Today we are getting ready to start inserting our red cedar inlay into the Maple cover we have made. If you remember we left off with a cover that is roughed out by the laser for our design, and was finish sanded.
I do like making inlay that fits into the wood like marquetry. The finished look of the inlay flush to the wood surface is always a nice appearance, but this design is going to have more of a contoured finish. I am going to raise the inlay to different heights to give the design more of 3-D effect. I will start to create the inlay at the thinnest/lowest level in the design. We will choose some red cedar that I have planed down to @ 3/32 of an inch.
The next step is to go back to the computer and create a cutting program for the individual pieces needed for the thinnest inlay. I arrange the pieces needed within the size of the wood I am working with.
The laser cuts the parts needed pretty quickly.
Very carefully we dry assemble all of the parts to verify the fit. The laser is very accurate, and we can nail the fit precisely to size. Once we are satisfied with the dry assembly, we are ready for gluing them in place. I really despise any glue run out, so I am very careful when starting this phase of the inlay. I use a small notepad and put glue in the center. I level out the glue to create an even film. I then carefully place each piece onto the film of glue on the notepad. This technique applies an even film on the inlay. We do this repeatedly until all the pieces are in place. I then clamp a flat board over the inlay pieces, and let the glue dry over night.
Once the glue has dried I finish sand this inlay level very carefully. I also slightly break all of the edges to soften the sharpness of each piece without damaging the surface of our cover. We then proceed to create the next thickness level in our design. I am going to increase cedar inlay to @ 5/32 of an inch. We will follow the same procedures we used earlier on the first level of inlay. This technique is not a fast process, but we are making something we will enjoy…............
While the glue dries on our second level of inlay, we can start thinking about the flower stem hinges. Sometime tomorrow, we will post the third inlay step that will start to create our hinges….........