Large Scale Inlay

I looked for a bit on this, i couldn’t find anything on something that was substantially (i use big words when i drink, haha) helpful. I know i’m going about it the wrong way, i want to do a large inlay on a coffee table, from scratch. i haven’t done an inlay with the Easel program yet, and this is probably the worst place to start, but i have an idea in my head using a beautiful piece of Bloodwood i found today. i just need to know any tips for an inlay this size.

My concern, that i did find, id is tolerance and having gaps in the final product. i didn’t know if that size of an inlay would pose the same issues as a smaller one that would go on a cutting board or something of that size.

Test on cheap wood first, I use MDF. Make the male part first so you can fit it to the female while it is on the machine.


Did i mention the laziness that i have for test pieces?

If you want to turn

into firewood… then i suggest you Do Not run a test piece with MDF…

Otherwise @ChrisRice offers good advice.

I once had a boss that would ask if I had made any mistakes that day.

If the answer was No, then he would say “Well, you must not have tried anything new”.


What would I use for testing? This is a very dense wood, wouldn’t i need to try something similar in properties?

You can’t read tone homie.

Not sure i follow what you mean by keeping it on the machine.

even if it’s the size of a coffee table? what adjustments should i expect? and should i try the inlay using a v-bet?

based on that, how can i tell if the machine is “tight” enough? most of my carves have been great, nothing showing and stress or issues once finished. And if i used a v-bit, don’t you just tell it “60 degree bit” and the depth?

Which reminds me, how deep do you carve out the female piece before the details get smashed together?

My design will be fairly simple. a filigree or floral type nonsense.

That’s what she said?


Sounds like my dad.

1 Like

In the video referenced above at about 17:16 he is cutting the female side. He does a series of offsets to develop the vectors to create a pocket and one to limit the boundary of the V carve. Any idea if there Is there a reason he did not just select the “Use Flat Area Clearance Tool.” Seems like the result would be the same but much easier. Am I missing something? I’m new to this and just trying to understand the process.

That has to do with the starting depth, I believe. By creating the separate area to pocket, you can make your start depth 0, otherwise you are constrained by the start depth of .1" if you do the “use flat clearance tool” box. Some machines don’t have the umph to do a first pass of over .1" which is what would happen by using the flat clearance tool. Been there… it’s not fun to watch the carve the fail on the first pass because it was trying to cut too deep on the first pass.

I just watched that video. I did learn a thing or two about what to expect, but I’ll be using Easel for this. Does everything still apply the way he explained it?

With Easel though, is it recommended to use straight cut bits or can i still use a v-bit.

I will be going through my scrap bin and do some smaller pieces first, just not of the design i came up with for the table., not sure if it matters or not, but i’ll at least get an feeling of what to expect.

Not sure i can justify that cost though, I don’t use the X-Carve as much as i would like to make a valid argument on that price.

Check this.

I’m about to start this project, I have the top done and ready to carve. I tried to do the “inlay app” in Easel, and it made my picture all mashed up. Is that an issue? Or should i manually set the project with “fill” and “outline” stages?

Not sure if it helps or matters, but here’s the table I’ll be doing the inlay on. Finished planing and sanding this evening.

1 Like

Oh, and here’s the possible inlay idea. looks kinda crappy to me. maybe i’m doing something wrong with the inlay app?