For centuries, decorative string and banded inlays have been highly valued embellishments that were applied to the finest furniture. Among the many techniques and styles of inlay, string inlay is perhaps the most common and useful method. Even today, some designers and craftspeople use simple string inlays to define, highlight, or bring focus to elements of an object — be it furniture or other decorative art.

In this comprehensive video tutorial Jeff Williams, inlay specialist for the Irion Company, demonstrates his period correct method of cutting the recessed groove, making traditional holly string, and applying this string into your workpiece. Mr. Williams is a master artisan and as an Irion Company employee, Jeff has crafted some of the finest antique reproductions of Federal Style furniture being built today. In filming Jeff, I had the opportunity to meet him and get to know him. His modest, easy-going nature makes him the perfect guide as he patiently shows us the ropes. Making and applying string inlay never seemed so accessible. You can do this too. — Keith (9 Minute Woodworking Video)

The Irion Company specializes in the restoration, conservation, and hand-made reproduction of American antique furniture from the 18th and 19th century. Jeff Williams specializes in period correct Federal style furniture with an emphasis on veneering, inlaying, and marquetry.

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Filed Under (Joinery, Layout) by Keith

Marking gauges are used to create layout lines for hand cut dovetails, mortise & tenon joinery, and other types of high-quality furniture and cabinet joints. There are many types of marking gauges, but the principles of their use are similar. The goal: create precise and repeatable cuts or scoring marks on wood surfaces that can then be used as reference lines for chisel, hand saw, and/or hand plane cuts. In this concise video overview, cabinetmaker Craig Vandall Stevens will show you how to get optimal layout lines on your next project. (2.5 Minute Woodworking Video)

A shop-made Japanese style marking gauge is used in this video, but the methods and principles shown can be applied to western style tools as well.

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