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Decorative Wood Inlay Pattern – Small Star

Decorative Wood Inlay Pattern – Small Star

The small star is a unique and decorative wood inlay pattern. Small stars of wood parquetry can be used to inlay furniture, embellish picture frames, and enhance jewelry boxes. Simply put, the small star can put the woodworker’s personal touch on a number of wood projects. So, watch the video, read the article, and learn how to inlay wood.


“A warrior seeks to act rather than talk.”

Carlos Castaneda …1925 – 1998…Peruvian – American anthropologist & author

The Band Saw & Cross Cut Sleds

Star Hardwood Veneers - Decorative Wood Inlay PatternThis woodworking video and article shows the fellow craftsman how to make 3/32″ hardwood veneers of the small star decorative wood inlay pattern. The band saw is the power tool of choice for this operation. You will learn woodworking techniques using the band saw crosscut sled and the 30 degree tilting band saw sled. These sleds are both original ideas developed by The Apprentice and The Journeyman. Woodworkers that choose to follow these techniques can work with confidence, safety, and accuracy. Also, you will also learn a top tip for woodworking using double stick tape to safely hold small wood pieces when cutting.


Setting up the Cuts

Band Saw Crosscut Sled - Decorative Wood Inlay PatternThe band saw table is tilted at 30 degrees. The runner of 30 degree band saw sled is slid into the miter gauge slot. You will notice that there is a stop block secured with a clamp along the sled’s fence. The stop block is adjusted away from the band saw blade to a distance that is equal to the thickness of the material being cut. For example, if the material is 1/4″ thick, then the stop block is set  at 1/4″ from the band saw blade.

A dial caliper is used to accurately determine the thickness of the material being cut. The dial caliper is also used when making test cuts to precisely determine the exact location of the clamped stop block. Take your time with these measurements. We want to be dead on. This measurement determines the diamond shape of our wood pieces to be cut. Use the dial caliper to measure the diamond in both directions as demonstrated in the video.


Cutting the Diamond Components

Band Saw crosscut sled - Decorative Wood Inlay PatternNow that the stop block is set, we can begin to create our decorative wood inlay pattern. It’s a simple process really. We want make sure that the 30 degree band saw sled is free of any sawdust.  We then make our first angled cut. Then we simply place the angled cut against the stop block and safely guide our material on the sled and through the blade. We then flip our material over, place it against the stop block, and slide the material through the blade again. We simply repeat this process to create the lengths of diamond components for our star.

When all the diamonds have been cut we want to remove any and all burrs. The video shows how this is done by using a 120 grit sanding belt wrapped around a wood block. Sanding all four sides of the diamond on the sanding block ensures that the diamond components remain flat without any burrs. This small step is important to our decorative wood inlay pattern. The wood components will align better during the glue up phase. This will also make a huge difference to the final appearance of our small star.

Gluing the Diamond Components

 Our next step is to glue our diamond components. To create our decorative wood inlay pattern, use a disposable glue brush to apply glue to two adjacent sides of the component. We will do this to six components. It is easiest to create two half stars (3 components for each half).

After the glue sets up a bit, apply glue to the flat back of each half component. Then join the two halves. This will create the our decorative wood inlay pattern, the small star.

Small star patterns clamped - Decorative Wood Inlay PatternHere’s an optional step. The outsides of the stars can then be wrapped with 6 components of a contrasting wood tone. Glue each component in place and then wrap it with a rubber band. Then wrap a piece of wire around the star and twist the wire with a pair of pliers. The wire serves as a clamp to ensure proper alignment of the decorative wood inlay pattern during the glue up.



Cleaning up the decorative Wood Inlay Pattern

When the glue has dried remove all the wires and rubber bands. Simply use the sanding block wrapped with a 120 grit sanding belt to freshen up the small stars. This step only takes a few minutes to remove any excess dried glue from each decorative wood inlay pattern.


Slicing Hardwood Veneers with the Band Saw Cross Cut Sled

Double stick tape used to cut small stars - Decorative Wood Inlay PatternFirst of all we adjust our stop block to 3/32″ from the saw kerf on the band saw crosscut sled. Use scrap material along with the dial caliper to measure this amount.  When we have the desired thickness of cut, it is then time to clamp our stop block in place.

We make sure to use double stick tape to securely hold our decorative wood inlay pattern to the end of a block when slicing the hardwood veneers. (Press the 2 square ends firmly together.) We use the same technique that is demonstrated in the woodworking video. This will assure us of maximizing our material without our fingers getting in the way.

Now it is time to just cut our stars of wood parquet veneers on the band saw. We just take our time and enjoy the process of this woodcraft.

Learn more about how to make Wood Inlay.


…Your questions & comments are welcomed…

The Apprentice and The Journeyman University

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