Podcast #14: Router Inlays

13_Mar5_InlayKit copy.jpgDuring this week’s Woodsmith Woodworking Seminar podcast — Router Inlays: Adding Decorative Details — Dennis Perkins, an assistant editor for Woodsmith and ShopNotes magazines, will show us how to use a router inlay kit. During the seminar, he uses a router fitted with a simple kit that includes a bushing, a removable sleeve, and a down-cut spiral bit (click thumbnail at left). He also used his own home-made template. With the kit, he can rout out both the inlay and the matching recess using only one template.

Note: The router inlay kits (Rockler #83642) are available from The Woodsmith Store. Call 800-835-5084 to order. Mention this online coupon code: Seminars to receive free freight.

Another way to add inlay to a project is to use color-tinted epoxy. During the seminar, Dennis demonstrates an easy way to do it. Woodsmith magazine also used the process to add a decorative detail to an end table project that was featured in the magazine.

During the seminars, the presenters often mention a seminar guide or handout. The guide is now available for download in .pdf form from PlansNow.com. If you’d like to follow along during this week’s seminar, you can purchase the guide for only $4.95. The 12-page guide includes a two-page article from Woodsmith No. 166: “Using a Router Inlay Kit.” There’s also the six-page project plan: “Curved-Leg End Table.” It’s a Designer Series article from Woodsmith No. 168 (mentioned above). In addition to the project plan, there’s also a two-page technique article: “Adding An Epoxy Inlay,” and a one-page article on how to build a router trammel: “Router Trammel Jig.”

6 Responses to “Podcast #14: Router Inlays”

Don Ripperger said,

Great Podcast. I have a question. I have a small oval mirror I would like to inset in some oak. What would I have to deduct or add to use the router inlay kit to size the pattern for the mirror? Thanks, keep those Podcasts coming.

Dennis Perkins said,


If you’re using the kit shown above (including the spiral bit) the rule of thumb is: add 3/16″ to the size of the intended inlay piece. An easy way to do this is to get a compass with a pencil point and set it to 3/16″. Then just trace the outline with the metal point against the mirror. Now you can cut out the shape, sand the edge smooth and you’re ready to rout.

I’d advise you to practice on a piece of scrap first, however, because this “formula” can be thrown off if your bit is not perfectly centered or if you get a little carried away and sand too much off the template.

Good Luck.


Jay Bobele said,


I was completely enthralled by your performance – no kidding!! Outstanding show – it’s great to see you in your new environment!

See you soon, bruthah!


Steve & Jamie Campbell said,

Hey Dennis,

Jaybo was enthralled because all 202s are enthralled by 208s; they can’t help it. Great presentation–you made it look easy and I guess I’ll be buying Jamie a router now! smc

Benoit Laroche said,

Hey, that was very interesting.

I have one question, the bits I have does not seem long enough to exit the guide. Is it a problem with my router not going down enough or should I buy bits with longer shaft ?

I’m a real beginner so sorry if question seems dumb. I’m French canadian too so that might explain my english.

thanks much

Bill Taylor said,

Where can I aquire acrylic material for making inlay templates?