Inlaying a Logo on a Guitar Head Stock

Inlaying a guitar head stock is both fun and relatively easy with the right tools.  Here is what you need.

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  • Dremel tool with a plunge router base
  • Small bits.  The bits used by dentists to drill out cavities are ideal. Contact your dentist and ask if he has any old bits you can have. Once you receive them, boil them to disinfect them.
  • Exact-o knife
  • Jewelers saw and fine/medium blades
  • Assorted small files
  • scissors
  • white glue
  • Two part epoxy
  • Inlay material
  • 100/120/220 grit sandpaper
  • Printer and paper

Cut the Inlay

  • Make a large logo drawing to fill an 11.8 inch by 8 inch piece of paper
  • Using your printer, reduce the size of the logo drawing until it is the size you want on the head stock. This lines should be very fine after reducing it. If your printer is not in good working order, have it tuned up by a printer service Washington DC.
  • Cut out your logo with scissors, cutting wide outside the lines. Leave the lines visible.
  • Glue the logo to the inlay material with white glue .
  • Clamping the inlay on a bench and using a fine or medium blade, cut carefully on the lines with the jewelers saw. Saw perpendicular to the inlay and allow the blade to pull through the cut.
  • Clean up the inlay edges with small files.

Route the Inlay Cavity

  • Glue the inlay to the head stock with white glue.
  • Set the depth of the dental bit in your Dremel tool to just slightly more than the thickness of the inlay material.
  • Using the Dremel tool, carefully route out the wood inside the lines. Route until the lines barely disappear. Frequently blow off the dust.
  • Try the inlay fit. If necessary, take more off or clean up cut with an exact o knife.

Mix Epoxy and Glue in the Inlay

  • Mix up two part epoxy. If the head stock is a dark wood, black epoxy will be less visible.
  • Partially fill the inlay cavity with epoxy (do not fill to the top)
  • Press in the inlay.
  • Wipe off the excess epoxy and let it cure the recommended time.
  • Once cured, sand off the excess epoxy.