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DIY Glow dots - Black tube material options

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by chinjazz, Nov 19, 2018.

  1. Hey Folks,

    I've seen a few build threads here going with a DIY glow dot. I like being able to save $ and DIY if possible..

    Just saw a Highline Guitar video on how simple it can be:

    For a Maple fretboard, does anyone know of a comparable Black material I could use to this white one?


    I would probably go with this glow powder as it seems to glow longer according to a few reviews: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00H9103X...olid=2QBROKTSMSJH4&psc=0&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it

    Cheers, and thanks!
  2. I have lumnilay side dots on my Kiesel, I guess I don't play on dark stages enough for them to be a factor plus or minus.
    chinjazz likes this.
  3. Cool. I'll eventually check out Luminlay's, but want to explore other options for the time being.
  4. Bruce Johnson

    Bruce Johnson Commercial User

    Feb 4, 2011
    Fillmore, CA
    Professional Luthier
    You are asking about making rings around the luminescent dots, like in the picture, but black? There's a lot of small black plastic tubing available. You'd need to find a size that works for you. The best thing is rigid tubing like carbon fiber or ABS. Nylon or poly tubing may be difficult to get glue to bond to.

    I've never tried it, but you might be able to use the insulation from household electrical wire. Take a short chunk of black 12 ga solid wire and slice off rings of the insulation with a razor blade? That might be about the right size for side dots.

    This is where it really helps to have a small metal lathe. I make up "dot rings" like that on a regular basis for Mike Lipe. He fills the rings with his own mix of glue and luminescent powder from an art supply store. The glow and colors are at least as good as the Lumilay stock. I make most of the rings from aluminum rod stock, drilling the center and slicing them off. I've made a few sets from black ABS rod stock.
  5. Hey Bruce, those are good ideas.

    I was checking out McMaster earlier and think I only saw bigger radius carbon or ABS. I'll check again. I think finding the right sizes is the main challenge given I don't have a small metal lathe.

    Along the lines of making dot rings, perhaps aluminum tubing would work? I was at a local Ace Hardware and saw some brass tubing but wasn't thinking about this at the time.

    More details, plastic, manmade or metal bits in my future :)

  6. Bruce Johnson

    Bruce Johnson Commercial User

    Feb 4, 2011
    Fillmore, CA
    Professional Luthier
    There's plenty of small aluminum and brass tubing at your local hobby shop. They also have some styrene plastic tubing, in with the model railroad scenery materials.

    For mail order, check MicroMark.
  7. I took a quick trip to Ace and found aluminum and Brass. Picked up a 3/32 or 2.38mm piece of Aluminum (2.00). I'll experiment with it in terms of being able to sand it nice. I'll check out a hobby shop for styrene as well.

    Thanks Bruce!!

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