INLAY INDUSTRY SOURCE LISTS
BORDEAUX CUSTOM DESIGN (Paul)
3 Golf Course Rd., Malone, N.Y., 12953
Hand-cutting, smaller orders O.K., does work for guitar makers Buscarino, Campellone, Kent Everett, and Martin. Can do original design compositions.
P.O. Box 2890, 104 Buena Vista Pl., Pagosa Springs, Co., 81147
Hand-cutting, does guitar and banjo work for Ome, Stelling, Bart Reiter, and Fender. Is also a master wood carver, and is proficient at engraving on both metal and shell.
CROUCH, JOHN W.
4539 Market Rd., Mechanicsville, Va., 23111
Original designs and hand-cutting of traditional style guitar inlay.
CUSTOM INLAY (Bryan England)
9126 Beaver Dam Rd., Caneyville, Ky., 42721
Phone: (270)879-0779; Fax: (270)879-0785
Uses CNC and pantograph, is one of the largest inlay shops in the U.S., doing both large and small jobs. Many custom and standard shapes in stock, in all materials. Clients include guitar makers Gibson, Washburn, Heritage; AMF, Olhausen, and other pool table manufacturers.
CUSTOM LUTHIER (Todd Reith)
P.O. Box 1306, Kennett Square, Pa., 19348, U.S.A.
Phone: (610)925-2613; Fax: (610)514-3737
CNC cutting, development, and design, including prototyping, full service production, custom templates, luthier's tools, and instrument components. Sells inlay materials, truss-rod covers, neck inlays. Has done guitar work for Ernie Ball, Heritage, Traphagen, Surine, and others, as well as Chevrolet!
CUSTOM PEARL INLAY (Dave Nichols)
Rt. 1, Box 240, Low Rd., Malone, N.Y., 12953
Phone: (518)483-7685; Fax: (518)483-5639
Hand-cutting only, best known for doing the “Custom Shop” work for C.F. Martin Guitars for many years. Specialist in older-style foliage/vine style inlays.
DEPAULE SUPPLY (Andy)
1173 Berntzen Rd., Eugene, Or., 97402
A professional guitar maker with shops in Vietnam that produce very nicely hand-cut inlay shapes (your design or theirs) such as dots, strips, rosettes, peghead and fingerboard sets, and fully inlaid pegheads and fingerboards as well as traditional flat blanks in various types of shell.
GRUSS STUDIOS (Alex and Lorelei)
396 Classon Ave., Brooklyn, N.Y., 11238
CNC and hand work, and does original designs. Have their own catalogue of elaborate Jewish temple furnishings. Can do everything from boxes and humidors to very large wall panels!
5350 30 th Ave. NW, Ste. H, Seattle, Wa., 98107
Phone: (206)467-7990; Fax: (206)467-8288
A grand old man of esoteric methodology, doing computerized laser cutting of thin shell (under .012”), and is the main U.S. source of decorative wood inlays, soundhole rosettes, purflings and wood strips, and other guitar stuff. Will maybe do smaller runs if coaxed and bribed.
HANDCRAFT INLAY (Craig Lavin)
12624 N.W. 14 th Place, Sunrise, Fl., 33323
Phone: (954)577-3474; Cell: (954)608-8156
Hand cut contemporary designs, and since he's a card-carrying Marine Biologist specializes in depicting the watery realms, but will do anything. Works on guitars for Lowden, Kinnaird, Superior, and Jordan Violins.
J.S. TECHNOLOGIES (Steve Smith)
18650 Collier, Unit A, Lake Elsinore, Ca., 92530
Phone: (951)471-2334; Fax: (951)471-2557
CNC cutting, works for Suhr Guitars and others. Large production runs only.
14821 Bertino Rd., Grass Valley, Ca., 95945
Phone: (530)477-2938; Fax: (530)272-5613
Highly original designs all cut by hand, and will accept small or large jobs. Works for Martin, PRS, Godin, Ryan, Warrior, and others. Very innovative and detailed work, and has developed entirely novel inlay effects that have drawn serious attention. Also lives about 20 minutes from His Pearlness, who gets to peek in the shop window and check out his top-secret projects when Harvey's not looking!
P.O. Box 567, Cypress, Ca., 90630
A very small shop specializing in CNC machine sales and custom cutting in all materials. Will accept smaller orders, and also sells inlay supplies such as reconstituted (“recon”) stone, legal ivory, and shell materials.
