View Full Version : Fretboard Inlay

Jan-27-2006, 2:17pm
For some unknown reason, I have never like dots in fretboards, mandolin or not. #I am trying to deside what would go well with the Pomeroy "signature" headstock for my soon to be built F4. #If any of you have a some nice pictures of you fretboard you would like to post to help me out, I would be very appreciative. #Thank you in advance. One thought I had was use the inlay on Don's A2 fretboard with the signature headstock. Don was concerned that is would look "too busy". Would like any opinions on that too.
To see the "signature" headstock go to http://www.pomeroyinstruments.com/mandolin-models.htm

Jan-27-2006, 2:32pm
Thats a great idea, we should see some neat stuff...I hope http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

Jan-27-2006, 10:54pm
dasspunk has inlay "nicks" at the top of the fretboard on both his BRW and Rose. Very attractive! Eugene has commented before on his inlaid "footballs" on his Vega bowlback which are also pretty nice to look at. And what Hilburn does...wow!

Jan-28-2006, 7:18am
I have one of Don's A2's exactly like the one posted on your link, well very close I think. As you know I also am the the very proud owner of one of his F4's. I really like the inlay on the A2, but, I must say that I would rather not have it on the F4, simplicity is part of the beauty methinks. I agree with Don that it may kinda cluter up and take away. I like your idea of something besides dots but maybe still keep it simple and forever in classic style. However, I did have him change the headstock design to an older one he used way back on #13 for the F4 and like it a lot. The ends of all the vine type inlays feather out more and it just looked better to my tired old eyes.
exciting isn't it? The whole affair of having a mandolin created is plain delicious.

Jan-28-2006, 7:41am
Listen to your builder.

Jan-28-2006, 8:44am
barric, Could you post a pic of that head stock please.
LKN, I am trying, if what he said had not stuck in my mind, I would not even have brought it up. I guess I just need to work it out in my head. Thanks to all of the advice from the board, I keep moving closer and closer to what Don initially suggested. I am the stick in the mud. I feel like an overprotective father of a child yet to be. I just have to be comfortable with the end result. I think Barrac's idea of a simpler "signature" head stock, which Don also suggested, might be just the ticket. The I want to work out all these nagging questions before Don calls me for the final decisions. I have decided to go with what ever top, Adirondak, Engelmann or Sittka and whatever sides and backs he suggests. See I am trying to "listen to (my) builder". Thanks all.

John Bertotti
Jan-28-2006, 8:49am
I don't care for different designs in each place a dot would go except at the 12th, keep it simple. I am planning on a leaf instead of dots, or one twig off of a fern. Thats just me though.

Jan-28-2006, 9:03am
Here is my Morgan Monroe. It is a bad picture, but it is a shot of the inlay.

Jan-28-2006, 9:09am
John, your suggestion of leaves is and interesting one. Another alternative I am considering is a 4 pointed star.

John Bertotti
Jan-28-2006, 9:36am
Thanks red7flag, I have several versions in mind but the fret board space is limited. I want to take pictures of falling leaves looking for the one I want. Problem is all the leaves are down now.

Martin Jonas
Jan-28-2006, 9:51am
Here are leaf/floral inlays on an 1890s Ceccherini bowlback.


Martin Jonas
Jan-28-2006, 9:53am
This one is a new fretboard made for my 1898 Vinaccia bowlback by Jon Springall, based on other Vinaccia designs of the time.


Jan-28-2006, 10:17am
For what it's worth, this month's "Acoustic Guitar" magazine (Leo Kottke on the cover) has a BIG article about having a custom guitar built. Woods, what to look for, etc.

Lots of good advice that certainly applies to mandolins. Perhaps you might get some insight from that.

J. Mark Lane
Jan-28-2006, 11:39am
Listen to your builder.

Here's a picture of a recent modification I had Don make to my Pomeroy F4 fretboard. I was concerned that it would be over the top... but I think it came out ok. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

By the way, it was Don's suggestion. I was finding that on a couple of pieces where I needed to make rapid jumps from first to third position, I would sometimes confuse the tenth and twelfth frets. This fixed it, without radically altering the spartan approach I originally requested.

J. Mark Lane
Jan-28-2006, 11:41am
Or...you could do this....

Oh, wait...that one will have a different name on the headstock. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif

Jan-28-2006, 2:28pm
I went through the same thing before I sent in my deposit to Don. I started out wanting a torch and wire peghead inlay. Then I wanted a vine on the fingerboard. And then......and then...... and then......... I wanted something that made it mine. But in the end, I decided simple is better. Dots on the fingerboard and flowerpot on the peghead. (Unless I do an A model then it will be very simple.)

