Guitar Making Tip No. 789

brian forbes westfarthing woodworks author biography about me experience

Guitar Making Tip Number 789 is about inlaying and guitar making. Inlaying is very common part of guitar making, however this is at the basic levels. Inlaying is a completely different skill than making a guitar. Here is how treating inlaying differently can help you.

The Book Store is Now Open!   Happy Building!

Inlaying and Guitar Making

guitar making tip number 789Most guitar making facilities have different areas for different parts of the craft. Most of the people that are making certain parts of the guitar rarely make others. Also, most of the inlay work that is not done by a machine is done by hand.

The more interesting thing is that the person doing the inlay work typically does not know how to make a guitar. Also, the guitar maker that hands over the instrument doesn’t know how to inlay at the higher levels.

As a new guitar maker, it can be tempting to take a look at a really nice inlay and want to do something similar on your guitar. My recommendation is to treat inlay work and guitar making as two separate skills, especially if you are destined for the higher end of the craft. This helps you for a couple reasons…

Inlay Work is Frustrating

If you think a guitar takes a long time to make, try a complex inlay. A really complex inlay, done well, can take a very long time. The work is tedious, slow, and time consuming. It’s also super stressful at first.

The goal of a good inlay is to make a person look at the work and be amazed. You know that if you produce a poorly cut and poorly fitted inlay that your experience is going to be less than the awe you are hoping for. This is where it causes stress.

Free Woodworking Tips Delivered Every Monday! Add Me to the List!

As you are cutting away your cavities and creating your pieces, you can really start to stress out in the beginning. However, here is something that you can do in order to make this an easier and more fun part of the guitar making process.

Aim a Little Lower With Your Inlay Work

My best piece of advice for inlay work is to treat it as a separate skill. Don’t just assume that because you are a guitar maker that you can do a huge tribal abalone inlay across the entire fretboard. You can with practice, but it will probably not turn out well on round one.

acoustic guitar making how to make tools templates and jigs book beginner book for new guitar makers

If you aim for something that is more in your talent window in the beginning, you can still get the practice you need, but you can also ensure a less stressful task. It may not have the same pop as a mother of pearl dragon, but that’s part of practicing.

When you have a few of these smaller works under your belt, you are in a much better position to tackle the bigger jobs in the future. As time goes by, you will increase your skills as a inlay artist as well as a guitar maker.

Practice Without Consequences

If practicing on the real thing is going to drive you nuts, then practice on a piece of scrap wood that you don’t care about. Buy a scrap of the same species that you will be inlaying on, and then use it as a test piece.

Perform the inlay just as you would with the real guitar. Use the same materials, the same techniques, and don’t skip anything. Treat that scrap like gold, and attempt to execute the inlay perfectly.

You are going to make some mistakes, and that’s ok. They are consequence free, since you are working on a scrap. Complete the inlay, and you will be in a much better position to execute the real thing when the time comes.

Free Woodworking Tips Delivered Every Monday! Add Me to the List!

Post Author-

brian forbes westfarthing woodworks llc owner

  • 20 Years Experience in Woodworking
  • 7 Published Books Available on Amazon
  • 750+ Helpful Posts Written
  • 1 Million+ Words Published
 

You Can Find My Books on Amazon!

woodworking and guitar making books
 

Filter:AllOpenResolvedClosedUnanswered
Forum Guidelines (Please Read)
ClosedWestfarthing Woodworks asked 2 weeks ago • 
102 views0 answers0 votes
How do acoustic guitars work?
OpenWestfarthing Woodworks asked 3 days ago • 
8 views0 answers0 votes
Could DIY guitars built from kits sell?
OpenWestfarthing Woodworks asked 3 days ago • 
9 views0 answers0 votes
What tools does someone need to build electric guitars?
AnsweredBrian answered 4 days ago • 
25 views1 answers0 votes
What types of bone are guitar saddles made from?
AnsweredBrian answered 6 days ago • 
34 views1 answers0 votes
How can I build my own guitar?
OpenWestfarthing Woodworks asked 6 days ago • 
14 views0 answers0 votes
Where do You Get Guitar Making Wood?
AnsweredBrian answered 1 week ago • 
60 views1 answers0 votes
Do You Need a Lot of Tools to Make a Guitar?
AnsweredWestfarthing Woodworks answered 2 weeks ago • 
52 views1 answers0 votes
Is it Hard to Make a Guitar?
AnsweredWestfarthing Woodworks answered 2 weeks ago • 
52 views1 answers0 votes
Does Tru-Oil Change the Tone of Your Instrument?
AnsweredWestfarthing Woodworks answered 2 weeks ago • 
70 views1 answers0 votes
Can You Make Your Own Guitar Making Tools?
AnsweredWestfarthing Woodworks answered 2 weeks ago • 
35 views1 answers0 votes
Easy Finishes for Guitars?
AnsweredWestfarthing Woodworks answered 2 weeks ago • 
54 views1 answers0 votes
Headstock Relief Angle?
AnsweredWestfarthing Woodworks answered 2 weeks ago • 
52 views1 answers0 votes
Building the Fretboard Off the Neck?
AnsweredWestfarthing Woodworks answered 2 weeks ago • 
35 views1 answers0 votes
Should I make a Kit First?
OpenBrian asked 2 weeks ago • 
12 views0 answers0 votes
Finishing a Guitar With the Bridge and Neck Separate?
AnsweredWestfarthing Woodworks answered 2 weeks ago • 
27 views1 answers0 votes
Carbon Fiber and No Truss Rod?
AnsweredWestfarthing Woodworks answered 2 weeks ago • 
39 views1 answers0 votes
Do Carbon Fiber Rods Fight Against the Truss Rod?
AnsweredWestfarthing Woodworks answered 2 weeks ago • 
47 views1 answers0 votes
Epoxy to Fill Gaps on a Guitar?
AnsweredWestfarthing Woodworks answered 2 weeks ago • 
37 views1 answers0 votes
How Durable is Tru-Oil on an Electric Guitar?
AnsweredWestfarthing Woodworks answered 2 weeks ago • 
34 views1 answers0 votes
Do You Finish the Guitar with the Bridge On or Off?
AnsweredWestfarthing Woodworks answered 2 weeks ago • 
35 views1 answers0 votes

An Exclusive Member of Mediavine Home

Westfarthing Woodworks LLC is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.