Inlay gaps - okay or need filling?

Rob the Photog

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Hi everyone. My first post here in the Land of the Luthiers. :) I hope this post is appropriate for this forum; if not, I hope the mods will move it to the appropriate location.

I recently acquired an awesome Gretsch G2657T (an excellent Les Paul-sized, overseas-made semi-hollow that won't break the bank!), and I just noticed that a couple of the inlays have gaps around them. Please see the photos below. I'm concerned that dirt, sweat, dead skin, fretboard oil, etc. will build up in those gaps over time and cause rot or other issues. Do you think these should be filled? If so, what's the best material and method for a novice like myself?

Thanks in advance!

inlays2.jpg


inlays1.jpg


Gretsch-Gibson.JPG
 

WhiteEpiLP

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If they bug you tape off the board around the inlay and drop fill the gap with medium ca glue, let it dry then scrape it flat with a razor blade.
 

Oranjeaap

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Cosmetic issue I guess. I have similar gaps on one guitar and it never caused any issues.
 

JesseXGibson

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If they bug you tape off the board around the inlay and drop fill the gap with medium ca glue, let it dry then scrape it flat with a razor blade.
They should be good for a while. If they do loosen or fall out, thin layer of glue on the back side, and do this^^ just be careful. I wouldn't touch them until then, unless its really bothering you.

if you feel you don't have the dexterity to do so, just take it in to a good luthier.
 

Rob the Photog

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Thank you all for your replies, and for the consensus of using CA glue to fill. I'll probably give it a go in the near future. I appreciate your help! :thumb:
 

DaveR

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I agree with others that I wouldn't touch it if it doesn't bother you. As long as you can't feel it and they don't fall out, it's just cosmetic and more harm than good could come from trying to repair if you're not comfortable with the process.

That being said, on one of my scratch builds, cosmetics is everything....so I'd go nuts if I didn't fix it. If you tape off around it, I find clear packing tape that is firmly burnished to the surface to be a better dam against CA glue than masking tape. I've had bad luck with CA wicking under masking tape. The black CA is a good choice, but regular clear wouldn't look too bad either. If you had any matching saw dust you could pack it into the glue as well, but most sane people who aren't luthiers don't keep containers full of ebony and rosewood dust laying around. :rofl:

After scraping with a razor blade, you may need to do some sanding to even everything out and remove scratches. If that's needed, I'd tape off the surrounding frets and carefully sand parallel with the neck, working up through high grits wrapped around a very small wood block. Side to side sanding can leave obvious cross grain scratches. Maybe 600-2000 followed by some fine scotchbrite, but stop working it whenever you match the sheen of the rest of the board.
 

cmjohnson

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Personally I suck at inlay work and don't like doing it. So I sub out my inlay work and my fingerboards arrive pre slotted, pre radiused, and pre inlaid to my specs. They also do my inlaid headstock overlays. (As seen in my avatar.)

I respect those who are great at inlay work. But it'll probably never be me. I just hire professionals to do it for me. The best part is, I don't have to eat my mistakes. My vendor makes it right or makes it again.
 


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