Beautiful Wood Inlay from Connecticut Craftsmen

In woodworking, a wood inlay is generally referred to as a technique involving the placement of wood pieces into a relief cut into another piece of wood. Regardless of whether the inlay is elaborate or simple, a wood inlay will be in a shape, pattern or image form. Wood inlay is most commonly used in furniture. However, a wood inlay that’s both well-made, and attractive requires exceptional woodworking skill.

Inlay vs. Marquetry


While some may think that woodworking and marquetry is the same thing, they are not. The process to create an inlay is the same as in the marquetry process, but the similarities end there. In the marquetry process, the base piece is not cut. In the inlay process, the base piece is cut. However, the difference between pieces having gone through the wood inlay process and those having gone through the marquetry process can be difficult to identify.


Tools Used For Inlay


Woodworkers applying the inlay process usually use a jigsaw or scroll saw to make inlay pieces. The scroll saw is able to create tighter curves and therefore a more intricate cut than the jig saw. It is also a stationary tool, allowing the woodworker to move the wood piece in order to create scrolling effects, which gives the woodworker more control.


However, there are limits to using a scroll saw for wood inlay purposes. Only woods of a certain thickness can be cut on the saw. As well, the limited table size of the scroll saw will ultimately limit the size of work that can be produced.


There are also basic tools that could be considered. These include carving knives, chisels, routing planes and box cutting knives.


The Wood Inlay Process


Once a design for the inlay has been decided upon, it’s time to plane the wood to about one-quarter inch thickness. Then the design can be drawn onto the wood using carbon paper or drawn freehand. Then, the design can be cut using a band saw. Once the design has been cut, the edges of the design will need to be filed so that they are smooth. Outer edges are usually beveled with a downward-pointing angle to give the inlaid wood a more secure fit. In later stages, a knife and chisel can be used to cut out the design. Once the design has been inlayed, it must be sanded in order to ensure it is even with the base piece.



How to Give Wood Inlay Depth and Color


Sand shading is an old and still-popular method to add a unique effect to wood inlay. Prior to placement, veneer pieces are placed in hot sand for a few seconds. Once removed, the pieces will adopt the appearance of a shadow at their edge, which provides a visually interesting 3D effect.


Wood inlay is a lengthy process that requires much patience on the part of the woodworker to accomplish correctly. Connecticut wood inlay professionals can not only create the perfect inlay for your piece, but also restore your antique piece to its former glory.


If you are interested in our wood inlay services please contact us by phone at 203-817-0432 or fill out our contact form. Our company has an A+ Better Business Bureau rating.