#1
I've been studying a lot lately on different ways of customizing guitars, everything from body modifications to painting and so on. One thing that I haven't found any information on, however, is the process and materials needed to create your own custom inlays on both the fretboard and the body of the guitar itself. It seems as though the process is mostly done in a lazy fashion, from the posts that I HAVE found, whereas people are encouraged to use decals or homemade stickers to pass it off as an Inlay, but how so when it doesn't actually go into the wood?

So, I come to all the pros on these forums to ask this question. What is the process of creating Inlays and what are the tools and materials I would need to do so?

Here are a few examples of the inlays I'm speaking of. The fretboard I'm using as an example is extreme overkill, but I'm using it anyway.

[[Current Projects:La Villa Strangiato , Cygnus X-1 ]]
Ibanez SA120
Digitech RP350 Modified
Fender Princeton 650
DR Color Coats
Slinky Hybrids
Gator Grips 2.0mm
#2
The general consensus for inlays 'round these parts: That shit be tough, and if you arent trained/extremely ****ing delicate and precise with the tools, it will destroy your neck.
#3
the way fender, gibson, warmoth and any company that mass produces guitars and necks does it is with a CNC router. Its very fast and very presice, but unless you have atleast $60,000 to drop on a middle of the line 3 axis router, your going to be doing it by hand.
Quote by Stiffy Maximus
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#4
you can do it, but you have a HIGH risk of ****ing up your neck..

also IDK what you would use for the actual inlay.....
#5
There is a gentleman that does BEAUTIFUL inlay work with accoustic guitars, full body, but he doesn't give out information on how he does it. I don't believe he uses a router, so are you certain that it is really that difficult by hand?
[[Current Projects:La Villa Strangiato , Cygnus X-1 ]]
Ibanez SA120
Digitech RP350 Modified
Fender Princeton 650
DR Color Coats
Slinky Hybrids
Gator Grips 2.0mm
#6
yeah its definitly hard to do by hand, if you know how to do it using jigs and such you can do simple ones with a hand router, but for inlays like whats at the top that would most likey be roughed out with a router then hand carved the rest of the way if a CNC router wasnt used.
Quote by Stiffy Maximus
i smoke some weed and get naked. thats the way to write a good song.
#7
Quote by Neshnabe
There is a gentleman that does BEAUTIFUL inlay work with accoustic guitars, full body, but he doesn't give out information on how he does it. I don't believe he uses a router, so are you certain that it is really that difficult by hand?


He is more than likely trained. You could just ask him to train you, or even pay him to do it for you.
#8
Quote by captainoid
He is more than likely trained. You could just ask him to train you, or even pay him to do it for you.


I agree with Kevin (lol)
I'm pretty sure you could Pay someone to do it for you, so u dont get a ****ed up neck.
#9
Quote by guitarded8one
I agree with Kevin (lol)
I'm pretty sure you could Pay someone to do it for you, so u dont get a ****ed up neck.


#10
so would just a regular old router work then, as long as you were....EXTREMELY careful :P
[[Current Projects:La Villa Strangiato , Cygnus X-1 ]]
Ibanez SA120
Digitech RP350 Modified
Fender Princeton 650
DR Color Coats
Slinky Hybrids
Gator Grips 2.0mm
#11
^ should do, you'd wanna practice though
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#12
Why is every one saying you will f**k up your neck??? The worst thing you can do when inlaying is not be terribly accurate and then you'llhave gaps and it wont look a good, yo guitar is not going to suddenly implode!

To inlay you need a dremel type tool, its like small version of a router, and thin craft knives.




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#13
Quote by Neshnabe
so would just a regular old router work then, as long as you were....EXTREMELY careful :P


Do you know what a Dremel is?

If not, its a small motorised hand tool that can be used for small cutting, carving, drilling, sanding etc operations.

Did you know, that they do a Router base for it?

http://www.dremel-direct.com/acatalog/Dremel_router.html
#14
^^this

and ^this.

Inlaying is not impossible. Make sure you don't rush, and make sure you save some sawdust to fill in the little places that you may have overcompensated with the router.
------

Shwiggity.
#15
Inlaying is actually pretty simple. If you have experience with tools i don't see why you couldn't do even the most complicated designs. They just take time. I am by no means an expert at inlaying but ive done a decent amount of it so I know whats involved. You basically have to hand cut the inlays with a jewelers saw (google) outline your inlays onto the wood with an excato knife, fill in the indentation with contrasting chalk, route with your dremel and glue in the inlays. Of course theres a little more too it than that but basically thats what you do.