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Custom Inlay for A5 Twin Point

Occasionally I will receive an order that includes a custom inlay request from the customer. Such is the case with an A5 Twin Point mandolin that is part of the next batch. 

These are always very interesting and can be challenging depending upon the design ideas that are requested. I've been working with the customer on this latest inlay design and it has been great fun. 

She resides in Tasmania and wanted to include a design that incorporated an east coast bird that she particularly likes.

Here are some pics of the stages involved in the process. 

First of all the design needs to be laid out and decisions made about what shell to include in each part of the design.


The design is then glued to the selected pieces and cut out.



The inlay then needs to be situated within the design of the peghead.


Once the abalone and pearl has been inlayed, the details of the design need to be engraved by hand with engraving tools.


The engraved lines suddenly provide the essential detail once they are filled with engravers wax.


Once the french polish is applied, the colours within the shell will really pop.

Paul Duff



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