Calvin and Hobbes inlay

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Project by anigan posted 02-22-2014 01:51 AM 1779 views 1 time favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I have been practicing on my new scroll saw and decided to try my hand at inlays. After watching some Steve good videos I took my first shot at redoing my doctor who project from last week. The first doctor came out great. Inlay fit perfect. The second doctor however taught me that you can cut inlays backwards, as instead of the inlay punching through and fitting on the bottom piece the bottom fits into the top….. Oops

Even though I screwed up doctor #2 I had 9 more to practice/experiment on to help find out which way I have to cut multiple inlays.

After over 400 years + practicing I set into another silhouette project, Calvin and Hobbes.

This time the inlays cut perfectly. I stained the inlay espresso and left the rest of the wood it’s natural color, glued them together and used some glue + sawdust to fill in the entry hole.

So I had a pretty cool looking silhouette, but what would I do with it. I enjoy practicing and cutting all these things on the scroll saw, but it would be nice to have a “finished” project every now and then to show off or maybe sell to offset the cost of my saw.

I decided to make a very basic frame. Like many of Calvin’s inventions I didn’t want the garnishing to outshine the purpose. In the spirit of the cardboard box that was the transmogrifier or the duplicator simple design would be key.

I settled on butt joints with a chamfered outside edge… To tell the truth this wasn’t my original plan. I was going to put the chamfer on the inside and maybe a round over on the outside, but I ended up gluing the frame together before routing the inside. Routing the inside of a box would leave rounded edges on the corner so I chamfered the outside instead. This as it seems like with many “woodworking revisions” ended up looking better than my original plan.

I did run into a snag with my frame when I was squaring the corners from the rabbit I cut in the back. I wasn’t as careful cleaning up the chips as I should have been and ended up making a nice dent in the front of the frame. I was rotted…. “What a stupid mistake. There must be a way to fix this”, I thought. So off to YouTube I went. After a few videos I decided I was going to steam the wood with a kettle to pop the dent out.

I came up from the shop and told my wife of my blunder and explained my cunning plan to fix my frame. She asked me why I was going to use the kettle when we have a stream cleaner in the closet….

SO…. I plugged in the steam cleaner…...

With the dent fairly flat I headed back down to the shop to sand and finish the frame. This seemed like an opportune time to try my new $20 mastercraft random orbital Sander…. There’s a reason they sell those Sanders for $20. There’s no speed control and the thing spins up like a f1 engine, leaving massive gouges on the wood while it skips off of it. I wrestled the wood and Sander until the gouges were gone, all the while wondering how much a dewalt Sander would cost.

Sanding done it was time to stain the frame. I had just bought a can of red sagona stain for another project and wanted to try it out. To be fair the red sagona stain really didn’t fall into the simple motif of the frame but with the first brush stroke I was amazed by the color. I’ll be sure to be using this color again!

I’m very pleased with how this project turned out. I learned a lot about inlays and my wife got a bunch of cut outs to make into broaches to boot!

2 comments so far

View NormG's profile


6506 posts in 3815 days

#1 posted 02-22-2014 02:42 AM

Very interesting and nice work

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

View shipwright's profile


8573 posts in 3609 days

#2 posted 02-22-2014 06:01 AM

Nice job on the C &H inlays.
If you enjoy this you should look into marquetry. It’s basically the same process but done in veneers. There’s no end to the intricacy you can achieve.
As for places to use your finished inlays / marquetry, I find boxes a good venue as well as serving trays and , as you did this time, just framed wall art.
Again, nice work.

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

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