Using a jewellers saw and some fine blades along with a simple piece of softwood with a slot and a hole I broke several blades but ended up with a nice set of inlays.
Then I run the ebony through the jointer to flatten one side and then ran it through the thicknesser to get it around 7mm (9/32") thick.
StewMac with some self adhesive sand paper of 80 grit to do the initial shaping.
Essentially the aluminium beam has a concave radius of 12" machined into one face. You stick the sandpaper onto this face.
Then with the board fixed to the bench with some double-sided tape you transfer the concave radius to the board by moving the beam back and forth sanding a convex radius onto the board.
I then cut the board edges slightly larger than finished size on the band saw.
|Next I used a small router to rout a slot or dado at one end of the board for the nut. This will also be used as a datum for all the fret slots.|
|To cut the fret slots I used a shop made fret slotting mitre box as a guide for my fret saw.|
Indexing the board on to the next position, finally tuning the position of the slot with the calipers I cut the next slot. I always use the measurement from the nut to fret rather than fret to fret to avoid cumulative error.
After cutting 24 fret slots using this method I ended up with this:
|Slotted board with the inlay roughly positioned|
|View showing routed recess|
|Inlay piece in the recess|
|More inlay pieces waiting for me |
to rout their respective pockets
Each of the inlays were glued into the board using black CA glue. When dry I used the levelling beam again, with various different grits, to flush the abalone to the same level as the ebony. The CA glue is a medium viscosity and fills any minor routing imperfections.
|Board during final sanding|
Next time I'll show the neck construction, fretboard installation and fretting process.