I’ve had several people asking me about how I inlaid the trays I posted earlier. Here is how I do it.
Since there seems to be a limit on how many pictures you can post at a time, I’ve broken this up into 4 sections:
- Materials & Tools
- Cutting the inlay slots
- Cutting and fitting the inlay strips
- Glue up and sanding
Part 1 - Materials
You can make your own inlay strips or buy them. I have done both but in this case, I’ll use strips purchased from Rockler. These are 3/8th Inch walnut with black and white accent stripes. I think it’s a nice touch to complement the recipe card box I’m making.
You will need a router table with a fence and 2 stops, straight bit, chisels, miter box and saw, roller, utility knife and lots of clamps.
Always measure your strips as there can be a lot of variation. Take measurements from several places along the strip so you know the worst case. As you can see from the pictures, the strip I bought measures very close to the listed size. This is actually pretty uncommon for me. I used the same inlay on the trays I made earlier and those were quite a bit wider, requiring sanding the edges to get them to fit.
I used a 3/8” straight router bit in my router table.
The strip is .035” thick so I tried to set my router bit to .030” (but got .029” which is good enough). If you don’t have a good depth gauge, you will need to use trial and error to set the depth. We want the inlay to stand just a bit proud so we can easily sand it flush.
Make a test run in some scrap – use the same wood as your project if possible. As you can see from the picture, it’s a nice tight fit.