Inlay Trouble

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Inlay Trouble

Postby chris77 » Sun May 05, 2019 8:22 pm

I am trying to do an inlay that is 27" x 27" overall and it is not working unfortunately. The problem comes when I start cutting off the male layer from the female layer. I do not have a saw large enough to cut off the bulk of the male layer. I am using a 1-1/2" fly cutter to take it off. During this process it pries the male part from the female part. I am cutting modest layers off at a time but that does not seem to matter. I am using Titebond wood glue and letting it cure for the full 24 hours. Is it the type of glue I am using or is it something else? I would appreciate the help!

Thanks,

Chris
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Re: Inlay Trouble

Postby Jim_in_PA » Sun May 05, 2019 9:48 pm

Make sure your male side is seated deep enough so there is adequate glue surface to do the job. In my (short) experience, it's way too easy to not accomplish that and i've learned to test my depths carefully before committing to the final project.
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Re: Inlay Trouble

Postby chris77 » Sun May 05, 2019 10:37 pm

Thanks for the reply. I think I am going deep enough. It is going in .200. Is that deep enough? If so is there anything else it could be?
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Re: Inlay Trouble

Postby FixitMike » Sun May 05, 2019 10:42 pm

I prefer to make my male inlay start depth almost as much as the female full depth. (Only .03" difference.) That way, excess glue will bridge between the two parts in the flat areas. If you do this, be sure to remove all of the frizzies from both parts before gluing, and be sure the stepover for the V bit when cutting the female is fairly small (I use .020".).

Also, use a glue that has fairly large gap filling capability. And be generous. I allow it to cure for twice the recommended time. I use Garrett Wade 202GF Gap filling glue. https://www.garrettwade.com/special-202 ... ue-gp.html

Another hint: Apply a couple of coats of sealer or varnish to the female material before cutting the inlay. This will make removing glue squeeze-out easier
Good judgement comes from experience.
Experience comes from bad judgement.
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Re: Inlay Trouble

Postby chris77 » Sun May 05, 2019 10:49 pm

Thanks for the recommendations guys! I will give this a try and see what happens.
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Re: Inlay Trouble

Postby Savannahdan » Mon May 06, 2019 11:57 am

Also to consider is the time it takes for your glue to setup. Some are faster (5 minutes) and some are slower (8-10 minutes). The size of your project is significant and probably requires a longer open time for the glue. Mike's recommendation of using a sealer is spot on. I would probably try slipping a hand saw in between the pieces for the cutout. You just have to be careful and not rush it. Although I have to admit that I like the fly cutting method. Good luck and please share a project picture.
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Re: Inlay Trouble

Postby Jim_in_PA » Mon May 06, 2019 2:55 pm

chris77 wrote:Thanks for the reply. I think I am going deep enough. It is going in .200. Is that deep enough? If so is there anything else it could be?

But is the male inlay going in (nearly) all the way? The issue I faced and discovered was that while I planned for the .2 depth, I wasn't getting that because of an apparently off-set issue...the male was only physically entering the recess a fraction of that, despite all appearances. I'm just suggesting that you insure how deep it's really seating. Cut across the buggered piece so you can see how deep it's seating. Be generous with your glue, too.
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Re: Inlay Trouble

Postby Wayne Locke » Mon May 06, 2019 4:00 pm

A 27 X 27 inlay would be difficult to clamp without a press. Your problem may be simply a clamping issue. Inlays require even pressure over the entire surface.
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Re: Inlay Trouble

Postby wb9tpg » Mon May 06, 2019 5:12 pm

Wayne Locke wrote:A 27 X 27 inlay would be difficult to clamp without a press. Your problem may be simply a clamping issue. Inlays require even pressure over the entire surface.


a Vacuum Press is great at distributing pressure and you can get a bag & pump pretty cheap.
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Re: Inlay Trouble

Postby laflippin » Mon May 06, 2019 5:28 pm

Lots of good advice here....I will add only that I no longer use my CNC router to mill off waste backing. It usually works okay, but I’ve also experienced episodes where the end mill bit would tear out some inlaid material. My solution may not appeal to everyone, and it does require some careful development of “touch”....

