Inlaying With a Difference

It’s not conventional but it works more quickly and effectively than any other method I know of. You can transfer the outcome to all manner of wood work for decoration or as in this case make it a standalone piece. We created a good-looking bookmark in minutes and without using anything more than handsaws, planes and a poor man’s mitre box all of which we show in the video. It bucks the trend and the tendency to think all hand methods are archaic and slow. I doubt anyone could do this faster and more effectively using any other method so why not watch, learn and give it a go.

For even more insight and instruction to DIY there is a full length video for free on

17 thoughts on “Inlaying With a Difference”

  1. Michael Ballinger

    That’s brilliant videography. Quick question Paul, what do you do about the wet pva on your tools if anything?

    1. I am always concerned about the interaction between steel, wet PVA and oak.
      I use strips of paper over my steel sash-clamp bars because, not only does it prevent the glue from tarnishing the bar, but, more importantly, it protects oak workpieces from the hideous black marks that can occur where the steel and wet glue interact with the wood.

      1. Paul Sellers

        That’s partly why I don’t generally use steel clamps. I find that they damage my work far to readily and for the extra torque you get it is hardly worth it.

    2. Everything is, or it seems to me at least, much more exaggerated on camera. That said, it seems to be of concern to others. Running the saw through clear wood with two or three strokes clears the saw kerf of glue after and it doesn’t altogether bother me anyway. What may not be obvious every time is how `i run my thumb and forefinger along the sides of the saw with the teeth pinched in between. This is very effective. I am not one of the woodworkers who doesn’t like getting his hands dirty.

      1. “I am not one of the woodworkers who doesn’t like getting his hands dirty.”

        LOL, that is a good one.

  2. Chris Cooper

    It always turns out fine, but I cringe whenever I see how much glue Paul puts on his projects.

    1. I suppose I claim to know what’s needed in glue ups. Inlay and tenons, dovetails and so on, I have seen glue freeze rob people of successful seating just for the sake of little extra glue. I doubt that I’ll change now. I’m quite happy with the outcome of my work in the day to day of life.

  3. Ian Jefferson

    Very artistic videography and a refreshing change of pace. Still I love to hear your narration as well. Hopefully you will continue with both styles of video.

    1. Paul Sellers

      We are preparing the full version as I type so you can follow the instructional video to make soon.

  4. Matthew Collicott

    I love this video. I like how it quickly shows how to make this and allows you to have a little figuring to keep the brain challenged. It would be a nice way to finish off a series doing an artistic video like this cover the building process. Keep up the great work!!!!!

  5. Lovely stuff as always, for those of you that don’t have tongue and groove planes a plough and a rebate plane work well. Thanks as always

  6. Thomas Tieffenbacher

    Hey Paul,
    Nicely done video. Any problems with the difference in expansion and contraction of a hard and soft wood or is that not a problem due to the thinness?

    1. Paul Sellers

      No, no problem. Lots of pieces made centuries ago were veneered hardwood on pine but not to use cheap wood or hide MDF as is common now but so they could match colour and grain configuration.

  7. There are so many aspects or disciplines in woodworking, here is another one!
    You could spend your life just making different types of decorative banding for inlays. I have seen them made curved with thousands of pieces for reproduction of antique tables.

  8. Refreshing to see what would otherwise be a couple of scrap pieces of wood turned into something functional such as a bookmark, apart from furniture inlay. Wonderful video!!

  9. Lynn R Bradford

    Bravo! Great videography, and your poor man’s miter box gives me ideas! Keep up the great work!

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