#1
Besides purchasing pre made (included in the list) fret inlays (or stickers, if that is your thing) what else could I use to finish a neck off? Looking for something a bit inspirational and different, but don't want to waste my time testing.

I have been considering using some kind of glitters (daughters guitar), either a PVA base or just the solids, and hardening with epoxy or superglue. Followed by trying to buff to a nice finish - not sure how good of an idea this is.

I also saw a video, with minimal explanation, of a headstock 'decal' inlaid with baked and paint mixed (modelling?) clay and then hardened with super glue on the top and edges.

-Plastic
-Abalone
-Resin
-Hardwood
-Crushed glass?!
-Glass discs (from a beer bottle or something)

Anyone else out there have some ideas?
#2
I wouldn't go with the crushed glass or DIY glass discs...

Here are examples of dichroic glass and turquoise discs that could work, depending on size, etc.
http://stores.ebay.com/Carolyn-Relei-Designs

https://www.etsy.com/listing/500496048/14-pcs-flat-round-african-turquoise?&utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=shopping_us_c-craft_supplies_and_tools-beads_gems_and_cabochons-other&utm_custom1=143982d8-8fe7-4491-a8af-1154ac5be3c9&gclid=CjwKEAjwu4_JBRDpgs2RwsCbt1MSJABOY8anRiIGCij1DgQelrlnj-_9ZFPB95bHVcVQADpMKeqC5RoCDGPw_wcB

Those are just examples- there's a whole bunch of stuff out there, some of which may be more suitable. In stones, something like a jade, jasper, tiger eye, tiger iron or agate might work even better. Local glassworkers or lapidaries could probably make some custom for you. Check with craft stores, mineral clubs, or even university art or geology departments if you can't find someone. and of course, there are all kinds of other glass & stone cutters on the web.

Custom also means you can get whatever shape you want.

Just be sure to let them know you mean flat like a coin, not flat cabochons- you don't need domes/rounded bevel edges.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#3
Thanks for the reply Danny - might well go with the crushed glass idea - I have PLENTY of old beer and wine bottles laying around here that could do the trick. Will try a test run later on this week and see how it goes. 
 Local glassworkers or lapidaries could probably make some custom for you. Check with craft stores, mineral clubs, or even university art or geology departments if you can't find someone. and of course, there are all kinds of other glass & stone cutters on the web.  


Unfortunately, being in the arse hole end of paradise these things just don't exist around me I like the idea of stone but I would have to craft it myself and not sure how patient I can be, maybe for a future build. Ordering stuff online doesn't work here either but I am back in civilization later this year so I could get it mailed to somewhere there.

Cheers
#4
IDK, man- the "arse end" of a lot of places is where you'll find a surprising number of artisans, especially those who ORS with natural materials like stone. I've driven down more than one gravel road to buy from artisans I thought did good work..

Look around- you might be surprised.

As for the crushed glass idea, if you haven't already figured it out, a small rock tumbler is THE tool you'll be wanting.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#5
Thanks Danny. I'm sure you are right and things can be found around here if I look hard enough. Just a hell of a mission (especially in a foreign language) and craftsmanship isn't particularly great most of the time. I've probably fallen into a trap of giving up before I try - but know I've done it I'll try and pull myself out.

Thanks for the video too. I will look into DIYing a rock tumbler (I'm sure I can make a drill attachment for that) for some other ideas, but I am also considering glass dust mixed with some kind of hardener. At 2:10 in - haha, right the 4lb lump hammer is coming out for this job! 
#6
Where are you? You've really piqued my curiosity!
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#7
I've been thinking about doing inlays using Acrylic one of these days, maybe even backlighting them with high lumen LED's and a light spreader. I have a Tap Plastics down the street from my house so if I want to use Acrylic I can buy inlays in darn near any color I could want, including transparent. Have also been toying with building a guitar - neck and all - out of Acrylic and using some cool neon colors for the inlays - sort of a Fender Jaguar that looks like one of those 1980's clear telephones. I'm waiting to buy a house before I do that though.
My Current Mains
- 1996 Fender Jag-Stang with EMG Pickups
- 1998 Fender Jaguar with Cool Rails
- 1982 Hondo Paul Dean II (DiMarzio Super II X2)
- 2010 "Fender" Jazzmaster (Home built)
- 2013 Squier VM Bass VI (stock)
#8
As common as it is on higher-end guitars, it's really difficult to go wrong with mother of pearl. It looks good on just about any guitar. I wouldn't recommend abalone if the inlays are going to be any bigger than simple dots. Otherwise they're going to look very gaudy.

