disappointing inlay

I tried to inlay a marble top that I had to use as my router insert last night and after HOURS of effort I was very dissapointed to discover that somehow, even though I had used a pattern bit and guides, I had routed outside the lines by close to "! What did I do wrong? What is the secret to nice tight inlays? I'm hoping to cut the miter gauge slot this morning. Can't decide wether to use the dado blade or the router again.
signature Troy & Michelle Hall Cogy Farm Clay Center, Kansas 67432
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Troy Hall said:

I'm not sure what went wrong, but this is how I generally inlay square/rectagular things like router table inserts:
Use a TOP bearing pattern bit with the same radius as the corners of the insert (if they are rounded). Lay the insert on the table and make a frame out of 4 pieces of wood that fits tightly around the insert and fasten together. Remove the insert from the frame and place on the desired substrate to route - being careful not to upset the square of the frame. Set the router depth and rout the opening.
Comes out perfect every time - and you don't have to buy templates or special bushing and bit sets.
As for the miter slot, make certain you have a good straightedge and clamp it securely to the top. If you're unsure of your steadiness, add another straightedge on the opposite side - to "capture" the router base. Cut ONLY 1/4" or less with each pass, and make multiple passes. Do not rotate the router, as some bases are not symmetrical - which will lead to a wavering slot.
Works like a champ. Did a router table top just two days ago exactly in this fashion. Everything fit perfectly.
FWIW. Good Luck,
Greg G.
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him.. basically I did what you said. I put 1x2's completely around the frame and then made a "sled" to ride ontop of them. I was using the router bit you describe. Maybe I wasn't careful enough.
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On Sat, 18 Sep 2004 14:32:30 GMT, "Troy Hall"

You obviously didn't do it freehand or you would have seen your bit go outside the lines. Did you use the wrong (narrower) bushing in the router, or the wrong (wider) bit?
You DID put a bushing in the router plate, right? =:0
I guess you can now lay out your pattern on paper over the cutout and route a new inlay piece to match, huh?
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bushing?
signature Troy & Michelle Hall Cogy Farm Clay Center, Kansas 67432
calmly ranted:

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(Please don't top-post.)

http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.asp?SID=&ccurrency=&pageA779&category=1,43000
If you're not eyeballing the bit up against the outline, and you don't know what a bushing is, how are you routing inlay?!?
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Larry Jaques wrote:

http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.asp?SID=&ccurrency=&pageA779&category=1,43000
Sorry forgot about top--posting.... I'm calling it an inlay because it is a square of marble that I recessed to be flush with the top of the router table. I believe this to be the definition of an inlay. I put the marble on the table, put 4 boards around the outside. Put the marble on top of that, put the router on top of that and then plunged until the bit just touched the wood. Removed the marble, got a large board with a smooth edge to use as a bearing guide, and then started routing. This setup did not work as well as it theoritically should have. I used a 1" pattern bit 1/2" in diameter with a top mounted bearing.
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On Sun, 19 Sep 2004 16:09:55 GMT, "Troy Hall"

Is that a 1/2" diameter bit (with 1" cutting surface/length) and a 1/2" diameter bearing? If so, and your opening was precisely the size of the inlay, you should have had the proper opening and the only cleanup should have been squaring the corners.
The template lets a pattern bit (bearing and cutter same diameter) cut precisely that size. Check your template setup and verify that the bit and bearing are the same size. They're the 2 controlling surfaces. You need to limit the bit travel to the precise size of the inlay.
A 1/8" smaller diameter bearing would allow that 1/4" you got, as would a template which wasn't precisely measured.
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Yes. Both of those could have been the problem. It is the first time I've ever used the bit so I just assumed it was ok. I will have to take my caliper and measure the bearing and bit to see what they measure. But yes, the 1" is the length. If I remember right its a bosch bit. It either bosch or skill can't remember which one... it was bought at Lowes.
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