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A quick tap with my tiny brass hammer drives the rod in very nicely.

Now, I'll carefully slice off the excess with a razor blade, taking multiple shavings until the rod is just flush with the surface:

A quick sanding with 1000-grit waterproof paper and a hardwood block will level my inlay and the surrounding finish:

After a quick buffing or hand polishing, it's really difficult to tell that the inlay was done after the instrument was finished:

If I chip the finish when drilling, I'll use cyanoacrylate glue to seat the inlay instead of white or yellow glue. The next day, I can trim, level and buff just as normal, and the cyanoacrylate will appear to be part of the original finish.

Many players want to add inlay markers to the face of fingerboards as well. Although the face of the fingerboard is often home for decorative fancy inlay, the majority of my work is with simple dots. There are special difficulties in working with inlay between frets to avoid scarring the fingerboard or leaving other signs that the work was done after the fact.

Fingerboard inlay material is almost always mother of pearl or abalone, which is much more difficult to level than plastic. I have a simple technique that saves me a lot of grief when I do this job.

Here again, I'll reach for my sharp scriber to mark the center of the dot.



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