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  • Inlay Tutorial

    Ok, this post will assume that you've got access to issues #34 and #36 of Scroll Saw Woodworking & Crafts magazine. More in-depth basic instructions are there.
    This will be an overview of a slightly advanced project. (Not really all that hard).
    I've provided two different sized patterns, one at 2 inches, and one at 3 inches.
    dogwood 1 fin X1 PS.jpg dogwood pattern fin'.jpg dogwood pattern fin' x2.jpg
    What you'll need; walnut, aspen, basswood, and butternut at 2 1/2" square, or what ever size your pattern fits. Just be sure to leave enough wood to do some test cuts outside of the pattern.

    Start by copying the pattern onto tracing paper. Use this to transfer the pattern onto the walnut using carbon or graphite paper, (I pin it down with brads. Map pins will work as well). Don't draw in the detail in the petals yet.
    Attach the aspen to the bottom, (I use double sided tape, but other methods work).
    First, reverse inlay the star shape in the center, dropping it down into the aspen. Then use a forward inlay to bring the aspen petals to the surface, (along with the star shaped center). Don't forget the 2 folds in the petals.
    So far we've done 4 inlays.
    Remove the aspen from the bottom.
    Glue everything into place, wipe any squeeze-out off of the surface, and let dry, (3 or 4 hours is good).
    Sand the back of the piece to make it ready for the next phase.

    Now replace the tracing, align the design, pin it down, slip in some transfer paper, and draw in the details in the petals.
    Attach the basswood to the bottom and inlay the details. (Forward inlay).
    Remove the basswood from the bottom. You may sand the bottom again if needed.

    Now attach the butternut to the bottom.
    Use a reverse inlay around the perimeter of the design to drop it down into the butternut.
    Glue everything up and let dry.

    Replace the tracing and draw in the edge.
    Cut the circle, sand until it is smooth. For fridge magnets I don't usually do more than finish with mineral oil, (found at the pharmacy, under laxatives,...yup)

    Let's make some dust...
    Last edited by JimSawyer; 08-06-2009, 09:48 PM. Reason: clarity
    Jim

    The limits of the imagination are imaginary.
    No task is too tedious for Art.
    Rock and Scroll

    My Gallery

    My Website
    Featherwood Woodcrafts

  • #2
    Hi Jim,

    Thanks for the tutorial. I'm looking forward to trying this.

    Is there a reason for doing alternate reverse and forward inlays rather than doing every thing in one direction?

    --Rob

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    • #3
      Actually Rob, using reverse inlays saves the extra steps needed to re-attach more stock to the bottom to bring inlays up. It also, in many cases, will keep the continuity of the wood grain and figure throughout the design.
      Last edited by JimSawyer; 08-06-2009, 04:34 PM. Reason: typo
      Jim

      The limits of the imagination are imaginary.
      No task is too tedious for Art.
      Rock and Scroll

      My Gallery

      My Website
      Featherwood Woodcrafts

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      • #4
        Thanks Jim,

        I think that I can envision that. Should make more sense once I work through one.

        --Rob

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        • #5
          Hi Jim,

          I must say that every time I do an inlay project, I pull out the magazine and review the article. This tutorial is also super.
          Denny
          ArtCrafters in Dayton, TN

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          • #6
            I'm bumping this up, cause it was only there for less than a day. I thought I'd like to see if more people are interested.....
            Jim

            The limits of the imagination are imaginary.
            No task is too tedious for Art.
            Rock and Scroll

            My Gallery

            My Website
            Featherwood Woodcrafts

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            • #7
              I made it a sticky, Jim, so it always stays at the top! Thanks so much! This is great!

