How to create inlays with your router

How to create inlays with your router

It is very easy to make inlays using your router. The inlays can be purely decorative, perhaps to hide defects in your wood, or they can help to overcome structural faults. In this video I take you through the steps using the Whiteside 9500 inlay kit kindly supplied by Router Cutter UK.

It is worth looking at some more recent videos:


  1. Gisela Towner on July 19, 2022 at 9:54 pm

    Outstanding video! You do such lovely job of explaining it all. Very clear and easy to understand. I was researching topic this for my husband, who has little patience with computers and I’m so impressed that I subscribed and went to Amazon to order Stone Message. Added bonus for me is that you sound a bit like John Oliver, of whom I am a big fan. : )

  2. Robert Gilpatrick on July 19, 2022 at 9:56 pm

    You’re forgiven!

  3. Stuart Whelan on July 19, 2022 at 9:56 pm

    Good advice. Cheers.

  4. Terry Bridges on July 19, 2022 at 9:56 pm

    Very nice, clear and well explained. The dust error solution solved why my templates/ inserts
    were just a little off. Brilliant.

  5. Stran I on July 19, 2022 at 9:57 pm

    Sir – how easy or difficult would be to create this backrest of a chair – . Many thx

  6. TOWERDAVE48 on July 19, 2022 at 10:00 pm

    Excellent. Very clear and concise.

  7. H. W. on July 19, 2022 at 10:00 pm

    Thank you very much for the helpful instructions!

  8. Ian Baker on July 19, 2022 at 10:02 pm

    If you drill a little Well in the centre of the position you aim to place the glue. You have a space for the pressure and glue to run into and you will also find that your inlay fits more flush in the opening.

  9. Dan The Chippie on July 19, 2022 at 10:07 pm

    Hi Peter, I had a question in regards to the inlay kit, as you know I purchased the same kit as you show here, after using mine for a while I ended up breaking three router bits. I wondered if you knew if there was a formula or calculation to using guide Bush’s instead. As you know I have the set of Bush’s you recommended. I was hoping to use one template and one bit (larger than the one in the inlay kit) and two different guide bushes. Probably not possible but thought I’d ask anyway. Cheers

  10. Don Luttrell on July 19, 2022 at 10:09 pm


  11. Mr M Tells The Real Truth!! on July 19, 2022 at 10:09 pm

    I jolly think so too. 😅

  12. Tony Carita on July 19, 2022 at 10:09 pm

    Everything about your video is perfect! Easy to understand and Spot on in every way! If your inlay get’s pushed in to far and you can’t get it out maybe some good quality double stick tape and a small scrap piece of wood would help pull it out.

  13. xenusceptic on July 19, 2022 at 10:11 pm

    You don’t need a kit routers already come supplied with guides just use them

  14. stephen bowler on July 19, 2022 at 10:12 pm

    Great presentation. Such a nice change to hear someone speaking the Queens English . Subscribed and looking forward to further instruction. Thank you

  15. Sam Weller on July 19, 2022 at 10:16 pm

    Thank you.Great clarity. Back at tech. College days.

  16. Gordon Hudson on July 19, 2022 at 10:16 pm

    Hi Peter, great video and have been looking at this 9500 kit to try out some inlay work. Would the UJK guide bush set do the same job? Part number 502571. Seems a more cost effective way as comes with the popular sizes and in 2022 costs roughly the same as that one Whiteside kit.

  17. Richard Holland on July 19, 2022 at 10:18 pm

    What a brilliant video.I wish I had watched this before I upcycled a rather run down farmhouse table.I made a sort of bow tie jig and used it for both the cut out and insert and filled in the gap with epoxy as a border/feature.That was my first attempt at an insert.I can now refine my technique. Thanks.

  18. Se Murray on July 19, 2022 at 10:22 pm

    Nice work Sir! Thank you for the video.

