View Full Version : Inlay Example

Jeff Lehman
01-10-2007, 12:52 PM
With the talk about inlaying veneer, I wanted to show a pic or two of some of the things we have done at my place of employment. This is not an ad. Most of our customers are high-end furniture companies.

My laser business is a sideline from my normal employment where we do use a laser to cut veneer for the inlay and curves you see in the pics.

All components of the floral arrangement are different species of veneer chosen for their color and characteristics. The shading is done by burning one portion of an individual piece.

The table is over 8' long...if you look closely it has some very narrow line inlay. These curves can be a bear!



Frank Corker
01-10-2007, 1:18 PM
Hey Jeff, that is really quality stuff, can't even count the different number of veneers in there, but really nice. This is one I did for a colleague of mine when he retired, I only used 5 different types of wood but the box is on 5" x 7" and it turned out pretty well

Vicky Orsini
01-10-2007, 1:45 PM
http://www.discodelic.netfirms.com/happy-applause1.gif Very impressive, both of you! I can only hope I'll have a fraction of your talent some day.

Lee DeRaud
01-10-2007, 1:54 PM
Some simpler project ideas for somebody just starting out:
They're both done "veneer-style" (background vector-cut and applied to substrate) but using ~1/8" material.

Jeff Lehman
01-10-2007, 2:15 PM
Frank thats some beautiful work!


Bob Yeager
01-10-2007, 3:30 PM
Working with veneers is one reason I made the leap into buying my laser...I haven't tried any inlays yet...but "soon".

JEFF --when you cut one veneer (to be removed) and then cut another to be used as the inlay...do you cut both at the same size setting?? Or do you cut one or the other slightly larger or smaller to get a tighter fit to compensate for the material lost to the burn??

Great work and examples!!


Mark Winlund
01-10-2007, 6:23 PM
Jeff... On the table, I assume you use a vacuum press to glue it all down. A couple of questions:

Do you have problems with keeping it flat?
What type of glue do you use?
The veneer tape looks wider than usual... any tricks here?

The reason I ask is that I use some pretty wild veneers sometimes, and have problems keeping them flat long enough to apply.


Jeff Lehman
01-10-2007, 6:28 PM

If I understand your question correctly, our inlay work is done a little differently.

What you see is 2-ply piece of veneer (usually a maple or sapele back) that has been glued together with a tego glue. This makes for a very stable piece of veneer (actually results in a very thin piece of what could be called plywood). This 2-ply process also prevents any movement (shrinkage or swelling) from occurring.

These are then assembled almost as simply as a puzzle, then a tape is applied to the face side to stabilize the pieces. These pieces can be glued directly to the actual piece of furniture or project. The surface is then sanded and finished. Sometimes we glue a 3rd ply so the customer receives a solid sheet of "plywood" which can withstand a bit rougher handling during its installation process. The taped 2-ply product is obviously a bit more delicate since tape is all that is holding the pieces together until they are glued on a substrate.

To answer your basic question, yes the pieces are normally offset the same amount.

I know this is a long-winded answer, but couldn't think of a way to explain it more briefly.



Jeff Lehman
01-10-2007, 6:34 PM
Keeping veneer flat is always an issue that we wrestle with. The table you see in the picture is in 2-ply form. This process makes the veneer stable (flat) enough for anyone to apply it to a substrate. Our laser uses a vector hold-down table as most do, but thats the only place in the production process that it's needed.

Normally the back ply is a stable and relatively inexpensive species of veneer which is usually glued cross grain to the back of the face veneer. As you probably already know, this minimize warping/buckling.

We use tego glue which comes in a sheet form...the sheets of roughly cut veneer are glued using a heat press and then are laser cut using the customers CAD drawing.

We dont do any finishing in-house.



Mitchell Andrus
01-10-2007, 6:39 PM
Mark, I flatten potato chip veneers with Super-Soft 2 from Veneersupplies.com. There are others out there. You've got to plan a day or two ahead. You soak the veneer in this stuff and press with something absorbent. I use paper towels and/or brown craft paper. Not all lay flat enough for lasering though....

Jeff Lehman
01-10-2007, 6:54 PM
Here is a pic of our customer's finished product. They do an amazing job!


Mark Winlund
01-10-2007, 7:35 PM
[quote=We use tego glue which comes in a sheet form...the sheets of roughly cut veneer are glued using a heat press and then are laser cut using the customers CAD drawing.

Jeff... I haven't heard of tego glue... can you tell me the supplier?

I have been using the hot melt glue from woodworkers supply, 24" x 96" for about $21 per sheet. I use a large photo mounting press to apply it, but sometimes have problems of delamination due to taking it out of the hot press. Befor I can get it under weights, it has cooled sufficiently to leave bubbles. It sounds like you have avoided this problem.


Frank Corker
01-10-2007, 8:05 PM

The finished article is a sight to behold, magnificant, I hope one day someone will ask me to have a go for them. Wonderful