I bought a nice, used, entry-level, Takamine classical guitar. It does not come with side fret markers and that was a problem for me. I looked into the do-it-yourself approach and I did it. These abalones pieces come in variety of shades and colors (often bluish on one side and whiter on the other). I ordered a matching size brad-tip drillbit from another company and my luthier friend lent me a handheld manual drill device to do the the drilling slowly and controlled.(forgot what it is called). I carefully measured the position (hardest part of the whole job) and then did it. Once I tapped them in it was difficult or impossible to get them out. They will pretty much want to stay flush with the edge even if the hole is a little deep. Two of them were attached with a tiny drop of wood glue applied on a needle. Result is quite good for an amateur.
Great every time. Be carefull when tapping them in. Sometimes you can pop a layer of the shell off and create a void if tapping too hard. Or not having it start in straight. Use a plastic mallet.
Well, I'm not a luthier - but do enjoy DIY projects like this. I have several instruments with no side dots, and I've been putting little white-out dots for playing ease. But it rubs off after a while. I saw these dots in the StewMac catalog and decided to give it a try. So far, I have installed them only on a "beater" soprano uke with a fretboard that is actually thinner than the dot diameter. So drilling the holes meant I was straddling two woods. One hole is a little out of line, but otherwise I really like the way these dots look. And they won't rub off! I'll be doing the Dan Erlewine brad-point mod on a drill bit before I install dots on three more instruments.
Received and used the side dots (with the tip from Dan on making a brad point 3/32 bit). The dots and the bit both worked excellent. Really added a classy touch to the instrument. The abalone really blends well with the ebony fingerboard so the dots aren't really noticable from a distance but are obvious to the player. Thanks StewMac and Dan E.
these are nice. They show up real well when installed. Very small. I use a pair of flat point tweasers to put them in place.
Would rather buy these here than trying to make them.
I always use the abalone side dots, and they are great. No complaints.
These side dots look great and compliment the stew mac abalone dots perfectly. In general, they look beautiful and there weren't any that were all dark in the two packs I bought. Luckily I bought two packs, as I ended up dropping 3 or 4 of them when test fitting hole sizes. They didn't quite fit a 3/32" hole, so I had to ream it slightly with the drill bit. In testing the fit and depth, I dropped some... lost forever. They were a little thin, making the hole drilling difficult, hence my dropping. However, once finished, they turned out awesome.
A fine product.
Very small takes some skill to install. You get 10 in a little bag.
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