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Routing the Inlay Pockets

Routing the Inlay Pockets
  6. The guide bush was fitted to the router. The Inlay collar must be fitted to the guide bush for this stage to create the correct offset.

The cutter was fitted, ensuring the shank was sufficiently inserted in the collet to the K mark on the shank.
The plunge depth was set on the router for the pocket depth. Since the inlay cutter is a small diameter, light passes needed to be taken until the required depth was reached. The inlay patches could be made flush with the surrounding work-piece, or slightly stepped.

Routing the Inlay Pockets
  7. The router was switched on, plunged to depth and guided in a clockwise direction around the outline of the template, keeping the collar in contact with it.
The remainder of the pocket surface was routed off.

Routing the Inlay Pockets
  8. If several inlay pockets are to be machined, it may be worthwhile to increase the cutter size (and guide bush size), to remove the bulk of the surface material speedily.
For example a 14mm diameter cutter and a 28mm guide bush Ref: C023A and GB28 could be used with the Heart pattern and other templates where the guide bush is not restricted.

Small radii left in the internal corners of pockets will need to be removed with a chisel or sharp knife.

Routing the Inlay Pockets
  9. It was now time to rout the inlay patches. If the inlay cutter and guide bush were removed, they need to be re-fitted to the router, but the collar must be taken off for this stage.

A piece of timber should be placed underneath the inlay material being routed, to protect the workbench as the cutter passes through.
A tab of double-sided tape should be placed on the underside of the patch to be cut, so that it is held in place when parted off.
The template and work-piece were clamped in place and the inlay patch routed out, with the router travelling in a clockwise direction.
Again, light passes should be taken until the full depth of material has been cut.

Routing the Inlay Pockets
  10. For this stage, it is important that the guide bush follows the template constantly, without deviating from the intended path, as this would notch in to the shape being made.
For instance, at the top point of the heart, as the router is coming out of the left curve, the tendency may be to let the router continue through in an arc motion, but instead needs to stay firm on the edge of the template as it enters in to the right curve. (See photo).
By using the technique of rolling the guide bush at this point rather than pushing it sideways will help to keep it in contact with the template.

Repeat as necessary.

     
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