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October 24, 2014

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.

 

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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

 

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How to Make Picture Frames with Wood Inlay

Make Picture Frames with Wood Inlay

 

The Problem…
When you want to apply quality wood inlay to to make picture frames, where will you get it? What designs will you get? How much will you have to pay for it?

 

The Solution…
We use our woodworking skills. We also make picture frames with our own shop made wood inlay.  (We will make  picture frames too with shop made mouldings!)

 

Make Picture Frames that are Decorative

 

In this post we sharing how to make picture frames with wood inlay. As you seen in previous postings we have been busy creating bandings of shop made wood inlay. There are a variety of wood inlay designs now available for our use at this time. So now we are in the process of creating picture frame moulding that has a dado which will house the wood inlays. The picture frame moulding was created on the tablesaw and on the router table using a 3/4″ round over bit with a ball bearing guide.

 

The gallery of pictures reveal the set up to make mouldings for picture frames on the table saw and for the band saw. (The router table was set up with the fence and featherboards as well.)

Make Picture Frames with Shop Made Bandings

 

All the wood inlay bandings are cut to a uniform thickness of just a hair over 1/16″ as measured by a dial caliper. The set up that you see allows for control of this uniform thickness. The shop made bandsaw rip fence has been adjusted for band saw blade “drift” and the Rockler thin rip table saw jig with a roller bearing is set to the desired thickness for the wood inlay bandings. Note: The jig remains stationary for this operation and the rip fence is adjusted before each rip cut is made. Simply slide the material over against the bearing on the right and then slide the rip fence alongside the left side of the material to be ripped. This technique works wonderfully. 1.) Maximize the material as there is very, very little waste! 2.)All ripped bandings are of uniform thickness!

 

The pictures of the table saw operation reveal a sacrificial fence for the dado blade. Notice how the featherboards control how the material will be maintained during the cut. The is no upward or lateral movement. The only direction for the wood is forward. (This is also applies to the band saw ripping technique…just one direction of movement…forward!)

 

We can also see the variety of wood inlays in the dados of the picture frame moulding. It’s nice to have a variety of choices to make picture frames. (The mouldings are made from a tropical wood called Cumala.)

 

Recommended Videos…Cutting Thin Strips on the Band Saw

Making Wood Inlay on the Bandsaw

Check out exquisite wood inlay designsBuffard Freres…The 1926 Wood Inlay Banding Catalog

 

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Buffard Freres…The 1926 Wood Inlay Banding Catalog

Wood Inlay Banding of the Buffard Freres

“Never underestimate the power of a single thought.”
Ender…(1966 – ) Salesman and Friend

Buffard Freres wood inlay page10_01...1134...1144

Page 10 of the Buffard Freres wood inlay catalog…1134…1144

I first learned of the Buffard Freres and their creative wood inlay banding through the Finewoodworking.com article entitled Inlay Banding and Buffard Freres. The wonderful and informative article was written by Joseph McDermott. The original postings of this article can be found on Joseph’s site, Fine Fettling. It is here that Joseph relates the finding of a 1926 Buffard Freres trade catalog which contains hundreds of their art deco wood inlay banding patterns.

Decorative Wood Inlay Banding

 

When I first saw the beautiful wood inlay banding of the Buffard Freres,  I felt excitement. The desire to learn was similar to what I first felt when serving my woodworking apprenticeship. Obviously, these wood inlay banding patterns are so remarkably unique. I thought to myself that these are truly great designs of highly trained craftsman who took the craft of woodworking to a much higher level. The Buffard Freres offered so many exquisite wood inlay designs from which to choose. Then another thought came over me. How are these designs actually created in the woodworking shop?

Suddenly, these wonderful wood inlay bandings became like puzzles to me. It’s as if these works of art were calling and teasing the woodworker in me to figure out how they could be accurately reproduced in the woodworking shop. Needless to say, I have scratched my head a few times along this journey and I feel like I am only at the beginning.

 

Decoding Wood Inlay Banding

Since many of the wood inlay banding patterns shown on page 10 of the Buffard Freres catalog appear quite complex I thought it would best to start figuring out the process of how some of the simpler bandings could be duplicated.

Bandings 1134 – 1145 are pictured and here is where I’ll begin my interpretation of the woodworking process that I have used in my attempts to recreate these bandings.

Picture frame with wood inlay

Picture frames with wood inlay

Note: Keep in mind that all of the exposed wood grain is either edge grain or side grain. In essence all end grain is concealed.

Bandings 1134 – 1141 are all similar in that all interior segment widths are crosscut and sandwiched between contrasting outer veneers. I interpret this group of bandings as being made using the same essential technique which is applying a horizontally grained segment next to a vertically grained segment within the banding core.

Dimensioning:
I’ll now use the design of 1140 as an example. Imagine that this wood inlay banding is about 10″ long, 3/8” tall, and is 4″ wide.

The Red Segment:
Let’s say that this segment is 1” long and 1/4″ tall. To make this segment I set up my crosscut sled for the bandsaw and clamp a stop block 1″ from the saw blade and make repetitive crosscuts from a strip that is 1/4″ x 10″ X 4”. (The grain runs along its length.)

The black and white segments:
Let’s say the white segments are 3/16″ long x 1/4″ tall x 4″ wide.

To achieve these segments…Dimension two veneers of the white material that are 3/16″ thick x 10″ long x 4″ wide. (These are the finished dimensions so add a little extra for the length and the width in the beginning. Maintain a thickness of 3/16″. The width and length will eventually be properly sized.) These two veneers will have the grain running along its length. Also, these white veneers will also sandwich the black segment to form a white/black/white segment.

