Cutting a groove for stringing

Mark Johnson

Mark
Corporate Member
I want to outline fairly complex part with stringing inset about 1/2 in from the outer edge of the piece. The part has straight lines, curves, and 90 degree angles that meet together. How do I go about cutting the groove 1/2 in from the edge on something like that?
 

McRabbet

Rob
Corporate Member
Lee Valley Tools has an Inlay Cutter for their Large Router Plane that includes bevel-edged cutters, shims and a special brass attachment for the fence accessory for the Router. With the three tools, you can set stringing widths from 1/16" to 15/32" and run parallel to the edge or straight or curved surfaces. Here a link to the Inlay Cutter. I have them and they work well.

EDIT: I should add that we have a long-time member from Monroe, NC who has excellent supplies for stringing and banding: Matt Furjanic. Matt has a website at www.inlaybanding.com and offers a wide variety of banding (he makes many styles), stringing materials and small router bits. He also has several excellent YouTube tutorials on techniques that are worth watching. His prices are very fair and products sent promptly.
 
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Mark Johnson

Mark
Corporate Member
Thanks for the ideas. The primary difficulty is keeping the cutter in the right location when about 1/2 inch away from the edge. A pin as an indexing point on the edge is too difficult to keep square when going around the curves, or at least when I have attempted it, and the wobbly line is not going to work. I'll try making a scratch stock and see if I can control that any better. Michael, I'm planning on 1/16 th inch stringing, but will experiment with 1/8th. I doubt 1/8th can handle the radius.

Can yes, a CNC would make this easy, but several thousand dollars over my budget.
 

Mark Johnson

Mark
Corporate Member
I was hoping to use the outside edge as some sort of template. It appears that I may have to just lay the pattern out a second time using the inlay tools. If that is how to do it, then that's what I'll do. Thanks!
 

striker

Stephen
Corporate Member
I did the majority of the stringing on this piece by using a typical scratch stock. The bow front presents some complications. The undulating areas are tricky. I started by making a scribed line guided by the curved edge or by a compass depending on which area I was working. Once the scribed line was in place, I used a sharpened straight screwdriver to stamp a groove.
About the screwdriver: I bought a few straight blade bits (longer ones I could hold). I dressed them with a bench grinder to the desired width and with parallel sides. Then I carefully cut a "V" parallel to the sides in the bottom of the blade leaving 2 sharp edges.

On to the stamping: Catch the edge if the bit in the scribed line and with a light hammer shot drive the material inward slightly. Repeat the process and walk around the curved parts a 1/4 inch at a time.

I've probably made this as clear as mud. If this is anything like you're trying to accomplish I can elaborate further.
I believe I "borrowed" this process from Jeff Headley.
 

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bbrown

Bill
User
Dremel tool in a Stewart-Mac dremel base for straight lines. Inlay bits are available in most sizes. I use the 1/40", 1/32", 3/64" the most. I make curves with the Lie-Nielson radius tool mentioned above. I do tons of Federal inlay and am developing a radius jig for the dremel....www.LineAndBerry.com
www.MaineCoastWorkshop.com ---->Frank Strazza is teaching this, along with marquetry techniques, July 5-9.
 

Hmerkle

Hank
Corporate Member
I was hoping to use the outside edge as some sort of template. It appears that I may have to just lay the pattern out a second time using the inlay tools. If that is how to do it, then that's what I'll do. Thanks!
@Michael Mathews idea of a scratch stock is a good idea, if you have a pattern to follow ("the outside edge of XXX") and as he says they are Easy to make, but talk to Phil (@Phil S ) because IIRC he started on the spice cabinets manually and then went to Steve Latta's tools..
 

Mark Johnson

Mark
Corporate Member
I did the majority of the stringing on this piece by using a typical scratch stock. The bow front presents some complications. The undulating areas are tricky. I started by making a scribed line guided by the curved edge or by a compass depending on which area I was working. Once the scribed line was in place, I used a sharpened straight screwdriver to stamp a groove.
About the screwdriver: I bought a few straight blade bits (longer ones I could hold). I dressed them with a bench grinder to the desired width and with parallel sides. Then I carefully cut a "V" parallel to the sides in the bottom of the blade leaving 2 sharp edges.

On to the stamping: Catch the edge if the bit in the scribed line and with a light hammer shot drive the material inward slightly. Repeat the process and walk around the curved parts a 1/4 inch at a time.

I've probably made this as clear as mud. If this is anything like you're trying to accomplish I can elaborate further.
I believe I "borrowed" this process from Jeff Headley.
Thanks, this makes sense and I think I understand the approach. This technique is a little bit like tooling leather.
 

Mark Johnson

Mark
Corporate Member
Dremel tool in a Stewart-Mac dremel base for straight lines. Inlay bits are available in most sizes. I use the 1/40", 1/32", 3/64" the most. I make curves with the Lie-Nielson radius tool mentioned above. I do tons of Federal inlay and am developing a radius jig for the dremel....www.LineAndBerry.com
www.MaineCoastWorkshop.com ---->Frank Strazza is teaching this, along with marquetry techniques, July 5-9.
I will check your site. This approach seems like it would work as well.
 

BSevier

New User
Bryan
Another idea is using a purfling cutter - typically used in guitar building. These can be found at Stew Mac, Lee Valley or there's a ton of them on Ebay. These are great for going around curves - both inside and outside curves.
 

Cuthriell

Cuthriell
User
These tools are pretty simple to make. The cutters are available from Lie Nielsen at a modest price. The tool on the left is for sizing the stringing and the right is a radius tool. For straight lines I use a scratch stock with the LN cutter. I made these using guidance from a site I cannot locate now. It may have been something published by Steve Latta before the tools became available from LN. You can make cutters like Latta's, but I was not able to duplicate the compound bevel grind. The LN cutters work a charm.

1616790982022.png
 

Mark Johnson

Mark
Corporate Member
These tools are pretty simple to make. The cutters are available from Lie Nielsen at a modest price. The tool on the left is for sizing the stringing and the right is a radius tool. For straight lines I use a scratch stock with the LN cutter. I made these using guidance from a site I cannot locate now. It may have been something published by Steve Latta before the tools became available from LN. You can make cutters like Latta's, but I was not able to duplicate the compound bevel grind. The LN cutters work a charm.

View attachment 200704
Thanks,
I had already decided to make a template and rout or make something like a bow compass with the cutters, & a scratch stock with the same cutter. Thanks for the pictures.
 

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