The Flower Box

Maple with Cherry, Mahogany, and Thuya inlay

As I was laying in bed trying to go to sleep one night, I got a fancy to try some inlay. So, I got on the net that night and found out everything I could about inlaying, which wasn't a whole lot.

According to what I found Inlay and it's close cousin Marquetry are typically done with very thin sheets of venier (or mother of pearl, metal, plastic, or some other such thing). However, I didn't have any venier laying around, and my mind kept running to making it with the materials I had at hand. So, my method of inlay turns out to be to use 1/8" (fairly thick) pieces of wood set into patterns I route out of the base with the dremel.

The inlaid pieces are 1/8" and the top is 1/4" thick, so the inlay goes about halfway thru the wood. The box itself was made from a solid piece Maple. First I slice the top and bottom off, then I cut a hole out for the inside. The box is reconstructed by gluing the bottom back on. In this case I repeated the process to create the two internal trays ... they are cut from the same piece of wood.

Each piece of the inlay is cut using a pattern, and then hand fitted using sandpaper and the dremel tool. When everything lines up ok, the pieces are glued in and the box is finish-sanded.

The blue lining was created using a Suede-Tex mini-flocker, which worked reasonably well, but is kind of finicky to work with. Overall, though, I'd say it came out pretty well.