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Warwick: Dot Position Markers

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1. Warwick makes great instruments. This one is a corvette 5 string. 2. Side-Dot Markers are a great visual aid that help musicians navigate between fretboard positions. That said, many musicians also like to have position markers on the fretting surface of the fretboard.
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3. Establishing the Center Line of the fretboard is the first step of the crucial layout process. A violin maker’s knife lightly scores the center of the fretboard at the positions where I’ll be installing the dots. 4. Measuring the Fret Spacing at each position to recieve a pearl dot with calipers.
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5. Layout Continued. Now I’m using the calipers to score the fret- board at the exact center between the two frets. 6. Marking the Fretboard with an Aul will give the drill bits a perfectly placed indentation to prevent the bits from wandering. I’ll repeat steps 3 through 6 in preparation for each dot inlay I’ll be installing on this bass.
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7. Drilling the Fretboard for dotinlays is best done with a brad pointbit. This type of bit is much lessprone to wandering. Plus it createsa nice floor for the pearl to rest on. I’m drilling each hole to a depththat’s shallower than the thicknessof these pearl dots. That way I’msure to have enough protrudingpearl that I can make the inlayslevel with the surface of the fret-board. It’s best to do this witha drill press. That’s not a problemwith this bass because it has abolt on neck which can easily beheld in a drill press vice with corklined jaws for padding. 8. Gluing in the Pearl Dots can be done with a number of different adhesives. I prefer super glue be- cause of its thin viscosity and its rapid curing time.
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9. Removing the Excess Pearl. In order to speed things up, I’m using the shop’s dremel tool with a router base and an engraving cutter. I’m resting the routing base on the frets while the cutter removes the pearl. I’ll adjust the depth of cut so the cutter is .005″ above the surface of the fretboard. 10. Removing the Excess Pearl Continued. A small Swiss-needle file will bring each pearl dot the rest of the way down to the fretboard.
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11. Lightly Sanding the Pearl and Fretboard with 220 grit sandpaper gets rid of the file marks. I’ll polish the frets and fretboard in the usual manner, clean the fretboard with naptha, then seal the board with mineral oil. 12. Pearl Dot Inlays make great position markers. They even add a bit of bling to this quality, utilitarian bass.
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13. Dot Inlays.