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Forum topic by Patterson posted 08-19-2019 10:36 PM 972 views 1 time favorited 20 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Patterson

11 posts in 328 days


08-19-2019 10:36 PM

Hi all, need help here! So I am making a conference room table, and I’ve never made a table top this large. It’ll be made out of walnut and as part of it, I’d like to have a maple “inlay” in the middle as in the pic.

I was planning on using a router to route out the area for the inlay, but I don’t think it will work upon further review as the router is only about 6 inches wide, and won’t be supported on the sides after a point.

Any advice on how to do this?? Thanks so much for any advice or guidance!!

Jeff


20 replies so far

View Snowbeast's profile

Snowbeast

111 posts in 1820 days


#1 posted 08-19-2019 10:59 PM

I have never tried this but you may want to look at making a larger, temporary base for the router that will give you more of a footprint to stay on the original surface. Won’t have to be too thick so long as it will still allow you to extend the bit deep enough for your design recess.

Lexan or plexiglass should be sturdy enough while still allowing you to see through.

Or maybe you could resaw the walnut where the insert will be down to the thickness you need before assembly?

View Think0075's profile

Think0075

5 posts in 207 days


#2 posted 08-19-2019 11:56 PM

You can do it without getting too fancy, just make a block to fit into the void and slide it down as you go along, work from one side to the other. One half the router supported by the material u have yet to clear and the other half supported by the block you make to fit in. when I have done this in the past i use a jig to cut out the border and clear the waste free hand with the router, square corners up with chisel. Make sure u keep it inlay thin, otherwise u might have issues with movement.

View LeeRoyMan's profile

LeeRoyMan

250 posts in 209 days


#3 posted 08-20-2019 01:06 AM

Start in the middle

View John Smith's profile

John Smith

1975 posts in 645 days


#4 posted 08-20-2019 01:21 AM

as a sign maker, I often routed large letters and graphics.
making oversized base plates out of plexiglass or any solid material
is pretty simple. a nice big plastic base plate is always nice to have on hand.
and as noted above, clean up the corners with chisels, carving knives, etc.
or – find a true straight 1×6 and clamp each end to the table. then you can use a
top bearing pattern bit. slowly working down to the desired depth to make the profile.
then clean it out with the oversized base plate router.
https://www.lumberjocks.com/JHSmith/blog/129964

.

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

View Andybb's profile

Andybb

2030 posts in 1086 days


#5 posted 08-20-2019 01:27 AM

Many ways to do it. My 2 cents worth…

Kinda like Snowbeast above. Use a piece of plywood or MDF large enough to support the router and use it to make a template of the area you need to cut out. You would use strips of wood to make the template then remove them and use copious amounts of double sided tape (and/or clamps if possible) to position said template on your table top then follow that with a pattern bit. Just make sure it is sturdy and well stuck to the table.

Or, depending on the size of the inlay, Just like this.

I’d probably use an 1/4 or even 1/8” bit for the edges just to keep the corners sharp.

-- Andy - Seattle USA

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waho6o9

8750 posts in 3059 days


#6 posted 08-20-2019 01:28 AM

Maybe a router sled?

A plunge router works for me.

Top picture is public domain the second picture is mine flattening a Eucalptus stump.

View John Smith's profile

John Smith

1975 posts in 645 days


#7 posted 08-20-2019 12:16 PM

I am making a conference room table

Jeff

Jeff – have you started the assembly yet ??
if not, this is the piece that I would do FIRST – not after the glue up.

a few questions: how big will the table be?
are you actually going to glue up all those individual pieces of wood as in the sketch?
is this your design or the customer ?
personally, I am not a fan of lining up all the joints as in the drawing.
I would opt for a random pattern like in a wood floor.
it appears that the “inlay” is the same size as three boards.
if this is the case, you could make the maple board an “insert” the same thickness
as the walnut boards and there will not be any routing at all. (just a thought).

and what is the center square for ? I am assuming a hole for computer cords ?

.

