Inlay art done with cedar, pine, oak, and maple

13 aspire files; 25 toolpath files, some run multiple times; just two endmills, 1/4" square nose endmill, 1/4"-90 deg v-bit. Image source was a doodle done by a friend and then secretly stolen by me. 80 hours of design and cutting time to do a 10x12 piece of art to give to her for Christmas. Still have to make a frame for it with a nautical theme.


Heck, what’s an hour here or there? :smiley: Looks really good.

So, did you forget the keyhole in the back? :smiley:

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That is amazing… How thick are the inlays? I can’t imagine, for example, that you did the front, upper part of the whale’s nose (the inner point) with the 1/8th bit, and even if you used the V-bit, the depth at the point must be approaching zero, so I’m not sure how you accomplished this?

I’m trying to help a friend make a flag cutting board, and we’ve cut out our stars to inlay, but I’m not sure how to cut the pockets for them without having the points very noticeably rounded… We cut the stars out with a 1/4 flat bit, and I bought a 1/8" flat bit to hopefully try to do this, but haven’t actually done it yet… Any words of wisdom?!?

The pockets for the inlay are 0.15" deep, the inlays themselves are designed to be 0.13" thick, leaving a 0.02" glue gap.

When you’re doing inlays, you can do them with regular pockets with vertical sides, but it works so much better to use angled sides. The pockets are cut with the v-bit (using the square endmill to hog out the centers) and the inlays are cut to match. Here is a pic of the hexagon pockets

And this is the inlays

Simply glue one into the other, then run leveling passes over the project until excess inlay material is cut away. You’ll have a tight fit between inlay and base material due to the angled sides.

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@MaxamillionX72 the whale inlay was done the same way on top of the other inlay?

@MaxamillionX72 the whale inlay was done the same way on top of the other inlay?

Yes, that’s correct, one species at a time.

  1. Level and cut hexagon pockets in cedar

  2. Cut hexagon inlay in pine

  3. Glue pine into cedar, then level pine down to roughly the same as the cedar

  4. Cut upper whale pockets in the base board

  5. Cut upper whale inlay in oak

  6. Glue Oak in to base, then level oak down to roughly the same as the base board

  7. Cut lower whale pockets in to base board

  8. Cut lower whale inlay in maple

  9. Glue maple in to base, then level maple down to roughly the same as the base board

  10. Run a leveling toolpath over the whole board, taking about 5/1000" off the top of the whole board at a time until all the inlays are flat to the cedar. I think I ran this about 5 or 6 times

  11. Run another leveling toolpath over the whole board, reducing by an additional 5/1000" but with a 10% stepover to give it a fine finish.

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This is probably the best video tutorial that I’ve found that explains how the inlay process works using the v-bit.