Inlay chips away

I am trying to cut an inlay for the first time. I read all the posts and I think I have a fair idea how it works. The problem is, my inlay is chipped away during the V bit cut. I tried different types of wood (Poplar, Maple and Mahogany the worst) with 30 and 60 degree v bits but the results are same. Attaching the CC file, if anyone can please take a look and help in the right direction. Not sure what I am doing wrong.

Inlay Test.c2d (84 KB)

Try these settings. Your first cut is .050 and the feed is high and this can cause the material to get chipped off. This could also be caused by the grain direction.


Thanks for the recommendation, Anthony. The first pass with 1/8 end mill seems to be fine but the problem is in the second pass with V bit. Please see photos attached and the .c2d file. It still chips away the letter. I am wondering if the art work is too detailed for inlay? But I have seen people do very intricate things with inlay. Where am I going wrong? I thought I’ll reach out to the community to check if anyone has experienced the same, before I give up :slight_smile:

Inlay Test.c2d (204 KB)

Hi @micraft,

I think it’s mostly related your the poor quality of the wood you are trying to carve. The 1/8" pocketing pass should leave a much cleaner bottom that this, you can see how even before the vcarve pass there are lots of fuzzies/tearout. This tells me that this is not a dense enough wood to be milled/carved properly. I think I can see voids in the wood after the 1/8" pass,


which means either there were voids in the wood from the beginning, or the 1/8" endmill crushed those parts rather than cutting them, which can happen in some woods.

Maybe this is just a test cut you are running ? If so I would advise to do it on a nicer/tight-grain piece of wood. Trying to vcarve the wrong kind of wood is a good recipe for getting annoyed/giving up :slight_smile:

That said, you do need sharp cutters in all cases, so you may want to check with your vbit is still sharp.

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I agree on both points. Since this was a test cut, I tried with finger jointed pine which I had. The V bit is also a used one. May be these are the contributing factors. I will try with Maple or some other hardwood with a new bit.

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Yea better material and sharp bits.
I would still make shallow cuts until you get it working better.


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