I'm looking to do something similar to this and I'm wondering what the best method is. Do you think this can be achieved with router based in-lay? It seems to intricate for that but that is about all I am familiar with.
I do double bevel inlay and I guess it could be done that way but it would be difficult. I would not attempt it myself. Sure is pretty. If I wanted to get a design that intricate i would apply it as decoupage.
Routers are tricky to control and move along a fair, curved path. I'd suggest getting some veneer and using the Italian marquetry technique which consists of packaging veneers between cardboard , pinching them together with pins and gluing and drawing the pattern on the top.
At that point you can just scrollsaw the whole thing out with a super fine blade then assemble the pieces.
He's not showing his process. The pictures on the site are suspiciously lacking in any portraying the actual cutting. The exacto knife may be there solely for helping push stuff into place or to make little cuts to help the inlay fall in.
Those jewelry boxes are almost definitely veneer work. It's hard to say from the picture but I think the grain is wrapping around. That would make his work marquetry and not inlay.
Note that his prices are fairly low. He's either got a simple technique or he's doing it for fun and selling at a low profit margin.
Those mirror frames look like they are done using two different techniques depending upon style. One type has a circle milled out and a medallion of veneer glued in. The other looks like actual inlay in which case, he may be using one of those dremel setups with a tiny bit.
Another possibility if he's a slick businessman is that he's doing all the work on a laser or outsourcing that portion of the process.
He could also be buying the inlays or using a die cutter from a hobby shop to cut the patterns from thin material. There are all sorts of ways to do that. Note the use of brass inlay. That's not cut with a knife.
Very low prices. I wouldn't sell for that low. He could also be using CNC as well. That would reduce the time needed for each, which could get profit margins higher up even at those prices. That work is not done with an exacto knife, for sure.
He's doing the layout on the computer for sure and the term "vector" is rarely used by the average woodworker drawing patterns destined for printing. It sounds like he's got a laser. CNC would be slower and harder to use for fine detail like that.
That would be fairly easily cut on a chevalet. If cut in Boulle style you could cut a half a dozen at once and that would keep the cost down. I have several blogs on marquetry cutting with a chevalet that will explain it to you if you care to look. This one relates to Boulle style but if you're interested browse around my blogs a bit or PM me. I'm always happy to help.
That particular one looks like laser to me but you can't be sure.
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