Using a Router to Inlay a Compass Rose
The woodworker is using a router in this woodworking article to create a recess in mahogany. This recess will house a compass rose veneer that was previously sliced on the band saw. Now, a Dewalt DWP611PK compact plunge router with a 1/4 inch straight router bit is used to cut a recess to house the veneer.
The techniques demonstrated by the woodworker in this article are basically just for practice. He is simply testing to develop a strategy for when it becomes time to actually inlay the compass rose veneer. Practicing woodworking in the shop is a great idea. It’s a good way to develop confidence in one’s skills. We all know that it is better to make a mistake while practicing rather than to make an error on the actual woodworking project.
Laying Out the Compass Rose
The first step for the woodworker is to outline the compass rose on the mahogany. This is simply done by tracing a pencil line around the compass rose veneer. Then the layout lines are cut by using the straight edge from a combination square and scoring the lines with a sharp utility knife. The cut lines are then penciled in for better visibility.
Using a Router to Make the Plunge Cut
When using a router to make a plunge cut for wood inlay, it is necessary to “zero in” the router bit. What this means is that the router is adjusted so that the bottom of the router bit is at the same level as the router’s base. Next, the router bit can be adjusted for the depth of the plunge cut. Since the thickness of the compass rose is 3/32″, the bit will need to make a plunge cut of 1/16”. This will allow the compass rose to extend above the surface of the mahogany by 1/32″. This is an ideal amount for scraping and then sanding so that both surfaces can become level with one another.
A Compact Plunge Router with LED Lights
When using a router to freehand the pattern, it is critically important that the woodworker takes his or her time. We want to make sure that the router bit maintains the cut within the scored lines. One beautiful feature of this DeWalt plunge router is that it has LED lights to illuminate the cutting area. This makes life so much more easier and that much more enjoyable for the woodworker.
Routing Closer to the Lines
After the woodworker is finished using the compact router in this demonstration, he then uses a Foredom rotory tool with a 1/8″ bit to rout closer to the lines. As you can see, the rotory tool is in a shop-made wooden base. Afterwards, hand tool skills are required as chisels and a mallet are used for the final cutting of the recess.
The compass rose wood inlay veneer is now fit into the mahogany. The next step is to carefully glue this veneer into the recess.