Inlay Help Please..

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Forum topic by spoonman posted 06-30-2008 03:18 AM 1135 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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38 posts in 3905 days

06-30-2008 03:18 AM

Topic tags/keywords: inlays help pro expert inlets resource tip question router carving tool trick

Okay, it’s like this. I need expert/old timer help. I have been working in a cabinet shop for the last seven years. That’s all good and fine, except I hobby woodwork in my mediocre shop at home. I have recently fallen crazy for old school techniques,(hand planes, chisels, handmade dovetails,etc.). What I am looking for is some advice/technique for doing inlays. There are wonderful examples of inlay on this sight, but the few times I have spoken with people, it seems they are all using hand routers/trimmers. I have seen examples (Gary K) of hand cut inlays with Jigging, but I am truly befuggled. Any references or if anyone is willing to type a couple of step by step instructions for me to practice would be much appreciated. Thanks in advance. Spoonman

-- I came, I saw, I pondered...

5 replies so far

View Doug S.'s profile

Doug S.

295 posts in 3974 days

#1 posted 06-30-2008 03:24 AM

Do a google search on Steve Latta. He does a lot of early period stuff with veneer inlay, medalions, etc. and often shows up in FWW and other magazine articles. I believe he may also have a book or two out. The inlay tools that Lie Nielsen came out with recently were pretty much his design I believe.

-- Use the fence Luke

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

4036 posts in 4329 days

#2 posted 06-30-2008 09:23 AM

Sharp knife to cut the outline, chisel to trench the outline, #271 “baby” router plane and a Stewart-MacDonald precision router base. Follow the link for some cool tools borrowed from out friends the luthiers.

I would also recommend The Marquetry and Inlay Handbook by Zachary Taylor. He has some home-made channel cutters and stuff that might open you eyes to possibilities.

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over a decade.

View matter's profile


210 posts in 4035 days

#3 posted 06-30-2008 12:48 PM

I made my own scratch stock for doing very fine inlays. I will take a picture of it at the shop today and post. If I’m doing wider inlays by hand, I usually make a small plane iron out of old planer knives, and screw it to a small block of beech. Then I clean up the corners with a sharp chisel.

-- The only easy wood project is a fire

View Taigert's profile


593 posts in 4106 days

#4 posted 07-02-2008 12:43 PM

Check out Tommy McDonalds podcasts at He does his podcast as T-Chisse, great stuff. He also has a forum where you can get great answers from him. He has all the stuff you need for scatch stocks and such. He has a couple of projects that he has been teaching to do the inlay work, such as shaded fans used in Federal style furmiture and the laying in Queen Anne style. He shows the whole process.
Have fun, I’m getting hooked on inlay!!

-- Taigert - Milan, IN

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10435 posts in 4318 days

#5 posted 07-03-2008 02:01 AM

I received an email from The Woodwhisperer that cntained a guide, step by step, writeup on an inlay he did for a coffee table… A sunburst pattern… It was very good… Maybe it’s on his website… might take a look…

Oh, it was tray!

Here you go! Enjoy!

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:"

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