Mirror Inlay

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Blog entry by pintodeluxe posted 09-24-2012 03:52 AM 5477 reads 7 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Here is my process for cutting the inlay shown on Glen Huey’s mirror frame. First I used a 2-1/8” forstner bit to cut a hole for the template. The template is made from 1/4” mdf core plywood, and a couple 2” wide strips of mdf on the underside.

The underside of the jig is shown here. The mdf strips trap the 3-1/2” workpiece, and center the hole. My walnut stock was less than 3-1/2” wide, so I wedged it in place.

Here is the jig and the router setup. I use a bushing guide which allows me to cut both the recess and the inlay with the same pattern.

Several walnut plugs are routed. Then they are cut free at the bandsaw. Tape holds them in place untill I am ready to remove them.

Here the plug is glued and tapped in place. I am always amazed how good the fit is with this bushing guide.

Plug sanded flush.

Then it’s just a matter of routing the grooves with a router and edge guide.

Inlay complete. The strips sit proud of the face by 1/8” and have nice eased edges.

See the finished project here:

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

4 comments so far

View Ken90712's profile


17556 posts in 3187 days

#1 posted 10-04-2012 10:45 AM

Nice work, came out perfect!

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View Bsmith's profile


330 posts in 2668 days

#2 posted 10-04-2012 05:21 PM

Looks wonderful. Can you tell me what size bit goes with the bushing guide? I have the guide but no bit. Also what type of finish? Thanks for posting.

-- Bryan

View pintodeluxe's profile


5658 posts in 2811 days

#3 posted 10-04-2012 06:04 PM

The bushing guide and bit come in a kit together. The bit is a 1/8” diameter downshear carbide type. The removable spacer on the bushing accounts for the diameter of the bit. You rout the recess with the spacer installed. Then you rout the piece to be inlayed with the spacer removed. That way you can use the same template for both parts. My kit is from whiteside, and it works great. I think it runs around $40. Cheaper sets are available from Pioneer, however the bits are lower quality HSS, rather than carbide.

The finish is Rodda #19 oil based stain (thinned slightly with mineral spirits), then two coats of sprayed pre-cat lacquer. I use the #60 sheen lacquer from Valspar, which is available at Miller Paint stores.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View Bsmith's profile


330 posts in 2668 days

#4 posted 10-05-2012 03:06 AM

Thanks for the info. The router I purchased used, had the bushing guide. Now that you mentioned it I believe there was a burned up, 1/8 bit also. I might have to do a little experimenting Thanks again.

-- Bryan

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