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?

2 Answers 2


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
  • Dr. Mayhem, You are a brave soul (just cuz I would be scared to mess it up), so Kudos for the walk through !
    – filzilla
    Commented Jan 6, 2014 at 23:47
  • I don't have a G clamp. Would a capo do the job??
    – hgwhittle
    Commented Jan 7, 2014 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.
    – Doktor Mayhem
    Commented Jan 7, 2014 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.
    – Doktor Mayhem
    Commented Jan 7, 2014 at 17:51

This video was posted by StewMac in August of 2019. Very simple solution for this problem that prevents having to remove the inlay.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.