Whether you own your own business or company, or you are simply a creative person that likes to keep their hands busy, you might find yourself in need of inlay to get started on a project. There are lots of different types of inlay that you can get your hands on, which can make it difficult to know where to start.
One of the most unique and interesting types of inlay is Abalone inlay, which is able to create stunning results, no matter the application. If you are looking to find out more about the best types of Abalone inlay, then you have come to the right place, as we are going to answer all of your questions here.
In this article, we are going to share with you our list of the 5 best Abalone inlays, so you can choose from a list of the best quality products. We are also going to tell you everything that you might need to know about Abalone inlay and how to ensure that you are getting the best product possible.
What is Abalone Inlay?
Abalone is a genus of shellfish that comes from the haliotidae family of edible rock-clinging gastropod mollusks. They have a flattened shell that comes in a slightly spiral form, and it is lined with mother-of-pearl, with a row of apertures along its outer edge. The abalone shell is a richly colored sea shell that makes a beautiful ornament when it has been polished.
Inlay involves any decorative technique that is used to create an ornamental design, pattern, or scene, by inserting or setting into a shallow or depressed ground or surface a material of a different color or type. Inlay techniques are often used in furniture decoration, lacquer work, and metalwork.
So, when you combine these two things, you get a stunning abalone inlay that can be used for a variety of creative purposes. Abalone inlay is something that is often used as an inlay material in musical instruments, like guitar and bass.
5 Best Abalone Inlay
If you are looking to use abalone inlay for an up and coming project, then you are probably wondering where you can get the best products for this purpose. To help you to make a decision, we are going to share some of the best abalone inlay products with you below.
OUR TOP PICK
OUR TOP PICK
Our number one choice for the best abalone inlay is this one by EasyInlay. Paua Abalone is a unique species of abalone that can only be found in New Zealand’s environmentally pure coastal waters. The interior shell is full of life with its stunning and unique color combinations, and it highlights opalescent blues, rich greens, and luminous fiery flashes.
This is a material that is often used by woodworkers and other craft artists to create various different projects, as this is a gorgeous material that is perfect for any inlay creations. You can purchase chips that range in size from 5 to 15 mm, and 2 ounces of this product will provide you with a few hundred pieces in various different shapes.
You can be sure that this inlay is responsibly sourced as Easy Inlay imports this abalone inlay from New Zealand under a US fish and wildlife permit. When it comes to the Mohs Hardness Scale, Paua Abalone actually has a hardness of 2.5, and it can be easily sanded using silicon carbine or aluminum oxide sandpaper, which has a hardness of 9.0. It is a durable material that provides the perfect surface to polish and finish.
You should note that due to the fact that these are products that come from nature, they can vary in color, and you may note impurities. There are 3 size options to choose from, which are:
- Large - 2 ounces contains about a hundred pieces in various shapes
- Medium - 2 ounces contain a few hundred pieces in various shapes
- Small - 2 ounces contain many hundreds of pieces
- They come in three different sizes, depending on what you need for your project
- This is a unique product that can give you an extra edge in your creative work
- This is a high quality product that is durable enough to withstand heavy use
- Natural products can contain impurities, but these do make the product more unique and it will add to the natural aesthetic of your product
These Paua Abalone sheets allow you to add a pop of color to any inlay project. One of the best things about these inlay sheets is that they are really easy to cut into any shape that you need. They can even be used for laser cuts. You can simply peel off the PSA sticky backing from the sheet, lay it into a channel, and add resin to finish off your creation. These are all great features as they make the whole process easy and straightforward.
The size of the sheets is roughly 235 mm x 70 mm x 0.7 mm / 9.25" x 2.75" x 0.03" for the length, width, and diameter. These are only sold in the United States, but there are also 5 different wonderful color options for you to choose from, depending on what you need.
- These sheets are really easy to cut into shape, which makes creating your project that much easier
- There are plenty of different colors for you to choose from, depending on what you require
- You can only get a hold of these sheets if you live in the United States
These Paua Abalone strips can add a stunning and gleaming seam of color to any inlay. All you have to do is peel the sticky backing off the strip , lay it into a ring groove or other channel, add resin to finish it off. This makes the process more enjoyable as you don’t have to face any unnecessary complications.
