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fret marker material ideas

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by ILLINOX, Nov 11, 2012.



    Jun 20, 2011
    good evening gentleman

    i was down in the market today and looking at some abalone and other rocks and thinking about whether or not they'd work for fret markers.
    after all the work i'm putting into my first build i'd feel pretty mickey mouse to just... you know... use plastic dots.

    your thoughts? other materials that have been nice to work with?

  2. gbarcus

    gbarcus Commercial User

    Jul 20, 2008
    Minneapolis & St.Paul, MN
    Owner of Barcus Basses barcusbasses.com
  3. Thomas Kievit

    Thomas Kievit Guest

    May 19, 2012
    I would go for Abalone. My favorite fret markers material ;)
  4. OK, I thought these would be stupid, but after looking at the site and thinking about it, I have changed my mind - these are tight!
  5. NewtoBass33


    May 25, 2011
    So household lights make the luminlay brighter.....kind of like a glow in the dark bracelet????
  6. MegaSwing

    MegaSwing Your Obedient Bassist® Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 26, 2002
    Baltimore, MD USA
    I think abalone really looks good as position markers.
  7. TheEmptyCell

    TheEmptyCell Bearded Dingwall Enthusiast

    Jul 16, 2005
    Belfast, UK
    Abalone is not a stone.

    Wood to match the body gets my vote.
  8. Beej


    Feb 10, 2007
    Victoria, BC
    If you're still in mexico Illinox, why not see if you can find something local that might work. Tons of alabaster and shells around that might make some nice inlays...


    Jun 20, 2011
    correct, abalone is not a stone. my poor grammar...
    "abalone, as well as semi-precious and precioius stones"

    Beej, I am still in Mexico, and the markets are loaded with abalone, jade, pyrite, onyx, y mas.
    That was basically why I started this thread; I've found so many materials for so cheap and I wanted to ask opinions about whether or not I could use them as inlay before going ahead and just doing it.

    But yes, mostly I'm thinking in blackish abalone. very sexy :)

    thanks guys
  10. ctmullins

    ctmullins fueled by beer and coconut Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    Abalone is beautiful.

    But please don't make lots of abalone dust without a mask.
  11. colcifer

    colcifer Esteemed Nitpicker Supporting Member

    Feb 10, 2010
    A Galaxy Far, Far Away
    Aluminum and or brass.
  12. Big B.

    Big B.

    Dec 31, 2007
    Austin, TX
    I like matching wood markers.
  13. wmheilma


    Jan 5, 2010
    Abalone is from seashells like mother of pearl. It is beautiful. You can get pre-cut abalone or mother of pearl dots in various sizes at stewmac.com. They even have Paua abalone from Hawaii which is naturally blue and very unique looking.


    Jun 20, 2011
    how would you gents fasten them? crazy glue, wood glue?
  15. Musiclogic

    Musiclogic Commercial User

    Aug 6, 2005
    Southwest Michigan
    Owner/Builder: HJC Customs USA, The Cool Lute, C G O
    Most shells and metals I use epoxy, for wood markers I'll use wood glue or epoxy