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Thread: Adding inlay banding to curved surfaces

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Ventura, CA
    Posts
    507

    Adding inlay banding to curved surfaces

    Greetings all.

    I have used prefabricated inlay banding a few times with good success.

    You know the stuff; it comes in 36" lengths and you use a router to make shallow groove the proper width and glue it in place

    Not too tough on flat surfaces and it can add a very nice detail to our work as there are a wide variety of banding designs available.

    But what about putting it into a curved surface? How do you rout out the groove?

    For example, if I wanted to put the banding where the blue stripe is shown in the attached image. Just try to hold the base up against the router table fence and manually rotate the work?

    Seems dodgy and possibly unsafe. Note that the curved corners are 1/2" radius...

    Any better suggestions?

    I hope the question makes sense...

    Thanks in advance!
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Wayland, MA
    Posts
    2,046
    For round objects the lathe makes it easy. for something with only outside curves like in you picture, set up a router cutter of the right width in a router table with a fence such that the blade protrudes by the desired depth of cut and rotate the object against the fence at the cutter.

    Or, for any shape object do it the way they did it for centuries, with a knife and chisel. For a small object that's probably still quicker than setting up the router table and your width can be anything you like, you're not restricted to router bit dimensions for your banding.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    SE Michigan
    Posts
    2,619
    Can’t add much to what Roger said. For a one off, I’d likely do it by hand. For multiple pieces, set up the router table.

    You’ll also need a method to bend the banding (1/2” is a pretty tight bend). And if you don’t want four separate corner pieces, you’ll need to bend it at the right places. Depending on how picky you are where the two banding ends meet, patterned bandings are much challenging to match perfectly, than striped bandings.

    Another thought, to make things easier, would be to just inlay a solid contrast color wood corner and put the banding in between.
    Last edited by Phil Mueller; 08-05-2020 at 8:02 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Valrico, FL
    Posts
    23
    In addition to the method by Roger (from my formerly home state) a router bit and bearing limiting the cut to the thickness of the banding could follow the curve. Steve Latta is the foremost authority on inlay including banding and his video would be most helpful to you. Heating the banding with metal shim stock backing is the method Latta uses very effectively.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Ventura, CA
    Posts
    507
    Thanks everybody; I appreciate your thoughts.

    I will rethink things and avoid the banding on the rounded corners or just slice off the bottom and glue it up with a contrasting layer instead of an inlay.

  6. #6
    Look up bending wooden guitar binding. It will show a few methods, including hot pipe bending.

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