This project carries the viewer through the basic steps in creating an inlay.

The Item featured here is a teak marlin inlaid into a teak rocket launcher on a 47' Buddy Davis Sportfish.  The same principles could be utilized for an inlay of various materials or in different scale into a deck, table top, counter surface, fighting chair seat, etc.

The term "inlay" denotes an item that has been cut into another surface, and is usually flush with that surface.  If the inlaid item is pictorial in nature, it is referred to as marquetry.  "Marquetry is the art of inlaying different woods, and other natural materials to create a picture.  To inlay is to set a material onto another surface, but recessed in so that inlayed material is at the same level as the surface.  Most of the time the inlayed material is wood but it could be ivory, mother-of-pearl, tortoise shells, bark, straw, stone, metal, gems, etc.  All the peculiarities, grain, knots, defects, etc. are used in the overall effect of the picture.  One of my favorite effects is to use a spalted wood for an ominous looking sky.  Marquetry is often found on the finest furniture.  It has been around for thousands of years, and today is considered something of a dying art."  (excerpted from "What is marquetry" at INLAY.COM )

The first step is to decide upon a design, create an exploded view of the design, and assemble the necessary materials and tools to perform the task.

    For this exercise, the necessary items were:
  • Drawing of a marlin, (don't try to get overly complex).
  • various samples of teak with differing grain patterns, colors, textures. All of the pieces were milled to 1/4 inch in thickness.
  • A thin sheet of fiberglass to act as scrim to which the individual pieces of the design are glued to.
  • Various cutting and shaping tools, including: Razor knife, razor blades, jewelers files, jewelers saw frame w/#1 or #2 blades, small drill bits and drill, super glue, carpenters glue, epoxy glue, a piece of melamine approx. 6"x 8"x 5/8", several very sharp pencils, and a sanding block to surface the design after assembly. (I cheated a bit and used my thickness planner to do the final surfacing). Also needed will be a piece of laminate, such as Formica.

Inlay 1 | Inlay 2 | inlay 3 | Inlay 4 | Inlay 5 | Inlay 6 |

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