Help with Inlays

I am trying to wrap my head around in laying some Vaneer t I got in a sample from Johnson Plastics, well and some wood t I have here. Is there any way using math to get close to the depth of the material I use? I’ve been kicking this around in my brain for two days and any help or instruction would move me to actually designing the thing I’m kicking around in my brain. Thanks in advance.

Assuming you’re wanting to engrave to the perfect depth for the veneer to fit into the substrate?

Short answer…no.

You will have to run tests for both the material that you are laying the veneer into and the particular type of veneer, and whether it comes with an adhesive backing or not.

The higher the LPI value, the deeper the engrave is going to go. Also the slower the speed, but be careful to only adjust the speed increments down by about 5-10 points at a time when testing. You can set fire to your material by trying to be too aggressive about it. If it cuts a little too deeply, increase the speed slightly.

You can also just do multiple passes without adjusting either the speed or the LPI.

Use a small test square, about an inch, to test the fit.


Also be aware a uniform engrave into solid wood will not result in a uniform depth of engrave, due to variations in material density and moisture content across the material.

It can be fairly close, but don’t expect a perfect flush finish without going a little deeper and using adhesive with the ability to fill gaps.


True, it helps to also do a light score around the edges afterwards to burn off the resin deposits on the leading edge.


You mean after I put the inlay in?

No, before. There will be a buildup of resin along the front face. Scoring it will burn it off.

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Oh ok. You meant the resin that the wood produces. I was confused for a minute. Thanks to you @Jules and @eflyguy both

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The same way you see “smoke residue” collect forward of any cut or engrave, when you do a heavy engrave like this, it gets blasted up against the “front” edge/lip.

If you do deep 3D object engraves (like relief patterns), you can actually see a difference between the “front” and “back” sides of the engraved design due to vaporized resin accumulating (and setting) on the “back” side - think like spray paint coming from the back.


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