Inlay: A Simple How-To

I can’t say that I have very much experience on inlaying silver in wood, but I have done a few projects with a good amount of success. You’ll need the wood you want to be inlayed, silver or copper wire to inlay (make sure it’s annealed), superglue or epoxy, a light hammer, and a dremel and engraving bit, like this one , the same diameter or so as the wire.

Photo credit: Lowe’s

Start by marking out with a pencil where you want the inlay. Clamp down the wood, and use the dremel to carve a trench along the line. The trick here is to start at one end of the line, and go “under water” (wood-wise) to make an undercut trench, so it’s wider underneath than at the top of the trench. Once this is done, if you are using epoxy mix it up, and dab a small amount into about an inches length of the trench (too long and it hardens before you get there). Take the wire, line up the end of the wire with the end of the trench, and start lightly tapping it into place. Tap it into the trench, being careful not to move it out. Tap it into the trench until you reach the end of the glue line, then start again at the beginning, tapping a little harder. This flattens the wire down into the undercut, so it become held in not only by the glue but also the wood above it. Add more glue further along the trench and repeat. Once you have finished, carefully clip off the excess wire, tap in the end,  and wait for the glue to dry. Once it has done so, use files and sandpaper to grind the wire completely flush with the surface of the wood.

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