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Guitar Inlay Process, Guitar Inlay, Custom Guitar Inlay, How to do Guitar Inlay Shark Inlay Guitar Workshop
Presented by Shark Inlay.

The Odin Guitar

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Where ever you see this symbol Video images of Guitar Inlay click on it to see video of the building process. And here is your first chance. Click the TV to see me introduce this project and get a chance to get involved on the designGuitar Inlay,Shark Inlay,SharkInlay,Guitar Repair,Odin

I'm working with Ryan Josal of Seattle, WA on an exciting new project called "Odin," based on the norse mythogy god of the same name. The guitar is being built by John Thayer of J Thayer Guitars. As some people know, I work with a lot of luthiers both large and small. It's always great to work with a builders like John who is as passionate about his guitars as I am about my inlay work.

There are many challenges with this job. First was the subject matter. Did you know Odin rides an eight legged horse? Yeah, I didn't know that either. Try designing a horse with an extra set of legs, it's not easy. Plus, Odin travels with two ravens and two wolves, so there is a lot of elements that had to be combined into one flowing design.

The next challenge was the design of the guitar. It has a lot of angles and points as well as the pick ups and bridge take up a lot of room on the body. Getting all the elements of the design in place was tricky, but I did it. My orginal concept was to have the horse take up most of the body of the guitar, but I soon found this was impossible. The pick up holes and the bridge route did not allow for a design like that to look good. So I had to change the entire design to focus more on the area behind the bridge. Came out looking great though.

Artwork Begins

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The guitar has arrived and I have to say it is one quality piece of work. When the guitar showed up, but problems began. There was a tone control hole right though the head of the lower wolf and the design had to be modified. But, those types of things are expected. Altogether there will be 189 pieces of inlay when I'm not, not including the headstock.


Shark Inlay,Guitar Inlay,Guitar Body Inlay,Odin,Thayer Guitars

What's Involved

After the design is created, then is has to be pulled apart and all the pieces have to be cut. A lot of planning is required to get everything right. Just look at the material list.


Material Manifest

Bloody Jasper 3
Brass 3
Bubinga 8
Granite/Black White 5
Koa Wood 15
Mammoth Ivory 29
Marble/White 16
Maple 3
Mother of Pearl/Gold 3
Mother of Pearl/White 2
Mother of Pearl/Black 37
Nickel Steel 17
Onyx 4
Red Abalone 12
Rosewood 14
Walnut Wood 7
Yellow Cedar 10

Totals: 17 different materials, 192 pieces

The picture below is just the piece layout for Black Mother of Pearl only.

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Guitar Inlay,Shark Inlay,SharkInlay,Guitar Repair,OdinClick the TV for video of the Black Mother of Pearl pieces being cut.

All the pieces are cut.
Shark Inlay,Guitar Inlay,Guitar Body Inlay,Odin,Thayer GuitarsShark Inlay,Guitar Inlay,Guitar Body Inlay,Odin,Thayer Guitars

How we start working on the hole in the guitar to put the pieces into. For something this complex, I always like to make a proofing board. This is the hole cut into a cheap piece of wood.

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After I have this board I put all th pieces into the board to make sure then all fit. Once I'm convinced everything this perfect. I cut the hole in the guitar.

Shark Inlay,Guitar Inlay,Guitar Body Inlay,Odin,Thayer Guitars
Guitar Inlay,Shark Inlay,SharkInlay,Guitar Repair,Odin Here is the video.

Now the inlay has to be leveled. Picture below is halfway through the process.

Shark Inlay,Guitar Inlay,Guitar Body Inlay,Odin,Thayer Guitars
Fretboard and headstock pictures.
Guitar Inlay,Shark Inlay,SharkInlay,Guitar Repair,Odin Here is the video.

Shark Inlay,Guitar Inlay,Guitar Body Inlay,Odin,Thayer Guitars Shark Inlay,Guitar Inlay,Guitar Body Inlay,Odin,Thayer Guitars
Shark Inlay,Guitar Inlay,Guitar Body Inlay,Odin,Thayer Guitars


Guitar Inlay,Shark Inlay,SharkInlay,Guitar Repair,Odin Here is the video.

Almost done.
Shark Inlay,Guitar Inlay,Guitar Body Inlay,Odin,Thayer Guitars
Shark Inlay,Guitar Inlay,Guitar Body Inlay,Odin,Thayer Guitars
Shark Inlay,Guitar Inlay,Guitar Body Inlay,Odin,Thayer Guitars

The final step is just a touch of paint work. I added just a little semi-transparent paint to Odin's hair and muscle tone and the horse's mane. You can see in the pictures before how much difference this make to the overall look. Just a little paint goes a long way.