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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


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


34…How to adjust for Band Saw Blade Drift

Adjusting for Band Saw Blade Drift

 

“A warrior never worries about his fear.”
Carlos Castaneda…Peuvian-born American anthropologist and author (1925-1998)

Understanding Band Saw Blade Drift

When resawing wood veneers on the band saw it is quite important to take into account the the band saw blade drift. If the adjustment is correctly made for the drift angle a woodworker can rip straight thin strips of veneer that are of a uniform thickness. By making an accurate adjustment to the bandsaw fence one can save plenty of time and material. Better yet, a woodworker can perform with a greater level of confidence. So, learn how to adjust for band saw blade drift.

 

What causes band saw blade drift?

A band saw blade has two sets of teeth. Band saw blade drift occurs because the differences in set and sharpness of the bandsaw teeth from one side of the blade to the other side of the blade.

One theory has it that heat caused by friction can also play a role in band saw blade drift. It is said that the cutting action of the saw teeth creates more heat in the front of the blade than the back of the blade. The front expands more than the back and becomes slightly longer. As a result the blade can warp inward or outward and thus cause the cut to drift.

 

Bevel square used to adjust band saw blade drift

Recently, a number of the viewers of this blog have asked me some great questions concerning the cutting of uniform thin strips of wood veneer on the bandsaw. They wanted to know how to adjust for band saw blade drift. While I have responded to their questions already, I believe this woodworking video will help to further clarify and resolve their concerns. Perhaps, it can make a difference for you also. As you will see, this article will point out an important step of the process regarding making an adjustment for the band saw blade drift. Ripping uniform thin strips of veneer is an easy task once the angle of the drift is understood and accounted for by making a simple adjustment to the fence.

 

Making the adjustment for Band Saw Blade Drfit

 

Band saw auxiliary fence - Band saw blade drift adjustment

(This tutorial on how to adjust for band saw blade drift assumes that the band saw is correctly set-up with a proper tension, the bandsaw blade guides are accurately adjusted, and a good sharp blade is in place.)

 

This woodworking video tutorial shows how the angle of the drift is found. A bevel square is used to duplicate the angle once it is determined. The video also shows how the thin rip fence is set in place by using a wedge at one end of the fence. Spring clamps help to secure the wedged fence angle. (Some band saw fences can be adjusted by loosening the bolts, aligning the fence according to the drift angle, and then re-tightening the bolts.)



A Rockler thin rip jig with a roller bearing is set into the miter gauge slot and is fastened in place by simply turning a star knob. Placement of the bearing is 1/2″ before the band saw blade. The thickness of cut is set to 3/32″ as this is the thickness used in my wood shop when ripping wood inlay bandings. The demonstration clearly shows how to cut stock that is 3/4″ high and stock that is 3″ tall. All veneers that are ripped were within 1/64″ of one another. (In the video the second to last veneer was actually the leftover piece and was not ripped. It was just a bit thicker than the other strips of ripped veneer. However, it was close enough to be included in this batch as it can be run through the open drum sander to attain the desired measurement of 3/32″.)

 

Maple Veneer Thin Strips - Band saw blade drift adjustedConsider the need for adjusting the fence for band saw blade drift as basic maintenance of the band saw. Through repeated usage the blade cuts can again drift as the set of the teeth undergo change. This is normal. However, understanding how to adjust the fence for band saw blade drift is an easy matter. It just takes a few minutes. Acting on this matter will allow you to rip material that is straight. When a thin rip jig is added to the equation you will be able to also make cuts that are of uniform thickness.

 

Note: The blade used for this particular demonstration is a PS Wood Timberwolf bandsaw blade (3/8″ blade with 4 teeth per inch.) However, select a blade according to your needs.

 

Helpful Tips:

1.) Check that the band saw table is set 90 degrees to the blade. Use a combination square or a digital protractor to ensure this angle.

2.) The auxiliary rip fence was simply made with scrap 5/8″ particle board. It is made to the same length and height as the original fence. It’s just a matter of making the cuts, adding a little glue, and using an air-nailer to drive the pins home.

