My first impressions of inlay was good – the iridescence of the pearl caught my eye, and I was hooked. Pearl can be found in at least two shades that I’ve seen – gold pearl and white. But each piece is different. And pearl isn’t the only material that can be used; there’s abalone – did you know that there are green, pink, and blue shades of abalone and there may be other tints that I’m not aware of yet. And, if you google artists like Larry Robinson, and others, there’s a huge palatte of different materials that can be used for inlaying. It’s a matter of finding them.

In the case of the ukulele, I was going to use gold pearl for the vine, white pearl for the ukulele lady, and green abalone for the leaves. But first I had to get rid of the pearl dots that marked the seventh, ninth, twelfth and fifteenth frets on the original fretboard. I wanted a clean slate on which to inlay the ukulele lady pattern.

Here’s the original fretboard:

Original fretboard

Below is a slideshow that shows the removal of the dots and the insertion of rosewood to replace them. In the end the replacements are barely visible – they aren’t seen with a casual glance.
As usual, click on a picture to start the slideshow, then click on the arrows at the bottom right and left, to advance or go back. Finally click on any picture to exit the slideshow.