Our collaboration with Educator/ Cabinetmaker, Steve Latta, began in 2006, when he approached us about designing a selection of inlay tools based on the tools he’d developed over many years of studying and creating 18th century furniture. Our inlay tools are the first commercially available tools designed specifically for stringing inlay. These tools cut precisely and are easily adjusted. Additional blade thickness offer maximum design flexibility.
Materials: Powder-Coated Aluminum body, Steel rods & pivot point, Other parts are Brass.
Blade Specs: Blades are made of Spring Steel hardened to RC 52. The standard blade is .030" (.762mm) thick. Thicker blades (.041", .055", and .062") are also available. Thicker blades are hardened to Rc 45-50.
Geometry: You can take a minimum radius of 11/16" (1.74cm). The maximum radius is 4" (10.16cm), although with the addition of extension rods you can create a radius far larger.
Cutting an arc: Set the distance from the tip to the pivot point and lock the body in place. Lean the cutter and score a line through the wood fibers using only one point of the tip. Then, lean the cutter and score a line using the other tip. Bring the tool perpendicular to the surface and excavate between the score lines to a depth of about 1/16”. When you are first getting familiar with the tool, do not be surprised if the indent left by the pivot point is quite large. With practice, the size will diminish.
When arcs cross or intersect each other, cut and fill the first arc. After the glue has set for a few minutes (yellow glue is recommended) and the stringing has been leveled to the surface, cut the second arc slicing right through the stringing of the first. This method saves time and leads to cleaner work.
The cutting tips must be sharp. To check, angle the tool so that only one Radius Cutter tooth makes contact with the wood surface. Make a cut cross-grain. Roll the tool back and repeat the process with the other tooth. The cutting action should slice rather than tear the fibers. Keep in mind, soft or spongy woods are more likely to tear. If tearing occurs, the tips need to be filed until they function like a knife. Examine the tips of the teeth. If there are any flat spots, indicated by a reflection at the very tip of a tooth, the point needs to be re-established using a small triangular file.
Extension Rods: 3" extension rods are available by the pair. Rods mate seamlessly, offering smooth adjustment for a much greater range of radii.