Saturday, April 26, 2014

Custom Inlay

I had a request to create a design of a bee inlaid into the end of a mandolin fretboard. I first created a digital sketch to show what I had in mind.

I cut the pieces from white and gold mother-of-pearl, Paua abalone and square sterling silver wire.

I removed the last few frets and "scooped" the fretboard end per the client's request. I printed out the design, cut it out and glued it to the fretboard so I could easily see where I needed to rout.

 I cut a thin piece of plywood to lay over the end of the scooped out fretboard end so I'd have a level surface to support the router and control the depth of the cut.

After the cavity has been routed out, I began laying in the tiny pieces of shell and wire.

Then I filled the space between the wire lines and the original fret slots and sanded it flush. Just the right amount of whimsy.