Geometric Inlaying

Inlaying Keyframe

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Paul shows how to inlay geometric patterns into the edge of wood. It’s a technique he’s been using for years to create and decorate all types of projects. It can be done with a pair of tongue and groove planes and a few essential hand tools. Paul uses the mitre box and a fine saw to ensure accuracy, then rips it to thickness and refines it with a thicknessing jig and plane.


  1. allaninoz on 22 May 2017 at 1:06 pm

    This was a surprise! Thanks so much.

  2. ballinger on 22 May 2017 at 1:42 pm

    Wow that was amazing.

  3. Paul Otto on 22 May 2017 at 2:23 pm

    Very interesting and surprisingly easy!

  4. Bill Milhoan on 22 May 2017 at 2:37 pm

    As is so often the case, simple is effective and lovely.

    • John Bonk on 31 May 2017 at 11:46 pm

      Bill. Imagine my surprise seeing this post. Hope all is well with you


  5. António on 22 May 2017 at 2:50 pm

    Thank you WWMC team!

  6. pnj2411 on 22 May 2017 at 3:17 pm

    Amazing! 13 and a half minutes to achieve that.
    I don’t have T&G planes, and they can be hard to find. But I do have a Stanley 50 combination plane which has 1/4″ T&G cutters, so I’ll have a go with that.
    There are more of these than pairs of wooden T&G planes available on Ebay at the moment.

  7. Edmund on 22 May 2017 at 3:34 pm

    Beautiful, and “why didn’t I think of that” simple.
    Was the fact that he put it away in his book suggestive that it’ll be part of some future project? Hmmm

  8. Kenny1 on 22 May 2017 at 3:36 pm

    Great project. Looks easy and beautiful. Two more planes needed for my collection.

  9. Sandy on 22 May 2017 at 4:04 pm

    Great. Now I can’t wait to get back to my shop and give that a try. I can already see this incorperated into a couple of my current projects!

  10. bryandmack on 22 May 2017 at 4:13 pm

    Wow, This video is outstanding!

  11. Philipp J. on 22 May 2017 at 5:43 pm

    Very nice video however for things like that i would definetly use Veneer.
    Veneer just allows you for much more possibilities and variety and less waste, for example you could stack a piece of Cherry or Plum between 2 patterns of Maple and Walnut for a really nice pattern.

    The Limit is just how many Layers or different woods do you want and how complex a pattern.
    Overall i think Veneer is just a bit overlooked in Handtool Woodworking despite the amount of things you can do with it besides glueing it to a Surface.

  12. Peter W on 22 May 2017 at 6:09 pm

    Nice little project.
    Thank You.

  13. Ian Thomas on 22 May 2017 at 6:32 pm

    How would you do it without the specialised planes, the DIY rebate plane and the poor mans router?

    • Edmund on 22 May 2017 at 8:54 pm

      You could simply cut thin strips with a saw. You could then thickness them with Paul’s thicknessing jig and your plane.

      • Ian Thomas on 22 May 2017 at 11:18 pm

        How would you cut the groove to inlay the pieces though?

        • Edmund on 23 May 2017 at 12:29 am

          Two saw cuts and then a router plane or chisel, probably a million other ways, too

  14. terrapin52 on 22 May 2017 at 7:54 pm

    Amazing and fun to watch. Thanks so much!

  15. Jeffrey DiBella on 22 May 2017 at 8:09 pm

    Nice project / technique to sharpen up on planning skills. Thanks for another enjoyable video.

  16. Donald Kreher on 22 May 2017 at 11:50 pm

    Very nice. I have been looking but have yet to acquire wooden tongue and groove planes. However I do have the stanley #48 and #49 tounge and grove planes and they will do the job. I think this will make a nice box decoration. I’ll give it a try.

  17. Bruno Mocibov on 23 May 2017 at 8:12 am

    It’s really nice. Interesting simple technique for many future ideas.

  18. Mark Burns on 23 May 2017 at 10:44 am

    Thankyou Mr Sellers,
    Simple, elegant, and adaptable to all sorts of edges and faces.
    I do hope all of that wet glue got cleaned out of the saw teeth and plane mouth before it set up!!

  19. Marie Bouchard on 24 May 2017 at 1:22 am

    Lovely gift to do! Thank You!

  20. Alan on 24 May 2017 at 3:30 am

    That’s eBay’s prices for matched pairs of Tongue & Groove planes set for the near future.
    Worth noting that a regular Plough Plane (or Plough & Rebate) would work just as easily.

  21. John Batory on 24 May 2017 at 3:43 pm

    Could you not make the inlay using you groove plane and then cut off the sides of the groove to get twice as many pieces to use for the inlay? I’m presuming that the tongue is the same width as the groove walls.

    • Philip Adams on 25 May 2017 at 11:23 am

      Hi John,
      Tongue and groove planes are specifically matched to work together, but I’m sure you could give your idea a go and see if they come out even. Might be difficult to ensure the exact width which the t&g planes do for you.

      • Brother Symeon on 8 September 2018 at 4:56 pm

        were the T&G planes that are used in this video made by hand? If so, how do you make them?

        • Philip Adams on 11 September 2018 at 11:05 am

          They were bought second hand as a pair. You can sometimes pick them up on eBay for a reasonable price or you can use cutters that come with some of the plough/combination planes. They can be made by hand in a similar way to the rebate plane, but are more complex, so I am not sure we will cover them. I will add them to the list for consideration.
          Best, Phil

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