There is no point in trying to do something novel if it doesn't look good. Trying something different for the sake of it doesn't nessesarily deliver the results that really matter.

Glass is likely to work best on a light-coloured fretboard, like maple. So if that's what you have, go for it. Translucent materials like glass against a dark fretboard will make the inlays really dark, which won't give nearly as good an effect.
Quote by Axelfox
Reeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

Quote by H4T3BR33D3R
I also have to do that. Cottaging this weekend
#9
I wouldn't use anything as hard as glass.

You could make inlay material by mixing powder paint or other strong powder pigments with epoxy. I've only used black to make faux ebony, but it worked very well.

Plastic knitting needles, which come in different colours, could be used for small dots.

I've also successfully used aluminium as an inlay material. Aluminium MIG wire also makes good side dots
#10
I've been experimenting with a combination of epoxy resin and UV reactive/glow in the dark pigments recently; I've been pretty pleased with the results, although casting resin might be better. Superglue can be a little unpredictable, depending on the viscosity you use and the humidity.
#11
Quote by dannyalcatraz
  Where are you?  You've really piqued my curiosity!

Dauin, Negros Oriental, Philippines... check it out - some awesome diving here, and great lifestyle, just lacking a little when I need, erm, most things(originally UK).
 
Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
 There is no point in trying to do something novel if it doesn't look good. Trying something different for the sake of it doesn't nessesarily deliver the results that really matter.

 Glass is likely to work best on a light-coloured fretboard, like maple. So if that's what you have, go for it. Translucent materials like glass against a dark fretboard will make the inlays really dark, which won't give nearly as good an effect.

Thanks for the info and the reply Agreed the glass would probably look better on a maple board - again, will experiment later this week with some glass powder! Not really trying these things just for the sake of it, more out of necessity and location. I could probably walk the beach and find some shell to use (although not abalone or mother of pearl) but getting discs out of it could be quite an effort. Will have to look into techniques. Also considered using coconut shell (the hard part, not the grass like husk).
 
Quote by Tony Done
I wouldn't use anything as hard as glass.

You could make inlay material by mixing powder paint or other strong powder pigments with epoxy. I've only used black to make faux ebony, but it worked very well.

Plastic knitting needles, which come in different colours, could be used for small dots.

I've also successfully used aluminium as an inlay material. Aluminium MIG wire also makes good side dots

Great ideas Tony - I'm sure I can get knitting needles in town so that's something I will look into. Not sure how easily I can find powder paint but perhaps some alternatives. Likewise Al MIG welding - just not going to happen in these parts. 
Quote by -MintSauce-
I've been experimenting with a combination of epoxy resin and UV reactive/glow in the dark pigments recently; I've been pretty pleased with the results, although casting resin might be better. Superglue can be a little unpredictable, depending on the viscosity you use and the humidity.

Could you elaborate more on the epoxy you use and the unpredictability of superglue?
#12
Re: glass

There's a reason I suggested dichroic glass in particular. It comes in a huge variety of colors, and is at least as visually striking as MoP and abalone.

Fellow UG-er StratsRdivine is using it himself:
https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1740426#14
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#14
Which is why- in the case of the dichroics- I'd go with a pro.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#15
Thanks, Danny for the plug.  Actually, the stuff I am inlaying is the material that I invented called Dichrolam.  It is all polymer, no glass, so it cuts easily, lasers perfectly, and is currently used by PRS, Fender, and Jens Ritter, and best of all, it has higher color saturation and spectral shift than dichroic glass.  Google dichrolam and guitar and you will see a ton of it.   I recently streamlined my production process with the help of my own primer formula to make large sheets in any thickness of acrylic, so I am targeting pickguards and full guitar faces, while my rep targets the inlay market.  
Throughout my quarter milliion in R&D on this stuff, I managed to invent quilted ebony.  Can't describe it further til I write the patent, but it will rock NAMM 2018 like the JEM in 86.  

second pic is the inlay version of Dichrolam.  Might be too colorful for the OP's taste, plus, its only available through my rep, and he has minimums - only selling to pro builders. 


