Best of all you don't need to be a master crafts-person, much less a woodworker, to build this ornament. All you need is a few basic tools that are inexpensive as well as safe and easy to use. Click here review the Router Based Inlay Tool List.
Never built an inlay before? Click here to Learn How To Build Any Wood Inlay.
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This video explains the process used to select the inlay materials for this build of the decorative inlay Santa Christmas Ornament.
When selecting the inlay materials for Santa you'll want to focus on grain patterns, or a lack of for his face, and similar yet slightly different colored woods.
This design was created to honor childhood memories of the claymation Christmas special: Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. Always makes me smile when I watch that show! :)
INLAY MATERIALS THIS BUILD* Walnut 7" x 7" x 5/8" - Base material
In this build four different types of woods that all had a similar color were used. The beard and mustache had to be made from different materials or else they would have blended together. It's the same story for Santa's nose and ear. You'll need a color similar to the face but different enough to show contrast.
The eyebrows came from the same piece of wood that the beard came from, just a different area of the board that was different from the beard but still worked great for eyebrows.
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Prior to filming the video I had prepared the router by taking the bushing off and set the depth of plunge to cut all the way through the base material. I also positioned the template, using the alignment marks built into the template, and securely fastened it to the base material using double sided tape.
To cut out the ornament three passes were used with a little cleaning out of dust and debris before the final pass was made. After I was sure I had cut all the way through the base material, and all the way around the shape, I was able to remove the template.
All that's left now is a little sanding and adding a few coats of Tung Oil and then a Poly finish
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.