goldfish inlay I started by going to the library. I
found a book on goldfish and in that book was a black ink drawing
which illustrated how goldfish propelled themselves thru the water.
It was an illustration of looking at the goldfish from overhead which
was exactly what I wanted to inlay.
I photocopied the illustration and enlarged it using a photocopier at
Kinkos. I did a slight reduction 99%, 98%, 97%, 96% and so on. I
glued the full size photocopy to some 1/2 inch birch plywood and let
it dry. I then cut out the picture on the paper with my scroll saw.
This cut the wood in the same shape. I then used a drum sander
attachment on my dremel tool to smooth out the cut. This made the
I fastened this template to a scrap piece of plywood and using a
bushing on my router I cut the shape into the plywood. The cut is
slightly smaller than the template is. This is where the reduced
images come in. I found which reduction most closely matched the
actual cut. I used a 1/4 inch router bit with a half inch bushing.
I adjusted the depth of the cut to 1/4 inch.
I repeated this process for the second template. I was pleased when I
realized that my two templates actually could produce four different
goldfish because I could flip the template over to produce two mirror
image fish as well.
OK so at this point I have two templates that will cut the pattern
into the wood.
I then used a technique I had watched my wife use when she did stained
glass. I took the reduced image. I think it was the 97% reduction
but I'm not sure. I cut this image on the paper into individual
pieces. I then glued each piece onto the wood so that the grain in the
wood was in the direction I wanted it to be. Because the pieces of
paper fit together on paper the resulting pieces of cut out wood fit
together as well. They also fit together in the cutout on the floor.
I did have to use the drum sander attachment to do some minor
adjustment on the cutout pieces to fit tightly. I then glued them in
place. After the glue was dried I sanded them flush with the
surrounding wood and pickeled them in place.
I have used this same idea to inlay treble clef signs made out of
rosewood into a wood floor, the Broncos football team horse head logo
and an oval which I inlaid a quilt design into.
I would suggest getting a book on doing stained glass work for some
ideas. This is a great place for patterns as well as techniques. I
found the treble clef patterns in a craft store that had them as a
party sign. A quilt shop is also a good place to get ideas.
Study the goldfish pictures on my website at http://woodfloorist.com
The possibilites are endless and are only limited by your imagination.