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Thursday, December 17, 2015

Wood inlay

Another post title I had in mind was "shit marquetry" but as I am rather pleased with the result I thought again. 

The ukulele is for my good friend Chris Davies. We have a trade economy going me and Chris; he gives me stuff and I have so far fettled his tenor uke. But as I'm in the red after he gave me a massive vise I am building a uke for him. A koa soprano that I want to make a bit personal. 

So, what better way than inlaying the fretboard. The motif was obvious, the technique not so obvious. I went with wood, and chose mahogany. The fretboard then had to be ebony so the mahogany would stand out. 

Here's the vise, a Record with quick release. I love it. 

Here's the sketch of the inlay. Overly complicated. 

Here's the wee piece after glueing insanely small pieces of wood. The joint between the handle and the screw is a half lap joint with a cut out to make it look three dimensional. I won't do this again.

Hogging out the recess with a router bit. I kept the fretboard on the moving table and turned the cranks.

After much fettling with tiny chisels it went in, and I soaked it with cyanoacrylate glues of different viscosities. 

The caul is covered with masking tape and the tape is covered with wax to stop it from getting caught in the glue. 

Then I made the slots and planed the edges to the desired profile. I won't continue to show you the fretting because I have had a spot of trouble seating the frets. Ebony is tough but it will be ok with a bit more work. 

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