These strips are sold in one-color packs of three, and the size of the strips is roughly 90 mm x 0.15 mm x 0.7 mm / 9.2" x 0.15" x 0.03’’ in length, width, and depth. There are also 7 different color choices for you to choose from.
- Inlay has been made even easier when you use these products as they are easy to use by following just three simple steps
- There are an impressive 7 different colors for you to choose from, so you really are spoilt for choice
- You cannot mix and match these colors, as they only come in packs of three of the same color
This abalone inlay is made by Natural Paua Abalone, and the materials are sourced from New Zealand and imported to America. The thickness of the material is 1.5 mm, and this is the perfect material to use for artwork that involves inlay. Each blank features its own unique grain, and there is no grain the same in different blanks. They are perfect for polishing, but you can only do so on one side.
This is a flat face shell blank inlay material that is 100% solid abalone sheet. There is no plastic or veneer adhesive on the back of the product, which is great for projects where you do not require this addition. This product comes in 3 different sizes, which are 33mm x 58mm x 1.5mm, 33mm x 78mm x 1.5mm, and 45mm x 78mm x 1.5mm.
- This product features a great thickness that will suit a wide variety of projects
- Each blank is entirely unique, meaning that your products will be 100% unique and different from anyone else’s
- There are 3 different sizes to choose from, so you can simply pick the size that you need, rather than buying too much or too little
- Unfortunately, there is a relatively long wait time of 10-25 days for delivery, but we are sure that it will be worth it in the end
- There is no adhesive on the back of the material, which some people tend to prefer
Due to the fact that abalone shell is a naturally occurring material, the colors will vary in different pieces.
The color of this material will look even fresher when they are added to water, but they are most commonly used for musical instruments, like Guitars, Ukuleles, Banjos, and Mandolins.
They can be used for a variety of different purposes, and the diameter of these dots is around 6mm, while the thickness is around 2mm.
You will need to be sure that the measurements are suitable for what you need before you order them. You will receive 20 abalone shell dots with your order.
- You will be presented with stunning and unique colors that you can’t get from may other materials
- These are perfectly sized to be used for certain musical instruments, eliminating any cutting issues
- These are small pieces of abalone dots, which means that they are not suitable for larger inlay projects
This purchase includes 2 sheets of natural Paua Abalone shell material as the price is set for a pair. The material itself comes from New Zealand and is imported to America. The size of each sheet is 33 x 78 x 6mm, and they can be used for a variety of different purposes.
The thickness of the product is 6mm, which is great for projects that require a thicker material. It also features an acrylic front material that can be polished to provide a smooth finish to your overall piece.
- You get quite a lot of product for your money as two sheets are included and they are of great sizes
- These sheets have a depth of 6mm, which is much deeper than many other products that are available on the market
- There is an acrylic material on the front of the sheets that can be polished, but this might not be suitable for those that are looking for 100% natural materials
Best Abalone Inlay Buying Guide
How to Choose the Best Abalone Inlay for Your Project
One of the first things that you will need to consider when you are choosing the right type of abalone inlay for your project is the form that it comes in. You can get this material in a variety of different forms, like sheets, strips, individual pieces, dots, and more.
Certain forms will only be suitable for limited projects, so it is really important to consider this before you get started. There is no use in buying materials that are specifically shaped for decorating a guitar if you are planning on creating a pen.
You will also need to think about the size of the project that you will be working on as this will determine how much of the material you need to buy. The larger your project, the more abalone inlay you are going to need. Before you get started you will need to take some measurement so you don’t end up with too much or too little inlay.
Some manufacturers take a long time for delivery as the product is often imported. This means that if you fall short and don’t have enough, you could be left waiting a long time before you can complete the project.
As well as the length and width of the material, you will also need to consider the depth. The most common depth for this type of inlay is between 1.5 and 2.5mm, but there are other types with a thicker depth.
Another important thing that you will need to think about is the color that you want to use. Some manufacturers will only have one color available, whereas others have multiple options for you to choose from.
Ultimately, the color that you choose will depend on your own personal preferences, but some colors will be harder to get a hold of than others, which may be more commonly sold.