Master Class: Classic Arts & Crafts inlay
Synopsis: Tackle the inlaid head- and footboard of Kevin Rodel’s Arts and Crafts bed. The design is based on Glasgow-style motifs and requires several templates for the curved channels and the spade- and heart-shaped inserts.
The inlay design that I developed for the head- and footboard of my bed is based on glasgow-style motifs that I have adapted to inlay work. I’ve used some version of this design on several different pieces. Here I’ll give you the basic steps so you can try it in your own work.
Templates guide the work
For this design, you’ll need several templates made out of 1⁄4-in.-thick Masonite. one is for the curved channels of the pattern and the other two are for the spade and the heart-shaped inserts. These templates will be used several times for each cutting sequence, so they must be “squared” and have a marked centerline for accurate registration.
Rout the channels first
For efficiency and speed, I use two routers for this task. Both have the same size bit, but one is used with a guide bushing and template (for the curved sections); the other with a straightedge for the straight cuts.
Clamp the main template to the panel, which in this case is the wide slat of the bed’s head- or footboard. The top of this template should be flush with the tenon shoulder, with the centerlines of the workpiece and template aligned. rout the vertical, straight portion of the channels first, using the router with guide bushing and following the template part of the way.
Remove the template, then use a spacer or the trim router itself to set up a straight edge for these channels. Finish the cuts with the router and straightedge. Glue in these two inlay strips. when…