Boards with Curves

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Project by Timbo78 posted 11-23-2015 03:44 PM 1843 views 1 time favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Here are a couple of boards I made using Scotty Lewis’ method to make through inlays. All pieces are edge grain. The curves consist of 1/16in strips laminated together. For the first one, I had planned on making three curves and being done with it, but when I tried to flush route the edge on the router table, the board got chewed up and spit out. Scared the living shit out of me. Turns out the router speed wasn’t on high. After cranking it up, it cut just fine. However, I switched to the hand held router soon after. As the pictures show, some of the curves go very close to the edges, so I didn’t really feel like having my fingers that close to the bit on the router table. A few clamps and a handheld router made life a lot safer. However, the original error tore a nice chunk out of the board. So instead of scrapping the whole thing, I decided to hide it with a circle inlay. I did it on both sides in approximately the same location, so it gives the appearance of a through inlay just like the curves. And I put the last curve over it to give the impression that it was all part of the plan to begin with, as opposed to the band-aid that it actually was. I put the straight lines on the second board to see how the contrast would look with the curves, and I’m not sure if I like it or not. Time will tell, I suppose. Thanks for looking.

8 comments so far

View exelectrician's profile


2339 posts in 3758 days

#1 posted 11-23-2015 05:55 PM

Very nice save – Looks like you did it on purpose – In fact I like the the one with the circle the most..Go figure…

-- Love thy neighbour as thyself

View Ivan's profile


17133 posts in 4199 days

#2 posted 11-24-2015 06:58 PM

Very elegant curves, nice colours.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View Bill_Steele's profile


779 posts in 3063 days

#3 posted 11-24-2015 07:26 PM

Nice job and nice recovery from the accident. I would like to make something like this myself.

Is it difficult to get the glue lines—from the boards that make up the cutting board (not the glue lines from the inlay)—to line up? Meaning, it seems to me that after each iteration when you cut the board in 2 to add another inlay, then add the inlay, and then glue the board together—the glue lines will be slightly off and perhaps distracting. Do you know what I’m saying?

Did you use a forstner bit or some sort of router inlay kit for the circle inlay? What did you use to cut the disk—a router?


View Timbo78's profile


35 posts in 2594 days

#4 posted 11-24-2015 08:48 PM

Hi Bill- I’m not exactly sure what you’re asking. The method for making the curved cut is:
-Use curved template and guide bushing to make curved groove in the board
-Cut the groove through with bandsaw, making sure to stay within the groove and not touch the sides
-Use flush trim bit to remove the remainder of the groove on both halves.
-Add inlay strips. The combined width of the strips must be exactly the width of the groove that was removed. So, for the thickest curved line, I used a 5/16 bit to make the groove, and I added (5) 1/16in wide strips. That way, you are replacing the exact amount of material you removed, so the glue line will be perfect (if you do it right, which is a bit of a challenge). Hope that helps, although now that I reread your question I feel like I may not have answered it. If not, just send me a PM and we can get it answered.

As the for the circle, I used a router inlay kit. One thing I did learn is that when you cut the positive (the disk, as opposed to the recess), you should route the shape as a groove and then resaw or drum sand the shape out of the stock. I made a thin piece of edge grain maple and cut straight through it into a piece of scrap. When you do this, the piece gets chewed up in the router once it gets released from the stock. So if you look closely, you would see that the circle has some rough edges because of it.

View XquietflyX's profile


339 posts in 2291 days

#5 posted 11-24-2015 08:56 PM

Great job at saving the piece!!! looks really nice

-- You can tell a lot about your wife by her hands, for example if they are around your throat she's prolly pissed off at you...

View Bill_Steele's profile


779 posts in 3063 days

#6 posted 12-03-2015 06:35 PM

Hi Timbo78—I think you did answer my question. What I was missing is that the width of the initial router cut is exactly the width of the inlay. That way everything lines up. I saw an article in Fine Woodworking where they did what you did—I must have missed that part about matching the width.

I think maybe I’ll get an inlay kit—seems useful. I know what you mean about cutting all the way through and then having that internal piece get slammed by the router bit once it is loose or very close to loose. I once did a project where I cut a hole that matches the diameter of the bottom of a drywall bucket. On the 2nd try I left a little bit of wood connecting the internal part at various intervals (think about a clock and I left wood at 12, 3, 6, and 9). Then I went back with a hand saw to remove the piece and cleaned it up with a flush trim bit.

View ChrisB33's profile


3 posts in 2721 days

#7 posted 12-13-2015 01:49 AM

Has anyone else had trouble with the strips cracking when gluing up?

Nice board!!

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 4198 days

#8 posted 01-15-2016 03:00 PM

This looks very nice. Congratulations.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

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