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Thread: Carving an inlay in ash?

  1. #1

    Carving an inlay in ash?

    I don't know if this belongs here but I'm trying to carve a recess in ash so it can filled with turquoise. This is for a pet urn that was just turned and features a dog paw print on top. The problem is the wood is so hard that hand carving seems next to impossible. The Dremel bits that I tried just burn the wood. Any suggestions?

  2. #2
    Ash is normally not particularly hard. Try a fresh, sharp cutter and turn down the rpms or sharpen your hand tools to a keener edge. Drilling out the waste may help.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Peoria, IL
    Ash is harder than basswood, but not particularly hard like Kevin said. You can use some small carving gouges and just tap with a mallet. Then rotate the gouge and repeat. The mallet will do the work.

  4. #4
    Well, depending on what you are carving, ash is not a good wood to carve. It is rather coarse and open grained. If you are going for a cabochon, which would be round, that would be best done on the lathe. If you are going for any other type of shape, like a star for example, then sharp carving tools, a firm grip on the piece, and a steady hand.

    robo hippy

  5. #5
    For inlay, I trace the piece to be inlaid to the wood, then use a trim router to remove most of the wood, being careful on the edges. Then I use carving tools to take the excavation to the lines.

    When the inlaid piece is wood, I make the inlay a bit proud. It's easier to reduce the inlay to the ground than to have it too low.

    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

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