The Peghead Inlay

 Last summer I built a Size 5 guitar for a teacher friend. At that time, he knew he also wanted a dreadnought with similar designs and appointments. But, as I was also building another guitar that summer for a customer, I couldn't build his dreadnought then. So, here I am, doing the "horse inlay" a second time! (The teacher friend's name means "horse" in Chinese.)

Last summer I had found a clip art book with this design of a horse, so I scanned it and saved a page with about fourteen of them.

Then I cut, out of each horse image, only one of the thirteen sections. This way, I was able to place each section over the abalone pieces, until I found a section of abalone that looked suitable for that part of the horse's body.

Here's one of those sections. Then I glued the piece of paper with white glue to the abalone. When the glue had set, I used a jeweler's saw to cut the piece of abalone. After cutting, I just used a little soapy water to remove the paper.

I did the same for the other pieces of inlay. Here's a picture of the customer's name, after I have cut out the three letters. I have placed a teeny-tiny dot of superglue on each piece, to hold it steady while I use an Exacto knife to scribe around the edges.

Below the name, you can see that I have already scribed the outline of the horse.


After I've scribed all the pieces, I rub yellow chalk powder into the scribed lines. That way, it will be easy to see the lines when I rout out the cavities tomorrow.

It probably took me a total of about ten hours to do all this inlay work so far.

You think this looks hard to do? Just wait till I have to rout out the cavities! Actually, I consider cutting the inlay easier than routing the cavities to FIT those inlay pieces! I usually end up with some gaps, or places that need more shaving and adjusting....Lucky for me there's epoxy and rosewood dust!!!! Well, we'll see tomorrow how I do this time....

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 Go To..
  1. Beginning the Neck
  2. Making the Rosette
  3. Bracing the Top
  4. Bracing the Back
  5. The Sides
  6. Making the Soundbox
  7. Binding
  8. Shaping the Neck
  9. What's Left To Do?
  10. The Fingerboard
  11. The Peghead Inlay
  12. Finishing the Neck
  13. Finishing