MAR PEARL (Dave Markle)
1820 W. Brush Creek Rd., Freeport, Il., 61032
Phone: (815)789-4788; Fax: (818)789-3313
Another old-timer, with proprietary and sophisticated cam-grinding methods, but only works on large orders from manufacturers. Supplies inlay sets, shapes, and drawings; shell blanks, dots, stone and shell guitar picks, and vaguely understandable advice. Was the founder of the old Salstrom Banjo Co., which was later bought out by Fender.
80 Mountain View Rd., Patterson, N.Y., 12563
Phone: (845)878-9013; Cell: (914)671-2821
Cuts by hand and small orders are welcome; will do inlaid belt buckles but not suspenders. Brian Moore Guitars has used his services.
MOSBY GUITARS, INC. (Jeff)
P.O. Box 30268, Myrtle Beach, S.C., 29588
Phones: (843)236-2457, toll-free (866)205-9810; Cell: (843)267-8136
Hand inlay and laser work, specializing in pictorial style hand engraving, and also does fine leather tooling. Has done guitar work for Martin and PRS.
N.C. SOLUTIONS (Steve Carlson)
116 High K St., Belgrade, Mt., 59714
Phone: (406)388-5141; Fax: (406)587-0487
A former V.P. of Gibson Montana Division, and the founder of Flatiron Mandolins, does CNC inlay cutting and profiling of wood guitar parts and will consider small runs. Sells CNC systems for doing your own work, and produces parts for Taylor, Breedlove, and Lowden.
30033 Business Center Dr., Charlotte Hall, Md., 20622
Phone: (301)884-0400; Fax: (301)884-2627
Founder Larry Sifel (deceased) was a co-inventor with The Duke of the now ubiquitous Abalam, and the hugely influential company he established is the undisputed leader in producing the world's most intricately detailed CNC-cut guitar inlays, many of which are designed by full time in-house artists. Formerly, only large production runs were accepted, but the recent development of radical new proprietary techniques now make it possible to handle very complex projects involving only one or two instruments! Customers include Martin, PRS, Taylor, and Fender.
P.O. Box 308, Valley Ford, Ca., 94972
Author of “Art of Inlay” and three inlay instructional videos/DVD's, Larry is one of the world's premier inlay artists. An old-fashioned blade-breaker who cuts only by hand and can supply original designs ranging from ultra-traditional to over-the-top outrageous! His work has appeared on guitars from Martin, Santa Cruz, Ryan, Olson, and Traugott, among others. Small commissions are welcome.
ROCKFORD CARVING CO. (Bob Klingler)
1555 New Milford School Rd., Rockford, Il., 61109
Phone: (815)874-5103; Fax: (815)874-5104
Since 1987, CNC and large production runs only of musical instrument inlay, and stamped parts of steel, brass, fiber, and wood. Used by Gibson, Martin, Heritage, Washburn, and other guitar factories.
THORN CUSTOM INLAY (Ron)
815 Western Av., #1, Glendale, Ca., 91201
Phone: (818)242-3705; Fax: (818)841-6681
CNC work, and will consider small jobs. Customers include B.C. Rich, Fender, Warrior, and Moser guitars.
37 E.M.S. D-24-B, Syracuse, In., 46567
Hand-cutting and original designs, has mainly worked for Moonstone and Yamaha Guitars.
WIEDENMAN CUSTOM INLAY (Landon)
296 W. Dana St., Thayne, Wy., 83127
Phone: ( 307)880-1986
See also under “INLAY CUTTING SERVICES”: DePaule Supply
ALLEN LUTHIER'S SUPPLIES (Randy)
P.O. Box 1883, Colfax, Ca., 95713
Laminated shell sheets and extra-long strips, as well as guitar and mandolin woods and hardware. Also has an excellent and widely used fingerboard fret-slotting service, for almost any scale imaginable!
AQUA BLUE MAUI, LLC (Scott Ventura)
5805 Lower Kula Rd., Kula, Maui, Hi., 96790
Supplies proprietary “Thin-Lam” plastic-laminated/reinforced shell sheet and tile for cabinets, countertops, flooring, and architectural applications. Laser-cut inlays for guitars, ukuleles, small boxes, etc.
“CHAINSAW” CHUCK ERIKSON ENTERPRISES, LLC
18072 Greenhorn Rd., Grass Valley, Ca., 95945
Yes, this is the same character who also claims to be the Duke of Pearl, but in this manifestation peddles sundry items such as reconditioned vintage Swiss and German jeweler's saws and finely crafted antique shell items. Also offers legal ivories, ambers, and inlay materials consulting.
