Routing Wood the Easy Way
Routing wood for wood inlay requires using a router in a controlled manner. One of the challenges of using a wood router is making sure that the spinning router bit stays within the desired area to be cut. Using a router template is a great way to ensure that the woodworker is able to maintain cutting accuracy. As a result, routing wood with a template can also greatly improve efficiency and production in the woodworking shop.
Making the Router Template
The woodworking video shows how the router template is easily made by using a scrap of 1/4 inch MDF. The design of the diamond veneer is transferred onto the MDF by taking a sharp pencil and outlining the pattern. Next, a critical measurement is taken into consideration. We measure from the cutting edge of the router bit to the outside edge of the router guide bushing. This measurement is now added to the outline of the diamond that is now on the MDF. This newly created outline is then cut out on the band saw and becomes our actual guide for routing wood. (Cut just shy of the line and clean up the cut with a file.)
Routing Wood with the Plunge Router
Using double stick tape is an easy way to secure and align the position of the router template. Set the depth of the router bit just shy of the wood veneer to be inlaid. The next step is simply routing wood with a plunge router that has a straight bit. Cut along the outside edge of the template in a counter clockwise direction. Once this outline is cut it is then time to “hog” out all the remaining wood within the template.
Using Chisels for the Final Cleanup
Once we are finished routing wood with the plunge router, it is then time to remove our routing template. The outer points of our diamond pattern need to be further defined. We now take a straightedge and a pencil to outline the points and then proceed by using sharp chisels to clean up the remaining wood. Finally, we can test fit our diamond wood veneer inlay. When we have our perfect fit, we can continue with the glue up and clamping.
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