Inlay and Stringing for Edwardian Envelope Table

Inlay and Stringing for Edwardian Envelope Table

I used cross banded mahogany inlay for the Envelope Table project in the September/October 2010 issue to more closely match the antique samples I researched for the project. The process was too long to include in the article, but if you want to make your own, here are the instructions. Instructions are also included for making the holly stringing strips used.


The banding is made up of cross grained mahogany with black edges. I ordered dyed black veneer that came in 4 x 36″ pieces.


In order to get the cross grain, a piece of mahogany about 6 inches wide was selected and cross cut into 5/16″ wide strips. These were then glued into 4 inch wide stacks. The ends of the stacks were trimmed square and the stacks were then glued into a long strip.


This long strip needs to be laminated between two sheets of the black dyed veneer, so one face was scraped smooth, and then planed/sanded until the glued up substrate and the black veneers measured 3/8 inch thick. The three parts were then laminated together.


With the blank dry, all that remains is to rip it into thin strips.  The wide black faces now become thin banding on the outside edges of the cross grained mahogany. It is a fair amount of work to complete, but you can cut a great many strips from the blank, and the final effect is well worth the effort.

Holly Stringing


The thin strips used for the string detail on the legs of the table were cut from a wider sheet of holly veneer. A knife can be used for this, but it is hard to hold securely and maintain clean edges. A veneer saw was designed to cut these thin strips.


For consistency, I cut a narrow kerf into the edge of a piece of hardboard (two came as packing around the holly veneer) and clamped them together on my bench. I slipped the holly under the lip of the hardboard and sawed along the edge. This gave me very clean and consistent strips of holly to use for the stringing.

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