Hand Tools Archive

You said,I do like the inlay pattern. I'd like to *LINK*

Keith Newton
I do like the inlay pattern. I'd like to try it on a drawer.

Hey Bill, I used to do a bit of inlay about 30 years ago, and managed to figure out some pretty good quick tips that I keep thinking I ought to get back to, but have moved so far away from that, I can't see getting back unless it would be on some of my carved turned vessels.

one quick trick for inlaying little squares of different colored wood, is to use a tapered drill, followed by a special tool I ground from an old nail-set into a tapered square with sharp corners. Drive this tool into the tapered hole will square the corners.

Take a 2x2x2" solid block of wood to the bandsaw, then cut a bunch of wedges out of one side with about the same taper as the tool mentioned above. The wedges cut out are trash, but then rotate the block 90ยบ and cut in from the 2nd side, which will leave a block with a bunch of square tappers sticking out like a meat tenderizer on steroids. Those double tapered plugs can then be dipped in glue and driven into the square tapered holes quickly and easily, and trimmed after the glue grabs.

If you want the inlays flush, a multi-tool laid down on a piece of thin polycarbonate like things are packaged in nowadays will protect the background surface. If you want some of these little squares to be raised, then carved, just use a thicker shim for the first trim, then either chisel or detail sander to do the details.

A week ago while at my local Ace Hdw, back where they keep drills and driver bits, I found a tool that looks great for this. It's IRWIN ,Hanson ST-3 Straight Screw Extractor 53603. It has a longer taper than the one I made years ago, and isn't sharp on the tip, but would work from about 3/16" - 5/16" as is, but would be easy to modify on a grinder. Getting a couple might be a good idea if you wanted to use the larger portion, it could be cut in length, so you didn't have to drill out the back of the substrate to have a deep enough hole.

Bill, I think I recall you mentioning that your not that creative, so I thought I would plant a see for you to think about. With this coming eclipse, this would be a good way to commemorate the event, by featuring it on a piece. A dark circle inlaid, then surrounded by gradually smaller light squares would make a pretty good halo.

I believe you are going to be right in the path of it too, so aren't you lucky, I hope you share this time with your grandkids.

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