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February 23, 2017

Routing Wood with a Router Template

Routing Wood the Easy Way

 

Routing wood with a plunge router and router templateRouting 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

 

Routing wood with a router templateThe 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

 

Routing Wood - Bandsawn router template guide.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

 

Routing wood with a router template - Gluing & clamping.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.

 

 

Watch more YouTube woodworking how to videos online.

…Your comments are welcomed…

The Apprentice and The Journeyman University

 


Using a Router for Wood Inlay

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

 

Compass Rose - Bandsaw Resawing - Using a RouterThe 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

 

Using a Router for Wood Inlay
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

 

Using a Rotory Tool for Wood InlayAfter 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.

Watch more YouTube woodworking how to videos online.

…Your comments are welcomed…

The Apprentice and The Journeyman University


Finish Work Methods for an Inlaid Picture Frame

Finish Work Methods for Lasting Beauty

 

Finish Work Methods Include Surface Preparation

 

Completed Cosmati Picture Frame - Finish Work MethodsFinish work methods can make all the difference in a woodworker’s project. One of the major challenges for the beginning woodworker, intermediate woodworker, or even an experienced longtime woodworker can be the ability to achieve a satisfactory wood finish. Surface preparation is a key ingredient to achieving the desired results. In this woodworking article we will focus on these important woodworking skills. These finish work methods include the use of a card scraper and also the use of sandpaper with a sanding block.

 

The Value of Using a Card Scraper

 

Cosmati Picture Frame - Finish Work Methods - Card ScraperWhy include the card scraper in the finish work methods? The card scraper gives the woodworker a controlled way of leveling the surface of his woodworking project. In the woodworking video, the woodworker uses the card scraper to level the decorative wood inlay banding to the surface of the picture frame. Not only is the woodworker taking thin shavings off of the banding, he is also cleaning up all the glue lines and any excess glue that may be on the surface. It is critically important to remove this dried glue prior to applying the finish. If not removed, the glue will stick out like a sore thumb once the chosen finish is applied. So, it is imperative that we take care of that now before it becomes an issue.

 

Control the Wood Being Removed

 

Another important reason the card scraper is included in these finish work methods is because the decorative wood inlay banding is of only 3/32″ thick and the banding is inlaid and glued into a shallow depth of a 1/16″ dado. The card scraper allows the woodworker to remove thin shavings of wood at this time while eliminating the need for any heavy sanding. In this way the woodworker can carefully control the amount of material being removed. We definitely want to make sure that the inlay banding is not sanded through.

 

Why Sand with a Sanding Block? 

 

Cosmati Picture Frame - Finish Work Methods Sandpaper is used with a sanding block. This woodworking technique allows for the woodworker to comfortably grip the sandpaper. This method also provides the woodworker with a great means for applying an even pressure to the picture frame surface. Keep in mind that we are looking for a smooth, flat surface for our woodworking project.  Depending on how well the work is performed with the card scraper and the type of wood being used for the project, it is likely that the initial sanding can begin with 100 to 200 grit sandpaper. In the case of this picture frame, the woodworker continued to prepare the wood surface up to 400 grit sandpaper.

 

How to Check for Glue Stain

 

A portion of the finish work methods includes applying a small amount of paint thinner to a rag and then applying it to the picture frame. Why is this an important element of the finish work methods? There are two parts to this answer. The wiping of the woodworking project with paint thinner helps to clean up any sawdust that may remain from the sanding. This cleaning technique will also show us any glue that may may be left on the surface of our project. If we see any glue stain showing at this time, we still have some more work to do before we apply the wood finish. If any glue stain remains, we need to remove it with further sanding.

 

Sanding Sealer, Cherry Wood, and Blotching

 

These finish work methods lead us up to the important moment of applying the finish. In the case of the woodworker’s picture frame, he chose to apply a coat of sanding sealer to the cherry picture frame. Cherry is prone to blotching and the sealer will help to remedy this issue.

 

Applying the Lacquer

 

Cosmati Picture frame 086After the sanding sealer has been applied and given time to adequately dry, it is time to perform a light sanding. This sanding will help by giving the surface some “tooth.” In other words, when the lacquer is sprayed onto the freshly sanded surface, the lacquer will have a good surface to adhere to. (Be sure to remove any and all sanding dust prior to applying the lacquer.) The woodworker can then proceed to build up layers of lacquer to achieve a desirable wood finish for his or her woodworking project.

 

Watch more YouTube woodworking how to videos online.

…Your comments are welcomed…

The Apprentice and The Journeyman University


Card Scraper for Wood Inlay Bandings

Card Scraper for a Smooth Surface

 

Card Scraper: An Inexpensive  Tool of Great Value

 

A card scraper is an inexpensive tool of flat steel. It is about the size of a index card and is used by the woodworker in the woodworking shop. The edges of this tool are polished and then a burnisher is used at an angle to produce a burr. This burr actually forms a hook. To use the card scraper hold each end with your fingers while pressing forward with both thumbs. This will cause the card scraper to flex. Tilt the scraper forward slightly to begin scraping with the flexed portion of the scraper. One beauty of the card scraper is that the woodworker can utilize the full length of the hooked edge. When that edge dulls, simply flip the card over and use another sharp edge. Each of the two length will have two hooked edges.

