My attempt at Steve Latta/LN tools...Just waiting on blades from LN

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Project by DKV posted 07-21-2011 12:58 AM 7673 views 7 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch
My attempt at Steve Latta/LN tools...Just waiting on blades from LN
My attempt at Steve Latta/LN tools...Just waiting on blades from LN No picture No picture No picture No picture No picture
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I’m experimenting with string inlay and noticed Jon3’s rendition of Steve Latta’s (LN) tools. Thought I’d give it a shot. Since I didn’t want to make my own blades I ordered them from LN. They are backordered 2-3 weeks. Must be very popular items. If anyone else has homemade string inlay tools I would really like to see them.

-- This is a Troll Free zone.

10 comments so far

View Derek1980's profile


31 posts in 3966 days

#1 posted 07-21-2011 03:56 AM

Looks good. I really enjoy making then using my own tools. thanks for sharing.

-- Derek

View 58j35bonanza's profile


395 posts in 3752 days

#2 posted 07-21-2011 09:34 PM

How do they work? I’m fairly new to woodworking and have seen a few things opn string inlay.
Do they cut the rabbit in the wood and will do different widths?

-- Chuck

View DKV's profile


3940 posts in 3563 days

#3 posted 07-21-2011 10:49 PM

I’ll let you know as soon as my blades arrive from LN. They are backordered 2-3 weeks. I just got into inlay and am looking forward to trying them.

-- This is a Troll Free zone.

View tubaman's profile


2 posts in 4400 days

#4 posted 01-05-2012 07:04 PM

Sure would appreciate any drawings of tools…not good at seeing things and making…any type of drawing would help… there were some done by Jon3??? cannot find…should have printed. jj

-- Jim, Michigan

View DKV's profile


3940 posts in 3563 days

#5 posted 01-06-2012 01:39 AM
I used the above link to help me build the tools. Jon has a lot of narrative and photos. Let me know how it goes.

-- This is a Troll Free zone.

View a1Jim's profile


118161 posts in 4636 days

#6 posted 01-06-2012 02:17 AM

These look good to me.


View TimRH's profile


5 posts in 2653 days

#7 posted 01-14-2014 04:09 PM

I’ve ordered the blades also but I’d like to get started building the tools while I wait (they’re backordered) does anyone know the dimensions of the different blades. I already know the thickness, .060 which is what I wanted so I can use a 1/16” router bit for the straight line work.

View OggieOglethorpe's profile


1276 posts in 3169 days

#8 posted 01-14-2014 04:23 PM

—- Edit – I just realized the original post is several years old… ——

I have a mix of shop made and the LN versions, and have played with Steve’s personal versions. They’re really simple tools. Buying the cutters is a reasonable solution, and makes lots of sense if you don’t have any examples to copy.

You might need to key the dowel, if it rotates during use. Most of the better versions of the parallel tools use a square post. You could easily rout a groove in the dowel, add a notch under the locking screw, and add a section of hardware store Woodruff key locate the dowel. The locking screw would then push the key into the groove, both locking the setting and preventing rotation in one operation.

I use a Master Airscrew Balsa Stripper to cut stringing. It’s about $8, and uses X-Acto blades.

Steve also worked with a manufacturer of end mills to make very narrow cutters for Dremel tools, as 1/16” can be kind of wide for certain stringing. A lot of the single color stuff is ~ a fat 32nd. Stewart MacDonald sells a very reasonably priced base for Dremel tools that works very well with the end mills.

I’ll post the end mill source later, I don’t have it in front of me.

View TRHeath's profile


75 posts in 2647 days

#9 posted 02-04-2014 01:17 AM

I finally got my blades in. Now just to make the tools. I had to wait several weeks for the blades and as it turns out they sent me not 1 but 2 thicknessing guages with my order. I only ordered the blades and thought maybe it was because I had to wait so long but another one arrived in the mail today. Guess i’ll call them tomorrow.

-- So much to little time.....

View woodydixon's profile


5 posts in 611 days

#10 posted 08-18-2019 12:59 PM

Just made the steve latta thicknesser with cutters from lie nielsen but mine does not produce continuous I get only intermittent shavings and mostly dust and constant catching. I thought the cutters would be sharp from the factory but maybe I was wrong. I have tried both flat side out and in but no difference in shavings. Do I need to burnish a new burr? If so, which method? Steve in the LN video establishes a burr by rubbing the bevel on sandpaper then burnishing. On a youtube video he turns the burr using a flat chisel over the flat edge then rolls it up. Also, what space between the cutter and other side of the slot? I know he said to use one side as the final size so I assume that means the opening is set to the exact size but the other is used for rough sizing. Does it matter how wide that space is?

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