Hello all and happy new year!
I've got a bass guitar that has a maple neck with your typical black dot fretboard inlays. I would really like to have black block inlays and am hoping someone here has some experience or advise on what material I could use. Ebony was my first thought but I wonder if it would be too brittle to work with. Warmoth uses corian but I don't know if sanding scratches can be buffed out. I've seen 'black' mop on the internet but it really isn't as black as I would like.
Thoughts anyone? Thanks so much!
Corian can be easily buffed out to a glaze with progressive sanding and polishing in no time. I think it might just be the material you need. I would suggest to install oversized pieces that would stick proud and then sanding it down. It is extremely hard yet brittle when it's in thin pieces, so it won't take any irregularities without breaking. Just try to keep the stress on the pieces at minimum.
Files easily too.
Thanks! Sounds like you've used corian before. Do you have a source for it?
Yes, a good friend of mine owns a furniture company. Corian trend is always up and down, so normally companies order just what they will use.
It is a perfect bone substitute for me, so I make a lot of nuts and saddles. Good for making tuning pegs etc. One thing about is that it comes in 1/2'' sheets and it's completely true and flat and will never warp, which is ideal for magnetic clamping cauls for soundtops and so on. Most people like to use acrylics, but I can't stand the smell of styrene with these plastics when you cut or shape them, I found that corian is far more superior.
Other than that I have done so many great things with it I can't even remember. I keep some boards so I can stack them up under my fret press, I have made some tremolo block wedges out if it, making cement with corian dust and CA for repairing inlays etc.
If your block inlays are no more intricate than a trapeze style, I think you can make a single block out of corian in 5 minutes, by hand, with just files and a hacksaw.
If you know anyone who has a laser cutting machine with a 100W lens at least, they can cut it for you.
This would be an extremely difficult job to complete properly on an existing neck
Best left to a factory situation using CNC or a precision template on an unfretted, unlacquered neck