Decorative inlays inlay kits

Tools Needed to Build An Inlay

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Tools Needed to Build an Inlay

First and foremost you need to have a plunge router.  I prefer to have a clear base on the router so I can see where I'm routing.

 

You will need to be familiar with how to set the depth of the "plunge" on your router so consult with your owners manual if unsure how to set the depth.

 

You need a router inlay kit that fits on the base of the router.  I recommend the Whiteside 9500 kit.  Not only does it last forever the kit includes a quality 1/8" spiral downcut bit that is perfect for cutting inlays.

Close up picture of a plunge router made by Milwaukee
Pictue of Whiteside solid brass router inlay kit, part number 9500

Plunge Router

Router Inlay Kit

Shop Tools Needed to Build an Inlay

Double sided tape is required for holding the templates and inlay materials in place when cutting.  I like Shurtape tape because it has a little thickness to it which helps offset undulations in the material being cut.  The thickness also makes it easier to slide a paint scraper between the template and material when separating the two.

 

Scissors to cut the duct tape is useful.  You could use your teeth I suppose but... ick!

 

A paint scraper (putty knife) works well to separate the template from the inlay materials after the cutting process is complete.

 

I find a 90° pic is useful when cleaning debris from the cutting process.

 

A soft mallet is useful for tapping the inlay into the void.

Shurtape Double Sided Duct Tape

Paint scraper

Double sided tape

Various shop tools

Clamps, Clamps, and More Clamps

Can never have enough clamps in a workshop!  IMHO of course.  For building inlays I like to use two style of clamps a quick release bar clamp and a C clamp.

 

The bar clamp is used for holding materials securely to the workbench.  I really like my quick release clamps.  They provide ample clamping pressure and are easily added and removed.

 

The C clamp is useful to squeeze the inlay into the void to properly seat the inlay.  Got to be careful with the C clamp tho.  If the inlay is to large for the void the base material can crack when forcing an inlay into the void.  Also if you use the C Clamp make sure you have some sort of scrap wood between the inlay and the clamp so you don't dent the inlay itself!

Irwin bar clamps used to hold the inlay assembly to a workbench during the cutting process
C-Clamps can be useful to seat the inlay into its void.

Bar Clamps

C Clamps

Sanding Tools

The type of sanding tool you will want to use depends on the type of inlay being built.  One sander I always use is a random orbital (RO) sander. I have two of them but I prefer the Porter Cable sander.  I've gone through about 5 sanding pads now so you know it gets used the most.

 

I like to use my Dremel for sanding inlays with small curves in them
like the stem from RoseBud.

Hand held rotary tooll, made by Dremel, with a large sanding drum attached.

Dremel

Close up picture of a hand held RO sander made by Porter Cable

RO Sander

Picture of all the cut out inlay peices created from the EZInlays RoseBud Decorative Inlay Kit.

RoseBud stem

Warning Sign - Power Tools Can Be Dangerous.  Use caution when working with this tool and all other tools
Close up picture of a plunge router made by Milwaukee
Pictue of Whiteside solid brass router inlay kit, part number 9500
Shurtape Double Sided Duct Tape
Irwin bar clamps used to hold the inlay assembly to a workbench during the cutting process
C-Clamps can be useful to seat the inlay into its void.
Hand held rotary tooll, made by Dremel, with a large sanding drum attached.
Close up picture of a hand held RO sander made by Porter Cable
Picture of all the cut out inlay peices created from the EZInlays RoseBud Decorative Inlay Kit.