I currently use a 4 1/2” angle grinder with a 36 grit carborundum cupped wheel to grind off backing to the point where I can then move on to a random orbit sander.

The angle grinder is a very aggressive tool and the wheel will chew through any type of wood;however, the rate and pressure applied to the backing are always under hand control and I have found that to be more reliable than milling it off with the CNC. Specifically, I used to have the worst tear-out problems when the inlay was finely detailed and near the edgesof the workpiece. It is almost as if there may be a levering effect from the end mill on the edge waste that pries out the finer, shallower inlaid material. Note, of course, that even if your nominal inlay depth is, say, 0.2”, some fine detail in your workpiece may be much shallower.

Unlike the CNC milling process, which applies all of its force from the side of the waste backing at a (usually) fast feed rate, the hand-controlled grinder offers you the option of changing the feed rate and direction of force according to your needs. After developing some experience with it, I have found that I can go through waste backing very fast and with excellent control this way. Major caveat, of course, is that the angle grinder is very unforgiving of the user’s errors in judgement or poor “touch”.....it will grind right into your workpiece if your attention lapses or if you get too greedy.
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Re: Inlay Trouble

Postby chris77 » Mon May 06, 2019 11:36 pm

Thanks for all of your replies! I wanted to throw this out and see what ya’ll thought. What if I use a wide belt sander to take off the excess of the male part instead of the fly cutter?
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Re: Inlay Trouble

Postby wb9tpg » Tue May 07, 2019 12:20 pm

When I went to the Marc Adams School of Woodworking one of the first things they taught me was to call the belt sander by its real name: "The Project Wrecker". It does have its uses but it often lives up to its real name.
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Re: Inlay Trouble

Postby laflippin » Tue May 07, 2019 11:10 pm

Chris,
At some level, the removal of waste backing with a belt sander will come down to a combination of two factors; i.e., what thickness of waste backing you have to remove and how much patience you have for that part of the job.

As to the pejorative nickname "Project Wrecker"--I don't get that. Any tool when misused can be a project wrecker, but that just means that tools don't wreck projects....woodworkers wreck projects. A few weeks ago I bought a cheapie Harbor Freight Tools combo belt sander/disc sander. I haven't mounted the disc yet, but the belt sander has been a god-send for removal of tab stubs from profile cuts, CNC tool marks from outside edges and, yes, waste-backing from inlay projects that have been previously roughed down to a very thin margin of remaining waste material. I forgot to mention that in my earlier post in this thread because I had been going from angle grinder --> random orbit sander on my inlay projects for a long time, but have recently been doing much more of the intermediate sanding work on the belt sander. The reason is, at intermediate stages the random orbit sander is too prone to leaving unwanted "hills-and-dales" on the surface of otherwise flat inlaid workpieces...the belt sander , on the other hand, has a belt that travels very flat over the top surface of the machine, and that is a fine solution for intermediate-level sanding of Zank Inlay projects.

Obviously, any woodworker worth his salt will tell you that a belt sander is not a substitute for hand-finishing with very fine grades of sandpaper....but I think many would concede that a belt sander can be a terrific time-saver somewhere between a coarse, roughed-out workpiece and a fine, finished one.
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Re: Inlay Trouble

Postby Jim_in_PA » Thu May 09, 2019 10:10 pm

wb9tpg wrote:When I went to the Marc Adams School of Woodworking one of the first things they taught me was to call the belt sander by its real name: "The Project Wrecker". It does have its uses but it often lives up to its real name.

A wide-belt is a different animal from a hand-held belt sander...several feet wider...

-----
OP, too much bite with the wide-belt might end up doing the same thing as the surfacing cutter did and too little bite will just make it take a very long time. It might be worth the test with scrap.
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