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Diamond Wood Inlay Banding

 Diamond Wood Inlay Banding 


Part 2

Shop-made Wood Inlay Banding


Diamond wood inlay bandingWood inlay banding with the diamond pattern can be made in the woodworking shop. However, up to now there has been little if any information available on how to make wood inlay banding with the diamond pattern. (You can read all about making diamond wood inlay banding using techniques that I have developed and have written about in a previous article on this blog.) This pattern is very distinctive and can embellish a number of woodworking projects from picture frames, jewelry boxes, to a whole host of furniture pieces. It would work very well as an accent for a table top border. It could also be employed into a number of arts and crafts style pieces. How the diamond wood inlay banding is applied is simply up to the imagination of the woodworker.


Wood Inlay Strips of 3/32″


Diamond wood inlay banding picture frameWood inlay banding that is created in my shop is made to a uniform thickness of 3/32″. This operation is performed on the band saw. These veneer strips are then glued and inlaid into dadoes that are 1/16″ deep. I prefer to keep 1/32″ of the wood inlay banding above the project’s surface. Once the white glue cures, then the inlay banding can be leveled by scraping and sanding. The woodworker just needs to be careful so not to sand through the veneer.


Centering the Banding


Diamond wood inlay banding picture frameBe sure to give some thought to the layout of the diamond wood inlay banding prior to adding glue. For example, it is a good idea to center the wood inlay banding on every side of the picture frame. Doing so will give the wood inlay a symmetrical and pleasing appearance.




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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 Inlay Banding – How to Make Barber Pole Banding

Wood Inlay Banding – The Barber Pole Pattern


“I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.”
Michaelangelo…Italian Renaissance Painter, Sculptor, Architect, and Engineer (1475-1564)

Classic Wood Inlay Banding

A classic wood inlay banding pattern is the Barber Pole pattern. The core of the wood inlay banding package has a component of alternating wood tones that is cut on a 45 degree angle and is sandwiched by the top and bottom outer layers. The wood inlay banding pattern has a similarity to the fixture or sign that may be seen at the entrance of a barber’s shop.


Learn all about the details of How to create Barber Pole wood inlay banding.


Check out the Buffard Freres…The 1926 Wood Inlay Banding Catalog.


Video…Tilting Bandsaw Miter Sled


Vicenzo, an avid viewer from Palermo, Italy inquired about how to make Barber Pole wood inlay banding after the posting of  Creating your own Wood Inlay Bandings…The Secrets Revealed. At the time my friend Vicenzo requested a video of the techniques used to make wooden inlays of this banding pattern. So, here it is. Enjoy the wood craft of making decorative wood inlay banding!


Also, many thanks to the many other Italian woodworkers who are following and enjoying the wood inlay veneer tutorials. Grazie a voi i miei amici italiani. Ecco il rinascimento prossimo.

The Apprentice and The Journeyman University

Buffard Freres wood inlay bandings…1134-1141

“I went to a restaurant that serves “breakfast at any time”. So I ordered French Toast during the Renaissance.”
Steven Wright…American comedian,actor, and writer. (1955-)

Buffard Frere decorative wood inlay bandings 1134-1137

Buffard Frere decorative wood inlay bandings 1134-1137

We continue with our study of the decorative wood inlay bandings of the Buffard Freres of Paris. These wood inlay banding designs are from the company’s 1926 catalog.

We first take a look at bandings 1134-1137

This group of bandings have similarities in their design and construction. Each banding design has three components.

Buffard Frere decoraitve wood inlay bandings 1140-1141

Buffard Frere wood inlay bandings 1140-1141


The components:

1.) Outer Veneers…These components are the top and bottom members of the banding package. When the completed banding is inlaid in place the Outer Veneers are the defining lines on the outside edges of the banding. An Outer Veneer may be a single line of veneer or even multiple lines of veneer. The Outer Veneers whose grain runs along the length of the Package serves to hold the horizontal and vertical components together once glued.

2.) Horizontal Components…The Horizontal Components’ grain runs along the length of the Package. The component members are uniformly cross cut from a longer strip of wood. It’s thickness is equal to the height of the Vertical Component and it is also wider than the Vertical Component in this illustration.

3.) The Vertical Components…The Vertical Components each have three members that are glued to one another. Each Vertical Component is uniformly cross cut from a longer section that has two outside members and one interior member. The outside members have contrasting wood tones from that of the inside members. The grain direction of the Vertical Component is 90 degrees to the Horizontal Components’ grain direction. The height of this component is equal to the thickness of the Horizontal Component.

