Wisconsin Running W Inlay #1: Making the template

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Blog entry by ChunkyC posted 07-14-2010 04:16 AM 1545 reads 0 times favorited 1 comment Add to Favorites Watch
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Note: All of the pictures are clickable that will load a larger file for easier viewing.

A fellow engineer and friend at work wants me to make him a lid for his 20 gallon pickle crock. The plan is to make the top out of walnut sense I have a few bf laying around. :D Then from there, I got the idea of maybe trying my hand at some inlay work. It’s a nice big area and with the dark wood of the walnut I figured it would make an excellent contrasting wood.

So I ran the idea of doing some sort of an inlay past him and he comes up with this inlay idea instead:

Yeah he’s a Wisconsin alum. I never said that he was perfect!

So I took that image, a jpg, and toss it into MsPaint so that I could edit it and get it down to just the red “W”. Then I used a program called InkScape to “trace” the bitmap file to get into a vector formatthat cluld be saved as a dxf file. Now I have something that I can work with. A file that AutoCAD will open and one that I can manipulate easily!

After getting it into AutoCAD and playing around a bit I rendered the file and here is what it came up with:

So now I need a template that I can use a router inlay bushing set to cut the inlay with.

I calculated the offset distance from the finished inlay material and the bearing. Lucky for me AutoCAD has a command called “offset” that allows you copy an object x distance from the original object. So I got through all of that and this is the result:

All in all it was a very simple process although a bit tedious at times. That hardest part was finding a program that would convert a bitmap into a dxf file so that I could get it into AutoCAD.

So here’s the challenges to all of this as I see it.

1) I don’t have a scroll saw so I’m going to have to essentially cut the template by hand. That sucks but I’m planing on using 1/4 HB so it shouldn’t be all that bad.

2) The rub is that those “fingers” that shoot down between the arms of the “W.” They’re only about 1/8” wide! I see that being a source of never ending frustration. Any thoughts on this?

-- Chunk's Workshop pictures:

1 comment so far

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441 posts in 3169 days

#1 posted 07-14-2010 04:41 AM

Hi Chunk,

I never thought about converting a jpg to a dxf, I just paste the jpg into AutoCAD and trace it manually. I’ll have to try InkScape.

Thanks for posting.


-- Jerry Boshear, Professional Kitchen Designer, amature woodworker.

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