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Wood Inlay Banding – Diamond Pattern

Wood Inlay Banding – The Diamond Pattern


Wood Inlay Banding - Diamond PatternThe diamond pattern is a decorative wood inlay banding. It is a striking custom inlay used to embellish furniture, adorn jewelry boxes, and beautify picture frames. Yes of course, many woodworking projects can be enhanced by adding these wooden inlays. Yet, how does a woodworker go about making the diamond pattern wood inlay banding in the workshop? What power tools are used for making inlay banding? Follow along as we focus on the diamond pattern to answer these questions. Learn how to make wood inlay banding using woodworking techniques developed by The Apprentice and The Journeyman.

Download the diamond pattern wood inlay banding at the Trimble 3D Warehouse, formerly known as Sketchup. (Google account necessary.)


The  Design of the Diamond Pattern

Diamonds & Triangles - Wood Inlay Banding - Diamond Pattern This wood inlay banding has two core components. One component is the diamond and the other is the triangle. For simplicity, the diamond pattern for this featured wood inlay banding is being referred to as 60 degrees. (The angles of the wood segment are actually 60, 60, 120, 120 to add up to a total of 360.) The triangle component is has two 30 degree angles plus a 120 degree angle. The height of the diamond is exactly twice the height of the triangle.

Each side of the wood inlay banding has a pair of veneers that are of 1/16″ thickness.  Notice how the various components of the wood inlay banding are of contrasting wood tones.


Preparing Materials for the Diamond Pattern

 (Again for simplicity, the woods in this example will be referred to as maple and cherry. The diamonds are the maple and the triangles cherry. The outer veneers consist of both maple and cherry hardwoods.)

The dimensions of our material to begin our wood inlay banding project are as follows:

Maple – 3/4″ x 2″ x 14″

Cherry – 3/8″ x 2″ x 14″

Measure the thickness using a dial caliper. It is critically important that material for the triangles is half the thickness of the diamond’s material.


Cutting the Diamond Segments

60 Degree Tilting Band Saw Sled - Wood Inlay Banding - Diamond PatternThe diamond segments of maple are cut on the band saw using a 60 degree tilting band saw sled. This sled is a shop built cross cut sled with the band saw table adjusted to 30 degrees. Cut the end of a stop block to this angle.  The measurement for the diamond segment in our example is 3/4″. Make test cuts with scrap to achieve the 3/4″ measurement and the correct position of the stop block. Use the dial caliper to measure a test segment.  From the end view the segment should appear as a perfect diamond shape. Measure across the segment in both directions. When we have  the 3/4″ dimension in both directions, we are good to go. Position the stop block to the sled’s fence and clamp it securely.

Diamond Segment - Wood inlay Banding - Diamond PatternWhen cutting the segments for the wood inlay banding make sure that the crosscut sled is free of any sawdust. Take time to properly place the material being cut against the stop block. Allow the band saw blade to make its cut through the material. Repeat and enjoy the process. All of the diamond segments should be identical to one another. For organization, place all diamond segments in a container.

 Cutting the Triangles

30 Degree Sled - Wood Inlay banding - Diamond PatternThe triangles are also cut on the band saw. The table of the band saw is set to 0 degrees. A horizontal cross cut sled is used in this operation. The fences of the sled are 30 degrees to the band saw blade. A quick release horizontal toggle clamp is used to secure a stop block for the cut. We will make our cuts from one side of the V shaped fence. (Refer to the picture.) 


Triangle Segment - Wood inlay Banding - Diamond PatternKeep this thought in mind. The triangle sides have to be an exact match to the sides of the diamond. The 3/8″ height of the triangle is half of the diamond 3/4″ height. This is critical for an exact fit for our diamond pattern. Also important is that the triangle length is equal to the diamond’s length. Use a dial caliper to ensure the accuracy of these measurements.



Stop Block on 30 Degree Sled - Wood Inlay banding - Diamond PatternTo obtain the correct triangle segment, the stop block must be adjusted. Make test cuts using the same thickness of material. Place the material against the fence and slide it just past the saw kerf. Make a fresh cut. Now, flip the material over, adjust for length of cut, and clamp the stop block into place. Make test cuts to determine the desired triangle segment length. Measure the length of the segment using the dial caliper. When the correct length is made, simply flip the material over after each cut. This will produce a triangle segment that matches the diamond perfectly.


