VCarve Inlay suggestions

I am using VCarve to do a multi-inlay project with 3 different types of wood and I’m getting so-so results.

Each inlay is four steps. The “female” piece is done with a straight bit and then a Vbit, and then the same for the “male”.

I watched and followed the VCarve videos on doing the inlay and used their settings for both pieces.
Female: Start Depth of 0.1" and Flat Depth of 0.1"
Male: Start Depth of 0.0" and Flat Depth of 0.2"

The piece seems to fit in pretty well, Doesn’t shift, doesn’t rock, etc but I can’t tell if it is actually bottoming out in the female section.

When we glue it up we glue both pieces and then clamp tightly. We used various amounts of glue, sometimes light, sometimes heavy.

Some of the time the pieces fit really well, fill up the hole, are tight, etc. Other times the inlay ends up loose and not sitting well.

Has anyone else experienced issues doing vbit inlays? Are there settings I could change to make things “tighter” or set us up for better success?

Thanks Robert.
I’ve been through the machine but it looks like I need to again. I know I have a little play in the Z and just got my replacement.

I was hoping there were some tweaks I could do in Vcarve that would make the fit a little tighter. I played a little with changing the Flat Depth and that didn’t work at all. I haven’t grasped what the settings mean exactly for both the female and male.

So, I’m getting frustrated with these inlays so any help would really be appreciated.

I took one of my pieces and cut it in a cross section to confirm my suspicion that there was too much gap between the inlay and the pocket.

As you can see, there is a good gap and you can see light all the way through it. And that is after a LOT of glue in it.
What ends up happening is that the sides are the only place the glue is holding and if it isn’t clamped perfectly the inlay can end up “squishy”. Then when I cut/sand it flat the inlay ends up thin and not even in places.

I checked all my wheels, belt tensions, and calibrations. Hitting 10mm, 40mm dead on for X,Y,Z, and actually cutting very good circles. I checked the dimensions I have for my bits and the angles and they all match up.

I found a couple more articles that talk about how to do Vcarve inlays and what numbers they recommended. Most were 0.0/0.2 for the pocket, and and 0.1/0.1 for the inlay, and one was 0.3 for the pocket and 0.1/0.2 for the inlay.

I started working with different start depths and flat depths and see how things would turn out.
Still using a 90deg bit.
I started with a 0.0/0.2 for the pocket and various inlays.

The 0.1/0.1 obviously felt like it didn’t get close to bottoming out.

The best I found was 0.15/0.2 which sorta fit so I am glueing that one into the 0.0/0.2 pocket.

I tried a 0.0/0.3 pocket with the 0.1/0.2 inlay but that doesn’t fit well at all.

I would like to find a way that the inlay fits down into the pocket and leaves no room at all. Then I should be able to back off just a tiny little bit for “glue space” but after it is all said and done it would be wood, glue, wood and be solid.

I am exactly at the stage you are, trying to get a better seating on my inlays. I read somewhere that on the male inlay, you should have a a flat depth of only .03 less then the female flat depth, and the start depth, the difference , so they add up to the female stare depth. So if you do a .2 on the female, the male inlay would be .17 start and .03 flat. I have had much better success with that, also thinking about trying a .005 inside offset too.

Can’t wait to hear what other say about this.

@RuthJones What trouble are this having? This thread is three years old. You should not need to offset anything for a V-carve inlay other than your Z height (start depth).