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Dark Wooden Side Dots

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by FunkMetalBass, Aug 8, 2012.

  1. FunkMetalBass


    Aug 5, 2005
    Phoenix, Arizona 85029
    Endorsing Artist: J.C. Basses
    My build has a maple fretboard and neck with walnut front dots. I was hoping to get some small (1/8", maybe?) walnut dowels, but can't seem to find them readily available. Have any of you had luck in dying small birch dowels for this use before?
  2. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    The tip section of a Miller dowel, size mini-x, is 5/32 diameter by over 5-8 long. They're available in walnut.

    You could size them down by drilling a sharp-edged 1/8 hole in a steel plate, then putting a lead taper on the dowel and driving it through the hole, which will shave it to size.

    You'd first have to either find them in a store, or call Miller, to find out whether the glue ridges are on that last section or not.
  3. Bruce Johnson

    Bruce Johnson Commercial User

    Feb 4, 2011
    Fillmore, CA
    Professional Luthier
    Find someone with a small metalworking lathe and have them make up dots to whatever size you need. I usually saw the wood into 1/4" square strips, then cut them off into 2" long lengths. Pop the strips into a 1/4" square collet (or a small 4-jaw chuck) and turn about 1/2" of the end to 1/8" diameter. Use a Zona saw to saw off a couple of dots.

    Another alternative is to use common birch dowel stock. Saw off a batch of dots and soak them for a day or two in a thinned dark stain. Then maybe dip them in some clear shellac or polyurethane. Let them dry before gluing them into the neck. Hopefully, the stain saturated in deep enough to stay brown when you trim them off. If not, drill them out and try again.
  4. HaMMerHeD


    May 20, 2005
    Norman, OK, USA
    Alternatively, make some walnut sanding dust, mix with a thinned epoxy or medium-viscosity ca, drill and fill. Obviously you won't have visible grain, but the color should be right.
  5. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    I would expect the dust / glue mixture to be significantly darker than walnut wood.
  6. jumbodbassman

    jumbodbassman Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2009
    Stuck in traffic -NY & CT
    Born Again Tubey
    as you get older you will want shiny big dots.....
    andaloudog likes this.

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