Bending an Inlay Strip
I’m constructing the small sideboard as shown below. The lower front decorated rail has a strip inlay on the bottom curved edge. Not only was I unsure how to bend this strip in the shop, I was equally unsure how to make this in my SketchUp model.
On the mahogany piece, I was able to dampen the inlay strip and coat both sides with hot hide glue. The strip rather easily handled the bend as I pressed it into the rabbet. The rapid grab of the hide glue held the inlay in place (no clamps required).
Here is the status of my construction – now working on the finish.
Here’s a closer view of the black & white inlay strip on the lower shaped border of the front rail.
In SketchUp I had to involve a free Plug-in called Shape Bender. You can Google this name and find the location for download.
Step 1: Build your inlay strip. Since this repeats the design, I made a small length and copied to make up the full length.
Step 2: To use the Shape Bender Plug-in, you need three things:
1. The Inlay Strip as a Group at the proper length (I used half the length of the Front Rail).
2. A Straight Line on the Red Axis the identical length of the Inlay Strip
3. The curve of the Front Rail shaped edge. Since I had made this curve using several arc segments, I used the Weld plug-in to combine these arcs into one item
These are shown in the “setup” below.
Step 3: Execute the Shape Bender in this sequence:
1. Click on the Inlay Strip to select it
2. Click on the Shape Bender Tool
3. Click on the Straight Line
4. Click on the curved edge
Step 4: You should now see a green shape along the bent curve. Hit the Enter Key.
Step 5: After hitting Enter, you should see the bent Inlay shape which is made a component by Shape Bender.
Step 6: Place the bent Inlay Strip into the rabbet on the bottom edge of the Front Rail.
Note: Occasionally, the Shape Bender would fail to give me the correct results. For example it would not be black and white with material colors, rather a default color. However, it would eventually produce correctly.