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

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

11763 posts in 3911 days


#8 posted 08-20-2019 12:43 PM


So, I am making a conference room table

Jeff

Jeff – have you started the assembly yet ??
if not, this is the piece that I would do FIRST – not after the glue up.
practice with the suggestions above that you feel the most comfortable with.
practice with construction pine with similar texture and grain to get the hang of it.
complete the board that will have the inlay first to your satisfaction before moving
on to the rest of the project.
all the best !!

a few questions: how big will the table be?
are you actually going to glue up all those individual pieces of wood as in the sketch?
is this your design or the customer ?
personally, I am not a fan of lining up all the joints as in the drawing.
I would opt for a random pattern like in a wood floor.
it appears that the “inlay” is the same size as three boards.
if this is the case, you could make the maple board an “insert” the same thickness
as the walnut boards and there will not be any routing at all. (just a thought).

!https://s3.amazonaws.com/vs-lumberjocks.com/pwjcb5k.jpg
.
- John Smith


John beat me to it. His is the simplest solution.

-- 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 Firewood's profile (online now)

Firewood

928 posts in 2116 days


#9 posted 08-20-2019 12:58 PM

.

-- Mike - Waukesha, WI

View Robert's profile

Robert

3516 posts in 1963 days


#10 posted 08-20-2019 02:10 PM

+1 on what John & said. My first thought was mill it with the walnut and make it part of the glue up.

I would glue up either side of the maple first, then assemble the center section, then joint and glue the whole panel up.

You’ll have to reinforce the end grain glue up. Many ways to do this: spline, tongue and groove, biscuits, dowels, Dominoes, floating tenons.

Of course this assumes you have a full thickness piece of maple.

If you do have to route it, just start in the middle. A larger custom router plate will help alot.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View Patterson's profile

Patterson

11 posts in 328 days


#11 posted 08-20-2019 04:31 PM

I am making a conference room table

Jeff

Jeff – have you started the assembly yet ??
if not, this is the piece that I would do FIRST – not after the glue up.

a few questions: how big will the table be?
are you actually going to glue up all those individual pieces of wood as in the sketch?
is this your design or the customer ?
personally, I am not a fan of lining up all the joints as in the drawing.
I would opt for a random pattern like in a wood floor.
it appears that the “inlay” is the same size as three boards.
if this is the case, you could make the maple board an “insert” the same thickness
as the walnut boards and there will not be any routing at all. (just a thought).

and what is the center square for ? I am assuming a hole for computer cords ?

.

- John Smith

Thanks for all the input! For my real job, we just moved offices and I volunteered to make a conference room table along with a few other pieces.

The table top is 12’ by 5’. Nothing is glued up yet but I’ve shaped all the walnut pieces. It is my design. I did the shorter pieces because I have a smaller jointer and planer and it makes bigger pieces a little tough to get squared up, and yes, am planning on gluing it all up.

Part of the reason I’m trying to do it as an inlay is that I’m finishing the pieces separately, using Walnut Danish Oil on the walnut and clear Danish Oil on the maple. Yes the center is going to be a cutout for computer cords.

View Patterson's profile

Patterson

11 posts in 328 days


#12 posted 08-20-2019 04:58 PM

Are there any videos of or instructions on routing from the middle? I’m having a hard time visualizing that…

View Patterson's profile

Patterson

11 posts in 328 days


#13 posted 08-20-2019 07:21 PM

What if I left a thin strip, like a centimeter or two, in between sections of routed areas and then hand chiseled that out…that may work…

View Rich's profile

Rich

4835 posts in 1071 days


#14 posted 08-20-2019 07:27 PM


What if I left a thin strip, like a centimeter or two, in between sections of routed areas and then hand chiseled that out…that may work…

- Patterson

That’ll work. Even just 5 or 6 mm should be enough. If you have a small router plane, you can swing the blade around to the bullnose side and work it perfectly flush very easily. Otherwise, careful paring with the chisel will be fine.

-- There's no such thing as a careless electrician

View DS's profile

DS

3271 posts in 2902 days


#15 posted 08-20-2019 07:47 PM

You’re not using the right router for the job;

heheh

just sayin’

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

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