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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-22-2012, 06:51 AM Thread Starter
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Default Inlay Tribal flames

OK guys I have a project I want to do. I am going to make an 8' X 42" bar using a light colored cabinet grade plywood for the front. On the Front I want to inlay with Walnut a tribal flame design starting from the center and going out to the ends, or starting at the bottom and go up with the flames. How can I make a pattern to do this. Also should I use a veneer for the inlay or would 1/4" plywood work ? Also I have never done an inlay before, so any references/books I should read ?
Thanks Dave
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-22-2012, 06:58 AM Thread Starter
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Sorry could not find a way to edit. I am thinking 1/4" plywood for the inlay as I believe I could freehand the flame design with that and then cut it with a router into a sheet of 1/4" plywood and then use that as a template for the actual front. Am I thinking correctly on this or am I making it way to hard ?
Thanks Dave
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-23-2012, 07:13 AM
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Dave..

I've not done much inlay work either. But I have a couple of thoughts and suggestions.

I think you could probably use your inlay piece as a template as you have mentioned. However, if you have never done any inlay work, I would suggest that you practice quite a bit before you tear into your cabinet grade plywood. That is some pretty expensive testing material.

Secondly, I don't know if plywood is the correct material to be using for the inlay work. Both the inlay itself and the front of your bar will have to be sanded after the inlay is made. The plys on the plywood are sometimes very thin. Especially the outer ply. If you sand through the outer face of either piece, you're going to ruin the look.

Like I said. I've not done much inlay work, so I may be way off here. But I thought I might offer up my opinion.

Good Luck..

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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-23-2012, 08:38 PM
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As has been said, practice first, using scrap or very cheap material.

I've not done much inlay work either. So I might just be tempted to lay out the design, cut around it with a sharp blade (very carefully), then stain or paint. Practice with scrap first.

But, if you're stuck on wanting inlay, I'd do some searches on-line, there's forums for people who do that sort of thing all the time, they'd probably give you more useful information than anywhere else.

Now that I think of it a bit, I think if I wanted to do something like that, I might well go with markuetery instead (yes, I know it's spelled wrong, but the letter between my 'p' and 'r' is stuck).

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-23-2012, 10:51 PM
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You will have to make a cut out pattern of your design first. Then fasten the pattern to your wood, then using a guide bushing type of bit, this allows you to route out the wood to matching your pattern. Keeping in mind that as you move the router following the outline of the pattern that that bit has a certain diameter. If you pattern is smaller that that bit. Then when your reach this point, you are going to have a bigger pattern. Then by adding a sleeve to the base of your Router, fastening down your pattern and following that same pattern into your inlay material the thickness of this selves wall will allow for your inlay to snap in. There is a school of tried and true method of tilting the base of the router in order to allow a slanted back side to the inlay, to be able to snap in better. Also with a 220 or higher grade sandpaper CARE FULL LIGHT sand the edges with one continuous stroke around, to allow the inlay into a stubborn fit. A very critical step is to buy a centering bit for your router, to center the router's bits Collette to the center of the base. As you can picture, that that bit will travel around on the inside of that sleeve with very , very little margin from the spinning bit to the inside of the walls of that sleeve. This is also where a set bits deppth onto a plunge type router realy shines. Rockler Woodworking supply shows you a great picture of these bits and the inlay sleeve set up as a package.

Oh as an addentium, There is on the market a sign lettering set-up by the name of, Mastercraft. These people have designed a very unusual design in their base,. That has the ability to fasten this base to multi routers bases. They have also designed into this base several router base bushings that snap in. One of which is a inlay set-up, and also a centering bit setup with detailed instructions. The down side to the above set-up is you will ahve to purchace longer shank bits, this allows for the thickness of their design base.

Last edited by john880; 08-23-2012 at 11:17 PM.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-24-2012, 09:12 AM
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Dave I had to come back to inform you of a VERY good deal on a bushing set that the offer was e-mailed to meshowing their demo. I have this set that use to be offered at Home Depot, it is a very good complete set, and since I also have bought different item from Peachtree they are a good woodworking co. to deal with.. For this price, its'ah good deal.

Edirect Special - Peachtree Woodworking Supply, Inc.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-24-2012, 10:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by john880 View Post
Dave I had to come back to inform you of a VERY good deal on a bushing set that the offer was e-mailed to meshowing their demo. I have this set that use to be offered at Home Depot, it is a very good complete set, and since I also have bought different item from Peachtree they are a good woodworking co. to deal with.. For this price, its'ah good deal.

Edirect Special - Peachtree Woodworking Supply, Inc.
Thanks for the link. I took advantage of the fantastic sale price and ordered today.

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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-24-2012, 05:54 PM
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you is welcome,,,,,,,,
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