I couldnt find any info that explained how to make bent inlays without using a router and a template, which is time consuming and limiting. I thought about using the bandsaw to make S shaped cuts and inserting pliable strips, but thought that the rough cuts made by the course teeth would show up, but I was encouraged after reading Blogs by Patron and Degoose on making double curve lazy susans. The cuts were made on the bandsaw and the pieces mated up just fine. So, I made a test piece. I tried cutting curves in a fluid smooth pass, no hiccups and then slipped in a thin piece of contrasting wood, glued it up and clamped it overnight and it worked great. The trick is to keep moving smoothly through the blade, but not too fast or the cut will be too rough. I used a 3/8 skip 6 tooth, but try what you have on the machine, it may work very well.
Use plenty of glue and hard clamping.Here are a few pictures to illustrate this.
I cut the discs using plug cutters, 3/8, 1/2, 5/8, and 3/4. The larger ones were cut using a 1 1/4’’ hole saw with the drill bit removed. This can be done on the Lennox style and a few others, which still have a shank to slip into the drill chuck.
To shape the dome on the discs shown here on the front of the box, I simply attached them to the end of a dowel using CA, trying to keep the centered, and hit them with the accelerant spray. Then I turned them against the edge of the inflatable drum sander. After getting the shape about right I turned them on the other arbor that has a #150 grit flap sander, and polished them up. No further sanding was needed. I polished all the candies this way. I could not have safely, nor consistantly made the candy without this tool. I dont have the stand, it sits on the counter and is so heavy it doesnt need to be bolted down. I also use this for making spoons, propellors, etc. You can adjust the drums ability to contour by adding or realeasing air. You can put a drum or flap sander or buffing wheels of assorted grits on either end.
Here is a picture.
And here is how to make an M&M looking candy or border or inlay strip. Simply cut plugs of various woods and drill corresponding holes, insert plugs, and rebore directly through part of the new plug, in effect overlapping the circles or plugs randomly or in a distinct pattern as you wish. To speed up the process you may want to try super glue (Ca) and spray accelerant. (This will cause some woods to bleed pretty badly, such as bloodwood, so try this on a scrap first.) Also, these finished strips are very fragile because there really isnt any long continous grain left, so cut them to size using a fine tooth hand saw.
Thats about it I guess, though I am sure there are many other ways to make inlays and candies.
I hope this answers your questions and encourages you to try these for yourselves.
I look forward to seeing what you come up with,
p.s. Please let me know of any glaring mistakes or voids in my thinking process so I can correct them.
-- If I can do it, so can you.