Taliesin Desk in Cherry #4: Walnut Inlays

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Blog entry by JimYoung posted 11-28-2015 03:45 AM 2002 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 3: Legs and Grill Work Part 4 of Taliesin Desk in Cherry series Part 5: Second Glue Up and Wedged Tenons »

I’ve got a few days off for the holidays, and i’ve been able to get a little more work done on my desk project. I’ve been trying to figure out what type and color wood I want for the inlays and accent pieces. After talking with the guys at the local woodcraft, I picked up some trans tint 0 black dye, a chunk of walnut and some walnut veneers. I played around with these (and after dying my hand black, be careful with this stuff), but did not like the pitch black look. A friend can to my rescue when he was getting rid of some air dried walnut that he had laying around for a while. He had several pieces 2+” thick. After cutting into one log, the quarter sawn grain was beautiful.

I used a thin rip guide and slices off several pieces about 1/16” thick. The color was not enough contrast for me, so I picked up some “dark walnut” trans tint dye. Mixed thin with alcohol, a few coats evened out the color and darkened it nicely but still allowed the grain to come through.

I like the contrast, and the different textures of the wood should add some interest to the piece. I plan on using the same dyes and wood on the wedges for the through tenons.

I used regular wood glue for the inlays, and a plywood block to distribute the clamping force. I cut them a little long and made sure to tap them down to seat them tightly to the bottom of the recess. I cleaned up the top with my block plane. This was an all day affair on Thanksgiving with gluing up on piece, clamping it, letting it set up for at least 30 minutes, rinse and repeat.

Lastly, I cut a small chamfer on all the pieces and a larger one on the bottom of the legs. With that, I was ready for the first major glue up. With all the grill work, I ‘m doing this in two steps for each side, first the 4 center spindles are glued to the top and bottom. Second, I’ll add the smaller “window frames” and the two legs.

Thanks for following along,


-- -Jim, "Nothing says poor craftsmanship more than wrinkles in your duck tape"

3 comments so far

View Tomoose's profile


422 posts in 3979 days

#1 posted 11-28-2015 03:52 PM

Looks good, Jim. Keep up the good work.


-- “I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.” Pablo Picasso

View DanMelander's profile


46 posts in 2224 days

#2 posted 12-01-2015 04:57 PM

Look’n Good!

View jhurrell's profile


18 posts in 1454 days

#3 posted 02-26-2016 02:13 PM

I love the inlays. I think you made the right choices with the wood and finish.

-- John, Rochester NY

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