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Tinting Lacquer Marks Inlays

Tinting Lacquer Marks Inlays

by Michael Dresdner

Originally published as Guild of American Luthiers Data Sheet #280, 1984 and Lutherie Wood and Steel String Guitars, 1998

When I have very intricate inlays and I don’t want to scribe the fingerboard, I take all the inlays and spray their backs with a rubber-type spray adhesive like photo mount. Then I place them on the fingerboard where I want them and spray it lightly with lacquer toner in a contrasting color. For instance, if the fingerboard is rosewood, I’ll spray it with bright yellow. I then pull up the inlays leaving the bright yellow lacquer and a brown spot in the shape of each inlay. It’s a great fast trick. The whole fingerboard can be done at once without any scribing.

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