CUSTOM GUITAR CO. (Len Wood)
5339 Prospect St., San Jose, Ca., 95129
Phone: (408)257-6822; Fax: (408)257-6829
A professional guitar maker and player with facilities in the Philippines where he manufactures flat blanks from Green and Red abalone, and white and gold M.O.P.
ESOTERIC SIGN SUPPLY
1646 N. Wilmington Bl., Wilmington, Ca., 90744
Phone: (310)549-6622; Fax: (310)549-0180
Founded by much-loved and highly respected Rick “Daddy Fine Gold” Glawson (deceased). Shell veneers and laminates, .030” solid shell blanks, gold-leafing and all sorts of hard-to-find or unique materials and supplies for artistic reverse-glass art and signage. Catalogue.
EUPHONON (Walter Lipton)
Box 100, Archertown Rd., Orford, N.H., 03777
Shell blanks, dots, woods for instrument building. Has a catalogue.
EXOTIC WOODS CO. (Gulab Gidwani)
P.O. Box 532, 444 Chews Landing Rd., Sicklerville, N.J., 08081
Phones: (856)728-5555, toll free for orders only: (800)443-9264; Fax: (856)728-6262
Solid shell blanks, and a huge selection of guitar woods. Catalogue available.
FIRST QUALITY MUSICAL SUPPLIES
P.O. Box 581038, 7006 Trade Port Dr., Louisville, Ky., 40258
Phone: (800)635-2021; Fax: (877)293-0507
Carries a large selection of shell blanks, dots, strips, truss-rod covers, and inlay sets or fully inlaid fingerboards and peghead veneers, plus a custom logo cutting service. Many banjo and guitar parts and hardware. Has a great catalogue!
GRIZZLY INDUSTRIAL, INC.
Locations in: Memphis, Tn.; Williamsport, Pa.; and Bellingham, Wa.
Phone: (800)523-4777; Fax: (800)225-0021
A major supplier of woodworking equipment and tools, with a large catalogue. Owner Shiraz Balolia is also an accomplished luthier, so has added an extensive selection of instrument making parts, woods, and inlay materials to their inventory.
P.O. Box 412154, Los Angeles, Ca., 90041
Phone: (626)683-7692; Fax: (323)226-0504
A guitar builder who offers a CNC laser cutting and burning service, so can work from customer-supplied electronic files.
LETTERHEAD SIGN SUPPLY (Ron Purcell)
2570 Bodega Av., Petaluma, Ca., 94952
Phones: (707)769-0129, (800)531-1339; Fax: (707)769-0292
Artistic sign making supplies, including thin shell for doing reverse-glass work.
LUTHIER'S MERCANTILE INTERNATIONAL (LMII)
7975 Cameron Dr., Bldg. 1600, Windsor, Ca., 95492
Phones: (707)433-1823, (800)477-4437; Fax: (707)433-8802
One of the oldest, largest, and friendliest luthier's supply warehouses in the world, carrying a gigantic selection of inlay materials, as well as woods and tools. Huge and informative catalogue available!
MASECRAFT SUPPLY CO.
P.O. Box 423, 254 Amity St., Meriden, Ct., 06450
Phone: (800)682-5489; Fax: (203)238-2373
Very well known and highly respected specialists in knife handle materials, thicker and larger shell slabs and laminates, reconstituted (“recon”) stone, imitation shell plastics. Has a catalogue.
MOTHER OF PEARL SUPPLY CO.
P.O. Box 445, 293 Belden Circle, Franklin, N.C., 28734
Phone: (828)524-6842; Fax: (828)369-7809
Another very well known and highly respected supplier of exotic knife handle materials including thick and large M.O.P. and abalone shell slabs and laminates, bone, legal ivories, corals, and fancy leathers. Ask for catalogue.
RESCUE PEARL CO. (Jo Ann Tompkins)
1551 Duck Hollow Ct., Rescue, Ca., 95672
Carries a full line of shell products, at the best prices for small users, and with no minimum order. Has a lot of stuff on sale at far below wholesale (odd-lot, overstock, discontinued, out of tolerance, etc.), and has a catalogue. Shares space, and works with, famed high-end banjo builder Renee Karnes, so has inlay advice drawn from direct, hands-on experience!
SHELLEX (Gunter J. Klier)
Postfach (P.O. Box) 1424, Sudetenstrasse 15, 64504 Gross-Gerau, Germany
Phone: 06152-2724 (from U.S., 011-496-152-2724); Fax: 06152-3386 (from U.S., 011-496-152-3386)
A very old and active company, but with no U.S. distributors. One of our main competitors, having a huge selection of shell blanks, strips, dots, pre-cut inlays, inlaid fretboards, etc., and has a nice catalogue available. Will take custom orders, and can respond to communications in good English, so tell ‘em “howdy” from the Duke!
