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Getting proper alignment when cutting double bevel inlays.

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  • Getting proper alignment when cutting double bevel inlays.

    I don't think this has been brought up before. If it has I'm sorry for the long post.
    When cutting double bevel inlays I cut so the bottom pieces fit into the top (the field).This method works best for me as far as the tightness of the inlay and lack of visible entry holes. However this method presents a problem when aligning the wood so it is in the desired position in the field after cutting. I tried "guesstimating", measuring and marking with pencil lines and using a protractor on a slotted Stanley ruler to get "exact" alignment. They all left a lot to be desired and some wasted pieces of wood.
    So last week after wasting a piece of Ebony it hit me. Put a pattern on the front and the back of the field aligning the patterns "exactly" from front to back.
    To do this first make two copies of the pattern, one facing left, the other facing right. Next hold them back to back, in front of a light source and align the patterns cut lines. The paper edges won't align with each other, so holding them so they don't move, place them on a flat surface and scribe a line along the edges of the top pattern onto the bottom pattern wherever the paper overlaps. These will be the reference lines.
    Then spray on the adhesive onto the top pattern, aligning the edges of the paper with the outside edges of the field. Next spray the adhesive onto the other pattern and place it onto the back of the field aligning the scribed lines with the same edges as you did for the front pattern. They will be "perfectly" aligned. So far for me they have been within 1/64" accuracy.
    Now the inlay pieces can be manipulated on the front pattern for the desired effect, then placed onto the back pattern in the same position to align them with the front. Just remember, the face of the inlay that is to be seen in the field must face down on the back to be seen in the field after cutting.
    If the paper on which the patterns are printed has to be trimmed to fit the field, trim them before aligning them in front of the light source.
    I hope this is understandable.
    Dave
    "Tight's tight, too tight's broken"

    My Gallery

  • #2
    Whenever I do an inlay that requires precise alignment due to grain or whatever. First I cut out the field leaving about 1/8 in inside the line. This gives me a "window" to observe the inlayed piece. Hence the term window method. Once the inlay is taped in place I then cut to the line. I only need to do this on a very few pieces per picture which in the long run would be quicker.
    Been doing this for 40+ years now.
    Bill

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    • #3
      well shut my mouth...Ya learn something new every day...
      I've never heard of that, (window method). Great stuff Bill...!!!
      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 Plaquerd and Bill for sharing your ideas........I need all the help I can get.
        Gloria ............... Two memorable things to say in life, "Hello" for the first time, and "Good-bye" for the last.

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        • #5
          Bill's technique is a goody . It's very common amongst marquetarians who use knives to cut their veneers.
          There is no opinion, however absurd, which men will not readily embrace as soon as they can be brought to the conviction that it is readily adopted.
          (Schopenhauer, Die Kunst Recht zu Behalten)

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          • #6
            Bill
            Thanks for the tip.. I have done this whan I made a mistake when cutting, I never thought to use it in the way you explain....but I don't see how it would save time if you have to make two cuts for every inlay. The method explained in my post takes about two minutes (printing not included). I would like to see pictures of some of your work. We love pictures.
            Dave
            "Tight's tight, too tight's broken"

            My Gallery

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            • #7
              Hey fellahs! - there's been a few posts on inlay work recently including some resurrected old posts. I've never tried inlay but as soon as i get the bounce in my saw corrected I'd like to have a go. Would it be possible for one, or all, LOL!, of you guys to post a WIP thread for idiots like me explaining how to go about this scrolling technique.

              Just one word of warning. If anyone takes up this offer stand by for lots of questions!

              Cheers!
              Jim in Mexico

              Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.
              - Albert Einstein

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              • #8
                Jim,
                If you can wait until April, (I'm in the middle of moving to a new place), I've been planning a tutorial of a nice and simple piece. One that won't require perfect drilling. (Though it will be good to practice.)
                Here's a little preview...Duck finished.jpg
                It will be a good one to get your feet wet, (pun intended)........
                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


                • #9
                  Hi Jim - great news pal!
                  Just so you know. I've had a pm from Dave who is also interested in making a WIP. I replied to him before I saw your post suggesting he contact you and that you each do a WIP maybe one for raw beginners much as you are describing and one slightly more advanced for folks who have some inlay experience or for foolhardy souls like me who like diving in at the deep end. Hopefully you can sort something out between yourselves and if you need any help from me to throw together the images and steps into a slide show tutorial I'm more than happy to help out.

                  Thanks pal - good luck with the moving. Does this mean you might finally get room for a small shop?
                  Jim in Mexico

                  Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.
                  - Albert Einstein

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                  • #10
                    Hey, Jim-mex, you talk about diving in the deep end, I haven't done any inlay with wood yet, I've only done two pieces & both were acrylic. I had fits with the last one, which was a circle(archery target). I need lots of help & practice !
                    PERK

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                    • #11
                      Yes, we like pictures

                      Originally posted by Plaquerd View Post
                      Bill
                      Thanks for the tip.. I have done this whan I made a mistake when cutting, I never thought to use it in the way you explain....but I don't see how it would save time if you have to make two cuts for every inlay. The method explained in my post takes about two minutes (printing not included). I would like to see pictures of some of your work. We love pictures.
                      Yes, Plaquerd, we love pictures... could you show some to illustrate the technique you are describing?

                      Spence

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by SawTooth View Post
                        Yes, Plaquerd, we love pictures... could you show some to illustrate the technique you are describing?

                        Spence

                        Spence
                        I will post pictures in the WIP. Will start the WIP after coordinating with Jim and Jim.
                        Dave
                        "Tight's tight, too tight's broken"

                        My Gallery

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                        • #13
                          Thanks, Guys,
                          I'm quite interested in learning the proper techniques and hope to see some
                          tutorials and videos.
                          I really appreciate you sharing your talents.
                          God Bless! Spirithorse

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                          • #14
                            It's been over 8 months since you said you'd post pictures to illustrate what you described in words... hint, hint... (or did you already post and I missed it?)

                            Spence

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by GladeFade View Post
                              Whenever I do an inlay that requires precise alignment due to grain or whatever. First I cut out the field leaving about 1/8 in inside the line. This gives me a "window" to observe the inlayed piece. Hence the term window method. Once the inlay is taped in place I then cut to the line. I only need to do this on a very few pieces per picture which in the long run would be quicker.
                              Been doing this for 40+ years now.
                              Bill
                              Bill it's a good idea, but I make inlays that are too small to even leave 1/8" inside the line.
                              But I am going to finally post the WIP
                              Here it is.

                              The butterflies are Dover Designs free clip art.

                              I’ve had these WIP pictures since this thread first went up. Jim_Mex and I just never got together to make it come to fruition. So here is the WIP of how I align my inlays. I hope this is understandable and OK to do.
                              Pic 1: printed patterns, printed as mirror images.
                              Pic 2: ready to align using back light.
                              Pic 3: Patterns aligned.
                              Pic 4: Marking reference lines.
                              Pic 5: Trimming the patterns.
                              Attached Files
                              Last edited by Plaquerd; 04-18-2013, 12:26 AM.
                              Dave
                              "Tight's tight, too tight's broken"

                              My Gallery

                              Comment

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