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Minimum tools needed for Intarsia

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  • Minimum tools needed for Intarsia

    At a minimum what tools do you need to do quality Intarsia?

    I have no problem saving money to buy the correct tools for the job.

    I have the scroll saw and drill press but the only sander I have is a random orbit sander.(and I think the hook and loop is worn out on it)

    I do have a little delta midi lathe but Im not sure if any attachments are available to do sanding with that.

    Also what is a good source for the wood as I dont want to go broke. I am currently saving my hardwood scraps when I make something. I figure they will either be good for Intarsia or a pen blank.

    Thanks,

    Dan

  • #2
    Hi Dan,

    When I started intarsia I had a scroll saw, a drill press and a dremel with their little sanding drums. It can be done with as little as that, but I soon added sanding drums for the drill press, a bench top belt sander with a disc sander on the side, and what is called a flex drum sander mounted on a motor shaft. I'm including a link to the flex drum sander on the Judy Gale Roberts site but I believe they can be purchased from Seyco as well. http://intarsia.com/Hardware.html. These additions really made the shaping easier and faster. I still did all the finish sanding by hand at that point, but now I have a Black & Decker mouse sander that I do most of my finish sanding with and just touch it up by hand. This has also speeded things up. I have also added a small bench top band saw for quickly cutting bigger pieces into smaller ones (I don't have a table saw yet, my shop is too small), and a router and table. I have also recently added a small pneumatic sanding drum mounted on another motor shaft. These things work for me but I'm sure others have other things that work for them.

    There are more things I would like to have but don't have room right now. After all, you can never have too many tools, right?

    Hope this helps,
    Chris
    What! There's no coffee?!!

    Comment


    • #3
      minimum tools. something to cut with, and some sandpaper.

      A inflatable drum sander, or belt sander, or spindle sander helps heaps, and with that, dust collection of some form, intarsia is dusty work. Dale
      Dale w/ yella saws

      Comment


      • #4
        I forgot to address your question about wood sources. So far I buy all of my wood locally. I just looked up wood and hardwood in the yellow pages of the local phone books. Talking to those people will usually yield some more local sources, at least in my area. I'm also lucky enough to have a woodcraft store only 30 minutes away. The big stores like Home Depot and Lowes, at least in my area, will yield pine, oak, poplar, cedar etc. That is what I started with. I know there are mail order sources but I haven't used them, maybe someone else can help you with those.

        Chris
        What! There's no coffee?!!

        Comment


        • #5
          Chris....can you tell me a little more about the Black&Decker mouse sander? Is it a type of sanding mop? I've been looking for a sanding mop that works well on intarsia segments.
          If it don't fit, don't force it....get a bigger hammer!!

          Comment


          • #6
            as for me I have a few tools but nothing like the other folks have- I have my scroll saw of course and a couple of orbital sanders ,my dremel ( well actually 2 dremels and a cordless 0ff brand ) all with flex shafts and I couldn't do my intarsia without them --I have a few spools of sandpaper I recieved from a friend that I cut my own sanding disk and sander sheets from -(big life saver that gift was) and a drill mounted on a table (homemade) to make a drum sander that I never use ,a drill press I never use. and a bandsaw. I did have a router table and all the goodies and a tablesaw but I got rid of them cause I would cause major injuries every time I did. I will say this- without my dremels and my scroll saw I couldn't do my intarsia- the rest are just luxury tools.
            Sharon

            Ohh and a lot of sandpaper

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            • #7
              Patience Don't forget Patience, rushing any woodworking job can make beautiful kindlin' Steve
              If This HillBilly Can't Fix it Then it Ain't Broke!!!
              My Gallery
              [email protected]

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              • #8
                Neal,
                The Blk & Decker mouse is a hand held sander. I've tried to attach a pic to show you, I hope it comes through. A sanding mop really is okay for a final touch up, but in my experience doesn't remove enough material for finish sanding to remove small marks etc. The mouse has attachments for it's tip that allow you to get into small areas.
                Chris
                Attached Files
                What! There's no coffee?!!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Hey Neal, I have two porter cable profile sanders that have all differant profile attachments that would work good. The profiles just use an adhesive backed paper. Steve
                  If This HillBilly Can't Fix it Then it Ain't Broke!!!
                  My Gallery
                  [email protected]

