Replacing Studio Inlays

Phylodog

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I've been enjoying replacing components on a few Studio models and I'm over the moon happy with them, except for the inlays. I'm curious who has replaced their inlays and how it went? How challenging is it? I can only find one video online and I'm curious about other approaches.
 

CB91710

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What are you wanting to change them to? Is this an issue of the feel of the pearloid under your fingers, or you just don't like the trapezoid look?
I mean, you can go to a dot neck, but that would mean removing and replacing the entire fingerboard... beyond my skills, and certainly beyond the skills of a person who would ask your question.

About the only thing you could do would be to enlarge them into block inlays like the Custom, which would look nice, but would not really change the feel.

Careful chisel work is needed to get the opening to size and with sharp corners.
Other than the 1st fret, which needs to be completely opened up, there's really not a lot of router work needed to open up the trap cutout for a block, you could probably do the job with a good marking knife and quality, sharp chisel.
But then you have the issue of leveling the inlays with the frets still in place.

@LtDave32 is pretty experienced at this type of work and can give you a better idea of the skills needed.
 

Phylodog

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Sorry, I should have elaborated better. I just don't like the color of them, they have a dingy look to them. I'm fine with the shapes, just would like something a little brighter. I see they sell replacement kits, curious if they're a good option.
 

LtDave32

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If you want to change to an inlay that is larger, it can be done.

Here's what is involved:

1) Pulling all the frets.

2) routing out the existing inlay

3) routing in the new inlay.

4) A helluva lot of skill and experience doing inlay work.
 

LtDave32

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Sorry, I should have elaborated better. I just don't like the color of them, they have a dingy look to them. I'm fine with the shapes, just would like something a little brighter. I see they sell replacement kits, curious if they're a good option.
Oh, okay.

You still have to pull the frets so you can level the work after installation.

You'll have to heat the board up sufficiently to pop the inlay out, and a variety of implements to get under the inlay without damaging the wood. Bear in mind that the board is already to a radius, and that makes the whole affair that much harder to accomplish.

The other option is to heat the board and frets up with a clothes iron, remove the fret board, make a new fret board with the inlays of your choice.

Either way, it's not for the novice, and not a cheap job to have done.
 

Phylodog

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Thanks for the info. The one video I found involved using straight shaft soldering irons laying on wet pieces of cotton cloth to steam the inlays out. I didn't know if that was the way to do it but it sounds like it is not.

Scrap that idea.
 

cherrick

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Keep looking here on MLP. There are threads about it, with photos and everything.
 

rockstar232007

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Thanks for the info. The one video I found involved using straight shaft soldering irons laying on wet pieces of cotton cloth to steam the inlays out. I didn't know if that was the way to do it but it sounds like it is not.

Scrap that idea.
That's how I did it, and it was really easy. The hard part was shaping the inlays to match the radius of the fretboard.

But, I did it, and all in all, it came out pretty good.

My '01 Classic (on the right):

20190917_004945.jpg
 

flatrockmobile

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My son has a mystery LP copy that I bought for him at a pawn shop about 25 years ago. He brought it to my house in 2008 to see if I could fix the broken HS. The entire guitar had been spray painted black with bright green markings and ALL the inlays were missing.
After repairing the HS I pulled the badly worn frets and began pondering about what to do for inlays. While walking on the beach, I had an epiphany. I started gathering these tiny purple, grey, and white shells. cleaned then up with bleach, wrapped them in a towel and crushed them up somewhat with Noreen (my 5 lb hammer, one bad bitch). I filled the inlay recesses with the crumbs and dripped superglue on them to fill any voids. Then sanded them back down level with the fretboard. I wish I had taken pics of the whole process but I do have a few I salvaged from Photo Phucket.
Also being a mahogany body with a solid maple cap, I refinished it back to original.
This is my one and only inlay experience.
1605805146091.jpeg

1605805174202.jpeg

1605805195083.jpeg

1605805217812.jpeg

1605805250022.jpeg
 
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