Side Dot material ideas

JohnnyThul

Tele-Meister
Joined
Nov 18, 2021
Posts
260
Age
39
Location
Germany
Uuuh, check this out: LEGO 30374 -> 3mm diameter, and available in glow in the dark version, that looks promising!


Man, I gotta ask my friends with kids....
 

bullfrogblues

Poster Extraordinaire
Silver Supporter
Joined
Jun 5, 2011
Posts
5,242
Age
71
Location
Southeast Florida
never thought of this before but they could probably make a pretty cool fretboard inlay, especially the brands that use different colors.
I think they might be a little too large for side dots and too small for face dots. But I thought of using 4 or 5 in some type of grouping, star, etc, for the front markers.
 

mudbelly

Tele-Meister
Joined
May 19, 2012
Posts
490
Location
United States
I make cigar box guitars. They are 3 string, fretless and play with a slide. I use bbs as side fret markers, 4, 5 and octave. Drill a small hole as deep as you prefer and super glue

Primitive but effective.
 

Steve Holt

Friend of Leo's
Joined
May 29, 2016
Posts
3,173
Location
Kansas
I tend to use shell dots that match the shell dots I use on the fretboard. Or I use what I like. The build I'm doing now, I'm using white pearl dots for the fretboard, but I really like the look of pau abalone. I was worried the pau abalone wouldn't fit the theme of the guitar, so I did white pearl for the face, and pau abalone for the side dots, because I like them so much.

In the past I've also used clay for both side dots and fretboard. That works well too.
 

Freeman Keller

Poster Extraordinaire
Joined
Aug 22, 2018
Posts
8,837
Age
77
Location
Washington
I tend to use shell dots that match the shell dots I use on the fretboard. Or I use what I like. The build I'm doing now, I'm using white pearl dots for the fretboard, but I really like the look of pau abalone. I was worried the pau abalone wouldn't fit the theme of the guitar, so I did white pearl for the face, and pau abalone for the side dots, because I like them so much.

In the past I've also used clay for both side dots and fretboard. That works well too.


Steve, I have used pau abalone in rosewood and it can be very hard to see. I rely on the side marker dots so that isn't good. White MOP is much better
 

netgear69

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Dec 21, 2012
Posts
2,038
Location
england
bamboo skewers work well with dark woods easy to shape to the size you need
cocktail sticks (tooth picks) work well also
81RaYxC2YHL._AC_SL1500_.jpg
 

Steve Holt

Friend of Leo's
Joined
May 29, 2016
Posts
3,173
Location
Kansas
Steve, I have used pau abalone in rosewood and it can be very hard to see. I rely on the side marker dots so that isn't good. White MOP is much better

It's gonna be great. I've used it before on Rosewood and African Blackwood (which is what I'm using) and it's fantastic. No issues.
 

bullfrogblues

Poster Extraordinaire
Silver Supporter
Joined
Jun 5, 2011
Posts
5,242
Age
71
Location
Southeast Florida
I had some spare time today so I thought I'd do a quick mock-up of the string ball fret marker. I used the silver colored one instead of red, green, or whatever. These are 5/32" so I centered one in an old fret board cutoff and hit it with a drop of super glue, which I didn't let cure completely. You can be the judge, I think it might be a little small.
Screen Shot 2022-01-12 at 5.04.12 PM.png
 

captain_jack

Tele-Meister
Joined
May 9, 2021
Posts
141
Location
Brooklyn
I had some spare time today so I thought I'd do a quick mock-up of the string ball fret marker. I used the silver colored one instead of red, green, or whatever. These are 5/32" so I centered one in an old fret board cutoff and hit it with a drop of super glue, which I didn't let cure completely. You can be the judge, I think it might be a little small.
I agree that something bigger would look better, but I think that still looks pretty cool.
 

Medeltids

Tele-Meister
Silver Supporter
Joined
Mar 26, 2021
Posts
139
Age
61
Location
California
I had a conversation recently with my brother about fret marker/side dots.

Me, after trimming my large dog’s nails, “Hey bro, you think dog claw would make good fret marker material.”

Bro, “I have a couple old dental crowns you can have.”

Me, “Maybe squirrel teeth...lots of road kill out here.”

Bro, “I also have teeth from a nutria”

Me, “I think I have a few teef around here from the days of my youf.”

Bro, “all those teeth...could really make that guitar sing😀


Yeah...we are a bit off angle.
 

Medeltids

Tele-Meister
Silver Supporter
Joined
Mar 26, 2021
Posts
139
Age
61
Location
California
Why my brother would have teeth from a nutria I’ll never know.
 

Attachments

  • 1CDAC4EF-4A1A-4FB0-A1A3-E9EFE0162160.jpeg
    1CDAC4EF-4A1A-4FB0-A1A3-E9EFE0162160.jpeg
    736.1 KB · Views: 4

Jackadder

Tele-Holic
Joined
Jun 12, 2014
Posts
737
Location
Western Australia
Get some plastic knitting needles!!! They come in many colours and sizes and one needle would do several guitar necks and they are (just like me!) .....cheap!

DC

I'm with Dave. Black plastic and aluminium knitting needles in 2 and 3mm, cheap as chips and enough for stacks of necks. The black 2mm fits inside 3mm hobby brass tubing for a fancier light/dark side dot.
 

epizootics

Tele-Meister
Joined
Feb 11, 2017
Posts
470
Age
34
Location
Lyon, France
Thank you guys for all the cool ideas. The collective creativity of this board never ceases to amaze me.

On occasions I like to do front and size in one go:

This one is cloth-based micarta:

51818408867_282b5dbf3a_c.jpg



This one is an ivory substitute called Elforyn. That thing smells like coconut when you sand it, which I find a bit distressing. God knows what they put in there. That's the 12th fret - I added 2mm black plastic dot but managed to drill it so off-center that I felt it needed a second dot to make it look intentional. The bigger dot on the right is just a 3mm hole filled with CA glue and ebony dust.

50918001447_ab3385040d_c.jpg



They are both 4mm wide. I get small plates from knife-making supply stores, round off two of the parallel sides with a block plane, files and sandpaper, then cut them into small strips on the bandsaw. I then set up a mitre jig for my router, pretty much like a fretting jig with a stop:

51819700369_a6b3985ac9_c.jpg


The strips are glued in with CA and sanded flush. The overall process is actually quite quick.


I also make my own dots from sheet plastic when I want a specific color and diameter. Those are 8mm front dots but here's the idea:

50354580708_148cc15a62_c.jpg


I use round leather punches in my drill press. They are not designed for this task and usually run a bit off-center but they do the job if you hold them firmly against the material once you start cutting. They come in all size and are very cheap. Here is a test piece with a 2mm dot set in a brass tube section:

49755192858_a04758a6df_c.jpg


By the way, I like small front dots, aesthetically speaking. They seem to be popular at the minute, looking at the work of luthiers from around the world on Instagram. But they do make it harder to follow what the player is doing in rehearsal situation :)
 




Top