Example with Paul Knee


Here are some of Paul’s electric guitars he was working on in his shop during the time these photos were done. 



Following Paul will take you through the steps involved in the inlay process for the Bass Guitar. 

Paul has his work area cleaned and the bass clamped into a vice. He is ready to proceed with the job at hand. 


Paul lays the inlays over the area to be sure the fit will work 


Soaking the inlays to remove from the backing board. Note he has placed scotch tape onto the inlays to keep the sections together. 


Inlays placed where they will go in the final layout. 


Paul with care removes the tape for scribing. 


Scribing around the inlays to have a guide for routing. 


Three close up photos of the routing in progress. For delicate inlays like this a very small cutter is used to get into the tight spots as well as possible. Lucky this is in Ebony. Ebony with a black Epoxy will hide a lot of little sins. In a lighter colored wood you need to be ever so snug in you fits or the job will look shabby. 


Three pictures of how Paul made a board level with the peg head. This is to fit around the peg head and help support the router base as he works. You can see the “Pockets” routed to accept the inlays which will be glued into place with high grade black epoxy glue. This is the two ton epoxy. Never use the 5 minute epoxy as it is junk. 


Another colse up view of the routed pockets. 


Two photos of the neck ready to receive the inlays. When working with a wide inlay like this it is best to radius the fret board before you route. This is so you will not sandaway the color layers of the Bronze MOP. 


The same is true for inlaying abalone so the finished inlay will look as close as possible to the colors and patterns you first saw. Working a freehand router on the curved surface is tricky and a little practice on a scrap fret board will go a long way. 


This is a close up photo of the finished Peg Head and part of the fret board. 





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Sam Van DePaule

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DePaule Supply USA has been the major supplier for luthiers (Stringed Instrument Makers, Guitar Builders) of Shell Blanks, Custom Shell Inlay Work, Custom Shell Logos, Pre-Cut and Pre-Engraved Shell Inlays since March of the year 2000. Owned and operated by Sam & Buddy Lee DePaule since September 2011. 
We are still able to have shell Inlays and Shell Blanks sold and shipped overseas from our affiliate office in Viet Nam.
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