Interesting Woodworking Link

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Episode #108 - String Inlay

Beginning to Experiment with String Inlay . . .
Something to do While Waiting for Glue to Dry

I had a great day in the shop today completing the main glue up of the engagement chest. So, what to do while the glue dries? Well, I have been reading a lot about Federal Furniture. I have read everything within grasp from books to online sources. I am fascinated with the furniture of the time period as our country was coming into its own. This interest has been spurred somewhat by my son's passion for history. I am particularly drawn to the fine embellishments that characterize this furniture.



Spurred by burgeoning success with a handmade scratch stock, I decided to play a bit with stringing while the glue dried on my engagement chest project. This is still a work in progress but I am encouraged.


I made a small in-line stringing scratch stock blade from a 1/4-20 fender washer. I outlined the profile with a drafting template and used my 10 inch disk sander to grind out the initial shape. A large bolt served as a convenient handle. The blade was then honed and polished with a series of graduated wet / dry sandpaper. The teeth were cut with a small triangular jeweler's file.


The blade was then mounted on a 7/8 inch hardwood dowel with a 1/4-20 threaded brass insert in the end. The blade is secured with a brass washer and an allen-head 1/4-20 cap screw. A piece of 4/4 scrap jatoba served as a makeshift stock.


The results were somewhat crude but very encouraging. Many questions arose from this little experiment, not the least of which is how to make sharp beginning and ending cuts. Oh well, enough for now. Time to remove the clamps and go to bed!

Resources & Inspiration:

Line-and-Berry Inlay: Add eye-catching inlay using motifs from 18th-century Pennsylvania furniture, by Steve Latta (Fine Woodworking)

String Inlay: Fine lines of contrasting woods add an elegant touch to furniture, by Garrett Hack (Fine Woodworking)

Making and Applying Decorative String Inlay with Jeff Williams, inlay specialist for the Irion Company. A video Tutorial produced by Keith Cruickshank from Woodtreks

Lie-Nielsen Inlay Tools

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