Decorative inlays inlay kits

Instructions for Building Any Inlay --- Cutting Voids

Cutting Voids in the Base Material

WHAT you're doing:

Affixing the template to the base material, securing the assembly to the workbench, setting the depth of the cut and routing the void.

Put the Router BUSHING ON

WHAT you're doing:

  • If routing a Void the bushing gets placed on the router inlay kit.

 

WHY you're doing it:

  • To position the router bit correctly inside the template
    • If you DON’T have the bushing on this happens. Notice the router bit hole outside the filled void area???

 

HOW to do it:

  • Firmly push the bushing all the way down on the collar.
When cutting voids for an inlay, place the busing on the collar of the breass inlay kit.  Make sure it snaps into place.

Bushing ON the brass inlay kit

Shows what happens when cutting a void and forgetting to put the bushing on.  It damages the work piece.

Bushing left off when cutting a void

Set the Cutting Depth on the Router

WHAT you're doing:

  • Adjusting the depth of the cut made by the router bit.

 

WHY you're doing it:

  • You want the void to be slightly shallower than the thickness of the inlay material.
    •  Once assembled the inlay material should extrude slightly out from the base material.
    •  Usually, it is easier to sand the inlay down to the level of the base material than the entire base to the level of the inlay.

 

HOW to do it:

Each router is different — follow the instructions on your router to set the depth.

Set the depth of cut the router will make to be less than the depth of the inlay material but not deeper than the base material

Setting the depth of the cut

Routing the Rough Cut Void

WHAT you're doing:

  • Making the first cut to create a void in the base material.

 

WHY you're doing it:

  • To remove the majority of the wood in the void area.

 

HOW to do it:

  • Position the router on the template with the bit, not extended yet, inside the void area.
  • Turn the router on.
  • Plunge the router extending the bit fully into the void area
  • Cut around the edges of the shape then move the router back and forth, inside the shape, to remove the majority of the material.
  • Repeat for each void on the layer being worked on.
Left over debris from the first pass of routing out aninlay void.

Rough cut  of the void area

Clean the Void of Debris

WHAT you're doing:

  • Getting rid of debris left after making the first cut.

 

WHY you're doing it:

  • Left over material in the void can interfere with the
    router when making the final cuts.

 

HOW to do it:

  • Use a shop vac to suck up all the loose material.
  • A pick is handy to get out chunks that are wedged in the wood.
  • Make sure lip between the void and the template are clean and free of debris.
Using a shop vac, the debris left over from the routing process has been cleaned out of the void revealing what needs to be routed again

Rough cut cleaned of debris

Route the Final Cut

WHAT you're doing:

  • Making a final router pass around each void.

 

WHY you're doing it:

  • To create a clean sharp edge around the void to provide
    a better fit for the inlay.
  • Remove the remaining material in the void.
  • Gives the bottom of the void a reasonable flat surface.

 

HOW to do it:

  • Route around the sides of the shape to create sharp edges.
  • Apply firm pressure to keep the bushing against the side wall of the template.
  • Go back and forth to remove any last chunks from the middle of the void.
  • If there are any bumps left in the void you can use a small wood chisel to remove the burrs.
    • You want a flat bottom so the inlay piece fits all the way into the void.
Inlay void cleaned of debris after the final routing pass.  The inlay template has also been removed.

Final cut after template was removed

Remove the Template

WHAT you're doing:

  • Prying the template from the base material.

 

WHY you're doing it:

  • So you can insert the inlay into the void(s).

 

HOW to do it:

  • Slide a paint scraper (mine is 3″ across) between the template and the wood to pry them apart.
    • Denatured alcohol helps remove the tape.
  •  Wiggle the scraper around to loosen the tape around all the areas where tape has been applied.
  •  Don’t pry to hard on the template or it can be damaged!
  •  Peel off the duct tape from the template and base material.
    •  The longer the tape is stuck to a surface the harder it is to remove.
Using a paint scraper gently pry the inlay template off of the inlay material. 

Prying the template off the inlay material

When cutting voids for an inlay, place the busing on the collar of the breass inlay kit.  Make sure it snaps into place.
Shows what happens when cutting a void and forgetting to put the bushing on.  It damages the work piece.
Set the depth of cut the router will make to be less than the depth of the inlay material but not deeper than the base material
Left over debris from the first pass of routing out aninlay void.
Using a shop vac, the debris left over from the routing process has been cleaned out of the void revealing what needs to be routed again
Inlay void cleaned of debris after the final routing pass.  The inlay template has also been removed.
Using a paint scraper gently pry the inlay template off of the inlay material. 
When cutting voids for an inlay, place the busing on the collar of the breass inlay kit.  Make sure it snaps into place.
Shows what happens when cutting a void and forgetting to put the bushing on.  It damages the work piece.
Set the depth of cut the router will make to be less than the depth of the inlay material but not deeper than the base material
Left over debris from the first pass of routing out aninlay void.
Using a shop vac, the debris left over from the routing process has been cleaned out of the void revealing what needs to be routed again
Inlay void cleaned of debris after the final routing pass.  The inlay template has also been removed.
Using a paint scraper gently pry the inlay template off of the inlay material.