Butterfly inlay questions

  • Advertise with us

« back to Woodworking Skill Share forum

Forum topic by tblrxdave posted 07-31-2010 07:43 PM 2812 views 1 time favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View tblrxdave's profile


47 posts in 3316 days

07-31-2010 07:43 PM

Topic tags/keywords: butterfly inlay

Are there any guidelines to the siize and thikness to making butterfly inlays? I have an interesting 2 inch live edge slab of white oak that I’d like to make into a coffee table. I’ve been air drying it for a year now and like to stabilize the cracks. Is there some ratio of lenght of the crack to the size of the butterfly? I’ve seen little stitches to massive bridges. Or is the size just whimsiical?

4 replies so far

View Div's profile


1653 posts in 2962 days

#1 posted 07-31-2010 09:18 PM

The ones I’ve done have always been just what looks right to my eye! I have never heard of a formula for this.

-- Div @ the bottom end of Africa. "A woodworker's sharpest tool should be his mind."

View Timberwerks's profile


360 posts in 3183 days

#2 posted 07-31-2010 11:15 PM

I like to make the butterflies about 3/4 the total thickness of the slab. The overall size of the butterflies I judge by eye for what is most appealing.


View fussy's profile


980 posts in 3073 days

#3 posted 08-01-2010 05:30 AM


Don’t get in a hurry. Sfter only a year, 2” thick wood won’t be dry enough to stabilize or use. At least another year is needed. As to the size of the butterflies, the bigger the slab, the bigger the butterfly. Half to three-quarters of the thickness is about roght.

-- Steve in KY. 44 years so far with my lovely bride. Think I'll keep her.

View tblrxdave's profile


47 posts in 3316 days

#4 posted 08-06-2010 06:20 PM

Thanks for the info, I had no idea that the butterflys were that deep. Would drilling out the corners first, with a very small drill bit, be helpful? I’ve got to work on sharpening my chisels some more so i can practice this technique.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics