Friday, July 6, 2012

Inlay done!

I have to say I'm proud of how this turned out. After two tests in different wood to get a feel of the technique I finished the inlay in the ebony fretboard for the CMS guitar. Here are the last steps:

I sanded down the two lines, time to start on the hardest part - the little "electromagnetic shower" at the 12th fret.

I had to freehand this with no templates, I just drew the lines in pencil and kept going over them with deeper and deeper passes, trying to repeat the same path each time, so that the channel didn't get wider than the router bit (which was already a bit too wide for the veneer strips). Here's what I got after 5 or so passes:

Since the lines are intersecting, the best way to do it I came up with was to glue the veneer in two steps. First, four maple strips:

Then, after sanding these down the following day, the padauk. As the lines curve a lot more here I though I'd try pre-bending the veneer to avoid it breaking on me. I tried my soldering station, set the temperature at the lowest I could get (200C) and tried to bend the strips after wetting them. It took 2-3 tries to get what I wanted, but the result was surprisingly good - I nearly perfectly reproduced the curves:

So after another day of waiting for the epoxy to harden, here's the end result after initial sanding.

Not bad for a first time, I'd say. :)

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