Stratocasters are the most perfect aesthetic design ordained by God after the McLaren F1, Nudibranchs and the small of a womans back.
#16
Dichrolam, eh? NOW you tell me!
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#17
StratsRdivine 
 Stratocasters are the most perfect aesthetic design ordained by God after the McLaren F1, Nudibranchs and the small of a womans back. 

Nudibranchs? Diver? You'd love it around these parts
#18
Quote by hydreliox
StratsRdivine

Nudibranchs? Diver? You'd love it around these parts

Philippines?  The nudibranch capital of the world?  Now that's just not fair.  Someday I plan to make a guitar based on the flamboyant colors and patterns of nudibranchs.  If successful, it will be banned causing severe eye trauma.  The most nudi's I have seen were when I installed a job in Hawaii - tiny scramble egg nudis and large ones - forgot the name.  The highlight was when I filmed an 18" long Blue Dragon Nudibranch in about 100ft down off the back wall of Molokini Crater.  Not many in the Caribbean, but did see several lettuce leaf nudi's in Bonaire.   
Stratocasters are the most perfect aesthetic design ordained by God after the McLaren F1, Nudibranchs and the small of a womans back.
#19
Quote by StratsRdivine
Philippines?  The nudibranch capital of the world?  Now that's just not fair.  Someday I plan to make a guitar based on the flamboyant colors and patterns of nudibranchs.  If successful, it will be banned causing severe eye trauma.  The most nudi's I have seen were when I installed a job in Hawaii - tiny scramble egg nudis and large ones - forgot the name.  The highlight was when I filmed an 18" long Blue Dragon Nudibranch in about 100ft down off the back wall of Molokini Crater.  Not many in the Caribbean, but did see several lettuce leaf nudi's in Bonaire.   


Shortcut: take a photo of a nudibranch and put it on a pickguard. Apply said pickguard to seafoam green or shell pink guitar of preference.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#20
Hmmm, things like this would probably look cool (in my head I have the PRS Dragon inlays). So, Pteraeolidia ianthina or  Glaucus atlanticus as a 12th fret or headstock design. Rather partial to a Shaun the Sheep nudi myself.

Marine inlays - really got me thinking now - Blue Ringed Octopus body? Tentacle dot inlays? There is a lot of scope to run with this. Design 6 in the bag!
#21
Quote by hydreliox
Hmmm, things like this would probably look cool (in my head I have the PRS Dragon inlays). So, Pteraeolidia ianthina or  Glaucus atlanticus as a 12th fret or headstock design. Rather partial to a Shaun the Sheep nudi myself.

Marine inlays - really got me thinking now - Blue Ringed Octopus body? Tentacle dot inlays? There is a lot of scope to run with this. Design 6 in the bag!


Your daughter's guitar, right? Safe choice would be MoP dolphins.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#23
Tony Done
Oh I know. Just playing the odds.

Tangentially, though, I'll just drop this picture of Thorn #12 (wish it were mine) right here:



(Orca inlays, Lollar P90s. What's not to love?)
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#25
Yeah, well that's what mastery of lutherie can do, y'know? In a sense, he is to building what Malmsteen is to playing.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#26
Quote by dannyalcatraz
Yeah, well that's what mastery of lutherie can do, y'know? In a sense, he is to building what Malmsteen is to playing.


Hopefully minus the arrogant putz part.
#27
Granted, in his case, it is bragging, even though he can do it.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#28
I put mostly wood dots in my guitars. I tend to match the wood to the top, body, binding, or headstock.

I use these bits to cut the dots:
https://www.amazon.com/Ningmi-Roundwood-Tenon-Cutter-Assortment/dp/B01IHNP27M/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1495959435&sr=8-1-spons&keywords=plug+cutter+wood+drill&psc=1

Then the key is to make sure that the dots are not too tight when you drill the holes. I learned that the hard way. You usually want a super snug fit in gluing wood stuff together, like in jointery, but a relaxed fit works better here. My first couple of boards required me to hammer the dots in pretty hard, and the result shows that the edges of the dot are sort of compressed. I got much better results when I went up a drill bit size to make the holes in the fretboard. 

Also make sure that you are using a very thin piece of wood to cut the dots out of. 1/8" is as big as I would do. Any bigger and the wood just burns a lot and is really hard to cut. 
Last edited by ciano16 at May 28, 2017,