Introduction: Basic Wood Inlay

About: Woodworker, Furniture Maker and a Content Creator. You can find me at

For someone who has never attempted any type of inlay work this can be a very intimidating task.

But with a little bit of patience adding inlay to your next project can be very easy and certainly rewarding.

Step 1:

For this inlay I choose a simple diamond shape, cutting it out of a piece of Maple that was a 1/8 of an inch thick.

Step 2:

The first thing I needed to do is determine the exact location and position I wanted the inlay to be.

Step 3:

Once I determined this, using a pencil I traced the outline of the diamond.

Step 4:

With the pattern traced I use my exacto Knife and cut the outline of the pattern, staying to the inside of my pencil lines. This part should take time, a lot of patience here remember it's not a race.

Also when I cut this pattern I make several very light cuts slicing the full length of my line each time, well keeping the blade of my knife vertical. I will repeat this until I reach the depth I desire.

Step 5:

Once I have established my knife line, I can then remove the waste material to the inside of my lines.

Using my chisel I will gently pair into the waste material towards my cut line carefully removing just a small amount of material around the entire inside parameter until I have creating what is essentially a small trench.

Step 6:

At this point I can now remove the remaining waste material. Taking my time pairing out just a small amount at a time, until I have achieved a smooth level base. In depth this should allow for the insert piece to sit just proud of the surface when installed.

Step 7:

When checking the fit of the insert material do not push this material into the recess, you may not be able to get it back out.

Once I verify a good snug fit I can then glue the insert material in, then apply clamping pressure until the glue is dry.

Step 8:

After the glue has dried I use my card scrapper and level the insert material to the surface, then a quick pass with a smoothing plane and apply some finish.

This is a really easy way to add great inlay accents to whatever project you are working on. The biggest thing to remember when doing inlay is patience, the more time you put into work like this the more it shows in the finished results.

Step 9: