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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

Wood Patterns for Inlay Bandings

Wood Patterns for Inlay Bandings

Cosmati wood pattern for wood inlay bandingWood patterns for inlay banding are varied. That’s one of the pleasures of making wood inlay banding. There are so many wood patterns to from which to choose. There are also so many wood choices to choose from when creating a wood pattern for inlay banding.



Learn How to Make Wood Patterns for Inlay Banding


Diamond wood inlay banding - wood patternsWhile there is very little information available on how to make your own wood inlay banding, it can still be accomplished by the woodworker in his or her workshop. How? If you follow along and I will show you how. These woodworking methods and techniques have been conceived of and developed by The Apprentice and The Journeyman in order to resurrect the lost art of making wood inlay banding in the workshop. We will work with simple wood patterns of inlay banding as well as complex wood patterns. There is something for all skill levels of woodworkers to enjoy.


Woodworking Methods to Create Designs in Wood


Diamond Wood Inlay Banding - SketchUp Wood PatternsMost woodworkers have a natural tendency to work with the table saw. However, when cutting wood segments my recommendation is to cut them on the band saw. Why? It’s safer. The small wood segments can fly off of a spinning table saw blade and often times it can be very difficult small segments accurately with the table saw. Can wood patterns for inlay banding be cut on the table saw? Yes, of course. However, many great wood patterns can be cut more safely on the band saw and that is our focus here.


Free Wood Patterns to Make Inlay Bandings


Free wood patterns for making wood inlay bandings can be found at the SketchUp Warehouse. (You’ll need a google account which is also free.) Search for wood inlay bandings and you will find the wood patterns that The Apprentice and Journeyman is sharing with you. There are variety of wood patterns to get you started. Keep in mind that there is no end grain showing on any of the inlay bandings. It is all face grain or side grain.



Related Wood Inlay Banding Articles & Woodworking Videos:

Woodworking How to – Make Diamond Wood Inlay Banding

Wood Inlay Banding – How to Make the Square Pattern

Wood Inlay Banding – How to Make Barber Pole Banding

Checkered Wood Inlay Banding


Watch more YouTube woodworking how to videos online.

…Your comments are welcomed…

The Apprentice and The Journeyman University

Using Push Sticks for Safe Woodworking

Push Sticks –  Develop a Safe Habit


Push Sticks- Push Blocks - Work Safety - Health & SafetyPush sticks are essential woodworking accessories. If a woodworker is going to work with power tools like a table saw, band saw, jointer, or router table, it is an excellent idea to have a variety of push sticks on hand. (Under the general heading of “push sticks” are included push blocks and featherboards as well.) Push sticks are used to keep the woodworker’s hands away from moving saw blades, router bits, and jointer knives during woodworking operations. The wood material being cut or shaped is controlled and guided with the aid of one of more push sticks.

Push Sticks – A Woodworker’s Choice

The intent of this woodworking article and YouTube video is not to serve as a public service announce regarding safety. This article and video are also not intended as a safety guide for all woodworkers to follow. However, the individual woodworker can consider this article and video as a reminder to stop, take your time, and think about what he or she doing when working with power tools. Woodworking safety is an individual’s responsibility.


Why use a Push Stick? 

Push sticks and push blocks are woodworking accessories that are used to control material as it is being cut, jointed or shaped.  These safety devices allow for a safe distance between the woodworker’s hands and a spinning saw blade or router bit. Simply put, it’s better to have the accessory nicked that a woodworker’s fingers and hands.

Push Sticks & Hands on Training

Push sticks are part of any quality training course when the use of power tools are discussed. The woodworking instructor will demonstrate how and why the various push sticks are used before any of the stationary power tools are even turned on. If you are a beginning woodworker, it is a good idea to seek out a competent woodworking instructor so that you can learn the basic skills of the wood craft. A great instructor will show you how to work safe.  It’s just a very good idea to get some hands on experience and some safety training.


How to Get Push Sticks & Push Blocks

Push sticks are available from online stores like Woodcraft and Rockler. The are plenty of choices of push sticks and push blocks available for the woodworker. Also, it is quite easy to make these woodworking accessories in your own work shop. Be sure to have the push sticks close at hand for each of your stationary power tools. Remember, using push sticks and push blocks is a skill and a habit that we develop when we are new to woodworking. It is also a skill and a habit that we maintain throughout our entire woodworking career.


Push Sticks & Work Safety 

Many of us have different levels of woodworking experience. Decide for yourself what your work safety standards are for your skill level. It is your health and safety. Remember to stop, take your time, and think for yourself. Too often accidents happen when a woodworker gets in a hurry. If you aren’t already, consider using push sticks, push blocks, and featherboards.


Watch more YouTube woodworking how to videos online.

…Your comments are welcomed…

The Apprentice and The Journeyman University

Wooden Patterns for Parquetry

Creating Wooden Patterns for Parquetry

Small wooden patterns of geometric design can be safely cut on the band saw. This post shares with you a few woodworking ideas that will enable you to create some wonderful parquetry for your wood projects using a bandsaw crosscut sled. The wooden patterns shown are made from hardwoods leftover from various wood projects. It’s a great way to utilize scrap material!

Wooden Patterns for Parquetry - 60 Degree DiamondsThe  lozenges  are diamond segments that are cut using the 60 degree band saw sled. A stop block is set up and clamped to to the sled’s fence to ensure uniform segments. Keep in my that all four lengths of the lozenge must be of equal length. A few test cuts with scrap material measured with a dial caliper will guarantee the correct length. Check that the sides are equal to one another. Another way to check is to measure across the lozenge in both directions. These dimensions are to be equal to one another.


Wooden Patterns for Parquetry - 60 Degree Band Saw SledOnce you begin to cut the lozenges, you will start to experiment with various hardwoods. It’s only natural to rearrange the diamond shaped wood segments. You will mix in various wood tones to create a number of wooden patterns. Play with it. Before long you will see 3 dimensional wooden cubes appear.



Wooden patterns for parquetry - 60 Degree Band Saw SledThe star wooden pattern is a simple matter of having six lozenges. In this case three are of maple while the other three lozenges are walnut. To glue this wood design just brush on the glue with a disposable glue brush, check for alignment, and wrap a rubber band around it to serve as its clamp. Once the glue sets, it will be plenty strong.


 Hardwood veneers of these various wooden patterns can be sliced on the band saw using the techniques that are shown to you in the accompanying woodworking video. Just use a longer block of wood and attach double stick tape. Attach the wood pattern to the tape. Set up the Rockler thin rip jig to the desired thickness of the veneer that you want. (3/32″ is my preference.) Adjust the band saw fence and you are ready to slice veneers.

…Your comments are welcomed…


The Apprentice and The Journeyman University

Wood Inlay Banding – How to Make the Square Pattern

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?

Square Wood Inlay Banding - Veneer strips of wood inlay bandingThe 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.


Square Wood Inlay Banding PatternTo 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

Square Wood Inlay Banding - Segment for wood inlay banding1.) 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

Square Wood Inlay Banding measured with a Dial Caliper1.) Watch the following woodworking video.

How to cut uniform thin strips.


…Your thoughts are welcomed…


More Wood Inlay Banding Videos: Learn how to inlay wood and to make other wood inlay banding patterns.

Wood Inlay Banding – How to Make Barber Pole Banding

Creating bandings for wood inlay

Learn How to Make Wood Inlay Bandings

Wood Inlay…the Bandings are ready

The Apprentice and The Journeyman University

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