Inlay advice needed for existing table

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Forum topic by IdahoEv posted 07-23-2016 02:29 AM 223 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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7 posts in 197 days

07-23-2016 02:29 AM

I’m thinking about adding some inlay to an old Ikea table, make it a little more exciting until I can afford to replace it. But I need some advice on my inlay ideas to determine if they’re really plausible.

The table is solid wood, made of birch or beech boards about an inch wide. I’d like to add some inlay of contrasting woods, running other directions or at angles. (pictures of idea attached) Here are my questions:

  • Am I asking for trouble doing inlay with the grain running across the grain of the table? (Worried about seasonal shifts and expansion)
  • If it’s doable, should I do a thin veneer inlay, or a thicker inlay (like 1/4”) with resawn lumber?

For context: We’ve recently had our floors and walls done, and the old table doesn’t really fit our decorating style. But we don’t have the cash for a new table just now. I’m going to stain & refinish this table to make it fit in better, but I thought I might give it a little more life with some inlay at the same time. I haven’t done inlay before, but have the tools and am generally pretty handy.

Also: I don’t care much about this table. It is 15 years old and was only $400 at the time. It’s serviceable but not lovely, so I’m okay with it being something of an experiment.

Thanks for any advice!

2 replies so far

View bondogaposis's profile


3969 posts in 1773 days

#1 posted 07-23-2016 04:14 AM

When you take the leaves out the inlay is not going to line up.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View IdahoEv's profile


7 posts in 197 days

#2 posted 07-23-2016 04:58 PM

@bondo: This isn’t a final design. Even so, (1) one of the stripes does line up, I was careful about that and (2) we never take the leaf out anyway. Except to move it around the leaf has always been in for 12 years.

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