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Strip inlays personalized for side dot enhancement

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May 4, 2020 - 6:45:34 AM
Players Union Member



12674 posts since 8/30/2006

I spoke with a few of the "big boys" and learned they would not be interested in offering a little personal touch to an inlay about 18" long but on the side of the banjo neck and around the outside of a standard resonator, showing various geographical themes like where the trees become the side dots, etc.

What say you? Nautical, sports themes. animal tracks?

Graphics are superior these days. Business cards printed on metal and so forth. Detail would be small and interesting.

Edited by - Helix on 05/04/2020 12:15:33

May 4, 2020 - 9:33:41 AM

3879 posts since 5/12/2010

I think it is an interesting idea. I like small interesting detail that mostly goes unnoticed until someone takes a close look and says "wow!".

Ken Levan has shown how he incorporates the cross banding under the freboard to serve as side markers, which is a similar idea, but not the kind of detail you seem to envision.

If you figure out how to do something like this please share it.

May 4, 2020 - 10:59:07 AM

1540 posts since 10/12/2011

I think deer tracks would be cool as hell.

May 4, 2020 - 12:11:51 PM
Players Union Member



12674 posts since 8/30/2006

I’ve done white pearl deer tracks and pau abalone bear tracks, both on fretboards

I use big 5mm blue dots and line them up to light while playing

I want something that I could be sure would line up and help the player learn to use more peripheral vision, just kidding.

It’s easy to rout a straight channel, but the neck domes along the 18” or so run
You wouldn’t want to finish anything away
It would want to be deep enough to use a shellac window under lacquer

I’m thinking maybe a little printed engraving

I’ve noticed that Personalization seems to be alive and well here on the hangout

Once there was a Christmas Banjo with wreaths.
People personalize their persons
So customizing holograms, or what ever

Personally, I would like bird themes and running horses
The desert is alive at night, I see Javalina tracks daily
I inkjet my own decals
Stickers are high quality, but would not work
This needs recessing
3/16” x 18”

2: 1/4” x 36” to gird the resonator with a custom strip for decorative purposes

I will talk marquetry perhaps elsewhere, the same for

History: young people are going into print shops where they use vinyl @
They are scanning their import instrument panels and personalizing them on screen, then reprinting in vinyl, then installing with different colored lights using the old panel as a template

But just for now I’m thinking Women (Ladies First) Veterans, First Responders Fighter Escort, Grandmothers, Grand Everybody

Thanks for contributing


Edited by - Helix on 05/04/2020 12:30:35

May 4, 2020 - 1:23:09 PM

13006 posts since 6/29/2005

I don't know who the "big boys" are—probably the ones I refer to as the "hairy chested boys".

I think the most straightforward way would be to design the artwork you want and get it into some digital form, then have it output on some light-fast archival material by some agency that makes digital signs, truck graphics etc.  It wouldn't be that hard to do, but you'd need to provide good files to the agency. 

You could gang up many different strip designs on the artwork—trees, birds, animals, tracks, mountains, etc..  One 24 x 36 sheet of output could be cut into strips and used to make many many strips for the sides of fingerboards or resonator bindings.  Maybe you would have to laminate it with a clear coat, although the finish used on the necks / resonators would probably protect it.  In the case of fingerboard bindings, you'd need mirror-image right and left-facing artwork for the two sides of the fingerboard.

May 4, 2020 - 5:12:09 PM
Players Union Member



12674 posts since 8/30/2006

Thank you, Ken. The two sides weren't mentioned, but I was sure that people would want lefts and rights.

I bought a couple sets of the imported banjo neck stickers and they are printed on aluminum, that's where I got the idea after I converted to hardwood bindings.

Anybody could produce these either for themselves or others locally.

I've seen inlays on the back of pegheads and of course, heelcaps.

I'm running out of time and years, not ideas.


May 4, 2020 - 5:12:48 PM
Players Union Member



12674 posts since 8/30/2006

This makes Greg Rich chuckle, the big boys know who they are.

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