Inlay advice needed

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Forum topic by paul1474 posted 03-26-2018 09:31 AM 1676 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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45 posts in 2246 days

03-26-2018 09:31 AM

Want to do some inlay projects. Need some advise as to router, templates and knowledge.

9 replies so far

View robscastle's profile


6675 posts in 2807 days

#1 posted 03-26-2018 10:17 AM

I would be glad to assist Paul, where do you live?

-- Regards Rob

View EarlS's profile


3413 posts in 2951 days

#2 posted 03-26-2018 11:31 AM

MLCS has several basic template inlays that you can buy as well as the necessary bits and guide bushings. They also have a tutorial.

I seem to recall that one of the big router sites has stacked inlay templates too. Hope this helps.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View John Smith's profile

John Smith

2131 posts in 766 days

#3 posted 03-26-2018 01:46 PM

nice project choice to start off with.
not just the router and templates, but you need to gather up some
very sharp carving knives and chisels. and learn how to keep then sharp.
if your router bits are not sharp, you will have to trim the “fuzz” around the cuts.
most beginners find the common X-Acto knives to be adequate.

and for intricate sanding in tight places, fingernail emery boards of different grits work well.
(wear a hat, wig, and sunglasses while shopping for them in wal-mart ladies dept.)


-- I am a painter. That's what I do. I paint things --

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

11996 posts in 4032 days

#4 posted 03-26-2018 02:29 PM

I get templates and supplies from Infinity. Wide selection, great instructional videos.
Once you’ve done a few, you can figure out how to make your own simple templates.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View Planeman40's profile


1472 posts in 3364 days

#5 posted 03-26-2018 04:05 PM

If you are going to do smaller inlays, I would recommend my setup which is a Dremel using a straight router bit. These come in sizes from 1/8” up to around 1/4”. I would highly recommend the router base sold by the luthier supply place Stewart McDonald ( Ain’t cheap, but you will never regret it! This is the way Guitar builders inlay those beautiful fancy fret positions and peg heads with mother of pearl! I find that straight single flute router bits work best as they eject swarf best ( For smaller routing I use surplus circuit board router bits (

-- Always remember: It is a mathematical certainty that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!

View rustynails's profile


884 posts in 3132 days

#6 posted 03-26-2018 04:15 PM

View paul1474's profile


45 posts in 2246 days

#7 posted 03-28-2018 09:27 AM

Hey Gene, what router do you use?

View laterthanuthink's profile


44 posts in 733 days

#8 posted 03-28-2018 06:59 PM

Great thread. I especially appreciate the links to the dremel router bases. I’ve been struggling using a standard router and templates and working blind, going by feel. Trying to hold the bushing against the template is not easy for me when I can’t see it. Looking forward to watching as I route.

Anybody ever used one of the old over arm pin routers?

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 4251 days

#9 posted 03-28-2018 07:10 PM

Pin routers are terrific. If you can figure out
how to get a tiny bit and a tiny matching pin
you can cut out a template of any shape on
a scroll saw and match it as a recess with
virtually no chance of screwing up the material.

Pin routing can also be done on a drill press
or using a radial arm saw that has an accessory
shaft thing you can mount a router collet on to.

Lee Valley makes some nice bases for dremel
type tools. When I was starting out all that was
available was this terrible plastic thing from dremel
or pricey custom-made ones sold by a couple of
luthier supply places. The internet has made the
manufacture of such things more competitive and
I’m sure there are several good choices out there

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