Note: Make a test cut to determine the quality of the cut. Use a sanding block with a 120 grit sanding belt wrapped around it to clean up the cut if necessary. Also, make a test cut to determine how long of a segment can be cut accurately.



The Wood Inlay Banding Gluing Process

Aligning Traingles - Wood inlay Banding - Diamond PatternThe gluing system developed by the Apprentice and The Journeyman is designed for accuracy of the wood inlay banding. A flat plastic laminated surface is desirable. We want to be able to use the straight edges of the laminated surface and we want to be able to apply F clamps or parallel clamps.

Step 1. Clamp a straight  board parallel to  the edge of the laminated surface. The distance from the edge is equal to or greater than the segment lengths. Also, The straight board needs to be longer than the length of our banding log. (Prevent this board from being glued to the banding log. Cover the edge with blue painter’s tape,  plastic, or work fast during the glue up.)

All ends of the banding components will align with the edge of the clamped board.

Step 2. Apply blue tape with the adhesive side up where the first row of triangle segments are to be laid. Secure the blue tape in position. Use masking tape at each end of the blue tape.

Step 3. Use a combination square to set the first triangle segment. Lay the next triangle segments in position. Make sure the edges line up.

Note: Make a dry run before glue up. Be sure of the alignment of the diamond pattern.

Gluing - Wood inlay Banding - Diamond PatternStep 4. Use a disposable glue brush and apply white glue to the sides of a few triangles in the bottom row. Evenly apply glue to the two lower surfaces of a diamond segment. Lay and seat this segment into the glued valley of the triangle segments. continue this process along the length of the banding log.

Step 5. Glue the top triangles into the valleys created by the diamond segments. Brush glue on all angled surfaces equally.

Step 6. The core of the banding is now flat on the top and the bottom. Apply glue along the top surface and brush it out evenly. Apply glue to one side of the maple veneer and lay this side onto the top surface of the banding core. Glue the cherry veneer onto the maple veneer.

Step 7. Check to make sure all of the banding components are aligned against the clamped straight edge.

Clamping - Wood inlay Banding - Diamond PatternStep 8. Place a caul on the top of our banding log components. Apply even pressure with clamps along the length of the caul. Allow adequate time for the glue to set up.  This could be just a few hours depending on temperature and humidity.

Step 9. Remove the clamps and caul. Turn the banding log over and place along the clamped straight edged board. Clean off any tape and scrape off any excess glue.

Step 10. Apply glue to the new surface. Glue the maple veneer to the banding log’s surface. Now, glue the cherry veneer onto the maple veneer.

Step 11. Align all edges against the clamped straight edge. Clamp the caul using even pressure along the length of the banding log. Allow the glue to cure overnight. Remove the caul and the clamps the next day.

Prepare the Banding Log for Slicing

 Now it is time to clean up the banding log. We use a scraper to remove the excess glue. We then joint one edge of the banding log.


Slicing Wood Inlay Banding

The following is a band saw slicing technique developed by The Apprentice and The Journeyman. This method is for ripping thin uniform strips of veneer. The band saw fence is on the left of the saw blade, a Rockler Thin Rip Jig is secured in the miter gauge slot, and the material being cut is sandwiched between the fence and the jig. The jig has a roller bearing that the material rolls against as the cut is made.  The material is cut to the right of the bandsaw blade. After each pass, adjust the fence to the right so the material is again alongside the roller bearing.

This method ensures uniform cuts as the jig is always at a set distance from the band saw blade. The jointed edge of wood inlay banding log is always alongside the band saw fence.

Step 1. With the jointed edge of the banding log along to band saw fence, rip the opposite edge of the banding log off so that the log is parallel.

Step 2. Make test cuts on scrap material so that a slicing of 3/32″ is made.

Step 3. Rip the banding log into wood inlay bandings.

Note: The saw blade used to cut the diamond patter wood inlay banding is 1/2″, 3-4 tpi, skip tooth blade. It is known as The Wood Slicer.

The Apprentice and The Journeyman is influenced by the Buffard Freres… The 1926 Wood Inlay Banding Catalog. Follow along as these decorative wood inlay banding patterns are decoded. Watch as woodworking techniques and methods are developed to create these wonderful wood veneers of custom inlay.

