Inlace for Easy Wood Inlays

inlace inlay mixtureInlace is a pre-mixed epoxy product that makes doing inlay work very easy.  The product comes in many different mixtures that all have a unique look.  Anyone who can drill a hole can make easy round inlays with Inlace.

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Inlace is an epoxy resin that has granules and flakes of different colors and materials mixed in.  These materials give the epoxy the look of natural stone, and can also be purchased in solid colors as well. Inlace even sells the granules and additives as individual items so custom mixtures can be made to suit any project.

inlace inlayThe first step to any inlay is to drill a hole in the project that will be receiving the inlay.  This is best accomplished with a Forstner bit or Brad Point bit, because the point in the center helps keep the bit from walking.

A drill is a lazy tool, and a brad point bit can walk around before digging in.  Making a small indent with an awl or a nail can help the bit grab.  It does not have to be deep, however it can still be tough.  Using a brad point or forstner bit can make all the difference when the alignment of the holes matters most.

inlace inlay

The hole does not need to be very deep, about 1/8″ to 3/16″ is perfect in most cases.  Too shallow of a cavity can allow the wood color to show through the inlay, because it will be too thin to be opaque.  You want the cavity deep enough that the inlay looks like a solid piece of material.

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The next step is to mix up a small amount of Inlace and hardener, then pour the mixture into the cavity.  It is important to over fill the cavity slightly, as there can be a little settling sometimes.  

inlace inlay

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Also, over filling ensures that there is enough material to be sanded flat with the rest of the wood without leaving a depression on the surface.  Inlace takes several hours to cure, so a little extra over the surface will save a lot of time topping off a shallow fill.  It will adhere better too.

Finally, after the epoxy has dried the inlay material needs to be sanded flush with the surrounding wood surface.  Once this has been done, the piece can be finished as normal to protect both the wood and the inlay.

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