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PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2017 11:09 am 
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Mahogany
Mahogany

Joined: Wed May 04, 2016 4:17 am
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First name: Gary
Last Name: Leddington
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Hey Folks

Anyone got any tips/jigs for making ones own notched diamond inlays?

The basic shape is easy enough... but how does one get the 'notches' uniform, straight and at the correct angle relative to the sides?

Thanks

FTL


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2017 5:49 pm 
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I'd probably just buy them from Stew Mac since they're so cheap but that's just me.

I do want to make some custom side dot position markers which is kind of similar but a bit more simple. I'm going to put a small dab of Titebond in between each blank and stack them, draw the pattern out onto the blanks and slowly remove material with a relatively fine wet sandpaper. In your case I'd use some kind of block correctly shaped to hold the material at the appropriate angle while removing the shell with wet sandpaper, spraying occasionally with water (the dust is awful), or maybe a wet mini bandsaw like a Proxxon with a diamond blade. Or you could use a jewelers saw and a decent vice lined with wood so you don't crush the shell and do it by hand. Or maybe some combination of a couple methods based on how close you are to the final shape. Once the desired shape is achieved drop the stack into some hot water (200 degrees or so) to release the glue. Remove with tongs and separate with a razor blade or sharp tweezers (with some gloves on too so you don't burn yourself) then just clean them up and install.

There's many ways that you could do it and I'm sure others will chime in with better suggestions than I gave, also kind of depends on what kind of tools you have handy.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2017 6:41 pm 
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Koa
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This is the most simple inlay. Cut out the shape with a jewelers saw and notch with the same saw. Just eyeball the notch. You could probably come up with a jig but that would be over complicating it.

Joey has the right idea to just buy them.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2017 8:38 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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+1 Buy em.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2017 9:23 pm 
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Barry Daniels wrote:
This is the most simple inlay. Cut out the shape with a jewelers saw and notch with the same saw. Just eyeball the notch. You could probably come up with a jig but that would be over complicating it.

Joey has the right idea to just buy them.


I was worried I'd sound condescending with that response but I'm glad others agree (some others may not). As the old saying goes- time is money. This is one of those jobs that you could throw a weekend at if you wanted to, in the long run it could be worth it if you came up with a highly efficient jig or something to solve the problem. Being a part timer in the shop though, I prefer to throw $20-$30 at this problem and simply up-charge. Time saved is money earned. It took me a few years to figure that out and it was hard when I first started building to come to terms with it because the list of tools and materials that I wanted/needed or at least perceived to want or need was pretty daunting. If I could talk to me in 2009 when I started to commit $ to building this is some advice I'd give myself- spend the money for things like this (standard decorations) and spend your time learning and addressing the more important aspects the nuances of building guitars. Inlay is great, but it won't improve the sound of your build. For what it's worth (and I still have a LOT more to learn myself and no friggin teacher other than books and this site) spend your time learning to voice or tap tune, improve on the basic building premises that are done at the factory level with great attention to detail in the physics of the box and how to improve those physical properties to the best of your ability. Those are the things that will set you apart from a Taylor or one of those plastic things with a quacky piezo Martin calls a guitar these days. Decorations can be accomplished by CNC better than any human hand. The same is not true for a hand build instrument.

I don't want to discourage you at all, I know how that feels and it's not fun. I just want to encourage you to spend your time more wisely than spending much more than a day or two on the problem that you are proposing to solve. Odds are after the first few sets of diamonds that you built a jig for you'll realize that you just customized a hand built jig for a hand build item that is virtually indistinguishable from a store bought version unless you bork it up and the mistakes are noticeable. When you put it like that it doesn't make that much sense as most of this community is looking to set ourselves apart from standard designs and decorations in way that is easy to see that the instrument is a cut (or several cuts in some of these guys cases) above the factory models that are readily available. That's the best advice I can offer but whatever you decide to do- good luck and keep building regardless.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2017 9:44 pm 
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Image

Case in point- I spent $9.99 on the Abalone. Time was better spent working out the rest of the details of rosette. I think it looks pretty nice, but again, I spent that $9.99 I order to have more time to pay attention to the rest of the design as well as the box and everything in it.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 02, 2017 4:04 am 
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Mahogany
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Guys,

I'm not going to waste my time making white, gold, black or abalone diamonds.... i want to know how to do it so i can easily make them from more unusual materials... I happen to have a lot of shell blanks with odd and unique colourations, and should the opportunity arise to use them i'd like to know how to make my own unique diamonds for a unique guitar.

Thanks for the advice.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 02, 2017 7:49 am 
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If you’ve got enough material to make it worth it maybe get in touch with Andy Birko and have a bunch of them CNC’d. The only trouble with that is that once they’re diamonds there’s no going back. I have some nice curly Abalone blanks but I’m saving those for a custom job that will showcase the material a bit more with a larger inlay. Doing them stacked by hand with a jewelers saw and some files wouldn’t be hard, just time consuming. Be sure to post some pics when you finish.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 02, 2017 11:53 am 
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A little different perspective here. Do you like cutting shell? I build for the pleasure of building, having a guitar at the end is a bonus, not a goal. There's quite a few things in my sequence that could be done quicker or outsourced, but they stay because I enjoy doing them. If I had to turn a profit, things would be quite different.

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These users thanked the author Rodger Knox for the post: Bryan Bear (Thu Nov 02, 2017 1:37 pm)
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 02, 2017 5:01 pm 
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David Nichols of Custom Pearl Inlay showed me how to make a jig for cutting slotted diamonds & squares. Email me at mjfranksguitars@gmail.com and I will send you pictures and some instructions that I received from David.

Mike Franks
www.mjfranksguitars.com


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2017 7:09 am 
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Mahogany
Mahogany

Joined: Wed May 04, 2016 4:17 am
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First name: Gary
Last Name: Leddington
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
Mike Franks wrote:
David Nichols of Custom Pearl Inlay showed me how to make a jig for cutting slotted diamonds & squares. Email me at mjfranksguitars@gmail.com and I will send you pictures and some instructions that I received from David.

Mike Franks
http://www.mjfranksguitars.com


Thank you!!!


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