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February 23, 2017

33…Let’s Install Wood Inlay Bandings

Wood Inlay Bandings – How to Install

 

“Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night.”
Edgar Allan Poe…American Writer, Poet, Editor (1809-1849)

Cutting and Fitting the Wood Inlay Bandings

 

In this episode we are installing the decorative wood inlay bandings that we have created in the woodworking shop. The wood inlay bandings are going to be fit, cut, and installed into picture frames that are made from Cumala, a Peruvian wood. Since we are doing production work it is important to have a convenient setup and in this instance we have the band saw near the workbench. We are using the band saw miter sled to cut the miters of the wood inlay bandings. This allows for quick, accurate work. Once a miter is cut we simply turn around and touch up the miter on the sanding black to remove any possible edges. Then it is time to fit of the wood inlay banding. We simply work our way around the dado of the picture frame fitting the wood inlay bandings as we go.

 

Watch the video…Let’s Build a Bandsaw Miter Sled

Notice on the workbench we have raised our working level another 20″ by utilizing a portable shop made tool tote. This makes our wood project easier to see and it also makes it more comfortable on one’s back. On the floor between the workbench and the bandsaw we have anti-fatigue mats which add comfort for the feet especially when standing for long periods of time.

When cutting the wood inlay bandings on the band saw miter sled notice how we keep the bandsaw bearing guides low. This is for safety reasons and also eliminates deflection of the bandsaw blade to provide a good cut for the miter.

 

Gluing the Wood Inlay Bandings in Place

Once all the wood inlay bandings are fit into the picture frames it is a matter it is a matter of gluing the inlay into place and allowing it to dry. When dry the picture frames will travel through the open drum sander to level the top surfaces of the wood inlay bandings and the frames. We will closely look over our wood project and apply a final sanding as needed working our way to 320 grit sandpaper. Then it is time to apply our favorite wipe on wood finish.

 


The Apprentice and The Journeyman University

How to Make Spline Miter Joints

Spline Miter Joints

“Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.”
Goethe…(1749-1832) German writer, Polymath

 

The Beauty of Spline Miter Joints

 

Splined Miter Joints on a Picture Frame with Wood Inlay - Spline miter joints

Splined Miter Joints on a Picture Frame with Wood Inlay

Spline miter joints offers strength and elegance. It is a joint that wants to be seen and recognized unlike many other joints that serve a utilitarian purpose and are concealed. Often times spline miter joints are made of contrasting colored woods and that is this case of the species chosen for the joinery of this arts and crafts style picture frame selected for this posting. The frame is made from a Camala, a light toned wood from Peru and the spline miter joints for the joinery is cut from black walnut.

 

To create the spline miter joints we use a shop made spline miter jig that is simply made from scrap plywood in the woodworking shop. The jig has a 90 degree cradle that seats the picture frame and is held in place with a spring clamp. When cutting spline miter joints a flat tooth saw blade is used so that the walnut spline will fit into the saw kerf without any exposed gaps present. In this instance a 1/8″ dado blade is chosen for the task.

 

Watch how to: Make Picture Frames with the Dedicated Miter Sled for the Table Saw

 

Location of the Spline Miter Joints

 

It is a good idea to determine the location we want for our spline miter joints to be cut on the picture frame. Once this placement is made we can simply clamp a piece of scrap into the jig and to make a test cut. We will need to adjust the rip fence in or out as we will be sliding the miter jig alongside of it. Also, we need to set the saw blade height as this will represent the depth of the cut for the spline. Once these settings are adjusted it is simply a matter of carefully making a pass through the blade and then repositioning the picture frame for the next miter to be cut.

 

Learn: How to Make Perfect Miter Joints

 

Once all the cuts have been made for the spline miter joints, we can focus our attention on making the spline material. In this case it is 1/8″. Start by ripping the spline a bit wider than the depth of the miter cut and then dimension the material equal to the width of the joints’ saw kerf. Once we achieve the proper thickness for our splines it is time to cut enough triangular pieces for all joints. This is performed by using the dedicated miter sled for the band saw. It makes for quick work and it is very safe especially for working with smaller sized material.