Let’s say the black segments are 3/8″ long x 1/4″ tall x 4″ wide.

The finished dimension the black material will be 1/4″ thickness and 10″ long and 4″ wide. (Make the rough dimensions of the length and width a bit larger.) The grain will run along the length.) The black material will be sandwiched inside the outer layers of the white veneers.

Gluing the white and black segments:

We want the black strip inside of the two outer white veneers. Brush on white glue evenly across the interior surfaces and align all edges. Now use cauls and plastic to cover the outer white veneers. Clamp securely and allow for drying. When the sandwich is dry cut to a finish dimension of 3/4” thick x 10″ long x 4″ wide.

Wood inlay sandwich and segment

Wood inlay sandwich and segment

Crosscutting the white/black/white segments:

Use the band saw crosscut sled and clamp a stop block on the fence 1/4″ from the saw blade kerf. Make a test cut on scrap and use a caliper to make sure that this dimension is equal to the 1/4″ thickness of the red segments. Make adjustments to the stop block as necessary. When we have the dimension equal to the thickness of the red segment we can then make repetitive crosscuts to create the white/black/white segments.

The two Outer Veneers:

The finished dimensions will be 1/8″ x 10″ x 4″ with the grain running along the length. Slightly oversize the outer veneers for now. (Allow for a bit of error as the segments are fit and glued within the sandwich.) The finished dimensions will be cut after the entire banding sandwich is glued and dried.

 

Gluing the Wood Inlay Banding Together:
Let’s say the two outer veneers are 1/8″ thick x 10″ long X 4″ wide. Take the bottom outer veneer and evenly brush on a light coating of the slow setting white glue across its surface.
1.) Place a red segment on the glue at one end of the outer veneer. (The grains will run in the same direction.)
2.) Brush glue on the sides and bottom of the white/black/white segment and lightly press it against the red segment. (The grain of the vertical white/black/white segment will be perpendicular to the grain of the horizontal red segment. The end grain of the red segment will be glued to the face grain of the white segment.)
3.) Spread glue on the two end grained sides and bottom of the red segment and align it alongside of the white/black/white segment.
4.) Repeat the process for the following segments and end with a segment that is opposite of the starting segment.
(By having opposite segments at the end this will allow us to add continuous bandings strips and maintain the same pattern.)
5.) Once all segments are glued in place on the bottom outer veneer apply a coating of glue on top of all segments and brush on a coating of glue to the top outer veneer. Place the top outer veneer onto the segments to complete the banding sandwich.
6.) Make sure the segments are in alignment. The next step is clamping the wood sandwich. Make sure that you have plastic between the sandwich and the cauls.
7.) When the sandwich is dry it is time the cut it to the finish dimensions of 3/8″ x 10″ x 4″.
8.) Strips of banding can be ripped to 3/32″ on the band saw when our projects call for them.

More Articles and Videos…

Making Wood Inlay on the Bandsaw

The Band Saw Sleds:

1.) The Bandsaw Crosscut Sled
2.) The Dedicated Band Saw Miter Sled
3.) The Tilting Miter Sled for the Band Saw

Also important…The Bandsaw Rip Fence for Cutting Thin Strips

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Making Wood Inlay on the Bandsaw

When a woodworker searches the web to learn how to make wood inlay bandings there is little information to be found. In fact there seems to be very little information about how the masters of wood inlay created the wonderful patterns that are sometimes seen on museum quality furniture. However, there are some patterns of wood inlay from the Buffard Freres that offer a glimpse into the world of classic wood inlay from Paris. After studying these inlay designs the urge hit me to figure out how to could duplicate some of these patterns. What I am learning of this “lost art” I will attempt to share with those interested.

When I first began making wood inlay bandings my tool of choice was the table saw. However, my work has evolved and now my band saw is getting a workout. I like working with the band saw for cutting wood inlay segments for a number of reasons.
1). I find it safer when working with smaller or narrower wood pieces.
2.) There is no chance of kickback on a band saw.
3.) The band saw offers a great deal of control when working with sleds and the band saw rip fence.

The Band Saw Sleds:

1.) The Bandsaw Crosscut Sled
2.) The Dedicated Band Saw Miter Sled
3.) The Tilting Miter Sled for the Band Saw

Also important…The Bandsaw Rip Fence for Cutting Thin Strips

The three sleds and the rip fence each take 10-15 minutes to make and they can be made from scrap material in the workshop. The sleds are highly accurate and efficient. Actually, I had not seen or heard of any band saw sleds before I thought of cutting wood inlay segments on the band saw. My band saw sleds are an original thought that I developed for the purpose of cutting wood inlay segments. The sleds have opened up a new dimension for my band saw work and it’s as if my band saw has suddenly been upgraded.

When preparing stock for wood inlay it is important that the material is dimensioned properly. The material being used needs to be flat and of uniform thickness. I use the open drum sander for this operation.

When using a sled I clamp a stop block to the fence so that segments are cut to a uniform width or length.

So far the segments for the wood inlay I have created have been cut at either 90 degrees or 45 degrees. For the 90 degree cuts I use the crosscut sled. When making 45 degree cuts I use either the dedicated miter sled or the tilting miter sled depending on the particular cut to be made. Keep in mind is that the bandings do not have exposed end grain. The wood grain shown is either edge grain or face grain.

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