Birdseye Maple 'Eye' dot Inlays

Archie Macfarlane

Active member
I'm wondering if anyone who has built their own necks/guitars has ever tried this or if it would work bahaha

On say a dark fingerboard RM RW or Ebony instead of clay dots what you do is get a bit of Birdseye Maple, find the Birdseye 'Eye' figures in there of a suitable size and of a good colour contrast, you get say a black piece of paper with a dot inlay size hole  in it, and you don't cut necessarily perfectly on the 'eye' circle but a little off each maybe time varying it for each inlay so you get the contrast. And then this is really finicky but you label the fret number location and put a finish on the tiny top of the circle eye dots that you've cut to get it to pop and sparkle against the fingerboard

I hope this made some sense to you guys it was an idea I had kind of like a natural Guthrie govan inlay because he has the like ebony circle dots
Also inspired by a two tone maple idea I had aka plain fretboard roasted back which I've never seen done really but have been told it would work


Fat Pete

Senior member
Why not? I'm trying to get my head around attempting to make my first neck and considering contrasting wood inlays.

If you wanted a gloss finish only on the dots, you'd probably have to do something like install them slightly recessed and drop fill a finish into the holes (which would probably rule out rosewood or other woods with visible pores).

I'm not sure what you mean by labelling the fret numbers?


Senior member
I made 1/4" curly maple dots last year. Did an experiment where: you insert them recessed (I also dyed them first), fill with clear epoxy, sand/buff flush with the fingerboard:

I have plenty left as I never got to use them on an actual neck.

This gives a cool look like PRS Private Stock guitars that also are often spec'd with dyed curly maple bird inlays.
In their case though they do this the right way: take a whole piece of curly maple, dye it, then lay out some epoxy layer. Once dry, they laser cut the inlays and install them.