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Thread: String Inlay

  1. #1
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    String Inlay

    When Garrett Hack was here, he did a very quick little demo on string inlay, boy did it light a fire under me, all I can say is "WOW..... COOL"

    I thought this would be a very difficult and time consuming thing to do, but, at it's most basic level, it is not

    I did a bit of it and now I'm going to do more and more, and make up some very simple tools to help me along the way.

    If you watch the 3rd video on >> THIS PAGE << you will get a very good idea about this stuff.

    Garrett Hack also has a good article on Fine Woodworking, but you have to be a member to see it, (they do have a free 15 day trial).

    I'll post some pics of the work I'm doing and the tools I'm making as I go along, I'd really appreciate some comments from the guys who do this type of work now, and any links to more info you might have.

    Cheers!
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  2. #2
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    Click image for larger version. 

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    One reason I love my Big Blue Bandsaw, with just a minor tweak, a cleaning really, I can bang out this very thin veneer with ease all pieces are 1.3mm thick which is almost exactly the same as the pieces of Holly that Garrett brought with him and used at the demo, his were 1.27mm thick.

    The brown stuff is walnut, and the white stuff is Aspen, that Garrett left with me, I also cut up some Shinna, or Linden that I have, hoping it would be white enough.....

    Click image for larger version. 

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    A basic over view of the tools in use, not much involved really

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    here is the tooth on the scratch stock, this is what cuts the groove the string goes into.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Here is a pic of the Aspen on the bottom and the Shinna on the top, in walnut, the Aspen is much whiter.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    A closer view. Interestingly, the pieces of wood are the same thickness, and the grooves are the same, but the Aspen looks thicker, I guess it is an optical illusion

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    In this one I put a piece of Walnut into the Shinna

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Two shots of the Walnut inlay and the Apsen inlay, this is really not that hard to do, and it will become easier with practice.

    Cheers!
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  3. #3
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    That's pretty cool. Looks like a nice way to really dress up a project.
    Programmer - An organism that turns coffee into software.
    If all your friends are exactly like you, What an un-interesting life it must be.
    "A door is what a dog is perpetually on the wrong side of" Ogden Nash


  4. #4
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    Nice Stu I can think of a lot of organ stuff to use that on.

  5. #5
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    Thanks fellas.

    The string inlay that I did is really thin, but of course, using the same tools and techniques you can make it a lot thicker.

    Cheers!
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  6. #6
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    North West Indiana
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    Stu, that is really neat!! Thanks for sharing that, once my shop is up and running, this is something I have played with, have had mixed results, but the video really cemented some things for me. Thanks a bunch!!!
    Jon

    God and family, the rest is icing on the cake. I'm so far behind, I think I'm in first place!

    Host of the 2015 FAMILY WOODWORKING GATHERING

  7. #7
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    Stu, in our class last fall, Garrett instructed us to slightly taper the inlay from top to bottom (both sides) so that you get a tight fit without any gaps. We accomplished this by simply planing the string with our block planes. You would hold one end of the long string with one hand against a very flat wood surface and with the other hand run the block plane down the string length; pressing to one side to cut a slight taper. Point is, you are not installing a string with square sides into a square groove. It is a string with tapering sides into a square groove. Just a small thing, but it makes a difference in how tight a joint you have.

    Garrett Hack is teaching a class on inlays in Port Townsend this June. I would have liked to take the class, but I decided to sign up for the other class he is doing. There appears to be some confusion on the website as whether the class is a 5 day class or a 2 day class. Here is a link to the inlay class if anyone is interested. << Link >> The way it is shown on this link, it is a two day class. I will verify with the school and update this post with what I find out.

  8. #8
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    I just got an email back from the Port Townsend School of Woodworking and it is a two day class, June 7-8.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Satko View Post
    Stu, in our class last fall, Garrett instructed us to slightly taper the inlay from top to bottom (both sides) so that you get a tight fit without any gaps. We accomplished this by simply planing the string with our block planes. You would hold one end of the long string with one hand against a very flat wood surface and with the other hand run the block plane down the string length; pressing to one side to cut a slight taper. Point is, you are not installing a string with square sides into a square groove. It is a string with tapering sides into a square groove. Just a small thing, but it makes a difference in how tight a joint you have.
    Yep, Garrett showed us the same thing, but I was wondering if there is a better way to do it, so I made up a jig like the guys shows in the video, it sort of works, but I have to get the steel sharper in the jig for it to work better.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Satko
    Garrett Hack is teaching a class on inlays in Port Townsend this June. I would have liked to take the class, but I decided to sign up for the other class he is doing. There appears to be some confusion on the website as whether the class is a 5 day class or a 2 day class. Here is a link to the inlay class if anyone is interested. << Link >> The way it is shown on this link, it is a two day class. I will verify with the school and update this post with what I find out.
    I know you will enjoy his class, I told him to say "Hi" to you for me
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  10. #10
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    Today, I did some more inlay, and I tired my hand at an arc............

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    ....... I think it worked out well, it sure is a cool thing to be able to do, now I need to practice a lot, so I can dare to do it on some nice piece of furniture at some point.

    I modified one end of a pair of dividers into a chisel profile, hardened it and then honed it, worked well!
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

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