The process needed to inlay wood is truly a craft, and you should expect it to take some serious practice before you are able to pull off any intricate designs. The most intricate inlay wood pieces you have seen are probably created by craftsmen with decades of experience. But, everyone has to start somewhere, and if you are interested in learning to inlay wood as one of your new hobbies, we want to help you experience success.
First, you will need to select on object you want to use to inlay wood. You will also need to select a material to use for your inlay. Generally, you want the object and the inlay to be two different shades or colors. If the object is lighter, choose a darker inlay wood. If the object is darker, a lighter choice for the inlay will give you the look you want. Your first attempt at creating inlay wood should be on the simpler side, perhaps just a simple shape. Straight lines are easier than curved ones, so a basic geometric pattern might be a good starting point.
Here are the basic steps needed to inlay wood:
- Cut out your inlay from your selected material.
- Temporarily attach the inlay to the surface of your object using double-sided tape or slow-drying glue.
- Trace carefully around the inlay with a pencil.
- Cut your traced line with a hobby knife, starting with a light scoring and gradually getting deeper.
- Remove the inlay carefully.
- Remove wood from the marked area using a router plane, chisel, sharp blade or Dremel.
- Smooth the lowered surface with sandpaper.
- Check the fit of the inlay.
Permanently attach the inlay to the object with wood glue.