The Straightedge (video) #2: Router Inlay Basics

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Blog entry by Brian Havens posted 12-23-2009 10:07 PM 4687 reads 8 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Working with Melamine Part 2 of The Straightedge (video) series Part 3: Not Another Video on Card Scrapers »

Here it is. My next video… finally!

I feel like I got over a lot of learning curves on this one. I found this a particularly challenging subject to present because router inlay can get involved and there are often several ways to go about the different steps. Trying to cram all that into a video, however, is more likely to discourage folks from trying router inlay. My goal in this video was to present the essential knowledge and skills that one can start building on, thereby removing the intimidation factor. If you say to yourself while watching this video “That does not look so hard to do”, then I have done my job.

Special thanks go out to Todd Clippinger for all his help. It seems that, in spite of being insanely busy, he is always available to bounce ideas off of. :-)

Oh, and there is a small tribute at the beginning, to a master from whom I have gotten a lot of inspiration. :-)

Here is a direct link to the video:


-- Brian Havens, Woodworker

13 comments so far

View Bitmugger's profile


11 posts in 3124 days

#1 posted 12-23-2009 10:29 PM

Just watched your video. Top notch, it was very clear and certainly made the whole thing seem easy. I know for certain I’ll be attempting some inlay work in the future.

View Rj's profile


1047 posts in 3594 days

#2 posted 12-23-2009 10:43 PM

Brian Great video it kept my attention & I am no longer Intimidated… In fact I’m ordering my router inlay kit now!!!

-- Rj's Woodworks,San Jose & Weed Ca,

View Gpops's profile


248 posts in 3407 days

#3 posted 12-24-2009 12:29 AM

Good Job Brian,

I sometimes use a Dado clean out bit to clean out the negative. Keep the videos coming, looks like the boys like to help. Don

View papadan's profile


3584 posts in 3331 days

#4 posted 12-24-2009 12:59 AM

Nice tute on doing the inlays. Only thing I do different is lay off that much glue. The inlay is decoration not structural. Lot easier to finish the piece without all the squeeze out.

View rozzi's profile


323 posts in 3285 days

#5 posted 12-24-2009 02:04 AM

I just watched the video. It was excellent for a guy like me. I have been intimidated and have never gave inlays a shot, but, now I will give it a try. Thanks for posting your videos. I really enjoy them.

-- Duane, Iowa

View Jimi_C's profile


507 posts in 3198 days

#6 posted 12-24-2009 04:44 AM

Very nice, makes me wish I had a router that could use an inlay kit…

-- The difference between being defeated and admitting defeat is what makes all the difference in the world - Upton Sinclair, "The Jungle"

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18244 posts in 3639 days

#7 posted 12-24-2009 10:31 AM

Very good! maybe you and Todd should get together and become the new “Norm”.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Dusty56's profile


11819 posts in 3651 days

#8 posted 12-24-2009 05:37 PM

EXCELLENT VIDEO, BRIAN !!!! Everything about your video making and routing instructions is perfect…I also got a kick out of your co-stars : ) thank you so much for this tutorial…looking forward to the next one ! Thanks for the tips as to recommended tools to use , especially on the Whiteside product and the difference between the two-sided tapes .

Happy Holidays to you and yours !

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View woodsmithshop's profile


1314 posts in 3509 days

#9 posted 12-24-2009 06:37 PM

very good video Brian, one of the best I have seen.

-- Smitty!!!

View Brian Havens's profile

Brian Havens

196 posts in 3069 days

#10 posted 12-25-2009 05:51 PM

Thanks for all the feedback and tips!

Gpops: I was going to put something about using a larger bit to clean out the negative, but decided to put it in the next “Router Inlay Techniques” video in order to keep this one as simple as possible.

papadan: Still trying to get over my glue overkill, but old habits can be hard to break. ;-) On the first shoot of that scene, I actually did not put enough. At least I did say “a thin layer”. LOL

TopamaxSurvivor: Perhaps that could be the name of the show: “The New Norm”

Note: A few folks have been having trouble viewing the videos. If you do have problems, please send me a private message so that I can work those issues out.

-- Brian Havens, Woodworker

View Woodenwizard's profile


1331 posts in 3006 days

#11 posted 01-17-2010 04:57 AM

Great video! I just picked up the router inlay kit a few days ago so finding this video was perfect timing. I ran into a problem on my first attempt. I used 1/4 hardboard as a templet but found that the bushing is about 1/4 long and the hardboard was under 1/4. It appears that the templet needs to be at least 1/4 inch thick or even a little heavier or you will have a little difficulty. Also I forgot to account for the thickness of the bushing. The templet needs to be cut larger the thickness of the bushing if you are trying to get a specific size. Oh well we learn more from our mistakes. Thanks again for a very helpful video.

-- John, Colorado's (Wooden Wizard)

View Brian Havens's profile

Brian Havens

196 posts in 3069 days

#12 posted 01-17-2010 10:38 PM

I am glad you found the video helpful, John.

“the hardboard was under 1/4”

Sometimes 1/4” sheet material is 5mm, which is just under 1/4”. I first ran into this after making a whole set of 9 templates for a project! To solve the problem I made a spacer out of some left over high pressure laminate and double stick taped it to the base of the router. The laminate was think enough to take up the slack. (I’ll see if I can get a photo for you.)

I am planning to cover this issue and the issue of oversizing the template in the next video: “Router Inlay Techniques”. Hopefully I can get started on the new video soon.

-- Brian Havens, Woodworker

View Mary Anne's profile

Mary Anne

1058 posts in 3172 days

#13 posted 01-18-2010 12:11 AM

Excellent video presentation inspiring me to add one more thing to my ‘must try’ list. You are a thorough teacher and make even a rookie woodworker like myself feel router inlay is within my reach. Thank you so much for sharing your expertise.

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