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post #1 of 9 Old 10-15-2012, 09:42 AM Thread Starter
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Inlay

I'm thinking of putting an inlay into the top of the dining room table I'm making my daughter. The top is cypress, inlay will be walnut. How thick would the inlay have to be to not worry about wood movement of
The top messing it up?
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post #2 of 9 Old 10-15-2012, 09:48 AM
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An inlay is normally thinner than the base wood, so the base wood will have the greatest forces for movement.

Normally the inlay is a strip, e.g., 1/4in - 1in wide and anywhere from 1/64in - 3/8in thick.

I have done a number of inlays on decorative boards and not had to worry about the inlay, just the base board.

What are the dimensions of the table and the inlay?

The only part of the table where you would have a potential problem is where the inlay grain runs at 90 deg to the base boards.
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post #3 of 9 Old 10-15-2012, 10:04 AM Thread Starter
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That's what I'm wondering about is where it might be cross grain. The table top will be 42 in wide. I'm planning the inlay to be centered into the top. The letter H, about 6-8 inches long, and 2-3 inches wide maybe.
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post #4 of 9 Old 10-15-2012, 10:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rayking49 View Post
That's what I'm wondering about is where it might be cross grain. The table top will be 42 in wide. I'm planning the inlay to be centered into the top. The letter H, about 6-8 inches long, and 2-3 inches wide maybe.

That is not very big. With such a small size, I would not expect movement issues for the inlay. I am presuming the inlay and table boards will have about the same moisture content.

What were you thinking about for the inlay thickness and what is the board thickness?
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post #5 of 9 Old 10-15-2012, 10:12 AM Thread Starter
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The top will probably be 7/8. I was wondering how thick to make the inlay, 1/4 or thinner? I just didn't know how thin to make it where wood movement would be negligible. I have inlaid into plywood before, but not solid wood. I don't want the inlay popping out.
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post #6 of 9 Old 10-15-2012, 10:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rayking49 View Post
The top will probably be 7/8. I was wondering how thick to make the inlay, 1/4 or thinner? I just didn't know how thin to make it where wood movement would be negligible. I have inlaid into plywood before, but not solid wood. I don't want the inlay popping out.
The inlay will be glued face grain to face grain. I would not expect this to pop out. I have not experienced this in my boards. I use my normal yellow glue. I use Titebond III, but any of the yellow glues will be fine.

Your inlay is small, so it will have negligible movement.

I like to use thicker inlay's like 1/4in. Easier to handle without risk of breaking, plenty of depth so I will not sand through as I go through the final sanding steps.

You want to let the glue dry before sanding. With the relative thin material, it will temporarily swell from the moisture in the glue. If you sand too soon, it will look flat, then lose the moisture from the glue and you may get a slight indentation. Not easily seen, but can be felt. Been there - did that. Now I wait for a day.
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post #7 of 9 Old 10-15-2012, 12:25 PM Thread Starter
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Ok, great info! It'll be a little while- still have to make the top. I'm doing a build thread in project showcase, so I'll post it on that. Thanks for the help.
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post #8 of 9 Old 10-15-2012, 09:12 PM
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You could go 1/16" - 3/32". Not that a thicker inlay would necessarily be problematic. Many factors play into movement.




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post #9 of 9 Old 10-15-2012, 10:42 PM
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If you have a cross grain situation, the strength of the glue has to overcome the forces of the inlay piece's movement. Less than 1/8 th but certainly not more. Commercial veneer is 1/20 to 1/40th but that leaves no room for sanding etc. Unless the base or the inlay is a very large movement wood like red oak 1/8 should be good with good glue. It is hard to plane much less than 1/7 th. if you can get 1/16th, that is impressive.
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