The Card Scraper is Often Overlooked

 

Cosmati Picture Frames - Before Card Scraper UsageThis great hand tool is often overlooked and yet it can help one to produce excellent results for one’s woodworking projects. It takes just a little time to understand how the card scraper is sharpened. However, once you learn how to sharpen one you will be well on your way. (The photo at left was taken prior to using a card scraper.)

 

 

Prepare for the Finish 

 

The card scraper can greatly assist the woodworker when preparing the woodworking project for finish. The card scraper will save one from a lot of heavy sanding to remove milling marks, excess glue squeeze out, and rasp marks. Many woodworkers will generally take a power sander with a heavy grit to remove these marks and then progress to finer grit sandpaper. However, a woodworker can eliminate a lot of the heavy sanding by using the card scraper.

 

A Card Scraper Offers Control

 

 Cosmati Picture Frames - After Card Scraper UsageIn the case of working with 3/32″ wood inlay bandings, a card scraper offers the woodworker a great deal of control. The scraper works well with wood segments of varying grain directions where tear out is a major concern. Some may be tempted to use hand planes, a planer, or power sander to level the wood surface. However, there is always the chance of bringing the surface too low thus ruining the wood inlay banding.  Try using a card scraper and then a finer grit sandpaper to prepare for your choice of wood finish. (The photo at the left was taken after using a card scraper.)

 

Watch more YouTube woodworking how to videos online.

…Your comments are welcomed…

The Apprentice and The Journeyman University


The Art of Wood Inlay Banding

The Art of Wood Inlay Banding

 

Cosmati Design - The Art of Wood Inlay BandingThe art of wood inlay banding is a lost art. While many people are thrilled to see furniture, jewelry boxes, and pictures frames adorned with wood inlay banding, the truth is, very few woodworkers know how to make their own decorative wood inlay banding. Yes, of course a woodworker can inlay a simple strip of contrasting wood to accent a wood project. However, the focus of this woodworking article is the art of wood inlay banding. So, let’s look at some examples of wood inlay banding made in the woodworking shop by fellow woodworkers.

 

Vincenzo shares The Art of Wood Inlay Banding 

 

 A Walnut Table  with Barber Pole Inlay Banding 

Walnut Table and drawer with banding inlays - The Art of Wood Inlay BandingsVincenzo is a very talented woodworker living in the beautiful Mediterranean town of Mazara del Vallo which is on the west coast of the island of Sicily. This artisan has shared with us a walnut table with drawer that features a beautiful inlay design known as barber pole wood inlay banding.  This terrific inlay banding consists of maple and rosewood segments. Check out the article A Sicilian Walnut Table with Decorative Wood Inlay Banding to learn more about the art of wood inlay banding.

 

A Veneered Coffee Table with Wood Inlay by Vincenzo

Wood veneer coffee table by VincenzoVincenzo also shares with us a terrific wood veneer coffee table that he has made in his workshop. You will notice the detailed matching of the veneer on this lovely table. Also, notice how your eyes are drawn to the design at the center of the table. There is an effective wood inlay banding of olive and walnut that frames the featured center design. The other woods that make up the coffee table are ash and chestnut.

 

 

Steve shares The Art of Wood Inlay Banding

 

A Decorative Display Case

Cabinet of Ships Brass barometer & clock - The Art of Wood InlaySteve from Cairns, Australia sent in a few photos of his woodworking projects featuring wood inlay banding. Like Vincenzo, Steve discovered the art of wood inlay banding. He has honed his skills of making wood inlay bandings in his woodworking shop to adorn some great woodworking projects. In the photo we can see that Wolf’s tooth inlay banding is featured near the crown and base of  this display case  of Queensland maple. Steve made this keepsake project for one of his customers and it houses a ship’s barometer and clock, both of brass. This outstanding cabinet is finished with a blend of tung oil and polyurethane.

 

Medicine Cabinet with Wolf’s Tooth Inlay Banding

Medicine Cabinet - The Art of Wood InlaySteve also submitted another great woodworking project. This is a medicine cabinet made of Queensland red cedar and Queensland maple. Notice the stylish Wolf’s Tooth wood inlay banding near the crown of the cabinet that Steve designed. The banding consist of  silver ash and New Guinea rosewood. This is another great example of a woodworker who has learned the art of wood inlay banding.

 Be sure to see Steve’s Shop Tour.

Many thanks for these great woodworkers for sharing their skills with us.

 

Watch more YouTube woodworking how to videos online.

…Your comments are welcomed…

 

The Apprentice and The Journeyman University


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