being dishonest.." I don't tell people how the instruments are constructed unless they ask. If they are so concerned about the amount of "handwork" involved then it is their responsibility to ask not mine. I would be dishonest if I said I hand inlaid something but actually used a laser, but to say that I'm dishonest because I don't say its done by laser is simply ridiculous. That's like saying its dishonest if I don't clarify that I used a planer or drum sander to thin the top.

Kevin Waldron
07-07-2012, 05:06 PM
Andrew,

I'm sorry.

kevin

Paul December
07-07-2012, 05:12 PM
Couldn't you make "imperfect" looking inlays with a laser"? :p

Michael Smith
07-07-2012, 07:48 PM
It's not the laser but how most people are using them that makes for a less than artistic inlay. Most guys do their drawings in cad striving for perfect symmetry. Perfect symmetry has a certain beauty but works of art are almost never symmetrical. It's like a fancy crown molding in your house that has a repeating pattern. It looks nice but lacks the soul of an interesting painting on your wall. The drawing with cad is a deal breaker for me. I could see making ink or pencil drawings and scanning the line drawing and laser from there but I really need the pencil to paper to draw and get some tactile expression in there.

Pete Howlett
07-07-2012, 08:44 PM
Laser inlay of logos and formal patterns and designs makes sense. Doing Chuck's stuff by laser would be pointless - the two things are different. Cutting a tree of life by hand? Who would want to do that? I'd get annoyed at the lack of geometrical symmetry that would naturally occur if i sat there with a piercing saw trying to follow a precise mark. Boy, I'd get so frustrated! Aspiring to those pictures and creative stories in Chuck's work - now there is a true challenge... something that just cannot be reduced to a machine process and look right. Laser and CNC inlays lack the dramatic 'life' of hand cut work. Nevertheless, I enjoy their precision.

oudin
07-08-2012, 09:13 PM
I do take exception to the comment "Ultimately I feel that if the clients are only told "inlay" and nothing more, then it better be hand inlay or you are being dishonest.." I don't tell people how the instruments are constructed unless they ask. If they are so concerned about the amount of "handwork" involved then it is their responsibility to ask not mine. I would be dishonest if I said I hand inlaid something but actually used a laser, but to say that I'm dishonest because I don't say its done by laser is simply ridiculous. That's like saying its dishonest if I don't clarify that I used a planer or drum sander to thin the top.


I would have formerly agreed with you. Although there are many people who would not know enough to care, after having clients misunderstand the work that I do as being more hand made than it is, I cannot agree with you. To liken this issue to thicknessing the wood is a stretch, because far more people understand how inlay is done (and historically it has been valued on this basis) than know how thicknessing is done. Furthermore, I would liken drum sanding to router inlay, not cad/cam. (On a side note that there are those of us who do inlay without the use of power tools.)
Let me clarify that my perspective is that of the one-of-a-kind artist craftsman. I view inlay as being valued for the difficulty of execution as much as the final beauty, and that as a process is it subject to greater pride and scrutiny of the client than other areas of manufacture. I appreciate the use of lasers and cad/cam for high production work. In fact, I believe there would be some clients to whom disclosing the use of lasers would be a positive marketing strategy.

thistle3585
07-09-2012, 02:40 AM
Well, we're just going to have to disagree. The argument appears to stem from the "tradition" of building. Traditionally, inlay was cut by hand and tops were thinned using a hand planer. To say deviating from that "tradition" is dishonest in one form and and not the other is contrary. Inlay is simply a process that can be done in several ways. I can appreciate the hand work done by inlay artists, but I'm not an inlay artist and really have no desire to be. The laser meets my needs. It allows me to put a logo on my headstock that looks better than a decal or nothing at all. Honestly, I don't see how it is much different than buying a logo from DePaul and inlaying it.

ecosteel
07-09-2012, 01:39 PM
Here's another slant on burning patterns in wood http://www.art-ethno.com/InstrumentsEng.htm

Dan Uke
07-09-2012, 05:42 PM
Well, we're just going to have to disagree. The argument appears to stem from the "tradition" of building. Traditionally, inlay was cut by hand and tops were thinned using a hand planer. To say deviating from that "tradition" is dishonest in one form and and not the other is contrary. Inlay is simply a process that can be done in several ways. I can appreciate the hand work done by inlay artists, but I'm not an inlay artist and really have no desire to be. The laser meets my needs. It allows me to put a logo on my headstock that looks better than a decal or nothing at all. Honestly, I don't see how it is much different than buying a logo from DePaul and inlaying it.

You mean like Rick Turner's decal?

oudin
07-09-2012, 10:07 PM
I will admit that I am biased. I have my head buried in my workbench and my workbench is under a rock. And I have nothing against laser engraving. I am a huge fan of its use, particularly for headstock logos as you speak of. Some inlay, such as fretboard dots, I buy pre made while others I suit up and dive for mollusks. When I insist on transparent shop practices and emphasize client expectations, I am certainly thinking of decorative inlay. And I reiterate that I have no disdain for prefab inlay from DePaul or laser engraving techniques. They are great options, I just find that clients appreciate transparency, even when it surpasses their realm of interest.

thistle3585
07-10-2012, 03:49 AM
You mean like Rick Turner's decal?

No, I don't mean like Rick Turner's decal. I mean the decals that I used on my instruments before going to a laser cut logo. I could post three head stocks of mine showing a decal, a hand cut logo and a laser cut logo and i think everyone would agree that the laser cut logo looks the best.