Material for block inlays ???

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Waxwing, Jan 6, 2014.


  1. Waxwing

    Waxwing

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    Hello.

    I've got a maple neck with the typical black dot inlays but would really like to have black blocks instead. Anybody ever installed black blocks? If so, what material did you use? I first thought of ebony. Then I read that Warmoth uses corian. I've seen black mop on the internet but it's really not very black.

    Thoughts or suggestion anyone? Thanks so much!
     
  2. Grissle

    Grissle

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  3. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member

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    When I do any black inlays, blocks, dots, or otherwise, I just fill the cavity with black epoxy
     
  4. Waxwing

    Waxwing

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    Black epoxy, huh? Wouldn't have thought of that. Can you buy black epoxy or do you have to mix something with it to make it black? Can you finish over it? It buffs out to a shine?
     
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  6. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member

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    I use an epoxy pigment and a slow drying epoxy like mirror coat. Make sure you seal the wood before applying the epoxy or it can stain the wood around your inlay. To answer your question, just about any finish can be applied over the epoxy, and it will buff out to a high gloss on its own. Just give it at least 3 full days to dry

    I use this stuff to tint the epoxy.
    http://m.woodcraft.com/Product/2004505/8370/System-Three-Epoxy-Pigment-Black-2--oz.aspx

    I have recently had success with another method. I filled the dot holes of a guitar with black metal flake and dropped a couple drops of CA glue on top of the dry flake. It looks pretty cool, but I imagine this method wouldn't work so well for anything larger than a 1/4 inch dot.
     
  7. Waxwing

    Waxwing

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    Hmmm... I'm very intrigued with this idea.

    Do you level the epoxy while it's still wet or do you leave it proud, then sand & level after it's dried?

    Do you have any photos?
     
  8. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member

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    Leave it proud and sand it after its dried. I usually do this on new instruments before radiusing the fretboard so the epoxy and board are at the same radius.

    This is a neck I did with large dots with black epoxy. Notice how the black kind of leached into the maple, this is because I didn't spray a clear sealer coat before applying the epoxy.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  9. pfox14

    pfox14

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    I mix 2 part epoxy with black aniline dye. Works very well.
     
  10. Waxwing

    Waxwing

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    Thanks for all the responses. I'm going to try the epoxy instead of ebony or corian. I do have the added challenge of doing this on a neck that is already radiused and fretted (I plan to remove the frets). I'll be buying a cheap neck off ebay for testing before I tackle my good neck.
     
  11. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member

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    Just remember to spray a couple coats of clear before you pour the epoxy because it will stain the maple if you do not.
     

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