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This was a combined project with my husband and myself using both the wood shop and laser shop. I found a pattern online and thought it would make a beautiful inlay for the top of a table – that’s how it began. We left the table in it’s natural color with no stain – 1) because I like natural woods and 2) it becomes really hard to stain only the cherry and not the inlay… (I’m working on it though).

Thanks for the extra info and pictures Terry.
It’s incredible there is no “collateral” burn marks I can see with such an intricate pattern!

From the look of it you got a might laser.

-- Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

I try to make our laser kind of work like a cnc. In wood working, you would be evacuating the space to be inlaid by router, cnc or chisels and knifes – with the laser, it’s call raster and it burns out the evacuated space. So yes, it does burn down the area I want to inlay. I had to make 3 passes with the laser to get it deep enough for the wood veneer, times 2 for the other table and I mirrored the image for the other table as well.

Top left is my finished drawing with my blanks, Top right is my blanks shaped and ready for the laser. Bottom left is both blanks rastered out and ready to be inlayed, Bottom right is a completed inlay top, before finish.

The tables are beautiful on their own.
The inlay augment that by at least ten folds
You guys are quite a team.

Does the laser burn the socket to receive the inlay as well?

-- Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

Thank you all! I use solid wood veneer and our laser. When we bought the laser, the purpose was supposed to be for our retirement – so Steve didn’t have to put out the large projects and yet we could continue to create well into our retirement. In 2009, it was a very dry year for our business – and I remember the sales rep telling us that the laser could be used for inlay. I used that dry period to develop the process and practice for laser inlay. It is really fun to do and we just added a vacuum system to glue the inlays down.

Beautifully done project Terry. You and your husband are a great team. The inlays look like high quality marquetry. Did you use veneer or solid wood for the inlays?

-- Mike, an American living in Norway


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