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Inlay Demonstration

This inlay is for demonstration purposes only, so I'll cut from a scrap of Corian countertop material. This is the same technique you would use with mother of pearl.

I'm cutting it on the scroll saw with a #7 blade, which is pretty coarse. I should use a finer blade, but a fine blade melts this Corian. If you were cutting mother of pearl, you'd probably want to use a jeweler's saw.

I'm cutting a bit outside of the line so I can sand down the roughness left by that #7 blade.

The scroll saw can be used to sand, too. I won't be able to get into all of the curves, but I can clean up the outside.

The Corian will be inlaid into a piece of scrap walnut. I've painted the walnut yellow so I can mark it with this machinist's scribe.

The cavity for the inlay is routed with a Dremel and an optional router base. I use a router bit that I got from the Stewart-MacDonald Company. (See the links page if you want to contact them.)

I begin with a glob of Elmer's glue in the cavity...

The inlay goes in next...

Finally, the gaps in the inlay are filled with a paste of walnut sawdust and Elmer's glue.

After the glue has dried, sand away the excess and you're finished!

-- Here is the inlay at actual size (on a 17" monitor with 1024 x 768 resolution). You can see that any imperfections are nearly invisible.

To see how Corian can be used for a fancy inlay, click here.

Even professional shops aren't always perfect. Take a look at this page and you might feel a little better about your own work.

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This page last updated 08/08/03
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