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Installing Luminlay side dots


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I fitted these to my 2 Ibanez basses today and despite my initial concerns about drilling out the old dots, it went surprisingly smoothly. I was struggling to see the side dots on a dark stage even with my new glasses lol. I’m really pleased with the results and they actually look as if they were original and work an absolute treat with very little charging. I went for the super bright in blue and ordered from Japan from the official shop. The size was 2mm on both basses so I ordered 2 x 60 mm lengths. Delivery was about 5 days. The 60 mm length was more than enough to do all the side dots on one bass with a little left over.


There is a really good video on YouTube where the chap uses a drawing type pin to create a pilot hole in the dot then a wood work drill bit by hand. I used a 2mm Brad point wood work drill bit and initially just hand turned the bit to drill out the existing dots as in the video. I then got a little more confident and used my little 10v Dewalt drill at a very slow speed. I don’t have a pillar drill which would obviously be the desired tool of choice. I drilled out about 3-4mm. I didn’t pre-cut the luminlay but just dabbed a drop of superglue on the end, inserted in the hole then trimmed as flush as possible with a Stanley knife. 


My other concern was sanding the new dots flush without marking the neck. I did try masking around them but this was not very effective so I found that cutting as close with the blade then a gentle sand with some 800 wet/dry then 0000 steel wool to tidy up. A drop of Nomad fretboard oil and all done.


If I did another bass, I would get some decent side cutting snips to do the majority of the trimming rather than the Stanley knife as I slipped once and nicked the edge of the fretboard. A very fine flush cut razor saw might be another option. 

I can’t imagine a luthier would charge a huge amount to do the job if you were worried about doing it yourself.

I also ordered the Luminlay torch but they work fine with being charged with a normal small torch.

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