Perfect Fit Inlay


There have been a bunch of great posts on Inlays using the Glowforge laser cutter. Wanted to try an instrument head stock inlay that I have attempted before, but found impossible (for me) to do by hand. Have a buddy that works at a veneer company so I have access to a lot of different veneer scraps. Unfortunately, don’t know what was used here. Looks a little like Padauk.

My stock veneers are extremely thin, 0.02" or about half of the Beta Glowforge veneers with masking. Fragile. I broke 2 of the Clefs picking them up off of the laser bed.

Anyway, imported a clef pic into Inkscape, uploaded the design, engraved a pocket in Proofgrade Maple ply (4:30 min), cut the Clef out of my stock veneer (10 seconds).
Put wood glue in the pocket, slid the cutout in place, clamped, then lightly sanded.

Placement and flush fit feels perfect with zero gap.

Kind of marquetry
Weekly Highlights for the Week Ending April 29th, 2017
May 2017 Update

Nice fit!


Did you kerf adjust the clef?


I usually adjust for kerf depending on the material but in this case it was a one for one. No adjustment. Used the same design, one with a fill, one with a stroke and no fill.


Wow that’s thin. Are you sure the decimal point is in the right place?


Nope you are right. It was 0.02". Edited. (they don’t have a spell checker for numbers)


Excellent! This isn’t something I planned to do with my Glowforge but it’s nice knowing it’s an option. My cousin recently took a several month intensive program in designing and building guitars and I offered him occasional access to my Glowforge and CNC router. He was much appreciative.


I wonder if the glue causes the thin veneer to swell a little and that closes the gap.


Wow, I just love how all these inlays are turning out. Really wonderful work.


I test fit before using the glue and didn’t notice any gap at all. If you zoom way in you might notice some discolored streaks around the Clef. I got in a hurry and used water to wipe the wood glue off and it very slightly stained the Proofgrade grain from the edges. Should have used mineral spirits.


Beautiful fit! :relaxed:


That is the most beautiful unkerfed clef I’ve ever seen! :laughing:




I’ve got to use that in the highlights description…:smile:


Very nice. That came out great!


Beautiful! I’m really excited by the potential of inlays like this.


This is the sort of thing that I need to learn. Is there a good book on woodworking for beginners? I know literally nothing… I wouldn’t have a clue about what kind of glue to use, what kind of sandpaper to use, when or how to clamp things… I’d like to cover a piece like that in a thick, shiny lacquer but again, I don’t know what the right kind of product is… only that it must exist, since I have seen it in use.

Anyway, this inlay result is very encouraging. This is the sort of thing I’d like to do with my GF.

(Can anyone think of a mother-of-pearl like material?)


This is a great demo. Helps me to think of what other target audiences who use inlay work might want a Glowforge. Make a bunch of swatches/examples of various inlays for various uses. At the moment I only have the compass rose and a couple letters. I will have the whole alphabet inlaid to take to BAMF. Some special symbols and glyphs just might be the ticket.

Great job!


That is amazingly beautiful fine-tuned work. That sort of precision is amazing.


Beautiful and very encouraging! Thanks for sharing!