LumberJocks

Box with Inlay lid #2: Making the Inlay Lid

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by Tootles posted 1102 days ago 5263 reads 4 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: How not to do a wooden hinge Part 2 of Box with Inlay lid series no next part

Now I said in my previous blog, about the hinge on this box, that I probably wouldn’t make the hinge quite the same way again. But I was very happy with the way the inlay worked and that is worth repeating. So, this is how I did it.

The first thing that I needed to do was pick the size of the forstner bit that I wanted to use. I chose 35 mm (about 1 3/8”) because it just felt right in proportion to the size of the top. Then I marked the centre of the top which is the centre of the first hole drilled. Next I marked the centres of eight more holes, equally spaced 45° apart and each 35 mm (one diameter of the forstner bit) from the centre of the top. The photo below is of the top with the central hole already drilled and the other eight centres punched.

Then just drill the other eight holes and use a chisel to clean up a few pieces of waste not taken out with the forstner bit. All holes were about 3mm (1/8”) deep.

Now for the inlay pieces. I made a template out of a scrap of plywood of the petal shape to mark out for cutting, though I ended up using another piece of plywood with a 35mm hole drilled in it to re-mark the curve because it was just cleaner than my template (and easier than fixing my template). Rather than make one petal at a time, I found two pieces of wood, one light and one dark, about 35 mm square and long enough to manhandle safely. Now this is where I guiltily hang my head and admit that I got so involved in the process of making the inlay pieces that I forgot to take photos of the critical steps. So instead I had a bit of fun with sketchup and drew up the little sketch below:

If you can’t read the writing on the sketch, the steps are:
1. Cut away the waste around the petal (using the band saw), leaving about 1 mm to be taken off using the disc sander
2. Sand the curve to the correct size and smoothness on the disc sander
3. Make cuts into the wood parallel to the petal surface to make multiple pieces (about 6 of each colour to give me some spares) about 5 to 6 mm (say 1/4”) thick.
4. Cut the pieces off the block of wood. At this point each piece is a wedge shape with an extra bit on it.
5. Cut, or sand, off the extra bit to give wedge shaped pieces, and sand the wedge to size. At this point I was putting the wedge pieces into the inlay rebate in order to get the size right and I did begin to wonder whether I needed the central octagon, but I decided to continue with the design that I originally had in mind – which leads to step 6.
6. Mark and cut the line for the octagaon.

The photo below shows the templates used and some of the spare bits left over at the end.

Next was to make an octagon out of the same wood as the rest of the box, and then it’s off to glue it all together.

The glue-up was interesting because I used Titebond polyurethane liquid glue. It’s funny stuff because it states that rubber gloves should be used, and it foams up as it sets. I was sure to use some wax wrap between my top and the board that I used to apply pressure when I clamped it all up! Well it came out of the clamps looking like this.

Now if you’ve been paying attention, you’ll have noticed that I glued petals and an octagon that were 6 mm (1/4”) thick into a rebate that was only 3mm (1/8”) deep. So that left a bit of material to be removed which I did with a smoothing plane. And the end result, before finishing, is as below.

And that’s it. I hope this blog is useful to someone out there.

-- I may have lost my marbles, but I still have my love of woodworking



16 comments so far

View Gary's profile

Gary

7113 posts in 2066 days


#1 posted 1102 days ago

Thanks for the tutorial. I would really like to try this. After I read this several more times…

-- Gary, DeKalb Texas only 4 miles from the mill

View DaddyZ's profile

DaddyZ

2382 posts in 1674 days


#2 posted 1102 days ago

Nice !! its so cool to do your own inlay !!!

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

View USCJeff's profile

USCJeff

1044 posts in 2702 days


#3 posted 1102 days ago

Nice method. I’ve done very little inlay without using an inlay bushing and template. Broke my 1/8” spiral last week. Sigh.

-- Jeff, South Carolina

View MShort's profile

MShort

1726 posts in 2052 days


#4 posted 1102 days ago

Thanks for the tutorial on this inlay project.

-- Mike, Missouri --- “A positive life can not happen with a negative mind.” ---

View Bearpie's profile

Bearpie

2586 posts in 1652 days


#5 posted 1102 days ago

One day, One day, one day!

-- Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

View Blackie_'s profile

Blackie_

3376 posts in 1146 days


#6 posted 1102 days ago

Great info thanks for sharing this great idea,

I have the idea of making a coffee table out of Knotty alder and inlaying a Tx 5 point Walnut star in the center so I’m wondering if this same method would work for straight lines as well?

