StewMac tools

In search of inlay technique

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Re: In search of inlay technique

Postby Dan Smith » Tue Oct 17, 2017 5:39 pm

I recently completed my first inlay with gold MOP.
Here's what I did for reference:
My shell blanks were 1-inch square.
I used a jeweler's fret saw. I was suprised at how fast it cut.
I ran into a problem of holding the shell while sawing.
I cut paper pattern pieces and glued them to the shell with titebond.
I then glued the shell blanks to a piece of veneer. Much easier to hold.
A couple of small shell pieces went flying, and I did not bother trying to find them.
To cut the cavity, I applied double sided tape to the fretboard and adhered my paper pattern to that.
I cut the pattern out with an Exacto and removed the paper and tape cutouts.
I then painted the cutouts with whiteout.
I used a Dremel with the SM base to cut the inlay cavities.
I filled open spaces with Ebony dust mixed with Epoxy. I tried CA, but it was too black and shiny.
It took me 10 hours to do this.
Regards,
Dan
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Ever-body was kung fu fight-in,
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Re: In search of inlay technique

Postby Barry Daniels » Tue Oct 17, 2017 5:51 pm

Looks good Dan. I assume you went back and filled those voids.
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Re: In search of inlay technique

Postby Dan Smith » Tue Oct 17, 2017 6:25 pm

Barry Daniels wrote:Looks good Dan. I assume you went back and filled those voids.

Thanks!
Yep!
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Re: In search of inlay technique

Postby Bob Francis » Tue Oct 17, 2017 6:59 pm

Really nice Dan!
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Re: In search of inlay technique

Postby Barry Daniels » Tue Oct 17, 2017 7:16 pm

I didn't provide details of my modifications to the Stew-Mac precision base but they were fairly simple. Mainly, I replaced the moveable block of aluminum that the rotary tool is mounted in. In my case I added a piece that clamps down on the shaft of the tool. The one hidden part is the bushings that are installed that slide up and down on the posts of the Stew-Mac base. I found some bronze bushings at the hardware store that were a snug slip fit for the posts. Otherwise, the wood block uses the same nuts, washers and springs that come with the base.
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Re: In search of inlay technique

Postby Doug Shaker » Wed Oct 25, 2017 2:46 pm

Doug Shaker wrote:OK, I had been using a slower speed on my Dremel. I will switch to a higher speed.
I expect I was going too deep at first, too. [Not the first time that I have unwittingly sacrificed quality for speed. My history of orange-peel finish problems bears testimony.]
Also, I will try cutting the outline with a marking knife or a chisel before doing the routing.

All good suggestions. Thank you!


On my most recent attempt at doing an inlay cavity, I followed through on these suggestions:
-higher speed on the Dremel
-small diameter tool, not very deep
-marked the outline with a scalpel prior to routing
and it went pretty well. I think ended up lightly gluing the inlay to the field prior to scoring the outline, so that it wouldn't scoot around when I marked the outline. That helped.

In retrospect, I didn't cut the outline deep enough for maximal benefit. Next time, I plan to mark the outline with a scalpel and then follow up with a very small chisel. Then I think I will get cleaner exterior lines on the cavity.

Thanks for the suggestions, all.
-Doug Shaker
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