While bandings 1134-1137 are similar in design and in construction, we can easily see that the color combinations vary from one to the other along with the sizes of the components. This is the beauty of wood inlay bandings in that we can take one style of banding and make minor tweaks to arrive at a custom inlay banding that offers a unique appearance.
Recommended Video…Bandsaw Crosscut Sled
Recommended Video…Let’s Install Wood Inlay Bandings

Buffard Freres decorative wood inlay bandings 1138-1139

Buffard Freres decorative wood inlay bandings 1138-1139

Banding 1138…My belief is that that banding has two basic components.

1.) Outer Veneers…The Outer Veneers are the top and bottom members and has its wood grain running along the length of the banding Package.

2.) Vertical Components…These components are made from a length of two laminated strips of contrasting woods. Each individual strip is of a differing thickness. The Vertical Components are uniformly cross cut and placed vertically on the bottom Outer Veneer during gluing.

Banding 1139…It looks like this banding is made of three components. (Outer Veneers and two types of Vertical Components.)

1.) Outer Veneers…The Outer Veneers include the top and bottom members who grain runs along the length of the banding Package.

2.) Vertical Components…

a.) A dark square member with a yellow strip on each side. These laminated members were uniformly cross cut from a longer length.

b.) Alternating colors of black, red, black. These member were also uniformly cross cut from a length of laminating members.

Recommended Video… Ripping Thin Strips of Wood Inlay on the Band Saw

The Apprentice and The Journeyman University

Decorative Wood Inlay Bandings with Checkers…A Step by Step Process

Decorative Wood Inlay Bandings with Checkers

Decorative wood inlay bandings are something that woodworkers appreciate. However, there is very little available information on how to create decorative wood inlay bandings in the woodworking shop. Having been inspired by the works of the Buffard Freres, I would like to share with you the techniques used to create decorative wood inlay bandings that have worked for me. The following is one of the wood inlay banding tutorials that I have created for the purpose of sharing with you. It is specifically for woodworkers who desire to bring the lost art of creating decorative wood inlay bandings back to life. Please enjoy and freely share with a friend.

“Look at every path closely and deliberately, then ask ourselves this crucial question: Does this path have a heart? If it does, then the path is good. If it doesn’t then it is of no use to us.”
Carlos Castaneda…Peruvian-born American anthropologist and author…(1925-1998)

Decorative Wooden Inlay Bandings #2 with Checkers

Wood Inlay Banding #2 with Checkers

(This banding design will be referred to as Banding #2 for the sake of convenience.)

Decorative Wood Inlay Bandings #2 with checkers

Learn the wood craft of how to make decorative wooden inlay bandings in your woodworking shop. Make woodworking inlays for furniture, picture frames, jewelry boxes, and other wood projects.

Decorative wood inlay Bandings #2 with Checkers can easily be understood and made in the woodworking shop if we take a few minutes to understand the basic layout. The challenge of understanding this design becomes clearer when we are able to recognize the various components of the banding and isolate them. This banding has three essential components. We will call them Stripes, Checkers, and Outer Veneers.

Decorative Wood Inlay Bandings #2 w checkers- TheStripe


The Stripes:
1.) The Stripes consists of three strips of wood that are dimensioned equally to one another in length, width, and thickness. Of the three strips there are two of the same color with a contrasting color sandwiched in between. A long section of the Stripes is easily created by applying wood glue, using cauls, and clamping securely.

2.) The Stripes will be crosscut to their necessary lengths. (more information on this to come.)

Checker design for decorative wood inlay bandings


The Checkers:

1.) A Checker consist of three vertical sections. These sections are crosscut from two Stripes of the same design, but opposite color patterns. Let’s look a little closer at a Checker. The center vertical section is just like the main Stripe. (light woods on the top and bottom with a dark wood sandwiched in between.) This interior Checker member is crosscut to the thickness of one Stripe member.

2.) The left and right vertical members of the Checker are crosscut from opposite Stripes. Notice how the left and right vertical members consist of a dark member on the top and on the bottom with a light color in between. These members were crosscut from a Stripe which consists of dark wood for the top and bottom with an lighter colored wood sandwiched in between.