              Bob
              www.GrobetUSA.com

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              • #8
                I'm interested as well Jim..However I'm trying to find the woods required ....I'm not having much luck locally. I'm not able at this time to order specific woods online so I'm doing some research to see if I have some suitable woods for your project...
                "Still Montana Mike"

                "Don't worry about old age--it doesn't last that long."
                Mike's Wood-n-Things LLC

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                • #9
                  Hey Jim, thanks for sharing your method! I've always wanted to do some real inlay projects, but never have made the time. Maybe when I get back home this will give me some motivation to try it!
                  Friends call me Matt

                  I'm just a sawdust junkie looking for a fix

                  My Album
                  http://s570.photobucket.com/albums/s...rking%20album/
                  Free Patterns by Matt Dickson (hey, that's me!!!)
                  http://s570.photobucket.com/albums/s...att%20Dickson/

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                  • #10
                    Mike,
                    If you need to substitute different woods, just be sure that the contrasts will work. Really... anything goes. It is art after all... I've had to make due in the past and have discovered wood combinations that have worked out better than I had planned. Be careful though, a lot of woods will change over time. I love the graph that was in issue #34. It's also available here on the forum, under back issues. It tells you what to expect from a lot of different woods.

                    Matt,
                    An adventure is a wood chip away.... I guarantee that once you try it, you'll be hooked. And the design capabilities are vast...
                    Happy cutting...

                    Thanks Bob,
                    I'm glad you like my little bonus....

                    To all,
                    I'm here to answer any questions... Ask away.
                    Jim

                    The limits of the imagination are imaginary.
                    No task is too tedious for Art.
                    Rock and Scroll

                    My Gallery

                    My Website
                    Featherwood Woodcrafts

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                    • #11
                      I'm still confused on the "forward" inlay and "reverse" [email protected]

                      Which is counter clockwise?
                      "Still Montana Mike"

                      "Don't worry about old age--it doesn't last that long."
                      Mike's Wood-n-Things LLC

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                      • #12
                        A forward inlay, (with the table tilted left down), is cut counter-clockwise. (The piece that will come up from the bottom is on the right side of the blade).

                        A reverse inlay, (table un-changed), is cut clockwise. (The piece that will drop down into the bottom of the stack is to the left of the blade).

                        ...is this any clearer??

                        I might also suggest trying one of either the Earth magnets, or the Acanthus leaves from issue #34 SSW&C. They're great primers to this project.

                        Simple and easy are not the same thing... I remember when I first started doing this I had to pretty much wrestle the wood into place, (sort of). I think the most important thing with this method is to let the blade do the cutting. Learn not to push or lean on the blade. It's like spinning on a pin head. You want the blade to stay straight...
                        Jim

                        The limits of the imagination are imaginary.
                        No task is too tedious for Art.
                        Rock and Scroll

                        My Gallery

                        My Website
                        Featherwood Woodcrafts

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Thanks...That cleared that up.....
                          "Still Montana Mike"

                          "Don't worry about old age--it doesn't last that long."
                          Mike's Wood-n-Things LLC

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                          • #14
                            No matter how often I do inlays, I always have to have some scrap wood sitting next to me to make my sample cuts. Not only to get the correct angle on the tilt, but to remind me which way to cut in order to either drop or bring up my inlay. Then I draw arrows on the wood so I know which way to cut.
                            I tilt my table right down... so everything you mentioned about direction is backwards...
                            Theresa

                            http://WoodNGoods.weebly.com

                            http://woodngoods.blogspot.com

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                            • #15
                              My first saw only went to the left, so I taught myself that way. It will work either way.
                              Something to bear in mind as you go, is that a hard left, (with most blades), is different than a hard right. You can get a more accute angle with a hard left, (or counter-clockwise turn), than a right.
                              A hard right takes a little technique. This is when you have to listen to the blade And tell it what to do... mostly, (and this is old hat to some of you), you'll have to learn to pull on the blade as you make the turn, just enough to compensate for the lessened aggression on the left side of the blade. Don't go too far though, as you turn... Remember, Where the blade goes is your cut. you can't back up. (it will show).
                              I always file the back of my blade nice and round...it helps!!!
                              Last edited by JimSawyer; 08-07-2009, 08:27 PM. Reason: clarity
                              Jim

                              The limits of the imagination are imaginary.
                              No task is too tedious for Art.
                              Rock and Scroll

                              My Gallery

                              My Website
                              Featherwood Woodcrafts

                              Comment

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