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at http://www.facebook.com/randy.blackstock.custom.wood.designs

View Tootles's profile (online now)

Tootles

688 posts in 1135 days


#7 posted 1101 days ago

Thanks everyone.

Blackie, I purposely did a pattern with rounded shapes because I just don’t know how to go about doing an inlay with pointy bits! Perhaps the person to ask is Mike (Stefang) who did this box that provided so much of the inspiration for mine,

I did think of just using a scroll or jig saw to cut a hole right through the lid piece so that the pattern would have been visible both inside and out. That might work for a table but I didn’t do it for my box because then I would have needed to get the pieces accurately sized both top and bottom. I might have been confident that I could do the inlay, but I wasn’t that confident!

Of course, I could have halved the thickness of the lid piece into which I cut a hole for the inlay and then laminated on another half-thickness piece on the underside to hide the pattern from below. This would never have been detectable in my box, but I figured it was just too hard.

Other than that, it’s just a matter of using forstner bits and drills to remove as much waste as you can and then using chisels or something to essentially carve out the final shape. Again, I just didn’t want to go there. I was happy with the look of the pattern I came up with and I was also happy that it was quite easily achievable.

So, if anybody wants to post a tutorial about how to do an inlay that has sharp points, you definitely have an audience of two because I’m just as interested in Blackie

-- I may have lost my marbles, but I still have my love of woodworking

View BritBoxmaker's profile

BritBoxmaker

4358 posts in 1670 days


#8 posted 1101 days ago

Good tutorial mate. Clear detailed and above all useful.

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging. http://www.theartofboxes.com

View Blackie_'s profile

Blackie_

3376 posts in 1146 days


#9 posted 1101 days ago

Thanks Tootles

I read he plans on doing a blog can’t wait to view it.

I don’t know much about CNC I think that might be an option but I don’t know enough about it, just caught wind of it yesterday from reading a magazine, I think it involves turning your router into a robot.

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at http://www.facebook.com/randy.blackstock.custom.wood.designs

View Tootles's profile (online now)

Tootles

688 posts in 1135 days


#10 posted 1101 days ago

Blackie

If you want to know about CNC, Lis is the person to ask I think. While I know a little about it in principle, I know very little in the context of a hobbyist’s woodwork shop.

Using a router, either in some CNC machine, or even just by hand with a jig does work for inlays. There is a good example of that here. What I haven’t quite figured out, however, is how to get the sharp point when you are working with a rotary cutter that would be probably at least 1/8” diameter. But that’ the beauty of LJs – somone out there knows.

-- I may have lost my marbles, but I still have my love of woodworking

View Blackie_'s profile

Blackie_

3376 posts in 1146 days


#11 posted 1100 days ago

Tootles, I ran across this video I think you will find interesting, it’s a lengthy video but well worth the viewing, I think it may answer your quest as well. What I did was watch it in increments.

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at http://www.facebook.com/randy.blackstock.custom.wood.designs

View BritBoxmaker's profile

BritBoxmaker

4358 posts in 1670 days


#12 posted 1100 days ago

For home built CNC you might want to take a look at Spalm’s blog, here

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging. http://www.theartofboxes.com

View Brit's profile

Brit

5127 posts in 1476 days


#13 posted 1100 days ago

Wonderful blog. Thank you for your time.

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

View Tootles's profile (online now)

Tootles

688 posts in 1135 days


#14 posted 1100 days ago

Well, between Spalm’s mind blowing home built CNC (thanks for the link Martyn) and the very interesting video that Blackie suggested, I think I might have quite accidentally stumbled onto a relatively easy way of doing an inlay. I’m not sure I have the patience to do an inlay one piece at a time as shown in the video and, let’s face it, I’ve many more important machines to acquire than a CNC.

The one thing I can say about my inlay is that it was relatively straight-forward (dare I say easy?) to do and also quite quick. It took me less than a day (six working hours) from start to glued and, because of the communal nature of the workshop that I was working in, it would have been a somewhat interrupted day at that.

-- I may have lost my marbles, but I still have my love of woodworking

View Howie's profile

Howie

2656 posts in 1556 days


#15 posted 1100 days ago

I started reading this thinking ho-hum but the more I read the more interested I got.
Great job. You’ve given me a lot of food for thought on ways to do some things.
Thanks again for the post.

-- Life is good.

showing 1 through 15 of 16 comments

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

GardenTenders.com :: gardening showcase