Bill recently had a comission for some Blacker House style chairs that involved 12 inlaid backsplats. To be more precise, 24 curved, through mortises, 12 inlay pockets and 120 pieces of pretty tiny inlay. After completing and photocopying his handmade prototype, he asked if we could do the preparatory inlay work for him on our CNC to speed the process along. We scanned his full sized photocopy into our CAD program, created the drawings and the protoype below, (with donut), made the improvements he suggested, created a second, more finished prototype for his approval and we were off. The splats were curved so we made extra deep pockets and thicker inlays so everything could be leveled off. He cut the through square holes on his mortiser after we were finished doing our work. There was still some handwork for him to do after we were through, but essentially, the inlay pieces fit right into the holes cut by our router. Total elapsed time per splat for the work described above including the prototyping and programming .... approximately one hour per splat. If you don't think the Hall brothers would have loved this machine, you never tried to make a set of custom chairs with inlays and make a profit at the same time ....
Drawing Bill's protoype inlay on the laptop, creating the tool paths
Sample inlay pockets with donut
Stool and chair splats ... our inlays off the router, on the right hand splat
First three of the sixty inlay 'stems'
Originally posted by Dorset Custom Furniture in their blog