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Thread: Inlays

  1. #1

    Inlays

    Hello! I have been trying to figure out how to create an inlay on my CNC router. I can't figure out what I'm doing wrong, but am guessing maybe it's the bit I'm using? I am using a 60 degree v-bit. I have attached two pictures, the first one was pine inlayed with cherry. I then realized maybe the pine being too soft would have a lot of movement, so did the next one with maple inlayed with sapele. I also scaled it up to see if my details were too small on the initial attempt. For the female half my start depth was 0" and flat depth is .25". For the male portion start depth is .1 and flat depth .2".

    Any ideas what could be causing the gaps in certain areas of the material?image_67200769.jpgimage_67533569.jpg

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mackenzie Robens View Post
    Hello! I have been trying to figure out how to create an inlay on my CNC router. I can't figure out what I'm doing wrong, but am guessing maybe it's the bit I'm using? I am using a 60 degree v-bit. I have attached two pictures, the first one was pine inlayed with cherry. I then realized maybe the pine being too soft would have a lot of movement, so did the next one with maple inlayed with sapele. I also scaled it up to see if my details were too small on the initial attempt. For the female half my start depth was 0" and flat depth is .25". For the male portion start depth is .1 and flat depth .2".

    Any ideas what could be causing the gaps in certain areas of the material?image_67200769.jpgimage_67533569.jpg

    I usually use a 90 degree Vbit. For the female side, starting depth = 0" and flat depth = 0.11". For the male, starting depth = 0.09" and flat depth = 0.02". This is directly from Garrett Fromme's YouTube on inlays. It has always worked perfectly for me. Look at the Celtic knot in this photo, not the lettering, that was done differently.



    John

  3. #3
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    There are lots of combinations of setting and tools that will work for this, but one thing I always do is to run the V bit before removing any material with the clearance tool. It minimizes chipping.

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    I would stay with the 60 degree bit - the thinking being to get as much depth as possible in the fine detailed area.

    It looks to me like certain portions of the male side are just missing. Assuming they were there when you machined it, it could be they did not glue well, or they broke off when you clamped the two sides together. No doubt part of your thinking to try a harder wood.

    Can you try a deeper vgroove on the female side? That would give more protrusion on the male to mate/seat. Also check to be sure when you clamp the two together they line up well, and do not bottom out against the faces but instead the male side bottoms against the vgroove side. (should be a small gap between the faces when clamped).

    Just some ideas - looks like you have the basic concepts and just need to fine tune the details.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Mick Simon View Post
    There are lots of combinations of setting and tools that will work for this, but one thing I always do is to run the V bit before removing any material with the clearance tool. It minimizes chipping.
    That's a great tip, thank you!

  6. #6
    Thank you for the example and the info on starting and flat depths, I'll play around with them!

  7. #7
    If you are using Vcarve, they have a forum that has LOTS of info on inlay carving. The depths are not set in stone as some would suggest. They are all relative. Its really simple math - once you understand what all the values mean (I still have to think about it when I do one). Sometimes, your resulting heights can be so small that they just get lost in the milling. Been there! Anyway, looks like you are off to a good start. Try reading some the help over at Vcarve. There are some good diagrams that show the various settings and how they relate. You can create a spreadsheet to use to calculate the values too.

    I use a 60 bit for most all of mine too. Something else I have run into is sloppy work holding techniques. I have had material move enough that the inlay didn't look all that great.

    I sometimes make multiple male parts knowing that the grain may cause some the details to vaporize.

    Oh, and clamp it real tight! I use old veneer clamps I found on etsy.

    Good luck!

    Tony

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