Dismiss Notice

Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

Inlays on fretless?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by John Ruiz, Apr 29, 2003.


  1. John Ruiz

    John Ruiz

    Oct 9, 2000
    Plano, Tx
    I was wondering - why don't you often see inlays on fretless boards? does it affect tone? or does the inlay material get easily torn up? or is it just a personal preference type of thing? Or maybe I just haven't seen many...

    Anyhow, I am planning on making my next bass a fretless and I had an idea for an inlay that is somewhat large, but I don't want to do it if it is going to cause problems. So what's the scoop on this?? Also, are there certain materials I should avoid using in an inlay on a fretless board?
     
  2. CDuff

    CDuff

    Sep 14, 2002
    Europe
    Not being a luthier, this is just a lay-persons opinion.... a large inlay made of different wood is gonna have some tonal effect that probably wouldn't be too nice sonically but........

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Suburban

    Suburban

    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    It's not too usual. The plain wood is valued as more beautiful, on a fret free board.

    For tonal consistency, I would suggest wooden inlays. Which is not a problem, there are several hard woods that can be used, and they come in different natural colours!

    If you want white on black, put e.g. hornbeam inlays in the ebony board. Then, purpleheart would be a nice effect on a truely black board. Etc.
     
  4. CDuff

    CDuff

    Sep 14, 2002
    Europe
    well that showed me! :)

    anyway, what were you thinkin for your inlay design John?
    any chance of some sneaky previews?
     
  5. John Ruiz

    John Ruiz

    Oct 9, 2000
    Plano, Tx
    well the inlay that I really want may be too big for a fretless, I'm still deciding, and wood would be the primary inlay material. I am going to (either on my fretless or my next fretted...?) inlay the sun in the middle of the fingerboard surrounded by the planets to scale with various materials, which I haven't entirely decided on yet. and as far as sneak previews... Well, if I get the guts to do it, I'll be posting some pics! I haven't even drawn it out yet, as I wanted to find out about the practicality before I dove in too deep.

    P.S: any suggestions for materials? I am thinking (in no particular order) Goncalo alves for Jupiter, Redheart for Mars, and after that.... well, I haven't gotten there yet...
     
  6. CDuff

    CDuff

    Sep 14, 2002
    Europe
    :eek: wow! that sounds crazy! I'd love to see that.....you could use a LED for Alpha Centauri :) :)

    as for woods, i'm not too well versed on the different varieties but how about a little cocobolo for one of the biggies like jupiter or saturn?

    and possibly some olive ash or something similar for the bright,bright sun

    .....although, the planets will probably be too small to really show the grain.

    BTW, assuming you would like to do this on an ebony board?