SMALL WONDER MUSIC CO. (Mike)
2 Summerhill Cottage, Chapmans Town Rd., Rushlake Green, N. Heathfield, E. Sussex, England, TN21 9PS (In England, it appears as though directions to your place also serve as an address!)
Phone/fax: 1435-830-509 (from the U.S., 011-44-1435-830-509)
Very possibly the best selection of shell inlay products in all of Europe and England! Does some pretty slick-looking custom inlays also.
P.O. Box 900, 21 N. Shafer St., Athens, Oh., 45701
Phones: (740)592-3021, (800)848-2273; Fax: (740)593-7922
The other oldest and biggest U.S. luthier's supply warehouse, with an impressive stock of shell blanks, laminates, strips, dots, and pre-cut shapes. Famous for their large inventory of specialized luthiery tools and supplies, instructional books, and free advice! Big, “must-have”, catalogue!
TURTLEWORKS (John Greven)
1415 S.E. Taylor St., Portland, Or., 97214
A professional guitar builder who invented and makes “Tortis”, a very convincing imitation tortoiseshell, in sheets and guitar pickguards of several types. Can do small custom runs to match your exact color specs or samples, and can also supply finished inlaid products. Catalogue available.
UNIVERSAL AGENCIES, INC. (Ric Chopra)
4690 Old Peachtree Rd., Ste. C, Norcross, Ga., 30071
Phone: (678)969-9147; Fax: (678)969-9169
Knife making materials: has bone, stag, horn, and pearl in slabs, rounds, and rough.
WARTHER, DAVID, II
2561 Crestview Dr. N.W., Dover, Oh., 44622
A third-generation ivory worker, who sells very legally papered museum ivory which is available either in the rough or cut to custom sizes. Is THE authority on doing any type of fine ivory carving or machining!
See also many of the names listed under “INLAY CUTTING SERVICES”
ART STUDIOS OF THE COEUR D'ALENES (Rick Parks)
P.O. Box 73, Cataldo, Id., 83810
Phone: (208)682-4564; Fax: (208)682-477
Rick is a nationally recognized instructor of composite art, and has done very detailed and accurately rendered figure and portraiture work for over thirty years (much of it as a trained forensic artist!). He's worked on guitars for Paul Beard Resophonics, Rich & Taylor, Bear Creek, and Huss & Dalton, and Mark Savoy Accordions. Rick has published several instructional books and videos on how to do realistic artwork, and has a color portfolio of his instrument work available.
EDMUND BRITT & CO. DESIGN CONSULTANTS
338 Main St., Ste. 200-A, Wakefield, Ma., 01880
Specializes in Vega and traditional style banjo inlay patterns, both vintage and original, and has worked closely with Ome Banjo Co. for many years. Does beautifully rendered artwork, has an impeccable sense of design, can chatter on for hours about banjo inlay trivia!
1306 3 rd St., Berkeley, Ca., 94710
Does master-grade engraving on metals and shell. Works closely with inlay guru Larry Robinson and did the engraving work over Larry's inlay on C.F. Martin's $1,000,000.00 guitar (their millionth)! Has also worked for Deering Banjos, Fender, and National Reso-Phonic Guitars. No website yet, but a search on his name will bring up a few articles and photos.
GUITARPIX CUSTOM ILLUSTRATION (Kevin Ansberry)
8737 Wicklow Court, Dublin, Ca., 94568
Computer graphics, design, custom guitar blueprinting, and computer-generated color views of proposed final instrument. Does very high-quality professional work! Has collaborated with Osthoff, 13 th Fret, Kathy Wingert, and many other small-shop luthiers.
See also, under “INLAY CUTTING SERVICES”: Michael Gurian, and Gruss Studios; under “PRODUCERS, DISTRIBUTORS, etc.”: Aqua Blue Maui, LLC
HUDSON RIVER INLAY
207 Wembly Rd., New Windsor, N.Y., 12553
Phones: (914)762-1134, (800)745-0744; Fax: (914)762-9508
Wood and shell marquetry design and production of wall décor, tables, mirrors, boxes, etc. Has a color catalogue of production furniture produced by their factory.
MITCHELL ARONSON CO.
11460 Timber Mt. Av., Las Vegas, Nv., 89135
Restaurant, casino, and hotel interior design and materials, including the use of shell panels and surfaces.