Inlay for Curves


A trip to the hardware store yields clamps that put the bend in inlay.
By Rob Millard
Pages: 46-49

From the June 2010 issue #183
Buy this issue now

Inlaid bandings are a time-honored technique to embellish furniture, as are curves. Combining the two is surely a way to take your furniture to the next level. But to take straight sections of banding and curve them to fit isn’t easy, nor is the outcome often successful. This is especially so when banding is fit in a rabbet at the edge of your project.

When you attempt to bend a banding into a groove, the task is made easier because the banding is somewhat restrained from springing back. Still, stiff bandings can be difficult to coax into a tight radius without fracturing or crushing the edges of the groove while the banding is being pressed into place.

Some years ago I made a Federal-period worktable that featured turret corners on which the perimeter was adorned with a moderately complex banding. By using heat, moisture and strategically placed kerfs, I successfully got the banding to conform to the turret. Despite that success, adding kerfs seemed a crude way to bend inlay. I decided to make the banding in a circular form in the future.

Video: Watch as Rob installs curved inlay on a breakfront door.
Blog: see how craft knives and a C-clamp replace a router when doing inlay.
Article: Build a Federal Inlay Table – free drawings and step photos (June 2004).
Article: “Precision band saw’ techniques with David Charlesworth (April 2008).
In our store: “Fundamentals of Inlay: federal Table Leg,” a DVD by Stee Latta.


From the June 2010 issue #183
Buy this issue now