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I have a Gibson SG Standard that I've had for about 8 years. The trapezoid inlay in the third fret is starting to protrude from the fretboard. I felt it when I fretted a note on the third fret one day. What are the steps to making the inlay level with the fretboard again? Should I even attempt this myself or should I take it to a repair shop and let a professional handle it? Or, even better, does Gibson have some type of guarantee where they'll fix it for free?

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

After 8 years you will not find any manufacturer guarantee, so getting a free repair for inlay damage is not going to happen.

If you are not 100% confident, take it to a luthier, but this is actually a straightforward repair.

  • Take off the strings.
  • Carefully remove the inlay
  • Remove the glue from underneath the inlay and from the slot it was in. You can often pick it off, or carefully use a solvent for the pieces you can't pick off
  • Apply a thin layer of fresh wood glue
  • Press the inlay back into it's slot, and wipe off any glue that presses out
  • Use a g-clamp with a protective pad or cloth to hold the inlay until the glue dries
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Dr. Mayhem, You are a brave soul (just cuz I would be scared to mess it up), so Kudos for the walk through ! – filzilla Jan 6 '14 at 23:47
I don't have a G clamp. Would a capo do the job?? – hgwhittle Jan 7 '14 at 17:49
A capo might if it is one that lets you put quite a bit of pressure, but you'd be better off buying a cheap clamp. Just to make sure the inlay is held down. – Dr Mayhem Jan 7 '14 at 17:51
@filzilla - I made a few guitars when I was younger. Only electrics - don't have the training for acoustics - as they are pretty simple really. – Dr Mayhem Jan 7 '14 at 17:51

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