Messin' Around with Inlays

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Project by KnotCurser posted 08-29-2013 10:47 PM 2557 views 3 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Over the last couple of weeks I have been busy trying to come up with a way to use my CNC Router as an accurate way to do inlay work.

The first problem you encounter when you use a router for inlay work is square corners – it’s simply not possible to produce a square inside corner with a round bit.

With a TON of thinking, I found the solution! I was so proud of myself for coming up with this idea – and then I found the same method laid out step-by-step on a YouTube Video! Doh! Oh well, I had fun tinkering and I think I learned more about my machine finding things out on my own.

My first real try was creating my Wood Shop Logo – The RRWW is walnut inlaid into QS Sycamore.

Then I wanted to see just how detailed I could get, so I inlaid a white oak Sugar Skull into a solid piece of walnut.

Then I wanted to see how accurate I could get, so I inlaid a red oak seahorse into a piece of walnut. It’s around 4×12 inches in size.

The seahorse is as close to perfect as I can imagine an inlay being – every piece has no gaps and the grain in the wood is continuous. I love how this piece turned out!

I can see a TON of applications that this will be useful for already. The CNC is such a cool tool.



-- Robert Rhoades WoodWorks / Email: /

14 comments so far

View kiefer's profile


5580 posts in 2506 days

#1 posted 08-29-2013 10:55 PM

Very nice and good examples of what is possible with CNC .
I like your LOGO great design .
Now how about the link on YouTube .

-- Kiefer

View Monkman's profile


134 posts in 2124 days

#2 posted 08-29-2013 10:59 PM

Dang, I wish I could mess around like that.
Those are some great designs.

-- MonkeyMonk

View scrollsaw's profile


13032 posts in 3693 days

#3 posted 08-29-2013 11:37 PM

great design and great job.

-- Todd

View SPalm's profile


5305 posts in 3721 days

#4 posted 08-30-2013 12:36 AM

What fun Bob. I have always wanted to try this.
Good for you for keeping at it.

I assume you cut a V-bit design, and then a V-bit mirror image plug of the same design, and then mated them. (?)


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9219 posts in 2759 days

#5 posted 08-30-2013 12:51 AM

You are so talented, Bob! Just beautiful work! Everything I see from you is top-notch! Awesome! :)


-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View KnotCurser's profile


2023 posts in 2907 days

#6 posted 08-30-2013 01:20 AM


You are 100% correct Sir!

The issue comes when you cut an exact mirror image – then the pieces won’t fit with the glue on them. That’s the issue that bugged me for a week or so. I was finally able to figure out to “shave” 1/10” of an inch off of the “mirror” image’s top so there was room for the glue and any stray bits at the bottom of the two mating surfaces.

Again – this procedure is duplicated lock-step by the owner’s of the Vectric suite of software on youtube. And, for Kiefer, here’s the URL for the video:

BTW, ALL of the Vectric videos are just superb – a must for any CNC user to watch even if you don’t buy their software.



-- Robert Rhoades WoodWorks / Email: /

View tomd's profile


2122 posts in 3609 days

#7 posted 08-30-2013 03:13 AM

Very nice work, they look very good.

-- Tom D

View deon's profile


2522 posts in 2864 days

#8 posted 08-30-2013 04:23 AM

Great work!

-- Dreaming patterns

View shipwright's profile


7781 posts in 2637 days

#9 posted 08-30-2013 04:51 AM

Very nicely done Bob.
Am I correct that what you end up with is the equivalent of double bevel marquetry?
I can see how that would give you the sharp corners with a vee bit.

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

View KnotCurser's profile


2023 posts in 2907 days

#10 posted 08-30-2013 11:36 AM


Now that you mention it, I suppose this would be the equivalent of double bevel marquetry – the advantage is that you fit all the pieces in one fell swoop.

It takes a TON of clamps to achieve good results, BTW!


-- Robert Rhoades WoodWorks / Email: /

View Roger's profile


20874 posts in 2643 days

#11 posted 08-30-2013 11:56 AM

Looks like someone is havin a ball. Keep on keepin on. Very nicely done

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View hoss12992's profile


3969 posts in 1732 days

#12 posted 08-30-2013 12:00 PM

Awesome job. A CNC is def on my wish list. Love the designs

-- The Old Rednek Workshop

View Cozmo35's profile


2200 posts in 2875 days

#13 posted 09-03-2013 12:22 AM

Beautiful Work!

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

View Fishinbo's profile


11362 posts in 2014 days

#14 posted 09-03-2013 06:16 PM

Excellent work on the inlays, very intricate designs and well executed.

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