Inlay Material Thickness - Router Forums
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-15-2014, 01:54 PM Thread Starter
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Default Inlay Material Thickness

Today I was asked how thick is the material I use in my decorative inlays. The answer to that depends on what it is you are building.

If you're adding something like AmbersBear to a kids toy chest than I would suggest using inlay material around 1/8" thick. You can use thicker inlay material but the thicker the material the more difficult the cut becomes. I'm not saying its hard to route out a 1/4" or even a 3/8" thick inlay but there is less router resistance when using 1/8" thick material.

If I'm making something like a one sided Christmas Ornament (see the Snowman picture) then I'll use 1/4" material for the base (the outer part of the ornament) and 1/8" for the inlay itself. I do this to minimize the chance of sanding through the bottom of the ornament making the inlay visible on both sides. I use 1/4" material on all of my ornament type of inlays because of strength issues. 1/8" thick ornaments are more fragile than 1/4" thick ones.

If I'm making an ornament where the inlay shows through on both sides I like to use material that is a little over 1/4" thick. Because the inlay will show through on both sides, the base material and the inlay material should be close to the same thickness to reduce sanding. I use over 1/4" thick materials because I'll be sanding on both sides of the ornament and eventually it will be a little less than 1/4" thick.

Basically the purpose of the inlay drives the thickness of the materials being used. You can be creative with your thicknesses too as shown in the two heart pictures. Those pictures shows the front and back side of ornaments using varying thicknesses and materials. Experiment around and see what you can come up with!!!

One other note.... Make sure you properly prepare your inlay materials prior to routing them!!! That means affixing the inlay material to some type of backing material using double sided duct tape.

Always remember this basic rule when working with inlays: Nothing but the router moves during the cutting process!!! If the inlay material isn't taped to the backing material it can shift during the cutting process causing all sorts of headaches!!!
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-15-2014, 03:14 PM
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Thanks for posting, Kurtis. Nice work also.

I have found that hand tools are the best choice when I want to make mistakes at a slower rate of speed.

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-16-2014, 12:13 PM
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Very good info. What do you use for a router to do this?
Allen
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-17-2014, 09:33 AM
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Very refined. I like them.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-21-2014, 10:56 AM Thread Starter
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Any plunge router equipped with a router inlay kit (see Whiteside #9500) will work!

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Originally Posted by firstmuller View Post
Very good info. What do you use for a router to do this?
Allen

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Kurtis ~|:-)
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-21-2014, 11:41 AM
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I guess I got a deal; the sales guy at KMS just sold me an inlay kit for $19.
He said nobody seemed to know what they were, and he wanted to clear them out...
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-21-2014, 01:39 PM Thread Starter
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Are you referring to the router inlay kit w/ the bushing that goes on to the bottom of a plunge router? If so not a bad deal at all!!!

That is one of my biz objectives too. Raise awareness of inlays, the amazing things you can do with them, and how EZ they are to build.

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Originally Posted by DaninVan View Post
I guess I got a deal; the sales guy at KMS just sold me an inlay kit for $19.
He said nobody seemed to know what they were, and he wanted to clear them out...

Have an Ordinary Day...
Kurtis ~|:-)
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