Template Inlays

I first came across the concept of template inlays back when I was working on a poker table concept, back in 2009.  This was a pretty basic form – a simple shape and a contrasting piece of timber.

What I have come across recently, lifts that basic concept into the stratosphere!  It is a similar concept to the multiple templates used with the 3D router carver

Over at Tarter Woodworking, the concept of template inlays has been taken to a logical conclusion – using multiple templates (and the use of different timbers) to create stunning inlay results.

Results like this Clownfish…


which happens to be one of the smaller templates, but is one of my favourites.  It is not painted on – it is multiple timbers routed and inlaid.

The templates are very reasonably priced – this clownfish template is a whole $US11.50


Bit of a confession however – I have a few templates here, begging to me to try them out and I haven’t (yet)!  I went to do so last weekend, then discovered a slight problem.  Having replaced my Triton handheld routers with a Festool, I didn’t have the adapter to fit the Porter Cable-style template guide rings!

That I rectified first thing Monday morning, so I am ready to go as soon as I find a couple of minutes to rub together.

Think I will probably tackle the clownfish first, but then, there is the Monarch butterfly to try.  That will take a good assortment of timbers to make the design come to life.

Monarch_full_with_stencil Monarch_Stencil_-_used MONARCH1

So looking forward to trying these out for myself – this weekend if all goes to plan (and I find my shed again under the mountain of mess and sawdust from last weekend’s rush build)!

5 Responses

  1. “That I rectified first thing Monday morning”, how?
    I have a festool router and have been trying to figure out how to use the Porter-Cable guides for ages.
    Found a English company that could do a guide but this was around $240.

    • Hi Rodney,

      There is a Festool guide bushing adapter specifically for allowing the two-part US (Porter Cable, or Leigh Jig) style bushings to fit Festool. Costs about $50


      Is that what you are looking for?

      I got mine from Carbatec – looks a little different to the one pictured above, as it has an additional reinforcing ring providing extra thickness at the hole, but the end result is the same.

      The 2 piece guides are like these, offered by PWS


      Hope that helps!

  2. Thank’s for the reply.Will put this on the next Alltools order.

  3. Hi. Please could you tell me if these great templates are available to ship to UK. Many thanks.

    • I’m sure they will supply to the UK. Contact them via their website, and I’m sure they will oblige

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