Uncharted Territory... My First Inlay & How I Did It

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Blog entry by Maveric777 posted 12-03-2010 03:47 PM 7725 reads 44 times favorited 39 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Well, I been hanging around here at Lumber Jocks for going on a year now. I have learned so much from so many, and can honestly say I owe a lot of what I know today to the sharing of knowledge here. So after attempting my latest “Exploration” into the wild world of woodworking I figured this would be a good a time as any for me to pass along a little blog on how I did my “Dreaded Inlays” .....

Long story short, I was hit up by a coworker asking me if I could build her daughter a jewelery box. We looked at some stock I had at the house and as you would guess…. She picked the two hardest woods to work with (for me at least).... Purple heart and curly maple….. Fun times!

To up the ante she requested a “J” be placed on the top. Well, I thought about this long and hard, and come to the conclusion the only way to get it in there permanently was to inlay it. To make maters even worse is for the life of me I can’t just do something simple (my bride reminds me of this on a regular basis). So I went in search for a “Fancy” looking “J”. This is what I found….

After figuring out the design it was time to cut it out. Now I will be the first to admit that this is my first real scroll saw project. So it didn’t come out quite as perfect as i would of liked, but luckily the design allows a little breathing room. Here is what it looked like after about an hour and a half of eye crossing, headache inducing, scroll saw work…lol

After it was all cut out I used a router to make the recess to accept the “J”....

Then glued in place.

Next step was to let the saw dust fly! BTW…. I had to force myself to eat one of my brides “Would Be World Famous If The World Knew About It” personal pecan pies to get a catch pan for the saw dust. Ohhhh the things we force ourselves to do in the name of our work….lol

After the dust cleared I mixed the purple heart saw dust with “Clear” drying epoxy. Make 100% sure the package says clear. If not the epoxy will turn an amberish hue. I then put the epoxy mix into the cut outs. I also used a small tooth pick to make sure it way down into the cuts. After it cured I used a block plane set really shallow to slowly remove the excess. I had to do this twice to get an even fill. Once I got it really close with the plane I finished it up with a card scrapper. Once it was trued up to my liking I did a finish sand on both sides and put the bad boy into its new purple heart frame….

Well, I would love to share more of this little project, but I don’t want to ruin its time in the projects page. I hope this makes at least a little sense (only on third cup of coffee this morning), and someone will find it useful. Good luck and thanks for taking the time to read my first “How I Did This” blog….

-- Dan ~ Texarkana, Tx.

39 comments so far

View SPalm's profile


5186 posts in 2974 days

#1 posted 12-03-2010 04:08 PM

Oh my gosh, that is fantastic. It looks really fine.
A new technique to me.

I bow to you sir,

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View Cozmo35's profile


2199 posts in 2128 days

#2 posted 12-03-2010 04:12 PM

Dan the MAN! Get-er-done! This is an AWESOME project (especially for a scroll saw newbie). LOL! Looks GREAT!

-- If you don't work, you don't eat!.....Garland, TX

View Marco Cecala's profile

Marco Cecala

189 posts in 3125 days

#3 posted 12-03-2010 04:19 PM

Nice work. The inlay looks kind of thick from the photos. 1/8 is all you need. Your scroll saw work is clean and precise. That is a project you should be proud of, especially with difficult woods like that.

View billb's profile


113 posts in 2037 days

#4 posted 12-03-2010 05:01 PM

Beautiful work Dan, thanks for sharing that with us.

-- Bill, Austin, Texas,

View Brit's profile


5770 posts in 1935 days

#5 posted 12-03-2010 05:31 PM

Dan, I’m trying really hard not to let my wife (Jeanette) and daughter (Jessica) see this :-)

Nice techinque. I can’t wait to see the finished product.

-- Andy -- Old Chinese proverb say: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

View ducky911's profile


235 posts in 1882 days

#6 posted 12-03-2010 05:31 PM

What next? I can not wait to see what you will do next. You are very talented.

View DaddyZ's profile


2474 posts in 2133 days

#7 posted 12-03-2010 05:54 PM

Nice Idea, I may have to steal it !!!

-- Pat - Worker of Wood, Collector of Tools, Father of one

View Joe Lyddon's profile (online now)

Joe Lyddon

8554 posts in 3144 days

#8 posted 12-03-2010 06:17 PM

COOL way of solving the problem!

I have a similar problem…

Solution: Make sawdust, mix with Clear epoxy, fill the lettering, plane/sand clean!

Thank you!

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:"

View KayBee's profile


1052 posts in 2338 days

#9 posted 12-03-2010 06:21 PM

Way cool, really like the design of the J you made too.

-- Karen - a little bit of stupid goes a long way

View shipwright's profile


6282 posts in 1890 days

#10 posted 12-03-2010 06:30 PM

Sweet, Dan. This is about having fun and everyone knows that “the simple way” just doesn’t cut it. Did you devise this method for yourself?
A little story: I used to mix teak dust and epoxy for repairing non-replaceable teak boat parts. We called it “T3”, as in K3 (particle board). I guess you might say that you have a “P3” inlay.

Very nice work, Dan. I’ll be looking for it as a project post.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fiberglass trees.

View Ampeater's profile


414 posts in 2840 days

#11 posted 12-03-2010 07:04 PM

Way to go Dan!! I really like it. I have been wanting to make a jewelry box for my grand-daughter. I like the font you used. Where can I get the letter “G”?

-- "A goal without a plan is a wish."

View mafe's profile


10541 posts in 2181 days

#12 posted 12-03-2010 07:34 PM

Thats a cool idea.
I have used this for knife making but never thought of epoxy-scroll.
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View Kristoffer's profile


671 posts in 2308 days

#13 posted 12-03-2010 07:43 PM

That looks fantastic! If i ever get my head out of my bum and and back into the shop, I am going to have to try something along the lines of this project.
Like the others…... I can not wait to see the finished project!!!!!

-- Cheers and God Bless

View majeagle1's profile


1423 posts in 2588 days

#14 posted 12-03-2010 08:07 PM

Fantastic idea and process! May have to give this a try some day.
Beautiful job so far, can’t wait to see the finished project. It’s going to be a “jewel”

-- Gene, Majestic Eagle Woodworks,,

View juniorjock's profile


1930 posts in 2858 days

#15 posted 12-03-2010 08:11 PM

You did good, Dan! That’s very clean looking.
- JJ

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