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Thread: Should I replace/add some inlays?

  1. #1
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    Should I replace/add some inlays?

    I'm currently tackling my first build - and I'm having a blast. I'm about to enter the sanding phase before finishing.

    My neck seems to have the dots painted on:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Which is fine - I understand these kits are made to a price.

    But I'd like to replace them with something else - I'm guessing with any kind of sanding they will come off or fade anyway.

    I don't have a drill press so would be drilling the holes with a power drill, tape and brad point bit.

    My main concern is actually finishing the inlay flush with the board once glued in place. But the Pitbull video makes this seem okay - I've got some needle files and fine sand paper.

    Am I crazy to attempt this on my first build? Am I getting over confident? Or is it easier that it seems?

  2. #2
    Mentor fender3x's Avatar
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    I have never seen painted on dots, although I supposed it's possible. The dots I have gotten on Pitbull necks (as well as on other aftermarket necks) are made of plastic and are a fairly cheap in lay.

    If you want to replace them, there is a some Youtube and other info on how to do it here:

    https://www.buildyourownguitar.com.a...ead.php?t=2584

    I have not changed out my dots...but I have thought about it. I actually got as far as purchasing some dots. I stared to drill one out, and it actually popped out before I drilled all the way through it. That was fortuitous, because I realized that the dots I had purchased were less than half as think as the plastic dot I had just removed.

    In my case, because I had not drilled all the way through the dot and it had popped out clean, I was able to just turn it over and glue it back in.

    Dots generally come in two sizes 6mm and 1/4". The Putbull dots are generally 6mm, I think. If you are committed to changing out the dots, I would wait to purchase your dots until you have popped one out. You want them to be the same depth as the hole or slightly thicker so that you can sand them flat.

  3. #3
    Overlord of Music McCreed's Avatar
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    I have never seen painted on dots, although I supposed it's possible. The dots I have gotten on Pitbull necks (as well as on other aftermarket necks) are made of plastic and are a fairly cheap in lay.
    This is my experience as well. I've only done one PBG kit with a maple neck, but I'm quite confident saying the fret markers are not painted on. Also, IME maple fretboards shouldn't require any significant sanding (if any at all) unless there is some defect that needs fixing.
    Making the world a better place; one guitar at a time...

  4. #4
    GAStronomist FrankenWashie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Groovyman32 View Post
    Am I crazy to attempt this on my first build? Am I getting over confident? Or is it easier that it seems?
    I believe I currently hold the gold standard on crazy things to do on your first build..see link
    https://www.buildyourownguitar.com.a...ankeWashie%92s

    Normally for Inlay, the dots or whatever are laid into the board prior to radius addition and adding of frets (Often before slotting).

    That will allow you to add sufficient thickness to be able to profile the board smooth. The pitfall of doing it on a profiled board with frets in place is that you either end up with a dot sitting proud or slightly recessed. The frets also restrict your working room, especially once you move up to the higher frets.
    You can sand a proud dot back but you may also mar the board or make a localised depression around it from sanding it flat.
    All that said, it is a matter of personal choice, if it is something you want to do, then do it. Consider what I’ve detailed above and plan accordingly.
    Check what thickness of dots or markers you can get so you know how deep you need to drill etc.
    Experiment on scrap to find a working method that will allow you to abrade a proud dot without damaging or marking the board.
    Mask off with masking tape to tell you when you are getting close so that you ease up.
    FOr low dots you might be able to use an acrylic or epoxy resin to fill the gap and then sand that back.

    It’s all about finding a way to do things. That is the part of this whole lark that I really enjoy.

    I say HAVE AT IT! 😜
    FrankenLab
    Where “What if?” meets “Why the hell not?!”.


  5. #5
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    Thanks guys,

    Quote Originally Posted by fender3x View Post
    I have never seen painted on dots, although I supposed it's possible.
    I think they're painted on you can see the wood grain in the dots. This is really obvious if you zoom in on the picture I posted.

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    I guess they could be wooden inlays?

    I've ordered some 6mm black mother of pearl dots - they're only a few quid for a set of 12 so that gives me a couple to practice with. I guess I can use the scrap headstock material.

    I guess I've got giddy over my successful ferrule drilling so I'm taking a moment to make sure I'm not attempting something that will be way beyond my skill level.

    But unless you do something you don't learn how to do it!

  6. #6
    GAStronomist FrankenWashie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Groovyman32 View Post
    Thanks guys,



    I think they're painted on you can see the wood grain in the dots. This is really obvious if you zoom in on the picture I posted.

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    I guess they could be wooden inlays?

    I've ordered some 6mm black mother of pearl dots - they're only a few quid for a set of 12 so that gives me a couple to practice with. I guess I can use the scrap headstock material.

    I guess I've got giddy over my successful ferrule drilling so I'm taking a moment to make sure I'm not attempting something that will be way beyond my skill level.

    But unless you do something you don't learn how to do it!
    They are likely plastic dots inlaid. The grain to them is likely factory sanding marks. Black mother of pearl will be sweet with the maple.
    FrankenLab
    Where “What if?” meets “Why the hell not?!”.


  7. Liked by: Groovyman32

  8. #7
    Overlord of Music McCreed's Avatar
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    They are likely plastic dots inlaid. The grain to them is likely factory sanding marks.
    FrankenWashie beat me to it. Looks like sanding marks to me as well. If you're keen on doing the mod though, go for it!
    Making the world a better place; one guitar at a time...

  9. Liked by: Groovyman32

  10. #8
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    What's the best way to remove the sanding marks, without trashing the radius? Wire wool maybe?

  11. #9
    GAStronomist FrankenWashie's Avatar
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    Maybe 6 or 800 grit paper on an eraser or small cork block. Very gentle strokes, only a couple at a time, checking frequently.
    FrankenLab
    Where “What if?” meets “Why the hell not?!”.


  12. Liked by: Groovyman32

  13. #10
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    Thanks - I might give that a whirl first before drilling out to see if I can get a cleaner look. Although the MOP will look nice

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