Thursday, 20 August 2015

Foxy Inlay

So as the dust settles after the festivals and I continue to ponder the logistics of a black guitar (more on that in a separate post) it's time to start the headstock inlay. This is such an exciting part!

As shown in earlier posts I'm using a Fox design in green banded malachite and mother of pearl.

First the printed design was stuck to the malachite with super-glue. That might sound a bit overkill but it's the best adhesive for gluing paper to a non-porous material. It's also important that it doesn't move or peel off while I'm cutting.

I used a jewellers piercing saw with a 2/0 blade. This is a similar to a coping saw but much finer. More details here: Wikipedia - Piercing Saw The work is supported by a board with a slot at one end allowing the blade to cut the material but keeping it supported on 3 sides. The picture below shows the sort of thing you can buy but mine is made from an old chopping board and works just as well.

For both the malachite and the mother of pearl I chose to cut just outside the design and then used needle files to finish the shape. A more experienced worker would probably cut along the line. 

The next stage was to cut out the slot in the headstock where the design is going to sit. After sticking the design to the surface, also with super-glue, I scored around the edge of the picture with a scalpel.

I set the depth on the plunger router so that the design will sit slightly proud of the surface and routed away the shape. I used a 1mm spiral down cut bit because this gives a flat surface and good sides to the slot. This bit is actually designed for a Dremel multi-tool (1/8 shank) but I have a conversion collet that allows me to use it in the 1/4 inch router which has a more stable base.

The design was fixed in place with super-glue. To fill any small gaps I would usually use fine sawdust to match the surrounding wood and mix it with clear super-glue to create a custom filler. As this guitar will be stained black I simply used black super-glue. This is slightly thicker in consistency and therefore makes a good filler in it's own right.
When it was fully dry I filed it back to flush. Makes a lot of mess!

Then I worked through a series of finishing papers ending with 1200 wet and dry and then very fine wire wool.
Here it is! Around 10 hours work in all. The surrounding rosewood has had one coat of black stain but will probably require a few more.
The next instalment will include a science bit... concentrate!

1 comment:

  1. HI Amy, wow such a talented young girl. anyways I have some parts of my guitar that i am selling maybe you got interested. see my post here