InLace liquid inlay

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by wentworthk, Nov 12, 2012.


  1. wentworthk

    wentworthk

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2012
    Location:
    portland
    Hey Guys,

    as you may have seen from before, I am a complete NOOB. just want to share my experience with this product, as I haven't found much on the web about this stuff...as it applies to stringed instruments.

    To start out, I'm currently working on my first "project bass". It's an Epiphone EB-3 I got off ebay for 30 bucks. It came with no parts and was painted black.

    Obviously, I wanted to take the paint off. in my infinite wisdom i assumed the inlay was mother of pearl, and didn't tape off the finger board when using jasco chemical paint stripper to take the paint off. well, it ate through the mother of plastic inlay when it got on there. so now I have to replace the inlay. crap. i just went for it and applied several coats of jasco to the plastic inlays and completely emptied the routed cavities they were in. nice clean holes now.

    Having never done inlay before, but understanding the process that the hole's shape usually is dictated by the shape cut out of the mother of pearl, I had a predicament. especially this being an epiphone. Trust me, I've seen the precut shapes over at stew mac. but everything I've read says they wont fit due to it being an epi and not a gibson. apparently the epi trapezoid sides are more concave. oh well.

    I racked my brain for an easy get of jail free card. route out squares? throw it away? i thought for about a week. then i found this stuff on line. InLace Liquid inlay. thank goodness.

    so I've attached some images of the process that its going through. again, I've made sure that the holes are clean, and the wood is dry, apparently this stuff can have a hard time setting up and doing its thing if the wood its going into is really oily...

    [​IMG]

    this is it mixed up, I did use a little bit of the "thicken it" stuff they sell. made it a little more thick, the actually product in the can was really thin, and I was kind of worried about it being too soupy.

    the thicken it stuff is wierd. when i got it in the mail with the kit, i picked up the bottle and thought id gotten and empty one, only to open it and find it full of wierd fluffy stuff. like finley diced down feathers almost. theres no way its good for humans to come in contact with....

    anyways, this picture is about an ounce of the stuff mixed up. i used MAYBE a quarter of it on the first two holes.also, I did 25 drops of the hardner, your supposed to do 25-30 drops per ounce, however the instructions say that too much can actually prevent it from hardening (as if that makes sense)

    [​IMG]

    this is a set up i had for it, super junior varsity, i know. i figure epoxy will have a hard time sticking to tinfoil...

    [​IMG]

    this is the first hole taped up. i ended up taping up the second one really quickly after realizing how much and ounce of this stuff makes.

    [​IMG]

    here it is in the holes, I'll let you all know how it comes out. after sanding and what not. again just want to share my experience with this stuff. also, tips and trick for dealing with this stuff, and or epoxy in general would be amazing as this is my first time on both.

    -Went
  2. Smilodon

    Smilodon Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2012
    Location:
    Norway
    I was actually planning on using epoxy for the inlays on my current project. Didn't know there was a commercially available product specifically made for this.

    I'm very interested to see how this turns out. :)
  3. Stealth

    Stealth Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2008
    Location:
    Zagreb, Croatia
    This looks cool. Subbed to see how it turns out.
  4. NewtoBass33

    NewtoBass33

    Joined:
    May 25, 2011
    Can you mix color dye powder or something into that stuff to make colored inlays? Also could you use this to fill holes where frets have been removed? Sorry alot of question but this stuff is interesting.
  5. wentworthk

    wentworthk

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2012
    Location:
    portland
    Smilodon, I was excited when I found it. It sounds like the product is mainly geared towards wood turners, however I did find one spot in their site where it specifically said "stringed instruments"

    Newtobass, yes you can mix custom colors, they offer a clear option and a bunch of colors, as well as sparkles and faux pearl options, the one other place online I've seen this reviewed for guitars, there were only pictures of it in its finished state,the guy used the pearl option there.

    He also said that he had used it four years prior and that it had held up fine, something about Michigan winters and temperature extremes too.

    I took some pics of it this morning, it's hardened seemingly almost completely. I'll post pics and try and find that other review when I get to work, as im on the train now...
  6. Hapa

    Hapa

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2011
    Location:
    Fort Collins, CO
    Disclosures:
    Bass Industry guy, currently a free agent
    Just fyi, you could have bought blocks for the guitar... Stew mac or luthier supply http://www.luthiersupply.com/blockfretinlaypage.html
    If the stripper was strong enough to dissentigrate the pearloid then it is likely strong enough to act as a glue solvent. Frets will likely be loose. Refret is likely neccesary.
    Removing frets is pretty standard for doing blocks. you are going to have a heck of a time level sanding the inlay material...let alone at the same radius as the neck.
  7. Snort

    Snort

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2010
    Location:
    A Brit Abroad Halifax Canada
    Happa beat me to it was going to say you will need to remove the Frets to be able to level that, and end up with a nice straight level Fretboard. you would most likely have needed to do that whichever method you used for inlays.