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Dan:
                    I agree with what Chris says about sanders. When I started intarsia I made what I called my own "Sanding Station". I have attached a picture. It includes a home made pneumatic sander. This is based upon an old motor (something I found a use for after 20 years) and some motor mounting hardware from Lee Valley. The pneumatic sanding drum and sanding media are also Lee Valley. I bought a cheap bike tire pump for when I change sheets. It works really well for me. I also built a removalbe box behind it to catch any small parts that get away. I also have a coupling to my big vacuum. The dust collector has 1/4 wire mesh inside to prevent small pieces from being sucked into the vaccuum. I also have a Delta belt / disk sander that is good for the flat sanding needs like lowering pieces. I use the pneumatic drum 95% of the time. I also have a Dremmel (not shown in this picture) to make my sanding / shaping station complete.

                    I designed my needs from reading what others are doing (mainly in this forum) so here is hoping you collect enough ideas to put something together that works for you.

                    Bob
                    Attached Files
                    Scrolling satisfies the passion for intricate creativity. My saw is an Excalibur EX21.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Thanks for the replys folks. I also have a little sanding station that takes care of about 95% of what I need. I'm just looking for something to soften the contours and sort of pull the whole composition together. I think a sanding mop is what I need...just don't know what brand would be best to invest in. I attached a photo of my "finger eater". That bad boy sands a lot more than wood if I'm not careful!!!
                      Attached Files
                      If it don't fit, don't force it....get a bigger hammer!!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I got a scrollsaw, flatbed sander, Lathe, Dremel 395 and a elec. planer for the floorboards that i get from the local lumber yard...Speaking of them, whenever a log is dry enough they cut it into slices for me with their bandsaw....And you need a lot of sandpaper, paper and cloth backing.
                        Cloth backing i use the most cause of it's durability.

                        And if you have to rely on wood from others, like me....A lot of contacts who can supply you with timber in any type is allways handy.

                        Danny
                        My website: www.intarsia.co.uk
                        That stuff on the floor....did my head just lost it??

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Dan - I forgot to mention I also have a belt/disk sander and my shop is set up so much of my dust goes outside via a standing fan facing the outside and sucking the dust out the open screened door. I took a room in my house that has a entrance door with a screened storm door and I open that and turn my fan on high when I am sanding -low just to stir the air and elemenate excess dust - and a small deesk type fan on the table with the exhaust pulling the dust from my dremel into the larger fan. this keeps most of the dust from flying all over the house- I also hung heavy drapes where the interior door is to keep as much dust as p[ossible out of the rest of the house. This works great for me. I can work in any weather be warm or cool as needed , work all hours, and have my tv on all while I am playing. I love the set up I have and I don't think I would like it if I couldn't do my passion when the mood strike.
                          Sharon

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Thanks everyone for all the great ideas..

                            Sharon, I am really envious of your setup right now.
                            My garage is like 16 degrees and I cant seemed motivated to go there right now.

                            I think I will try to get a Inflatable drum sander next. Anyone use the one from Intarsia.com?

                            Bob, What do you think of the EX-21? I am really looking at that saw, the Ex-30 and the Eclipse. I almost ordered the Eclipse when I was still living in Indiana but was not sure if I would like bottom fed saws.

                            Dan

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              you can buy rolls of sandpaper at discounted prices and then you can make some different sized dowels for your lathe and wrap/glue the sandpaper to them, just like you would do with a big drum sander, but cheap. That'll save space in your workshop too, because you won't need a home for a new machine.

                              Far as minimum tool for quality intarsia...well back before and into the 15th century, a pocket knife was all you needed, and they built the most insane intarsias. I guess they had a whole lot more spare time on their hands.
                              Jeff Powell

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