Binding Inlay to Dress up a Project

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An easy way to dress up a project is by adding binding inlay. These are thin strips of wood that are about 1/4 inch tall, and 1/16-1/8 inch thick. The length varies, but most of them are about 36 inches long. It’s a simple matter of creating a rabbet and gluing in the strips, but the project takes on a much higher end look.

Binding Inlay – Creating the Rabbet

binding inlayThe first step is to use a rabbeting bit to create a ledge around the edges of your project. Any place that you want to install binding inlay, just create a rabbet.

It’s easiest to make a rabbet that is just slightly smaller than the binding inlay. This way, you sand it flush afterwards and it will look good.

On this Wine Ceremony Box that I have a full tutorial for in another article, I use Cocobolo binding inlays to dress up the Pine. Not only does it add to the look, but it contrasts well against the lighter colored Pine. The difference in cost is very small, but the difference in the look is huge.

Binding Inlay – Gluing and Sanding

binding inlayAfter you glue the binding strips in place, just sand them flush. Then, round the edges slightly with sandpaper.

Here is a picture of my Wine Ceremony box with the Cocobolo binding sanded flush. The wood looks great, and the box has a much better look than Pine alone.

Binding inlay is a simple way for you to elevate a basic project with an easy add on. You can make these strips yourself with a table saw, or you can look at a guitar making supplier and buy them.

When you make them yourself, you have unlimited choice. A guitar making supplier will typically have a decent selection though.

If you have any questions on Binding Inlay to Dress up a Project, please leave a comment and I will be glad to answer them. Also, please share my work with your friends on Pinterest! Happy building.

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  • More than 20 Years Woodworking Experience
  • 7 Woodworking Books Available on Amazon
  • Over 1 Million Words Published About Woodworking
  • Bachelor of Arts Degree from Arizona State University
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