 

Gluing the Spline Miter Joints

 

When all the splines are cut we simply brush white glue onto the spline and press the spline into the saw kerf. Now, it is just a matter of repeating this procedure for all the joints. At this point allow for the glue to set at least an hour before sanding the excess of the splines at the disc sander. (Be careful to just remove the excess of the splines and avoid sanding into the frame. Notice how the miter gauge was used to control the sanding.) When all the spline miter joints are finished with sanding at the disc sander we can then use a block sander to detail the joints in preparation for applying one of my favorite wood finishes.

 


The Apprentice and The Journeyman University

 

How to Make Picture Frames with the Table Saw Miter Sled

Picture Frames Made with a Miter Sled

 

“Learning never exhausts the mind.”
Leonardo da Vinci…(1452-1519) Architect, musician, anatomist, inventor, engineer, sculptor, and painter.

Picture Frames made in the Wood Shop

Making picture frames in the woodworking shop is fun especially when we have a system in which to work. In this case we are making the picture frames from picture moulding that was made on the router table and also on the table saw using dado blades. The dado on the moulding will house the decorative wood inlay that we have previously created in the workshop. (It is nearing the Christmas Holidays at the time of this writing and we have quite a few gifts to make.)

Cutting miter joints for picture frames

Cutting miter joints for picture frames

 

Picture Frames made in Production

 The picture frames that we are making have mitered corners so we are using the dedicated miter sled for the table saw. The sled is set up to cut perfect miter joints and this will allow us to go into production mode as we are building 12 picture frames at this time. Each of the picture frames will display pictures that are 5″ x 7″. The picture moulding is of a Peruvian wood called Camala.

 

The System of making Picture Frames

1.) Using the crosscut sled…Crosscut the moulding lengths slightly oversized.

2.) Divide the lengths into two separate piles (if the sides and top/bottom of the frame are unequal.)

3.) Using the dedicated miter sled… Cut a right miter on all moulding members.

4.) Determine the actual length needed for the sides, use a stop block to control the cut length, and cut the opposite miter.

5.) Determine the actual length need for the top/bottom, use a stop block to control the cut length, and cut the opposite miter.

6.) At the workbench… Assemble the frames by fitting, gluing, and using spring clamps to secure the miter joints in place.

 

Having a dedicated miter sled enables us to create wood projects that have miters with dead-on accuracy. Using the above system with the miter sled allows for production work that is quick and efficient. Appreciate the process and enjoy the results!

 


The Apprentice and The Journeyman University

How to Make Perfect Miter Joints

Making Perfect Miter Joints

 

“You have to expect things of yourself before you can do them.”
Michael Jordan…(1963- )Former American professional basketball player, businessman.

There’s something nice about seeing wood joinery that is well done. It’s a if the craftsman is making a statement about his knowledge of the trade, his set of skills, and his pride in craftsmanship. When you see miter  joints that are clean and tight the craftsman is sending a message that he knows what he is doing because he is well practiced and he cares about his craft. It can simply be seen in his work.

It could be said that miter joints are definitely one of the most common joints in woodworking or carpentry. This is a joint that we are taught early on in our apprenticeships because we will be cutting miters throughout our entire career. As an apprentice it sounds simple enough to just cut a left 45 and a right 45 and glue then together to form a 90. If it were so simple then why are there open miter joints? Let’s take a look at how we can make perfect miter joints.

Perfect Miter Joint Technique

 

In this article I will share with you the best method I know to make miter joints in the workshop. My technique for cutting miter joints is using a dedicated miter sled on the table saw. The sled is simple to build and it does not cost much to build it. In fact it can be made within an hour from scrap material in the shop. Once it is built it can serve the craftsman for a long time. The miter sled if built correctly offers unparalleled accuracy. The sled can easily be set up to do production work. With a good miter sled and a sharp saw blade one can cut perfect miter joints for a picture frames that are ready to glue. Simply put the miter sled is a joy to use.

 

Watch this video…Building a dedicated Miter Sled for the tablesaw

As you can see from the photos the woodworker is making quite a few picture frames. (These wood projects are Christmas gifts in the works.) Notice the stop blocks in the pictures. The location of the stop blocks control the lengths for parts of the picture frames and by having these stop blocks in place the woodworker is able to precisely cut uniform lengths repetitively. This allows for production woodworking as all the parts can be cut accurately and efficiently. Once all the lengths are cut it is just a matter of fitting and gluing the miter joints together.

