Router-Based Inlay

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Blog entry by thewoodwhisperer posted 04-03-2010 01:50 AM 12664 reads 42 times favorited 23 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Inlay is a great way to adorn your woodworking projects. Even the simplest item can become incredibly compelling if it features a well-executed inlay. With the right materials and techniques, its just like painting with wood. Only “non-artistic” folks like myself can actually do it!

If you are in the N. California are, be sure to take one of David Marks' marquetry and inlay classes. And below are a few items that I recommend using for this process:

1/16 Inch Router Bit

1/8 Inch Router Bit

Magnifying Headset

-- For free video tutorials and other cool woodworking stuff, check out

23 comments so far

View bigike's profile


4059 posts in 4626 days

#1 posted 04-03-2010 02:49 AM

OMG that leaf inlay came out great if you look at it the lines look real like real veins in a leaf. Inlay teqnique is realy a good way to take your work to the next level of beauti. Thanks for the info!;)

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

View DrewM's profile


176 posts in 4337 days

#2 posted 04-03-2010 02:59 AM

Another excellent video, I enjoy all the videos in your series. Thanks for posting them.

-- Drew, Delaware

View Canadian Woodworks's profile

Canadian Woodworks

702 posts in 4408 days

#3 posted 04-03-2010 03:16 AM

Nice video, thanks for passing along the knowledge

-- Paul Lemiski, Ontario Canada, Custom Wooden Rocking chairs and tables

View OutPutter's profile


1199 posts in 5328 days

#4 posted 04-03-2010 03:34 AM

Thanks Marc, I can watch inlay videos all day long. They’re probably as mesmerizing for me as doing it is for you. I wish you’d put up a full length version without all the 3x speed so I could really zone out. lol

I’m glad you showed the “almost” duplicate of Nicole’s jewelry box because I thought I recognized it. One quick question. What do you think the total project time for just the inlay would be for a newbie like me?


-- Jim

View Jonathan's profile


2609 posts in 4388 days

#5 posted 04-03-2010 03:40 AM


Thanks for posting this. Being a woodworking rookie, I am just starting to learn about all the various inlay techniques and have a couple of future projects planned.

This video was very helpful and I appreciate you taking the time to go through all of the details. I definitely learned a few new tricks along the way that will save me frustration, should I encounter any of these issues.

I will watch this all the way through again before starting my first inlay project (and probably the next several after that as well), something I hope to start in another couple of weeks after I get a few other things done.

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

View thewoodwhisperer's profile


605 posts in 5522 days

#6 posted 04-03-2010 04:30 AM

Glad you guys are enjoying the video.
Outputter: hard to say. That took me a full day with the filming included. So a small design can be done rather quickly. But not everyone works at the same speed. When I learned this technique from David, he easily took twice as long as I did with the routing. And that’s not because he’s slow. He’s just that much more meticulous…. I have since learned to slow down a bit. :)

-- For free video tutorials and other cool woodworking stuff, check out

View thewoodwhisperer's profile


605 posts in 5522 days

#7 posted 04-03-2010 04:55 AM

Well because I want the piece to fit accurately. The piece shrinks, but its not an accurate representation of the true size of the piece. So I suppose there would be nothing wrong with keeping it tight then sand shading. But the “shrinkage” is an unpredictable thing. So I prefer to get the piece sized perfectly, shade it, then re-introduce the moisture that will eventually go back into the piece anyway.

And as to losing color…..yes definitely. If you leave the piece too proud, you can lose too much. So you have to strike a balance between how much you burn and how much you scrape. This piece was actually a little darker than I wanted, so I should have either backed off on the shading or the recess should have been a little more shallow.

-- For free video tutorials and other cool woodworking stuff, check out

View DoctorDan's profile


281 posts in 4353 days

#8 posted 04-03-2010 05:05 AM

Looks good Marc, heating the wood is a neat trick. Thanks for posting.

-- Daniel -

View gbear's profile


544 posts in 5437 days

#9 posted 04-03-2010 05:59 AM

Great tutorial Marc, I learned a lot. Yours turned out wonderful, I need to give this a try.

-- gbear, Carmichael, CA

View Broglea's profile


695 posts in 4429 days

#10 posted 04-03-2010 06:22 AM

Thanks Marc. Learned a bunch. Can’t wait to incorporate this into my next project.

View nmkidd's profile


758 posts in 4511 days

#11 posted 04-03-2010 08:45 AM

Another great video Mark…......inlay is something I have planned for the future… this was a great learning experience for me.

Thanks again

-- Doug, New Mexico.......the only stupid question is one that is never asked!........don't fix it, if it ain't broke!

View Bob N's profile

Bob N

131 posts in 5265 days

#12 posted 04-03-2010 01:37 PM

Great video Marc…. one of the best you have done!

View Walt M.'s profile

Walt M.

245 posts in 4348 days

#13 posted 04-03-2010 05:49 PM

Great video Marc thanks for sharing this technique

View Kent Shepherd's profile

Kent Shepherd

2718 posts in 4624 days

#14 posted 04-03-2010 07:26 PM

Thanks Marc,

Great information, and as usual—————well done video


View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 5637 days

#15 posted 04-03-2010 10:38 PM

Thank You Marc,

Great video!

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

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