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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Inlay advice

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tbeeson58 - Posted - 09/30/2019:  07:11:43

I ran across an old clunker banjo while doing some cleaning up this weekend and decided to make a project out of it. Just a learning experiment to see what I am able to come up with.

One of the dots was missing from the neck, so I was thinking what to do about that. I have a couple of ideas, but one I'm leaning towards is using shell casings from some ammo, like a .357 or .223 or similar.

The thing is, of course, that I think I would need to recess this below the surface a bit in order to not "feel" the stampings and firing pin dimple. Then, I'm thinking covering that with something that will let the shell be visible, but the surface smooth and even with the fingerboard.

Any thoughts from you guys on this?

Alec Cramsie - Posted - 09/30/2019:  07:28:29

You could mix up some epoxy and pour it in.... Just make sure you don't want to change it !

beegee - Posted - 09/30/2019:  13:35:07

Regular epoxy may not cure clear. I'd use casting resin.

rudy - Posted - 09/30/2019:  17:50:13

If you inset whatever you're using flush with the surface then the surface texture enhances the look.  Check out Brooks Masten's banjos.  He's been adding an Indian Head penny to the peg head for several years and just moved to a custom stamped "coin" that features his maker's mark logo and initials.  It's a classy look, and no need to pour resin over the top.

An inset into the fret board would be no problem, either.

beegee - Posted - 10/01/2019:  06:10:47

I think the concern is that even with a shell casing inlayed flush, there will still be the deep stampings that can be felt and would tend to collect grunge-y stuff.

Edited by - beegee on 10/01/2019 06:11:18

tbeeson58 - Posted - 10/01/2019:  06:35:20

That's right, Bob. I don't want to "feel" the cartridge stampings when playing. I'll look into using casting resin. I'm with you on the epoxy curing cloudy. I use a lot of different adhesive materials in fly tying and find Sally Hansen's Hard As Nails fingernail polish to be about the clearest. I may do a side by side comparison on a sample scrap wood and just see what looks best.

Thanks for the input, guys!

I'll be waiting on royalty checks for all you builders who implement this idea on your banjos... LOL

tbeeson58 - Posted - 10/01/2019:  18:30:03

It must be fate... My wife does a lot of craft stuff and just brought me a can of casting resin to open for her. I had no idea she had any and she had no idea about my project.

It's a sign from above!

Thanks for the idea, Bob.

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