Inlay is a craft that allows the insertion of original artwork into an instrument to increase its uniqueness, value, and appeal. It’s purely ornamental, but certain inlays on a guitar, most notably the rosette and the headstock logo, are considered essential. In recent years, we have seen inlay art pop up on a variety of locations, such as the end graft, the heel cap – even the neck. And, of course, many of the most memorable inlay works are found on the fingerboard.
LMI recognizes the importance of inlay work by selling a wide variety of materials and tools. Mother of pearl and abalone shell are the most common inlay materials. We sell pre-cut dots, strips and fingerboard designs in addition to raw slab material and Abalam shell sheets in a variety of colors and types. We also have reconstituted stone pieces that add some brilliant and unique colors and patterns to the mix. For wood inlay, our headplate veneers (we have them in dozens of species) offer the proper thickness and flatness for cutting inlays.
In the inlay tool department find a quality jewelers saw with a range of replacement blades, plus six gravers, some specialty markers and some really fine books and DVD’s on the topic for inspiration and instruction.
Of course, all these fine offerings pale in comparison to our new LMI Rotary Plunge Router Assembly. We spent two years looking at every available router base design on the market and consulting with leading inlay artists like Larry Robinson and Jimmi Wingert, in order to make available an absolute ‘Cadillac’ inlay tool. Please visit the page, below, to find out why we are so proud of this professional quality tool.
A fine accompaniment to this tool is our wide array of small diameter carbide router bits. We now carry a variety of very small diameter Robb Jack bits – an industry favorite!