I am having trouble with round fret markers. 
When I drill the circle the wood tears out and ruins the fret board.  I am replacing one now because of this.  A round punch would be ideal if there is such a thing.  Any advise?

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Yeah, to me markers on the face of anything but a lap slide or something are just decorative. I like the side markers for functionality and I also like the look of a plain, simple fretboard with no markers. Just my taste.

I will also note that the sidemarkers are ridiculously simple to do when building a neck.

Some pics here, about half way down the thread.

Amazing build with just hand tools.

Suspect device is correct in that the rods I mentioned are small diameter, (1/16" or 3/32") intended for side dots. I was thinking they had larger diameter rods too, but was mistaken. I like side dots. Many of my projects have only side dots.

Anyway- http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Bindings,_trim/Trim:_Side_dots/Plastic_...

And for larger plastic and pearloid dots perhaps- http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Inlay,_pearl/Pre-cut_inlays/Black_Plast...

And- http://www.stewmac.com/shopby/product/0001-IP

Of course you can get mother of pearl, abalone etc. if thats what you prefer.

Another option for fret marker dots is to use plastic knitting needles. They come in a whole bunch of colors and in sizes anywhere from 2 mm (5/64") to 10 mm (25/64"). There are larger and smaller sizes as well, but they're not as common. You can usually pick up bunches of knitting needles at thrift shops for around 25¢ a pair. The wife gave me a couple of broken size 1 needles, and they make perfect side marker dot material.

Thanks, Rusty Pup. Can't hurt to try some.

 

I cheat.  I have been using Mylar for fret markers.  It is pretty special stuff used in solar reflectors.  It comes in sheets with a sticky back.  Mothing will stick to mylar, but this sticky backed stuff is wonderful.  I punch holes with a 1/4" paper punch.  Then carefully peel the back off and set the dot in place.  No drilling.  It has a mirror like surface.

In 9 months of building, I have only had one come off.  Easy to replace.

I have always been terrified of drilling into a newly built fretboard.

I cheat.  I have been using Mylar for fret markers.  It is pretty special stuff used in solar reflectors.  It comes in sheets with a sticky back.  Mothing will stick to mylar, but this sticky backed stuff is wonderful.  I punch holes with a 1/4" paper punch.  Then carefully peel the back off and set the dot in place.  No drilling.  It has a mirror like surface.

In 9 months of building, I have only had one come off.  Easy to replace.

I have always been terrified of drilling into a newly built fretboard.

Speaking of fret markers.  DOes anyone have any interesting materials for side markers?  I have heard of using weed whacker string, but haven't tried it.  I usually buy 1/16" plastic stuff from StewMac.  Sometimes I run out.

Today I decided to try a piece of 14 Ga solid copper household wire.  Just strip a piece out of a bit of Romex.  It wouldn't quite fin in my 1/16" hole, but it was very close.  I just ovaled out the hole a tiny bit and it fit.  I clipped it off, filed it down and then sanded it flush.  I think it works best on really dark fretboards.  .

I see that is a old thread, but info is always useful.

I've been using 1/4 inch dowel rods or plastic coat hangers for fret markers and colored pencils for side dots. Pickguard material also works for fretmarkers and I've seen someone use glitter or different colored plastic shavings mixed with glue.

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