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Thread: Are slots cut before or after inlay?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2019
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    Default Are slots cut before or after inlay?

    I am rummaging around trying to find an answer, but no joy, so if this has been asked before, please forgive me and just point me in the correct direction. Thanks!

    When inlaying a pattern on a fret board that goes across the slots, is there a way to cut the slots after inlaying?

    ...or do you have to inlay up to the slot?

    Thank you.

  2. #2
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    Usually the fret board is sloted first and you then can either inlay up to the slot, or across it and then come back and cut that bit of material with a fret slot clean up saw, or a 0.6mm bit in a dremel with base. Rather depends on the sort of inlay you plan on doing and what the material is and your personal preference.

  3. #3
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    It can be done either way although I believe most inlay artists will slot first and inlay around them. For me it depends on the extent of the inlay. If it’s a small piece it’s easy to inlay after it’s slotted as it makes positioning and centering the piece between the frets easier. You can use Teflon strips or fill in the slots with modeling clay (thanks Grit Laskin) to keep the slot clean of glue. But I almost always do it the other way; inlay first then cut the slots. Careful planning in your layout has to be exact though to prevent critical areas of the inlay being intersected by fret slots. You should know that pearl shell takes a toll on fret sawing blades. They can easily be sharpened by hand though with a diamond triangular file. I used to buy a new fret slotting blade every year but I’ve kept the same one now for many years by touching it up regularly with a file.
    Last edited by Moore Bettah Ukuleles; 06-12-2020 at 10:12 AM.
    Chuck Moore
    Moore Bettah Ukuleles
    http://www.moorebettahukes.com

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moore Bettah Ukuleles View Post
    You should know that pearl shell takes a toll on fret sawing blades.
    So true. It just sets my teeth on edge to saw with a good blade through shell. I hate tool abuse. Precut slots and then use your number #2 pre-abused saw.

  5. #5
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    Just happen to be doing a live stream today on Facebook how I do it. One way of boiling an egg you might say...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2019
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Howlett View Post
    Just happen to be doing a live stream today on Facebook how I do it. One way of boiling an egg you might say...
    Wish I had the link and could have seen this earlier. Do you have the video up anywhere I could see it?

    At the moment, it seems more reasonable to do the slotting first. Otherwise, the fret saw will surely suffer!

    Thanks!

  7. #7
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    May 2019
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    Quote Originally Posted by eclipsme View Post
    Wish I had the link and could have seen this earlier. Do you have the video up anywhere I could see it?

    At the moment, it seems more reasonable to do the slotting first. Otherwise, the fret saw will surely suffer!

    Thanks!
    Found your FB page, Pete. Thanks. I will look through it. ;-}

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