    Then again it all adds to your experience, you will need a Radiused sanding block, and some new fretwire, make sure you lift the old frets very carefully so you dont damage the fret slots.
  8. Beej

    Beej

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2007
    Location:
    Canadia
    I agree that the frets will have to come out, but this is a perfect opportunity to learn to do a refret. Cool thread...
  9. wentworthk

    wentworthk

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2012
    Location:
    portland
    trying sooo hard not to have to refret... seems really difficult...
  10. NewtoBass33

    NewtoBass33

    Joined:
    May 25, 2011
    Why would you have to refret? Why not just sand it between the frets like adjacent to the strings instead of parallel? One of the frets in that picture does not look seated very well anyway though.
  11. Gabeja15

    Gabeja15

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2009
    Location:
    Brooklyn, New York
    if you sand the blocks between the frets, you can get it to look proper, but it will be nearly impossible to make each one conform to a uniform radius
  12. Hapa

    Hapa

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2011
    Location:
    Fort Collins, CO
    Disclosures:
    Bass Industry guy, currently a free agent
    Inlay on any neck is done before fretboard leveling so the final leveling of the fb makes the inlays flush with the board, then frets are installed. Usually one uses a radius block.

    Also think about the high frets and sanding between 18th and 19th fret...with a block. It be like sanding with a chop stick moving 3mm at most in each direction. that's a prison project right there.

    Also mentioned was the solvent and the glue used on the fretting. those frets will come loose over time, if there isn't glue.
  13. Hapa

    Hapa

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2011
    Location:
    Fort Collins, CO
    Disclosures:
    Bass Industry guy, currently a free agent
    for $30 that is a great project btw.
  14. wentworthk

    wentworthk

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2012
    Location:
    portland
    Happa, $30 thats what I thought... i hear you on inlay first frets second. i'm just young, impatient, and trying to skip steps...



    You all and Dan Erlewine have me thinking now... this doesnt look horrible... kind of fun... and my girlfriend will love the fret hammering in our downtown portland apartment... hell- she already had a blast with the epoxy inlay fumes!

    http://www.youtube.com/embed/st6ZlzmZAJE
  15. NewtoBass33

    NewtoBass33

    Joined:
    May 25, 2011
    Ok that makes sense, lol I have never done anything like that so I was just curious. Hahah. Also if I ask questions maybe others including the OP can find some usefulness in it.
  16. suraj

    suraj

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2008
    Location:
    Mumbai, India
    Technically on a fretted instrument the strings don't really touch the fingerboard surface. So if he just uses a fine file between frets to level the goo, it should be good to go. Getting a uniform and absolutely perfect radius won't really be necessary.
  17. Beej

    Beej

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2007
    Location:
    Canadia
    Maybe, but that is not the way to do it right. It's a patchwork method at best and does not address the potential loose fret issue. That board will take just as many hours to look as good as it would if it were to be defretted, sanded, radiused, planed and refretted...
  18. mcnach

    mcnach

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2007
    Location:
    Edinburgh, Scotland
    As lovers of scalloped fingerboards can confirm...
  19. wentworthk

    wentworthk

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2012
    Location:
    portland
    oh man, this whole conversation has me chuckling now, its like talking to my father:

    "if your going to do it, do it right the first time."


    looks like I'll be learning to refret this thing. for better or worse. cant be too bad, the stewmac videos make it look easy enough.

    watch now folks as i magically turn an informational thread on my experiences with liquid inlay into a "dear god help, i have no idea what I'm doing with regards to refretting."

    I'm guessing my first things I'm going to need are these?:

    http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Tools/Special_tools_for_Fretting/Radius_Gauges.html

    http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Tools/Special_tools_for_Fretting/Fret_Cutter.html

    or do you think I could bring it in (with tail between legs) to a shop and get them to tell me what the radius is on the fretboard? just thinking that I need to figure out the fretboard radius before picking up an appropriately sized fretboard block, with witch to sand the inlay and future frets accordingly?

    or does anyone know off the top of thier head what the fretboard radius is on an epiphone eb-3?
  20. Smilodon

    Smilodon Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2012
    Location:
    Norway

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