 

Perfect Miter Joints & Ulmia Spring Clamps

 

When it comes to gluing the miter joints I highly recommend using Ulmia spring clamps. These clamps allow you to properly align the miter joint and then secure it. Once clamped the miter joints will not move. Of course there are different size spring clamps for different size miter joints. My spring clamps have been with me for over 30 years and they have clamped a lot of miters. The clamps are truly worth their weight in gold. If you have yet to experience these clamps you will quickly understand when you use them for the first time. When you decide to purchase spring clamps make sure to buy enough because when you go into production mode you will be doing a lot of clamping. Keep in mind that mitering with these clamps goes quickly.

 

Working with a dedicated miter sled and spring clamps is quick, efficient, and accurate. By following this route you will see your skills and miter joints improve. When finished you can also take pride in the craftsmanship of your work for a job well done.

 

A video for mitering smaller material…Let’s Build a Bandsaw Miter Sled



 

The Apprentice and The Journeyman University

 

Thin Strips of Wood Inlay on the Band Saw

Wood Inlay Strips Cut on the Band Saw

 

“Do something wonderful, people may imitate it.”
Albert Schweitzer… (1875-1965) Humanitarian, Theologian, Missionary, Medical Doctor

The Importance of  Thin, Uniform Wood Inlay Strips

 

It’s important to be able to cut thin wood inlay strips. One of the challenges in making bandings of wood inlay is maximizing the material. We certainly do not want to cut the wood inlay banding too thick or too thin as either would be wasteful of our decorative inlay that we took the time to make. We also want to be able to cut the wood inlay to a uniform thickness. Cutting wood inlay bandings to an equal thickness is a sign that we are on the right track to maximizing our material. So, just how do we get the right thickness of uniform thin wood inlay strips?

Wood Inlay Bandings in Picture Frames

Wood Inlay Bandings in Picture Frames

Why Cut Thin Wood Inlay Strips on the Band Saw?

The woodworking video shows how ripping thin strips of wood inlay can be done on the band saw. The band saw is chosen because the woodworker in the video found it safer cutting on the band saw than the table saw. Also, the saw kerf of the band saw blade is narrower than that of a table saw blade. So, by cutting the wood inlay on the band saw there is a higher yield of bandings.

 

In the wood inlay video the woodworker has set up a thin rip jig with a ball bearing along with a shop made band saw rip fence. This band saw rip fence allows for the bearings and guide assembly of the band saw to be set to a height just above the material to be cut. Also, you will notice that this rip fence allows more room for the left hand of the woodworker than the manufacturer’s rip fence allows. These are two critical safety reasons in and of themselves.

 

The setup of the fence and rip jig controls the movement of the material being pushed through the band saw blade. The only movement is forward as there is no lateral movement of the material.

 

The following two things need to be achieved in order to maintain uniform thickness of the wood inlay bandings:
1.) The fence needs to be set parallel to the “drift” of the band saw blade.
2.) The material being ripped needs to be properly dimensioned, paralleled, and squared.

 

Recommendation…Take a piece of scrap material and test cut the piece and then check with a digital or dial caliper for uniform thickness. Make adjustments as necessary to properly set the fence to the “drift.”

Dial caliper measures wood inlay banding

Dial caliper measures wood inlay banding

A Technique for Ripping Wood Inlay Banding

Once the fence is correctly set for the “drift” we can adjust for thickness of cut. This is just a matter of setting the bearing of the thin rip jig to a distance out from the band saw blade. This should be equal to our desired thickness of the wood inlay bandings. Take a piece of scrap material to test the cut for the desired thickness and adjust the thin rip jig as necessary. When we have the correct thickness then we will slide the bearing about an inch or so before the band saw blade. Now, lock the rip jig securely in place.

 

Now that we have accounted for the drift and have the thickness that we want it is time to set our material against the bearing. Now place the band saw rip fence alongside the wood inlay to be cut. Lock the fence, turn on the power, and take the first cut. After each cut simply repeat the process. If this process is followed the material cut will be of uniform thickness and we will have maximized our material. The woodworking video simply reveals this process of ripping uniform thin strips of wood inlay banding.

 

Related Videos and articles:
…..Creating Picture Frame Moulding
…..How to Make Picture Frames with Wood Inlay

 



The Apprentice and The Journeyman University

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