  19. Mark Weaver on July 19, 2022 at 10:23 pm

    Why does NO ONE say what diameter that inlay bushing is?? Even the manufactures of them don’t let you in on the secret….THEY don’t care if they fit…they just want to sell it but SOMEONE might measure one and let us know so ALL of use don’t buy something that is NO good to us.

  20. Rich lewisg on July 19, 2022 at 10:23 pm

    Thank you for an excellent informational video! I’ve wanted to give making a router inlay a go for quite some time, but I was having trouble understanding the bushing and how it worked. I get it now.

  21. Pat Bassman on July 19, 2022 at 10:24 pm

    pillar drill , you said drill press.

  22. Chris Boire on July 19, 2022 at 10:25 pm

    Hey there! Where did you buy the guide bushing with removable collar? Whiteside doesn’t sell anything with a removable collar that I can see.

  23. Clay Thomas on July 19, 2022 at 10:26 pm

    This video makes me wish I was British.

  24. Dano on July 19, 2022 at 10:28 pm

    I stumbled on to this video, very well done. Do you have any plans for your miter station?

  25. Don Carmen on July 19, 2022 at 10:29 pm

    I think it would be nice if the inlay guide had more than oe inlay bushing.
    One then could do donut inlays for example. I am needing to do an
    Olympic rings type of inlay on a mantelpiece. One on either side of the
    horizontal piece. I have an idea I am going to run with but multiple
    bushings would be helpful. All about market and demand I guess.
    We are still expected to produce at relatively low cost though.
    I appreciate your low key yet thorough approach to the subject.
    I have done a few as well but let’s push the boundaries.

  26. Graham Wright on July 19, 2022 at 10:30 pm

    Great video Peter. And this ladies and gentleman is how to correcctly speak English.

  27. captain columbus on July 19, 2022 at 10:32 pm

    roll your sleeves up. health and safety. good video. Rick

  28. fartherstill on July 19, 2022 at 10:33 pm

    It certainly is the "useful" piece you intended. Extremely well articulated with excellent video clarity. Your shop is so well outfitted that I felt a tinge of envy. One suggestion: when routing the insert, rather than using double sided tape to immobilize it, set the end mill to a depth that leaves a mm or so of material connected. An exacto knife can be used to assist freeing it followed by sanding off the "flash" providing a slight lead to aid in the insertion.

  29. Thomas Moore Illustrates on July 19, 2022 at 10:33 pm

    Really enjoying your videos. Great stuff and explained verry well.

  30. Vieux Acadian on July 19, 2022 at 10:33 pm

    Great troubleshooting on the dust buildup . My compliments .

  31. Andrew McAlpine on July 19, 2022 at 10:34 pm

    Thank you Peter for providing the "cause and effect" of the build up of dust. Simplest of problems easily overlooked.

  32. Robert Gilpatrick on July 19, 2022 at 10:34 pm

    Make a pattern to inlay a square
    4.25" ceramic tile in a charcutier for a cheese and cracker server.

  33. Dan Lux on July 19, 2022 at 10:36 pm

    I’m looking to recess a piece of L-track but it’s triangle shape.

  34. John DeRocha on July 19, 2022 at 10:38 pm

    Thank you for sharing your video 👍 The bit about the dust build up was spot on. Glad you figured it out. Hopefully they will re-engineer their kit to have similar dust collection path ways.

  35. Pramod Tailor on July 19, 2022 at 10:39 pm

    wow, thank you for sharing

  36. mitre1 on July 19, 2022 at 10:40 pm

    Fantastic lesson. Thanks!

  37. Jaclyn Baschmann on July 19, 2022 at 10:42 pm

    Thank you so much, that is a really great video. I’m a beginner and you cleared things up for me perfect.

  38. jwar on July 19, 2022 at 10:42 pm

    Thank you for this video. The video has opened up to me the unlimited possibilities of inlay work.

