Mandolin Build: Fret Board Inlay

(Prev: French Polish Top)

Again, one of my “signatures” on my hand-built instruments is abalone position markers.

This is a picture of the abalone inlay on mandolin #1. I use smaller 5mm dots, as opposed to 6mm, for this application. I like the look of the dots to be comfortably inside the frets. The larger dots […]

Uke Build: Heel Inlay

(Prev: Neck Bolt View)

Just to be different I used an abalone dot to enhance the heel of the neck. I felt the wood grain alone was a bit too conservative. Abalone’s grain is directional, but difficult to establish, because it has to be sanded to the surface of its surrounding inlay material. Meaning, that at […]

Uke Build: Side Dot Inlay

(Prev: Abalone Dot Inlay)

The side dots are cut from small, round plastic sticks (1/16” in diameter). They are installed with super glue and trimmed, then sanded.

(Next: Fretting)

Uke Build: Abalone Dot Inlay

(Prev: Fret Board Inlay)

Here you see the abalone dots super glued in place and rough sanded. One has to be careful of the abalone dust, it will actually cause serious breathing problems!!!

At this point in the construction the fret board has not had Tung oil applied to its top surface, once done it brings out […]

Uke Build: Fret Board Inlay

(Prev: Body Glue Up)

Here’s a picture of the layout for the abalone dot markers on the fret board, those centerlines are critical, especially as the frets get closer together!!!

One of my “signatures” is the use of abalone for position markers, I like the appearance of abalone and every piece is unique, no two instruments will […]