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Grateful Dead Music Forum

A place to talk about the music of the Grateful Dead 

 #59846  by strumminsix
 Wed Apr 22, 2009 5:35 am
cSuttle wrote:Hi Gang,

It's Cliff Suttle, the guy who designed and made the Blues of Allah piece shown above. Just thought I would chime in and see if there are any questions about how it was made, or materials used, or how it will be installed on the guitar, or the meaning of life ...

Ask away.
Welcome! Beautiful work! Glad you are here!
 #59849  by Mandoborg
 Wed Apr 22, 2009 6:22 am
Cliff, answers to all of the above !!! Actually, i'm really interested in how you did, and what you used for the painted reflection in the glasses and on the bouts of the violin. The border pieces as well, are they real stone ? That work is right up there with Robinson, Leach, Laskin etc.... Good to see the younger generation working at this art. Please tell me no CNC !! :O)
Inspiring work......Inlay work is FUN !

Jim
 #59861  by Rusty the Scoob
 Wed Apr 22, 2009 8:55 am
playingdead wrote:Very nice. What did it cost?

Here's more:

http://www.sharkinlay.com/eliza.htm
This writeup is fantastic - it answers a lot of the materials questions.

I wish I'd known about both Cliff and Soulmate when I started my bass planning last summer...
 #59865  by cSuttle
 Wed Apr 22, 2009 9:50 am
Mandoborg wrote:Cliff, answers to all of the above !!! Actually, i'm really interested in how you did, and what you used for the painted reflection in the glasses and on the bouts of the violin. The border pieces as well, are they real stone ? That work is right up there with Robinson, Leach, Laskin etc.... Good to see the younger generation working at this art. Please tell me no CNC !! :O)
Inspiring work......Inlay work is FUN !

Jim
Well Jim ... sorry to disappoint you, but ... I use a CAM machine. I use to do all my inlay by hand for years (see the "Vine of Death" on my web-site), but I finally could afford a CAM and I have never looked back. My work was good before, but it was even better with the CAM. I use .005" tolerances which is about one quarter of the distance your hand moves when you heart beats. Plus I can charge my client less money. It's a win-win-win anyway you look at it.

The frame is made of recon-stone. I'm not sure you know what that is. Recon is made from the actual stone, but is lighter and easier to work with. That much real stone would change the balance point of the guitar and make it really tail heavy. Not good.

The detail in the reflection of the glasses and the shimmer on the violin is paint. I usually don't put paint on my inlays (I'm sort of opposed to the concept), but in this case there was no other way to make the blurred out effect necessary. On my web-site there is a pictorial of the piece being built and you can see all the steps involved. Check it out.

Good questions!!
 #59883  by Mandoborg
 Wed Apr 22, 2009 4:46 pm
Thanks for the quick response and answers Cliff. Recon stone is beautiful stuff to work with. Jo-Anne from Rescue Pearl sent out a couple of pieces of that for me to play around with and it was Awesome ! Those pieces you used seem to have more ' veins' which make it look even more like the real thing !

The cnc thing was only a spoof. Heck if i could afford one i sure would go that route, no pun intended. It sure would save a lot of blisters ! Using the CAM, are you saving these patterns for later use, or would something like this be a one off ? Jerry's tiger medallion seems to stoke a lot of interest in multiple cuttings for a decent price as opposed to hand cutting them.

I still dig those reflections, never thought of painting an inlay before...... thanks for the idea to try it on some scrap........... that's a great effect !

Take care and thanks again.......

Jim
 #60009  by cSuttle
 Sun Apr 26, 2009 4:10 pm
Mandoborg wrote: I still dig those reflections, never thought of painting an inlay before...... thanks for the idea to try it on some scrap........... that's a great effect !
The only problem with etching or shell painting is that you shouldn't do it on fretboards or anywhere else that will not have a finish applied. You need the finish to protect it. Also, once it's been painted you can't sand it anymore, even a little. So, you have to be really careful in handle and finishing the guitar.
 #61280  by Dan Stanley
 Wed May 27, 2009 2:13 am
Cliff did a headstock medallion and strat trem cavity cover plate ( I think the trem cover is on his site, and you can see the medallion on my myspace page: www.myspace.com/danleyuk) for me a while ago. Great guy to deal with, fun project.

I keep meaning to got some more stuff done... I'll get to it soon.

Dan