Hi all; Somebody sugessted me the use of something that he calls
imitation of mother of pearl and paua shell "Foils"for inlay. He says
that one can stick the foil in the channel and then cover it with a
clear coat of epoxy resin.
My guess would be that they are referring to the inlay materials sold
by lutherie supply shops. You can get dots, strips, and shapes, as
well as sheets in a wide variety of materials: Mother of Pearl
(white, gold, or black), Abalone Heart (green or red), Paua-,
Awabi-, or Agoya-Shell; and more. Sizes from .030" to .060"
thickness and 2"x5" or 5"x10". Prices vary from $5 to $100 per sheet,
depending on size and material. I have done custom inlay in a number
of stringed instruments using these materials. They are a pleasure to
work with. You may also want to look into "purflings".
My two favorite suppliers aRe: LMII http://www.lmii.com
800-477-4437, and Stewart MacDonald's http://www.stewmac.com
Remember that cutting any shell is a lot more hazardous that common
sense provides for. Cutting under water or with a GOOD respirator are
called for, even when using hand power such as a jewelers saw.
BTW, for those of you out there who are tool freaks, I recommend
checking out the fascinating world of specialty luthier's tools.
Epaul Fischer glyptographer Gryphon Song Creations