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Inlay Bits


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Personally, I like a 5 pound sledge and a dull 1.5" chisel, LOL

Ok, in all seriousness, there are a few bits I like to use, the first ones are from Stewart Macdonald and work pretty good, they are a carbide (NOT, they say they are but they're high speed steel) inlay bit, you can get a few different sizes, I like the 1/32" diameter bits, you'll go through about 4 on an ebony board to do one vine, but they are dirt cheap. They kind of suck on maple or rosewood because they leave a fuzzy edge on the top of the route which makes it tougher to see your line.


Next choice is fluted end mills, Stewart Macdonald also sells these, but calls them Carbide downcut inlay bits, (these are just high speed steel too, liars LOL) but they are pricey, you can get better quality and actual Carbide bits from most machine shop suppliers, order with a reverse flute and it pushes the cut rather than raises it, this leaves a cleaner edge which makes it easier to view your line. you can also get double ended ones from machine shop suppliers.


a good supplier of machine tools is Travers tool company out of New Jersey, with 1/32" end mills with 1/8" shanks ranging from about $11 to $25 depending on what coatings you get, Carbides, TICN's etc.

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Dremel doesn't make a small enough diameter for my liking, and the dremel bits that are close enough to the right size are engraving bits, they burn the wood and the bit way to fast, besides, they charge almost as much for one bit as stew mac does for a pack of the six little ones.

DON'T use the 1/8" router bit from dremel, it's to big and if your dremel is any older than brand new, the bearings in them are to sloppy, it'll catch, wander and jump all over the place.

The only good thing from Dremel is the tool itself LOL

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  • 2 weeks later...

Dremel tool can burn wood if you spin the bit too fast. Don't some of the higher end models have an adjustable speed?

I have a Sears knock off of a Dremel with two speeds: Off and On. It's way too fast for most work. I always have to test on a scrap to see how the bit's going to behave.

I have used some Dremel bits (like the combination bit - cutter and drill bit) in the drill press before with decent results. It's slower work as you move the wood under it rather than the tool. It's also really easy to goof up too. Oops.

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