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

Learn how to make Wood Inlay Bandings

Learn how to make Wood Inlay Bandings


Wood Inlay Bandings

Learn how to make wood inlay bandingsLearn how to make wood inlay bandings so that you can decorate your woodworking projects. There is something distinctively special about creating something in your woodworking shop with your own hands. For a lot of us, this is one of the main reasons we chose the craft of woodworking. It just feels good to use our learned skills to make something out of wood that is worthwhile. It even feels better when we can create our wood project and  then embellish it with our own shop-made decorative wood inlay bandings. So, let’s go into the details and learn how to make wood inlay bandings.

 “I can accept failure. Everyone fails at something. But, I can’t accept not trying.” …Michael Jordan

Maple, Walnut, Maple Lamination on the Tilted Bandsaw Miter SledWhen we learn how to make wood inlay bandings we find that it can be very beneficial to make wide banding logs. It really takes no more time and effort to make a wider log than a narrower banding log. As a result of creating the wider log, we will have plenty more decorative wood inlay bandings. For example, the inlay banding log shown in this posting will make about 32 lineal feet of decorative wood inlay bandings. This will work very well for a single large woodworking project or it could simply set the theme for related wood projects.


Walnut, Maple, Walnut Lamination at the Tilted Band Saw Miter SledTo make our wood inlay bandings on the band saw we need to start out with two lamination patterns. Notice how each lamination mirrors the other lamination. One is walnut, maple, and walnut while the sister lamination is maple, walnut, and maple. Keep in mind, it is critical that the dimensions of one pattern match the other pattern. (We use a dial caliper to ensure accuracy of the measurements.) Essentially, we are using the exact same techniques that we have used when we created “Wolf’s Tooth” wood inlay bandings.

The band saw serves as a safe, efficient, and accurate power tool for slicing our wood segments needed to create the wood inlay bandings. The table of the band saw is  set at 45 degrees  as the shopmade tilted band saw miter sled along with a stop-block is used for a controlled cut of the laminated wood segments.

Note: A general purpose 3/8″ x 4TPI bandsaw blade is being used for cutting banding segments.

Uniformly cut laminated wood segmentsNotice how the two lamination patterns match up and provide a contrast with one another in this photo. With this contrast we are creating a geometric pattern that catches the eye. As one can see, there is an alternating pattern of light and dark wood tones.




Seperate & organize the two lamination patterns.When all the wood segments are cut it is important to separate and organize them. This is critical as we want to make sure we have a uniform pattern free of any stray segments. Also, by laying out the wood segments ahead we have a good idea how long the outer laminations will need to be. (The tape measure in the photo reveals that the banding log will be 30″ long.)




Use a Combination Square to square up the first segment

Blue painter’s tape is used to help align the wood segments during the glue-up. It’s important to square up the first segment with a combination square and you’ll notice that the edges of the segments are also referenced off of the edge of the work table. We want to make sure that we have a good layout of the bottom row of segments before we start applying any glue. When we are satisfied with the layout of the bottom row we can then begin to apply our glue up while laying in the top row of segments.

Note: The bottom segments shown in this photo are the walnut, maple, walnut pattern. The top layer segment pattern is maple, walnut maple.

My preference of glue for for my wood inlay bandings is white glue. I like the fact that white glue gives me more time working time before it sets up. For me this is especially important as my workshop is in the desert where we typically have a low humidity and also can have very high temperatures. I also prefer the thinner viscosity of  white glue to that of yellow glue when working with inlay bandings. For long and wide surfaces, apply the glue from the glue bottle and then use a scrap block as a trowel to distribute the glue. However, acid brushes work very well to spread an even coat of glue onto the individual banding segments.

Gluing & applying the Outer Veneers A contrasting wood is chosen for the outer veneers.  Apply an even coating of glue to both the outer veneer and the surface of the glued up segment package.





Blue painter's tape wrapped around the banding package.Note: During this glue-up the outer veneer will have a tendency to slide out of alignment with the segment package. Make sure that both components remain in alignment to one another by wrapping blue painters tape around the total glued-up as shown in the photo.




The Wood Inlay Banding package clamped during glue-upApply a caul to the top of the banding package and evenly distribute firm pressure with the clamps. Then, allow adequate time for the glue to cure.

When the glue of the wood inlay banding log is cured it is then time to remove the clamps and clean up the banding log of any excess glue. Hand scrapers come in very handy for this operation. After the dried glue is completely removed, then joint one edge. Then place the jointed edge against the fence of the table saw or band saw so that the opposite edge of banding log can be ripped and made parallel.

