Here is some more progress of the inlay.
I started off by lightly tacking the star in the position I wanted and tracing the outline with a sharp knife. Light strokes at first and then gradually deeper.
And then using a chisel to remove a little v notch. This allows me to cut slightly deeper with the knife and establishes the outside shoulder of the inlay mortise. It also gives me a visual barrier to look out for on the next step.
I chucked up a small straight cutting bit in my Dremel Trio and started hogging out the waste area. Of course keeping an eye on the v notch and making sure not to get too close to the line.
I then put in the smallest cutter I could find for this tool and cut closer to the line (leaving about 1/16”).
Using a chisel and knife I carefully excavated all the waste leaving clean crisp edges. Sorry for the crappy picture.
Now for the stressful part. I carefully checked to see if the star would fit and if there were any spots it was hitting. It is important to not fully seat the star if it is a tight fit or you might not be able to get it out to add glue. Mine was a tight fit so I made a few tiny adjustments and used the knife to very slightly bevel the underside of the star to aid in entry. Moment of truth. I spread glue into the mortise and along the edges and in the nooks, placed the star in the right place, used a sacrificial board and delivered a few generous blows with my mallet. Wow, talk about a pucker moment. There didn’t seem to be any splinters or ruined edges so I grabbed some clamps and some boards and clamped the crap out of it and let it sit overnight to dry.
I didn’t take a picture this morning but I was able to sneak a peek. It looks like everything seated nicely and there doesn’t seem to be any noticeable gaps. So far I am happy with the results. Ill snap a few pictures later when I get it planed and scraped flush.