 

Recommended Article: How to Cut Uniform Thin Strips

Recommended Videos:

Ripping Thin Strips of Wood Inlay on the Band Saw

Cutting Thin Strips on the Band Saw

Band Saw Rip Fence made in the Shop

The Apprentice and The Journeyman University


How to Cut Uniform Thin Strips

“The man who has no imagination has no wings.”
Muhammed Ali…3-time World Heavyweight Boxing Champion (1942-)

Hardwood Veneer cut on Band Saw

Hardwood Veneer cut on Band Saw

One of my woodworking shop accessories is drawing a lot of attention lately. Many viewers have seen it on my band saw during recent woodworking videos and they have asked me about it in their emails. While the name of the tool implies that it is to be used on the table saw, it has also found a lot of time on the bandsaw cutting thin strips of wood inlay bandings. What is it you ask? It is an invaluable saw accessory called the Rockler Thin Rip Tablesaw Jig.

One might ask “What makes this simple jig so special?” The beauty of this jig is indeed its simplicity. There is a roller bearing on the end of the accessory. The jig is adjustable from side to side and it can be locked into position in the miter gauge slot. When used on the tablesaw the roller bearing is set away from the blade an amount equal to the thickness of the desired ripping. Then the jig is simply slid about 4-5 inches in front of the saw blade and locked into position. Basically, that’s it.

How to Cut Uniform Thin Strips on the Tablesaw
1.) Place the surfaced edge of the board to be cut alongside the roller bearing.
2.) Slide the table saw fence alongside the opposite edge of the board.
3.) Lock the fence in place. When ready turn on the saw and take a small practice cut into the board.
4.) Check the measurement with a dial or digital caliper. Make lateral adjustments of the bearing as needed to obtain the desired measurement and adjust the fence to the boards’ opposite edge. When you have the right measurement for the ripping it is time to “rip away.”
5.) Simply, repeat the procedure of moving the table saw fence in alongside the edge opposite of the cut after every rip is made.

Band saw setup for ripping wood inlay bandings

Bandsaw setup for ripping wood inlay bandings

How to Cut Uniform Thin Strips on the Bandsaw
Note: (The “drift” of the band saw blade must first be accounted for when using this technique.) In the picture to the left a small wedge has been set between the manufacturers’ fence and the L-shaped thin rip fence. This was performed to set the fence to the correct angle of the “drift.”)

1.) Set the roller bearing a distance away from the blade that is equal to the desired ripping.
2.) Now, place the roller bearing an inch or so in front of the bandsaw blade and turn the star knob down to lock the jig in place.
3.) Next, place the right edge of the surfaced board alongside of the bearing.
4.) We now want to set an L-shaped thin rip fence alongside the left edge of the board to be ripped.
5.) Place the regular bandsaw fence next to the L-shaped thin rip fence and clamp both fences together along the boards’ left edge. Lock the fence and for safety lower the bandsaw’s bearing guides to just above the boards’ surface.

Dial caliper measure thickness of wood inlay banding

Dial caliper measure thickness of wood inlay banding

At this point it is just a matter of taking a practice cut to check the accuracy of the thickness of the ripping with a digital or dial caliper. Adjust as necessary. When the correct measurement is obtained it is time to rip. To make the next rip it is simply a matter of placing the board’s right edge against the roller bearing and then sliding the fences over to the left edge of the board. Rip and repeat the process to obtain uniform rippings.

The Rockler Thin Rip Tablesaw Jig has been in my woodworking shop for over 3 years and is still going strong. It is great for making rips on the tablesaw. However, it is also terrific on the bandsaw as it allows me to rip wood inlay bandings to a consistent uniform thickness of 3/32.” This simple little jig allows me to perform operations safely, efficiently, and with accuracy.

So, give it a try. You’ll be glad you did.

Recommended Videos…

Ripping Thin Strips on Wood Inlay on the Band Saw

Cutting Thin Strips on the Band Saw

Band Saw Rip Fence made in the Shop


The Apprentice and The Journeyman University

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



The Apprentice and The Journeyman University

 

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