Inlay Tools #2: Radius Cutter complete

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Blog entry by Jon3 posted 07-08-2009 03:52 PM 11210 reads 24 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Introduction and Radius Cutter Part 2 of Inlay Tools series Part 3: Inlay Tools #3: Straight Line Cutter »

Cut off and mounted, the brass point actually looks kind of nice. I’ll just be a little less generous with the epoxy next time, so I don’t end up with that overfill bead.

I mounted the radius cutter, going about 1/16th to 1/8th deeper than the brass pivot point, so that the cutter will remain as perpendicular to the work as possible. Since the holes in the cutter to attach it to the tool are oval, there is some room for adjustment later on.

It isn’t perfect, but my version bears a faint similarity to the wholeheartedly cloned L-N/Latta version. (Cheesy pixelated/resized Internet photo in the background there!) Based on my eyeball sizing, I made this tool oversized, much like the others will undoubtedly be.

I have to admit though, aesthetic concerns aside, the tool cuts a pretty neat curve. I can tell that this tool is one that will definitely require some practice to master. While this circle looks good, there are some areas where I could tell that the depth was uneven. I think I might create a small depth stop gauge to slide onto the cutter, so that I can do a ‘final pass’ against a depth stop and make sure that I have a nice uniform seat for the inlay strips to register against.

Also, I’ve discovered that I should make the head as small as I can, and get the pivot point moved up as far as I can. This tool limits my ability to make small circles somewhat. I think my minimum is about ~2 inches, which is OK, but I may choose to make a second one in smaller dimensions to insure I can make smaller circles. The thing to keep in mind, is that the distance between the pivot point and the cutter is the final circle’s radius, not it’s diameter! We’ll see how it works in practice.

Now, in order to make the inlay, I’ve got to create the other tools so that I can test out my circular cutter!

7 comments so far

View PurpLev's profile


8654 posts in 5143 days

#1 posted 07-08-2009 04:18 PM

Thanks for the post. it’s always great to be reminded that we can make out own tools, and good ones too.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Kindlingmaker's profile


2659 posts in 5021 days

#2 posted 07-08-2009 04:24 PM

I too thank you for the post. Your tool looks great!

-- Never board, always knotty, lots of growth rings

View a1Jim's profile


118334 posts in 5071 days

#3 posted 07-08-2009 04:27 PM

good blog thanks for sharing


View David's profile


1969 posts in 5633 days

#4 posted 07-08-2009 10:42 PM

Jon -

Excellent set of posts on your inlay radius cutter. I have been following this closely as I am experimenting with the same thing in my shop. You have produced a very nice and serviceable tool.

Below are some photos of my Straight Line String Inlay Cutter (version I).


View Jon3's profile


497 posts in 5600 days

#5 posted 07-08-2009 10:43 PM

David, my straight line cutter is on the way as well! Give me another day or so!

View David's profile


1969 posts in 5633 days

#6 posted 07-09-2009 12:04 AM

Jon, Cool! I am looking forward to your design.



View bigike's profile


4059 posts in 4783 days

#7 posted 02-09-2010 04:06 AM

nice work

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop, http://[email protected]

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