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Hi all,

I was working on finding something for my step-mom for Christmas this year. She's one of those folks that's exceedingly difficult to buy for. I asked her what she wanted and she said "One of those 365 day cat-a-day calendars." Meh. :thumbdown: Conveniently, I had also just cleaned my shop. So, I decided that maybe a DIY gift might be in order. I had built a cutting board for my wife out of some scrap just for fun a while ago and thought something like that might be a good option. Unfortunately, I didn't have any decent scrap. I mentioned to my wife what my plan was and that I was off to the lumber yard to get materials. She said "Oh, really? You know...we need to get gifts for my grandparents, too..." Ok, so now I'm off to the lumber yard for 3x more lumber than originally planned.

I should have taken pictures of the construction, but since I only started this project a few days ago (procrastination at its finest), I was in a hurry. Anyway, here is the result of the project. The inlays are done in mahogany, the lighter colored background of the inlays is maple, and the surrounding decorative colors are purple heart, walnut, and what I think is black walnut. They're finished with half a dozen (so far) coats of regular mineral oil from the pharmacy section of the grocery store. They also have rubber feet from Rockler on the back to keep them from sliding around on the counter.







A couple more pictures with different lighting that shows the purple heart a little better:





Jonathan
 

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JMHuss said:
By hand. I'd love to have done it with CNC, but haven't built a CNC machine....yet. :icon_smile:
Those would be awesome if done by CNC, but even better since done by hand. That's some very skilled work there!!!
 

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The smart son-in-law wraps the cutting board together with the thing she told you she wanted.

If you don't you'll never hear the end of it on how you ignored her wish and made her a crummy cutting board instead.

The boards look great!

But

If you haven't figured it out yet, mothers-in law can be really picky when they don't get what they want.:laughing:
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The smart son-in-law wraps the cutting board together with the thing she told you she wanted.

If you don't you'll never hear the end of it on how you ignored her wish and made her a crummy cutting board instead.

The boards look great!

But

If you haven't figured it out yet, mothers-in law can be really picky when they don't get what they want.:laughing:
No worries...I ordered the cat calendar a week ago. :thumbsup:
 

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First off, great job on the inlay, and Holiday wishes to all. I'm sure the cutting boards will be a hit and become family heirlooms, really impressive work. You are a quick worker too!

If you have a moment, and you wouldn't mind sharing your technique, I would appreciate it as would many others I'm sure. While competent in many areas of woodworking I would like to broaden my skills in inlay. If you wouldn't mind outlining the basic procedure you use I would be much appreciative. I don't need a full on blog, but would like to understand the methods that you use to assist in my learning curve. Thanks in advance, and hope you have the time for a short version, as methods seem to vary a bit.
 

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First off, great job on the inlay, and Holiday wishes to all. I'm sure the cutting boards will be a hit and become family heirlooms, really impressive work. You are a quick worker too!

If you have a moment, and you wouldn't mind sharing your technique, I would appreciate it as would many others I'm sure. While competent in many areas of woodworking I would like to broaden my skills in inlay. If you wouldn't mind outlining the basic procedure you use I would be much appreciative. I don't need a full on blog, but would like to understand the methods that you use to assist in my learning curve. Thanks in advance, and hope you have the time for a short version, as methods seem to vary a bit.

I'm in line with Old Skhool here, need to learn how to do inlays.
 

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Me three, I can do an inlay if it is a strip running the full length of the board....:laughing:...oh and it would be straight too...:laughing:....I have no idea or even a guess how you do what you did on these boards. Beautiful work
 

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First, thanks for the compliments.




Second, here is the very Reader's Digest version of how I did it:
  1. Started at the computer. Found a font that I liked (in this case, it was Lucinda Calligraphy) and typed out each name in HUGE letters (in this case, it was 140 pt. font) in a Word document.
    Printed out each name.
  2. Cut the excess white paper from around each name to create a manageable stencil.
  3. Moved to the shop.
  4. Cut a piece of the inlay material (in this case, mahogany) approximately 3/8" thick and the same-ish dimensions as the stencil. Planed down both sides so it was flat.
  5. Used spray adhesive to adhere the stencil to the piece of inlay material.
  6. As the spray adhesive was drying (5 minutes or so), re-sawed the background material (in this case, maple) to take off a piece approximately the same thickness as the inlay material. It's not crucial that it's exactly the same thickness, just within 1/8" or so. In my case, the background material was approximately 3/4" to start with, so I ended up with two pieces approximately 3/8" inch thick.
  7. Sent the two pieces of the background material through the planer so that the re-sawed surfaces were flat.
  8. Sprayed the back of the inlay material and the front of the background material with spray adhesive. Very carefully centered the piece of inlay material on top of the piece of background material and let dry (for 5 minutes or so).
  9. Tilted my drill press table to approximately 3 degrees and drilled pilot holes with the smallest bit that I had (I think it was 1/64").
  10. Tilted my scroll saw table to approximately 3 degrees and cut out each letter.
  11. Removed the stencil from the inlay material and very, very carefully separated each letter from the background material. A sharp utility knife helps to separate the letters.
  12. Glued the inlay material into the background material. Used a lot of glue and just used a friction fit with no clamps/tape.
  13. Glued the now inlayed top layer back to the bottom layer that was re-sawed off previously and used a million or so clamps to hold it while the glue dried.
  14. From here, it's assembly as normal for the rest of the cutting board.
  15. Once everything was assembled, glued, and dried, I sanded it all down flat.
Notes:
  1. This technique works because tilting the table causes each piece to be cut at a bevel. The 3 degree bevel accounts for the material that's removed by the scroll saw. The degree of bevel depends on the thickness of the scroll saw blade, so test it first. Because everything is cut at the same time, if all goes well, it will be a perfect fit.
  2. The scroll sawing is a one chance sort of operation. There is zero forgiveness. If you screw up, you start over. So, practice a few times on some piece of other cheap material before you do it for real.
  3. When choosing the font for the lettering, choose something that's not super narrow. Because of the bevel, the material that's being cut on the bottom layer is narrower than the material on top that you can see. As a result, if the font is too narrow, things can go sideways underneath that you can't see. Also, at least for me, straight lines are hard on a scroll saw, so I always choose a font that's got a little curviness to it.
  4. I've never tried it, but I think it was Kenbo that recommended in a post in the last day or so that a heat gun and/or mineral spirits help with removing the spray adhesive. Since the inlays are so fragile and have almost no support, they're easy to break when taking off the stencil, so I'll definitely be trying it next time.
If there's some interest, I'd be happy to assemble a full post with pictures. I'm at the in-laws this week for the holidays, but would be happy to do so when I get home.

Also, I have some difficulties hiding the pilot holes. If you look really closely at the two Rigdon cutting boards, you can see them around the lettering. Does anyone have any recommendations for hiding those better?

Thanks!
Jonathan
 
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