  39. Mark Widdowson on July 19, 2022 at 10:42 pm

    Just watching your new series on routing and templates as usual to the point and highly instructive. Thanks. This earlier video inspired me to try my hand at inlay and it might be possibly enjoyed by new viewers in line with the current series. Just a thought 😉

  40. vilod on July 19, 2022 at 10:43 pm

    Learning from your mistakes. Brilliant!

  41. Craig Monteforte on July 19, 2022 at 10:43 pm

    Nicely done ! Good tutorial as well hope you keep the videos coming with the same type of content and professionally Cheers to you

  42. Sergio Medina on July 19, 2022 at 10:44 pm

    Great explanation, thanks a lot for sharing. I have suscribed. Cheers..!!

  43. Dave Pierce on July 19, 2022 at 10:45 pm

    Incredibly well explained. By the end of the video, my understanding of the concept and execution of this demonstration gave me the confidence to begin to tackle my project. Thanks so much and Cheers Mate!

  44. Scott Johnson on July 19, 2022 at 10:46 pm

    Thank you for another informative video, Peter! It answered all of my questions.

  45. Jim Bo on July 19, 2022 at 10:47 pm

    Great video. Scraping rather than sanding stops dark sawdust impregnating light wood and vice versa. Particularly important with Ebony.

  46. Ray collins on July 19, 2022 at 10:48 pm

    I completely agree. You explained it in such an easy way to follow thank you

  47. Fx 1C on July 19, 2022 at 10:49 pm

    Your hydraulic pressure needs to be alleviated 1.16" hole at the side from outside to inside will do this. Works for me got taught of a master carpenter.

  48. Lomein on July 19, 2022 at 10:49 pm

    Do you need to have a plunge router to do this? I only have a regular router

  49. Jay Sigel on July 19, 2022 at 10:50 pm

    I’ve watched a lot of these videos and while this one is excellent, what is not covered is actually making the template for what you need. If you are going to make a one-time inlay, it can be done freehand with a router and no bushings. But if you want consistent accuracy, then a template is the way to go, but there are limitations as to the sizes of your project. Let me explain:

    I am trying to make a 4-lane cribbage board that will have the lanes continuous and forming u-turns. You can find several examples of these on Amazon. The problem is accounting for the offset of the bushing. Like a highway, I will call the area between the up and down lanes the "median strip". The cribbage board median strips are 1/4" wide and there are 6 of them in the one I am hoping to build. The calculated offset of using the 1/8" bit in the 5/16" bushing is 7/32". That means that each side of the path containing the 4 lanes will need to be widened by 7/32" for a length and width total of 7/16" in order for the bit to cut the positive out where you want it. But what happens to the median? It gets smaller by being impinged from all sides by the 7/32". You can’t subtract 7/32" from both sides of a 1/4" median!

    To state this even more simply, let’s take dominoes, dimension 1×2 inches and that’s the size you need to make with a template. Take 2 dominoes side be side, vertically, separated by 1/4". Take a 3rd domino and place it under the first 2 but horizontal to them and touching them. Now, stretch that domino by 1/4" so that is forms a squared-off U. I am not concerned about the corners in this example. Let’s say want to use this shape as the inlay. Using the smallest PC template, the 5/16" one, it can’t be done with just one template because of the offset. The template has to be increased by 7/32" on all sides with shrinkage of the 1/4" center between the 2 vertical domino shapes to less than zero. You would have to use at least 2 templates, an L-shaped one and then its flipped over side, which would be very difficult to perfectly align. However, one solution is to make a sliding bushing template spacer — a rectangular piece that would be positioned to cut the left side of the median with the bushing template spacer pushed to the right, then would slide over to the left of that to cut on the right side of the median!

    Off course, you could "always" do it with a CNC machine, but that’s not what we’re considering here due to their cost and programming.

  50. Mannypl7550 on July 19, 2022 at 10:51 pm

    Great video. Very well explained. I really like those bench clamps. What brand and where to buy?