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Mar 31, 2024 - 7:28:57 AM
271 posts since 7/7/2005

I'm getting ready to cut into my new fretboard using my hobbyist-grade 3018-class cnc router with a 1/32" router bit. My pattern has a LOT of short, thin (1/32") lines that need to be filled with inlay. I am planning to use some UV cured pigmented resin as the filler. The fretboard itself is richlite.

My question for the forum is, does anybody have any experience or recommendations you would share? Is this a bad idea or is it worth trying? Is there maybe a better solution?

Mar 31, 2024 - 7:56:31 AM

150 posts since 12/26/2019

I grew very curious about your Richlite fingerboard and read up in the forum archive but I didn't find posts after 2017; is it still is common usage (as far as you know)?

Mar 31, 2024 - 8:12:33 AM
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1677 posts since 11/10/2022

I use 2 part epoxy resins for lots of projects. I think it will work mechanically but I wonder about the acoustics. I have seen it done on fretboards so it is a thing.

Mar 31, 2024 - 8:18:15 AM

2527 posts since 2/7/2008

My only concerns would be that it would be hard enough to resist string wear and that it would bleed into the surrounding material. I’d imagine that’s less likely with richlite.

Mar 31, 2024 - 8:37:12 AM
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geemott

USA

271 posts since 7/7/2005

quote:
Originally posted by aaronoble

I grew very curious about your Richlite fingerboard and read up in the forum archive but I didn't find posts after 2017; is it still is common usage (as far as you know)?


Hi Aaron,  I bought it a long time ago, might have been 2017, and thought it's time to use it.  I don't know how common it is, but it is available.  https://www.richlite.com/fretboards

Mar 31, 2024 - 10:02:13 AM
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rmcdow

USA

1403 posts since 11/8/2014

I've used epoxy to fill wood, and have found a couple of things that would make me hesitate to use it on a fretboard. Over time, epoxy shrinks, although that might not be a problem for the thin inlay sections you are working with. The other problem with epoxy is that it is soft, and will likely wear much faster than the Richlite fretboard. I've used it for a Japanese method of porcelain repair known as kintsugi, but with wood, and for that it works relatively well. However, I still coat the epoxy and the rest of the table with Crystalac BriteTone, as it is much harder and more wear resistant than epoxy, and keeps the surface smooth relatively speaking as the epoxy shrinks.

If you are using dental composite resins, my understanding is that they have a higher wear resistance, similar to tooth enamel, than other resins.


Edited by - rmcdow on 03/31/2024 10:14:30

Mar 31, 2024 - 10:02:17 AM
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2934 posts since 9/18/2010

I know someone who regularly uses resin to fill "inlay" cavities with good success. I don't, however, know if he is using UV cure resin. I would think that the success rate would not depend upon how the resin is cured... and... there is always the often-stated advice... "test on scrap".

Mar 31, 2024 - 10:31 AM
Players Union Member

kwl

USA

651 posts since 3/5/2009

quote:
Originally posted by aaronoble

I grew very curious about your Richlite fingerboard and read up in the forum archive but I didn't find posts after 2017; is it still is common usage (as far as you know)?


I don't know how common it is in the banjo building community, but some models of Martin guitars continue to be made with Richlite fret boards.

Mar 31, 2024 - 12:51:02 PM

316 posts since 5/27/2008

Running a heat gun or a flame over it may help to get air bubbles out

Mar 31, 2024 - 2:22:29 PM
Players Union Member

TLG

USA

1802 posts since 10/11/2004

I did this a few years ago.


Mar 31, 2024 - 2:26:06 PM
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TLG

USA

1802 posts since 10/11/2004

(Forget the Burnes Gear box)
It is of epoxie with pearl pigment, CNC routed letters

Mar 31, 2024 - 4:55:38 PM
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2441 posts since 2/9/2007

The hardness shouldn't matter much if you're only filling a 1/32" gap, unless it happens to be just underneath and parallel to a string.

Mar 31, 2024 - 6:09:15 PM

cevant

USA

398 posts since 2/5/2020

I use a lot of UV cured resins for 3D printing. The problem is that the material never really fully cures, and any exposure to light changes the shape and size of the part over time. I would make a few sample parts, check the size, and then let the parts sit around in the light for a week or two and then recheck.

Apr 1, 2024 - 7:02:44 AM
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heavy5

USA

3062 posts since 11/3/2016
Online Now

From experience , using a heat gun on fresh mixed hard ware store grade epoxy doing inlays will rapidly thin it to fill in small areas & also set it up quicker . Shrinkage is minimal IMO .
There are all kinds of grades of epoxy & I've used aircraft grade which is pricey but necessary for putting some parts of full size aircraft together as its benefits & behavior is predictable whereas some of the cheaper stuff used for RC models & whatever will deteriorate over time . Don't remember ever using the UV cured stuff ?

Edited by - heavy5 on 04/01/2024 07:04:47

Apr 1, 2024 - 8:14:17 AM

geemott

USA

271 posts since 7/7/2005

quote:
Originally posted by TLG

(Forget the Burnes Gear box)
It is of epoxie with pearl pigment, CNC routed letters


That's so cool!  Any tips on what I should & (especially) shouldn't do?  Did you use 2-part or UV?  Hobby shop or hardware store?

I had the impression that UV-cured was harder and mixed up thinner.  I'll need it thinner than I'm used to for the 1/32" lines.  And I will need it bright white to be visible.

For a while I was thinking maybe nail polish would do the trick, and I discovered the UV-cured kind, and that led me to the epoxy idea.

Apr 1, 2024 - 10:07:12 AM
Players Union Member

TLG

USA

1802 posts since 10/11/2004

geemott,
What I used I got it from my local wood/tool shop "ecopoxy" 1--1 ratio & it's clear & ecopoxy "pearl" for color, they have lots of colors. I had to sand my fingerboard down after the epoxy & lots of work getting the inlays to look bright & I think I brushed on lacquer . Wasn't as easy as real pearl inlays but LOTS cheeper.
May do it again someday.
Tom

Apr 3, 2024 - 3:14:06 PM

2527 posts since 2/7/2008

I’d love to get some of the UV cured stuff my dentist uses. It cures fast adheres well and is hard as teeth.

Apr 4, 2024 - 1:08:10 PM

5 posts since 4/17/2017

If you're into classical guitars... check out the luthier's sub-forum at the Delcamp classical guitar forum. There are lots of folks that use epoxy often. Usually just for grain filling the back/sides before french polishing or lacquer, but there are few guys that use epoxy decoratively in their rosettes.

I don't ever recall any of them using UV-cured, though. I mostly see West System or Ecopoxy or Z-poxy. Good luck!

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