‘MG’ Logo inlay

Although I have been setting up and building guitars for a few years now, I have only fairly recently started to fully customise and create a ‘new’ guitar where none of the contributing components have ever existed or belonged to a musical instrument before. As these builds are unique and created by me, I wanted to brand them as such.

My initial ideas for a logo revolved around Runology as these characters are simple by design (so not too fiddly to make many inlays) and also enabled me to divulge my inner LOTR geek. Keeping things very simple, I have just amalgamated the Mannaz and Fehu runes (‘M’ and ‘G’) to reflect my initials. The Fehu rune is a little controvertial as it can be regarded as an ‘F’ character, but if it is good enough for Gandalf the Grey then it’s good enough for me.
This logo will appear on all guitars built by myself as a headstock inlay of varying materials.

Abalone inlay

I have recently restocked my supply of marquetry supplies from Small Wonder Music, and decided to cut out a headstock logo ready to inlay into a personal Les Paul project guitar.

I have a selection of different abalone shell materials including Black Tahiti, Red Abalone and Japanese Awabi. Also there is a small piece of reconstituted rock ‘Black Web’ that I wam planning to use as a Raven fretboard inlay in Huginn. In this case the inlay will be inteneded for a Walnut neck, so I wanted to aim for a little mor subtelty and opt for something dark.

The Black Tahiti abalone has a very dark green hue, but also has flashes of purple and blue in different light.

P1010692Progress was pretty slow as I needed to use a very 0/2 grade saw blade to allow the tight turns around the points of the runes. Cutting the arms of the logo was a little delicate so as not to crack the thin shell on the downward cutting stroke, but on the whole the process just requires a little patience.

For anybody looking to cut Abalone for the first time, ensure you have an N95-rated dust mask as the resulting powder can be pretty nasty to inhale.


Almost ready to inlay into the headstock, just a short session with some needle files to tidy up the edges and it’s time to get the Dremel out.

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