I cleaned out the grooves so I had clean glue surface, and prepared the inlay – a figured maple.
Using a corked caul with plastic to prevent sticking to it, I glued in the maple. But once the inlay was in, I had squeeze out that even with tape down, is giving me some extra work. Example – some of the squeeze out was pressed by the caul into the bare wood in a very, very thin layer. This won’t just “pop” of the way a bit thicker layer would from the stained surface. It’s thin enough that it’s in the pores of the wood.
Also, in trying to flush the inlay I have already marred the stained surface in several places.
Next – try to figure out how best to proceed…
Realizing I have another table top that has no shellac sealer, no stain, and no inlay glued in yet. I may try Norm’s approach on the that one.
But solving the first (and larger, main) table top will dictate how to apply the finish on the second and on both bases to make sure the finish matches.
-- There are many tempting parking places on the road to success