Jan-28-2006, 3:34pm
There is the roman numeral Nugget that has been posted before. (Roman numerals at III, V, VII, X, XII, XV) That's kinda cool. Might be cool to do moon phases 1/4, 1/2, full, 1/2, 1/4.


Jan-28-2006, 4:15pm
I prefer the minimalist (http://www.wayfaringstranger.net/Rose/Rose-Pages/Image1.html) look (http://www.wayfaringstranger.net/Rose/Rose-Pages/Image9.html) myself. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif

Chip Booth
Jan-28-2006, 4:18pm
I like the very small Martin D42 style diamonds. Block inlay is an option, as is the idea of finding a leaf or piece of the headstock design you can use as a small marker. That may be the best approach to match his headstock.

For a better look at the headstock check out J Mark's Pomerory thread in General Discussions.


Jan-28-2006, 4:33pm
For my Old Wave Oval A I had Bill put in oval fret markers.

Jan-28-2006, 4:34pm
For my Jack Spira Mandola, the only marker is an ornate "S" that begins at the tenth, swoops across the 12, and ends at the 15th.

Jan-28-2006, 5:56pm
Here's my new England.

Jan-28-2006, 6:23pm
Here are a couple that run from the 3rd to the 7th fret, dots were used at 10, 12, & 15.

Jan-28-2006, 6:24pm
and #2

Jim Garber
Jan-28-2006, 10:57pm
I like the minialist apoproach. I actually find that I don't really look at the fretboard for positioning but do use the side dots. So, aside from decorative purposes, I find to decorate the fretboard or not makes little difference.

Then again, you should have what appeals to you.

Check out DePaule Supply (http://www.luthiersupply.com/) for some patterns.


Baron Collins-Hill
Jan-28-2006, 11:46pm
i agreee with jgarber on this one. ive got an a9 and have come to love the lack of fret markers. i must say that the side dots help a little though. when i built my campfire kit, i opted to put on neither sides nor tops, and now im thinking about adding sides.


Jan-29-2006, 10:52am
Good morning red7flag,
I seem to a little sluggish, sorry.
I also was tmpted to have something different inlayed at the 12th fret but in the end could not come up with anything that I was sure I could love with for a long, long time. So went with the traditional and I must admit I am very happy with it. Here is the headstock on my F4. At first glance they may seem the same but look closely and you will see quite difference, to me anyway. I just liked it better, seemed like a nicer resolution to the ends.
http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/mandosmiley.gif

Jan-29-2006, 12:43pm
i'll have to take a better picture of mine to post- ivory sun rays....

Jan-29-2006, 1:02pm
Richard, That is a nice variation of the other head pattern. #I assume you went with dots in the fretboard. #I could go with either, but am leaning toward the newer pattern. #I am now leaning toward a 4 point snowflake instead of dots for the fretboard. #I am really enjoying all your suggestions, even the ones that I am not using. #The whole process is wonderful. #Thank you all for your imput.

Jan-29-2006, 6:41pm
Hi Tony,
It is easy to tell that you are really enjoying this whole process by being a bystander to all the conversations. I am sure that you will be thrilled with your new mandolin and even if (my horrors!) you were not thrilled, the experience of being involved with it's creation is something you will think of with smiles for a long time.
I am happy for you & give Don a "Hi" for me if get a chance. I hope you post the pictures for all to see as you get them.

Jan-29-2006, 10:32pm
Richard, I have had the pleasure of talking to a number of you Pom folks. #Even had that rascal Mark play his newly upgraded F4 to me on the phone. #Have emailed with a few of you too. You guys have kept me grounded a few times when I was about to take off in wrong directions. #When I had Robin Smith make me a banjo, I was pretty well grounded in what is available and what I wanted, having played for more than ten years. #The mando is still new to me. #But thanks to you all at the cafe, I am learning quickly. I know that Don will make an awsome mando for me. Mostly now I am working on the cosmetics with what will make me happy for a long time.
Will definately give Don you best.

Feb-02-2006, 11:58pm
Wow, some of those inlays are amazing!

Feb-14-2006, 8:48pm
I used this "Bella Voce" on my #2 mandolin

Feb-15-2006, 12:47pm
Here's my Holst C-5 with slotted diamonds (snow flakes).


Feb-15-2006, 6:37pm
Can't someone post a pic of their Phoenix Deluxe fretboard??

man dough nollij
Jul-15-2009, 5:06pm
Bumping this old thread to post a picture of a wicked fretboard inlay from Andy Manson. I'm not a fan of the blingy vine inlays or anything, but this one is cool.




Charles E.
Jul-15-2009, 6:21pm
Here is an inlay my friend Steve Parks did on a tenor guitar of his. A florial inlay, you cant have flowers without bugs.:))


Jul-16-2009, 6:49am
By request, here's the Phoenix Deluxe vine inlay as done by Jenny.