Learn more about making wood inlay bandings.

Ripping Thin Strips of Wood Inlay on the Band SawVideo

Let’s Install Wood Inlay BandingsVideo

Making Wood Inlay on the BandsawVideo

Wolf’s Tooth…a Decorative Wood Inlay Banding

Wolf’s Tooth Banding…a Two for One

The Apprentice and The Journeyman University

Checkered Wood Inlay Bandings

Checkered Wood Inlay Bandings

There is something special about seeing fine wood projects that are accented by decorative wood inlay bandings. As we well know, wooden inlays have been used by various cultures through the milleniums. As woodworkers we see on occasions wood projects such as furniture, picture frames, and jewelry boxes that are embellished with various wood inlay designs. It certainly is simple enough that one can can always purchase these inlay bandings from online woodworking supplies and have it delivered to the wood shop. However, for the most part the craft of creating wood inlay bandings has been lost. Let’s see what we can do to rediscover the lost art of making wood inlay bandings. Our focus in this article is checkered wood inlay bandings made in the shop.

Band Saw Sled for Wood Inlay Bandings - Decorative Wood Inlay - Wooden Inlay Patterns

Checkered Wood Inlay Bandings - Decorative Wood Inlay - Wooden Inlay Patterns

Checkered Wood Inlay Bandings - Decorative Wood Inlay - Wooden Inlay Patterns

Checkered Wood Inlay Bandings - Decorative Wood Inlay - Wooden Inlay Patterns

Checkered Wood Inlay Bandings - Decorative Wood Inlay - Wooden Inlay Patterns

Band Saw Sled for Wood Inlay Bandings - Decorative Wood Inlay - Wooden Inlay Patterns

A Sicilian Walnut Table with Decorative Wood Inlay Banding

“Beauty awakens the soul to act.”
Dante Alighieri…Italian author and poet (1265-1321)

This beautiful and elegant table was recently built in the woodworking shop of a Italian craftsman. Vincenzo, our woodworking friend lives in the beautiful Mediterranean town of Mazara del Vallo which is on the west coast of the island of Sicily. Vincenzo sent pictures of his build that is quite inspiring. His table is made of wonderfully grained walnut and has shop made decorative wood inlay bandings of maple and rosewood. The wood finish consists of six coats of shellac and buffings of wax that bring about a gloss finish.

Vincenzo contacted me towards the end of 2010 after viewing the post, Creating your own Wood Inlay Bandings…The Secrets Revealed. It was at this time that Vincenzo asked if I would consider filming a video of this wood inlay banding pattern. At my Italian friend’s request the video tutorial was filmed and the creation of this banding pattern was documented.
Recommended Video:
Wood Inlay Banding – How to Make Barber Pole Banding

The inlay banding for Vincenzo’s table was built using the band saw along with a shop built tilting band saw miter sled. This was the same technique that was used in the video. As one can see in the photos the inlay segments are all of equal length and have uniform angles that make for nice, tight joints of the banding pattern. The photos also indicate how well the width of the inlaid wood bandings fit into the routed out recesses. It is easy to see that great thought and care were used when making the wooden inlays. Along this same line, keen woodworking skills and patience were employed when the furniture inlays were applied to this exquisite piece of furniture.

Recommended Video:
Tilting Bandsaw Miter Sled

A few things to note:
1.) Check out the classically detailed edging of the cove and bead moulding combination around the tabletop.
2.) Take a look at the table legs which are simply elegant. The legs are tapered, squared to accept the rails, and have a distinctive dado which defines the separation from the square to the taper. There is even a bead element included at the dado relief. This is a very well thought out design!
3.) A front drawer is also included. Notice how the ornamental wood inlay banding design is laid out on the drawer’s face. There is a nice even margin of walnut along the edge of the drawer that is equal to the banding’s width.
4.) The front drawer is constructed with dovetail joinery.

Vincenzo…Thank you for sharing your finished product with all of us as it is very inspiring. Your wonderful wood inlay bandings provide a lovely accent for a finely crafted table that will surely be an heirloom. Great job!

Check out these Wood Inlay Banding Designs:
Buffard Freres…The 1926 Wood Inlay Banding Catalog

The Apprentice and The Journeyman University

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