Restoration Stories - Inlay

First things first: I don't consider myself an inlay artist. However, I do get called upon to restore inlay from time to time...

Let's start with a simple example, block inlay on a new fretboard, this one uses New Zealand Paua:

Sometimes missing inlay needs replacing, along with a good clean up of the existing Pearl it's amazing what can be achieved as these before and after shots show:

Where required, inlay can sometimes be lifted and replaced after other repairs have taken place. This fretboard was noticeably uneven, but had engraved inlay attributed to master craftsman Icilio Consalvi. The only way to preserve the inlay was to lift it off, then deal with the fretboard and re-inlay into the newly levelled board:

And sometimes that Mother of Pearl gets everywhere, this fretboard had a wafer-thin coating of Pearl which all had to be lifted to get things level again before putting everything back as it was: