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Top Trim Routing Techniques: Mortising Inlays
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Cutting mortise inlays Cutting thin, flush inlays requires small cuts and precision, which makes the trim router the perfect tool for this job.

Inlays require a shallow excavation to seat them flush with the surrounding wood. You can get the job done with other routers too, but a trim router is my first choice. Its small size offers several advantages for precision work like this. Trimmers are much lighter weight than mid-size machines, so you can guide them right up to a knifed outline of your inlay with better control. I use a 1/8" or 1/4" straight or spiral bit. If you have a steady hand and a good eye, there’s no need for a template here; just guide the machine freehand. And, if you’re mortising a narrow apron or small box side, a trim router’s little footprint really helps. A few new machines, like RIDGID’s Model R2401, even have an LED light to brighten up the cutting area — and that’s a big bonus for this sort of exacting work.

posted on December 1, 2010 by Chris Marshall
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