Texas Star Inlay #2: Completing the Inlay

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Blog entry by cakman posted 10-15-2013 07:02 PM 4134 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Tutorial: How to make a Texas Star and Inlay Part 2 of Texas Star Inlay series Part 3: The finished product »

Here is some more progress of the inlay.

I started off by lightly tacking the star in the position I wanted and tracing the outline with a sharp knife. Light strokes at first and then gradually deeper.

And then using a chisel to remove a little v notch. This allows me to cut slightly deeper with the knife and establishes the outside shoulder of the inlay mortise. It also gives me a visual barrier to look out for on the next step.

I chucked up a small straight cutting bit in my Dremel Trio and started hogging out the waste area. Of course keeping an eye on the v notch and making sure not to get too close to the line.

I then put in the smallest cutter I could find for this tool and cut closer to the line (leaving about 1/16”).

Using a chisel and knife I carefully excavated all the waste leaving clean crisp edges. Sorry for the crappy picture.

Now for the stressful part. I carefully checked to see if the star would fit and if there were any spots it was hitting. It is important to not fully seat the star if it is a tight fit or you might not be able to get it out to add glue. Mine was a tight fit so I made a few tiny adjustments and used the knife to very slightly bevel the underside of the star to aid in entry. Moment of truth. I spread glue into the mortise and along the edges and in the nooks, placed the star in the right place, used a sacrificial board and delivered a few generous blows with my mallet. Wow, talk about a pucker moment. There didn’t seem to be any splinters or ruined edges so I grabbed some clamps and some boards and clamped the crap out of it and let it sit overnight to dry.

I didn’t take a picture this morning but I was able to sneak a peek. It looks like everything seated nicely and there doesn’t seem to be any noticeable gaps. So far I am happy with the results. Ill snap a few pictures later when I get it planed and scraped flush.

3 comments so far

View FaTToaD's profile


394 posts in 4356 days

#1 posted 10-15-2013 11:12 PM

Looking good! Thanks for the blog, can’t wait to see it finished.

-- David

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4549 days

#2 posted 10-16-2013 11:03 AM

Once again, a really good tutorial. I did a little inlay work in the past and though it came out fairly well. As you can see here, your method is much better than what I did at the time. My mistake was in not chiseling the ‘V’ after scoring the edges before proceeding with the routing and chiseling. I’m sure this will turn out perfect (ok, there is no such thing as perfect, but you know what I mean). Thanks for sharing this with us.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View cakman's profile


30 posts in 3905 days

#3 posted 10-16-2013 01:58 PM

Thanks guys. I just hope this guide will help someone else who is wanting to do the same thing (or something similar). I believe sharing information is the most important part of our hobby/craft.

Unfortunately it was too rainy yesterday to do any work outside. I am itching to grab a scraper and plane to see how this thing is going to look. Maybe later today.

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