Wood Inlay Banding
How to Make the Square Pattern
Wood inlay banding can be made in the woodworking shop. Woodworkers can create wonderful wooden inlays for projects such as fine furniture, custom picture frames, or personalized jewelry boxes. The written tutorial features woodworking tips and wood techniques for making the square banding inlay pattern. Yet, the woodworking video clearly reveals the step by step process of creating hardwood inlays so that you can easily do it yourself in your own wood working shop. No matter if you are an experienced craftsman or a woodworking beginner, you can create exquisite wood inlay banding to adorn your fine woodworking projects.
“A warrior seeks to act rather than talk.”
Carlos Castaneda – (1925 – 1998)… Peruvian-American anthropologist & author.
To construct wood inlay banding for the square pattern, we begin by laminating three strips of wood together that are of equal dimensions. In this case we are assembling hardwood inlays of maple and walnut. Their contrasting wood tones will accentuate one another as the square pattern develops.
What woodworking tools are the best choice?
The band saw is our power tool of choice when cutting segments for the wood inlay banding. You will also notice that we are employing two shop built bandsaw sleds. One sled is called the tilting bandsaw miter sled and the other sled is known as the bandsaw cross cut sled. A highly accurate technique for ripping thin strips of veneer is used by combining a thin rip band saw fence and a Rockler Thin Rip Jig. This thin rip idea for the band saw and the two bandsaw sleds are original wood techniques developed and shared by The Apprentice and The Journeyman. Try them out and see how they work for you when creating wooden inlays.
To produce the segments for our wood inlay banding we first set the table of the band saw to 45 degrees. The runner of the tilting band saw miter sled is then installed into the miter gauge track. (Bandsaw woodworking safety tip: Be sure to set the bearing guide assembly to a low position just above the fence of the sled. Doing so will limit the exposure of the band saw blade to your hands.)
1.) Place the laminated strip along the tilting bandsaw miter sled fence and make a 45 degree cut at one end.
2.) Clamp a stop block along the fence and cut a 45 degree angle at the near end of the stop block .
3.) Measure the thickness of the laminated strip of maple and walnut with a dial caliper. This measurement is equal to the length of our segment to be cut. (long point to long point.)
4.) Position and clamp the stop block in place. Make test cuts on scrap material to ensure that the length of the segment is equal to the thickness of the laminated strip. Check for accuracy with a dial caliper.
5.) Cut the segments using the method shown in the video. Alternate the laminated material after each cut. (Take your time and focus on the accuracy of the cut. Make sure to keep the sled free of saw dust as this can alter the accuracy of the cut.)
How to Make the Squares
1.) The squares for the wood inlay banding are simply made by matching the walnut and maple wood patterns and then securing the four miter joints. Lightly sand any burrs if you need to at this time. When you are satified it is time to glue up the miter joints. Rubber bands or blue tape can be used to secure that the miter joints remain closed while the glue sets. (My preference is to use white glue. White glue allows for a longer time to work before it starts to set up and it dries clear.)
2.) When the glue has set, be sure to use sandpaper to remove any burrs from each side of the blocks as shown in the video.
How to make the Wood Inlay Banding sandwich
The wood inlay banding in this tutorial has two outer hardwood veneer strips of contrasting wood tones for each side. Each individual wood veneer is 1/16″ and in this case maple and african mahogany are used. The bandsaw cross cut sled is used to cut the interior cherry spacers to an exact length that is equal to the blocks. The cross cut sled is also utilized to cut the outer veneers of maple and african mahogany to a rough length. This length is determined by the total number of blocks along with all the cherry interior spacers which are 3/32″ thick. At this time add a little extra to the length.
1.) Before the gluing begins keep in mind your overall design. To accentuate the wood inlay banding, make sure to contrast the wood tones. This also means to keep in mind the wood choice for your finished wood project.
2.) Brush glue on the interior band. Glue the blocks of squares in place along with the interior spacers of cherry.
3.) Finish gluing the wood inlay banding sandwich and check for proper alignment.
4.) Use cauls and clamp the sandwich. Use plastic between the cauls and the sandwich. Make sure everything is still in alignment.
5.) Allow the wood inlay banding sandwich to cure overnight.
6.) Remove the clamps when the glue has set. Set the wood inlay banding sandwich in a woodworking bench vise and joint one edge with a block plane.
How to Make Thin Strips of Wood Veneer on the Band Saw
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More Wood Inlay Banding Videos: Learn how to inlay wood and to make other wood inlay banding patterns.