Inlay Troubleshooting

Hi, long time lurker of all things inlay. The tutorial that was created by robgrz has been a huge help however, I am still getting some gaps in my inlay and can’t figure out why.

I am making a cheese board with an inlay (cherry) that hangs over the edge of the base material (walnut). After cutting the inlay, I do notice some movement when inserting the piece to test fit.

I used .02 inlay tolerance at a depth of .150 with a 60 vee bit.

I am open to input on how to create better inlays and appreciate all of the things I’ve been able to learn from this community.

Files (Part A is the base and Part B is the insert/inlay)
Dec2023 Ohio Part A Kuz Fam.c2d (76 KB)
Dec2023 Ohio Part B Kuz Fam.c2d (72 KB)

Happy Holidays!

If you look at the end view, is there a gap under the cherry? If not, I would try a bigger glue gap (Bottom Gap).


I think that is something I need to tinker with. Appreciate this!

Ok, so I adjusted my bottom gap to .04 and it produced an inlay that sat proud within the pocket. In the second pic, you can see the gap (probably way too much). Though, I am running into the same issue after sanding.

I should have adjusted the bottom gap conservatively, so I will run another test to see if that produces a better outcome. I really do appreciate your help.


There is likely some slop in the machine then. With the machine on, and the spindle off, grab the end of the bit & see if you can move it side to side, front to back.
A couple things that can help with deflection are
Climb Cutting!!! (Another shameless plug for this enhancement),
and a rough/finish strategy. Try setting depth of cut on the V-bit to a little less than half the Max Depth. So in your case try 0.070". Now it should take 2 passes at 0.070, and the last pass at 0.010 for your total 0.150.

I think that gap we’re seeing is perfect. It could be a little smaller, but you don’t want it to bottom out before the edges are tight. You might not get much compression with 2 hardwoods, but did you clamp them really good when gluing? You can even tap the male into the female & try to get that side gap closed a bit.


Appreciate all of the help, truly!

  • Slop - I didn’t detect any slop on my VFD. Thankfully.
  • Climb Cutting - it might be time to upgrade to CCpro.
  • V-bit DOC - I like this approach and will put it to use as I continue testing inlays.

I may not have clamped my latest test as much as I should have - so I’ll need to test this to see if I can get a better result.

Do you think the complexity of the Ohio contour could factor into this? I’ve had some success with less “complex” inlays.

Thank you again!

Climb cutting is not an option yet, even in Pro. (Keeping fingers crossed!) :smiley:

Complexity will exaggerate inaccuracy. A simple square or circle will still fit if it’s off a bit.


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