The Outer Veneers:

The Outer Veneers are simply dark strips (top & bottom)that serve to sandwich the Stripes and the Checkers. The Outer Veneers have the same width as the Stripes. The Outer Veneers cover the length of the Stripes plus the Checkers. The thickness of the Outer Veneers is based on the proportion that we think looks best.


We need to dimension both of our contrasting woods to the same width, length, and thickness. The woods will make up our Stripes and our Checkers.

We can dimension the Outer Veneers to our liking at this time also.

Note: All grain direction is to be along the length of the banding.

Buffard Freres...Stripes and Checkers Wood Inlay p10 - Decorative Wood Inlay Bandings

Buffard Freres…Stripes and Checkers Wood Inlay p10

Gluing Stripes and Checkers:

We need to create two opposite Stripes. One Stripe will have a two light members on the top and bottom with a dark member at the interior. The opposite Stripe will have two dark members on the top and bottom with a light member at the interior.

Create each Stripe by brushing on equal amounts of glue. Use cauls and clamp securely. When the glue has completely set it is time to clean up each stripe by removing any excess glue. Joint an edge of of each Stripe and them make the opposite edge parallel by ripping it on the table saw or bandsaw.

We create the Checkers by crosscutting sections of the two Stripes. We will cut these sections by using the band saw crosscut sled. (A clamped stop block will ensure uniform repetitive cuts.) We want to cut a test section and check it with a dial caliper to ensure the width of our cut is equal to the thickness of a Stripe member. This measurement is critical to the overall design and balance of this banding pattern.

When all of of Checker section are cut to dimension is is time to glue them. We add a light coating of glue and carefully align the squares of the pattern. We then add small clamps and allow for the glue to set. Once the glue has set we clean off any excess glue.

Recommended Video…Bandsaw Crosscut Sled

The Layout:

1.) Let’s say we want a finished banding that is 10″ long. If we want an even number of Checkers we then divide total length of the Package by an odd number.
(Example…Our overall banding length is 10″. If we divide the overall length of the Package 5 we will have (5) 2″ sections. this means we will have (4) Checkers will be centered every 2″ along the length of the banding.)

2.) Create a story pole that is 10″ long. From one edge make a mark at 2”, 4″, 6″, and 8″. These marks represent the center of our Checkers.

3.) Cut the Outer Veneers two inches longer than the length of our desired banding. (The Outer Veneer will 12″ long in this case.) Find the center along the length of the Outer Veneer and make a mark on the edge. Now we can center our story pole on the mark we made on the edge of the veneer and layout the centers of all our Checkers. (Use a combination square to transfer these centering marks across the bottom Outer Veneer.

4.) Our Checkers will be centered at these locations and the Stripes will fit in between them. Measure the length between two Checkers and cut all Stripes that are needed to the same length.

Decorative wood inlay bandings

Buffard Freres …Wood Inlay design similar to Stripes and Checkers

Gluing the Package:

1.) Brush glue on the lower Outer Veneer and glue all members to the proper positions. Glue on the top Outer Veneer, add cauls, and clamp securely.
2.) Clean off excess glue once the glue of the package is dry. Joint an edge and then rip the other edge parallel on the table saw or band saw.

3.) Find the center along the length of the package. We then measure 5″ to each side to create the 10″ finished banding package we are looking for with this example. Make a mark at each location and cross cut both ends to achieve our desired length of 10 inches.

Ripping the Bandings:

Recommended Video… Ripping Thin Strips of Wood Inlay on the Band Saw

1.) At the band saw we set a thin rip jig in the miter slot 3/32″ from the band saw blade. The bearing will be set 1/2″ in front of the blade. We will set a thin rip fence on the left side of the blade. This needs to be inline with the angle of the band saw blade’s ”drift.” (Test to determine this angle beforehand.) Also, make a test cut to determine the accuracy of our 3/32″ thickness of our banding.

2.) After our test are completed it is time to rip our bandings to a uniform thickness. With the band saw in the off position place the right edge of of our Package against the bearing of the thin rip jig. Now slide the thin rip fence alongside the left edge of our Package and secure the fence. Turn on the band saw and rip a banding. Repeat and enjoy the process.

What are your thoughts on making shop-made decorative wood inlay bandings?
What patterns of decorative wood inlay bandings interest you?
If you create your own decorative wood inlay bandings, what techniques do you use?

Recommended Reading… Buffard Freres…The 1926 Wood Inlay Banding Catalog

The Apprentice and The Journeyman University

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