For $75 you'll receive the decorative inlay kit DevilEyes, which consists of 7 templates. Each template builds another layer of the skull. It takes about five hours to create this frighteningly decorative inlay. :)
By following simple and repetitive router based inlay techniques you're guaranteed to build an inlay that looks so amazing you'll be proud to say, "Yeah, I made that!"
Best of all you don't need to be a master crafts-person to build this inlay. All you need is some wood and a few basic tools. Click here review the Router Based Inlay Tool List.
Never built an inlay before? Click here to Learn How To Build Any Wood Inlay.
This is one of those inlays where you really don't have limitations for wood-color combinations because Skulls look good in any color!
I find it fun to search for the perfect section of wood that has the right grain pattern and color combination to fit the need of the piece. Here you'll be injecting your personality into the design so take your time and have fun with it. The best tip I can give you is to cut the three pieces that make up the skull from one board to keep the grain pattern intact for the entire skull.
You want the base material, the material in which the skull will be inlaid, to be at least 3/8 of an inch thick, any thinner than that and chances are good your inlay will warp!
INLAY MATERIALS THIS BUILD* Purple Heart 7" x 8" x 5/8" - Base material (the lid)
The main thing you want to pay attention when selecting the material for any type of decorative inlay is contrast. There are two type of contrast to keep in mind, color and grain pattern / direction.
It's possible to get decent contrast from two similarly colored woods as long as there is a sharp contrast in grain patterns and direction. Without this contrast your inlay will not look it's best!
The top picture shows great contrast between the Maple skull and the Walnut background. The eyes and mouth jump out of the skull and the Yellow Heart teeth totally pop against the Wenge background.
Rosewood was used for the eye patch and Red Heart for the eye, nose, and scar. This made for poor contrast for the scar with the eye and patch
For an example of a good eye patch check out how the quilted Maple eye patch, on the Red Skull build, provides great contrast with the Red Heart skull.
In both of these pictures, the mouth is made from a different material than the eye, nose, and scar. Other pictures show the mouth, eye, scar, and nose all made from the same material. You get to decide what looks best for your creation!
In the Eye Skull build you can see a pupil inlaid into the eye socket. This is the only build where I actually used the pupil. Part of me likes it, part of me thinks it makes the skull look a little creepy.
One other item to note about this build is the grain direction and material selection for the eye. I was going for a look that the back of the skull was missing so I selected an inlay that replicated the grain pattern of the base material.
To fix any gaps in the inlay smear a small amount of glue into the gap, wipe off the excess glue, then sand over the area. The sanding action will cause sawdust to mix with the glue in the gap blurring it out.
After all the gaps have been filled sand the entire inlay until it's flat. This process is best done after the glue has completely dried!
Once sanded apply the finish of your choice. Personally I like to apply three coats of Tung Oil followed by three coats of a polyurethane finish that has a UV inhibitor in it. The UV protection will help keep the woods from changing color over time.
Click here for more information about Sanding and Finishing Tutorial.