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Forum topic by Jonwilliam posted 945 days ago 1461 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Jonwilliam

21 posts in 1212 days


945 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: cutting board inlay router question

I have reached an impass with trying to figure out how to make this work. I have a cutting board built and want to inlay the japanese character (kanji) for “joy” in the middle for our nanny. I want it about 6” tall. I have included of an image that the inlay will be based upon…for the inlay of course I will have cleaner edges on the character. I could free-hand it with the router by cutting out the individual pieces of the kanji first but I want it to be cleaner than that. The big part that is throwing me off is that a couple pieces of the character have holes in the middle. I do have the whiteside router inlay kit. Thanks for any help anybody can give!

Semper Fi

-- -Redwood Falls MN


7 replies so far

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cabmaker

1282 posts in 1405 days


#1 posted 945 days ago

I ll tell you how I do it. Not saying its the best but has worked fine for years. I would spend some time scrollsawing the inlay, then follow up detailing the edges to your likeing. Then scribe the pattern to the cutting board. I judiscilusly score the scribe with whatever is neccessary: chisel, knife, razor,etc. I then use a large (3.5hp) router with a veining bit to plow the field out working carefully at the edges. I typically will mill inlays to approx.3/16 to 1/4. The depth I plow will be 1/16 less than the inlay. Once driven into place with a bit of glue and allowed to cure I then use spokeshaves to cut the inlay down. Then usually light sanding. Good luck with it, very easy, just a little slow. JB (BTW I normally do this under a magnifier light)

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a1Jim

111999 posts in 2174 days


#2 posted 945 days ago

cabmaker’s approach sounds good to me.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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Tootles

681 posts in 1098 days


#3 posted 945 days ago

Cabmaker’s approach sounds like that used by the Wood Whisperer in this video. It’s a long one, but interesting.

-- I may have lost my marbles, but I still have my love of woodworking

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TCCcabinetmaker

925 posts in 951 days


#4 posted 945 days ago

Another possible proach is to scroll out a jig, get some router bushings to follow your jig and mortise it out that way, then chisel out the parts the router won’t take.

-- The mark of a good carpenter is not how few mistakes he makes, but rather how well he fixes them.

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CaptainSkully

1190 posts in 2155 days


#5 posted 940 days ago

I think he’s concerned about the centers that are “trapped”. One possible approach is to not close in the “circle”, but build a “bridge” from the center to the outside to do most of the design and to keep it one piece. Then you can come back in and “fix” the “bridge”. That “bridge” could be one entire stroke that would be easy to retrofit once the larger part is done.

Now that I think about it, you could do half the pattern as one complete inlay, wait for it to cure, then do the other half as a separate inlay. This might also address the pattern being so close together.

-- You can't control the wind, but you can trim your sails

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Jonwilliam

21 posts in 1212 days


#6 posted 937 days ago

Well I have completed the cutting board using the freehand method from the Woodwhisperer. I’ve used that method before with a dresser for my wife that has a diamond ring inlay in the top for a wedding gift for her. On one I tried to fill the micro gap around the outside in some spots with superglue, and this one with epoxy. Neither did a very good job hiding the joint between the background and the inlay. Kinda dissapointed in that part. I just wish that I could have done it with an inlay kit to get it perfect. Is there any tutorial on an inlay kit that tells you how to oversize the pattern to get it to work right? It seems like the distance between the outside edge of the router bit and the outside edge of the bushing is 3/16” +/-. For this project it wouldn’t have worked unless I made the inlay quite a bit larger. I’m still not entirely proud of my project…but since I made it i’m the only one that can pick out ever single defect/mistake!

I’ll try to get some time later to upload a picture of the completed board.

-- -Redwood Falls MN

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

3264 posts in 1410 days


#7 posted 917 days ago

I always try to use my inlay bushing. That way the recess and the inlay are cut with the same pattern.
First cut a negative pattern of the image, oversized by 1/8”, and sand it smooth. I like 1/4” hardboard or MDF for the template material. You will also need to make patterns for the inside of the open symbols. Tape the pattern on your cutting board version 2.0 with carpet tape (available at Lowe’s). Use the sleeve on your Whiteside kit and cut the recess. Then tape the same template on your inlay stock, and remove the sleeve to rout the inlay. You will need the paper pattern to re-align the center of the symbols. Cut the inlay free on the bandsaw, and you’ll have it made in the shade.
Otherwise, what does “Happiness” look like in Japanese?

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

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