Think & Tinker, Ltd.
CNC router bits and carbide cutting tools with tutorials and technical guides

Zero Glue Line Inlay

Artists have been embedding precious stones, bits of shell, and ivory into furniture, jewelry, weapons, and religious artifacts for millennia. The use of inlay to depict animals, people, and deities reached a high point in ancient Egypt where jewels, ivory and exotic hardwoods were combined to form some of the most beautiful works of art ever created. The craftsmanship is so meticulous and precise that, even under magnification, no gap or glue-line can be discerned between the ivory, ebony and sandalwood inlaid into the leg of this 6,000 year old stool.  

A number of techniques have been developed to achieve, or to give the impression of zero glue-line inlay.  All, however, begin with cutting the part and the pocket accurately to insure that the initial fit is as close as possible . Material selection, glue viscosity and preparation of the bonding surfaces also play an important part in the appearance and durability of the final product.

Tips and tricks

  • gluing techniques

  • cutter compensation

Egypt Stool