View Full Version : can someone explain the different methods of inlay
01-07-2004, 08:57 PM
I been reading different auction(ebay Items) and some other websites and how some custom cue makers do there different inlays and how some are better and some are square and not rounded and some are real inlays and some are machined inlays! and some are set together better and some are matched exactly, some sliced in nicely without blurrs etc. etc. what is the real truth to all this! or are all these people just seeing what they what to see. I have heard that the inlays make the cue more stronger thats why they are there! thats why they do inlays.is there a difference on how they do them!
01-07-2004, 11:56 PM
Inlayed POINTS, do not strengthen the forearm of the Q as much as "V" BOTTOM points. They DO strengthen & stiffen the Q slightly. For the most part, inlayed points, as well as other shaped inlays, are decorative only. Inlays are mainly what makes your CUSTOM Q different from all others. If you use a CNC(computer controlled) machine, the hole that the inlay fits into & the inlay itself, will fit near perfectly & have no glue line around it. To get this same kind of fit from all other methods, takes a lot of hand sanding & fitting. This means you have to be more creative & more of a craftsman. The tool that cut the hole for the inlay is rounded, much like a small drill. It will therefore leave a rounded point on the hole that the inlay fits into. To make that hole come to a point, you must use a razor type blade to finish off the hole to a sharp point. One type of inlay technique is not better than the other,just different. Again it takes more of a craftsman to create this type of pointed inlays,( mine are rounded, because I like them that way). Hope this helps...JER
01-08-2004, 12:28 AM
I cut my inlays on a Gorton P 1-2 panograph and they fit perfect, press fit in fact. I make my own templates, maybe that is why everything fits so well. When I do wood inlays, I sometimes put the piece to be inlayed in the Microwave for a few seconds before I glue it in. The microwave shrinks it a little giving a seamless fit after it has returned it's former size.
01-08-2004, 02:22 AM
I would love to pick the brain of one of my heros, like THOMAS WAYNE & find out how he does the fantastic inlays he does,BUT the question was"CAN SOMEONE EXPLAIN THE DIFFERENT METHODS OF INLAY"...JER
01-08-2004, 08:55 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote justbrake:</font><hr> I been reading different auction(ebay Items) and some other websites and how some custom cue makers do there different inlays and how some are better and some are square and not rounded and some are real inlays and some are machined inlays! <hr /></blockquote>
Here are some different methods, some of which people (cuemakers included) intermix the nomenclature (incorrectly, IMO).
Pantograph - a pantograph is a drawing tool that allows the user to trace an existing drawing while a connected tool draws it on something else. The links in a pantograph allow the user to scale the drawing. That is, depending on link lengths, a user can draw , say, a 1 x 1" square by tracing, say, a 4 x 4" square. Sometimes it's easier to work with the larger drawing to make the smaller version. In woodworking or cuemaking, a master of the inlay pocket is made (say, a diamond pocket) which the user "traces" with a pantograph. The tool on the the other end doing the work on the wood is a router of some sort. It could be a dremmel or some such small mill. The problem, if there is one, is that since the tool cutter spins, the leading edge of the cutter is always going to be round. That's fine if you want to fill the ensuing pocket with a rounded-corner inlay. But if you want a sharp inlay, you need to sharpen the pocket points by hand.
CNC - Computer Numerical Control. It's a method of computer control that translates mathematical functions into motion. In today's CNC control, a user can draw with CAD software any number of patterns, and the software will translate the drawing into mathematical functions. The math functions are streamed into a motion control computer which moves a tool in the pattern drawn. Similar to pantograph, the tool would be some kind of rotary mill or router. With CNC, you can control motions in several axes to come up with shapes that you simply cannot easily do on pantograph. A wrap around inlay is probably a 4-axis CNC job.
Some people will say "CNC point" when they only used a pantograph. I think they really mean that it's a routed and rounded point. BTW, in the engineering world, sharp is very rarely a good idea. But it looks better, IMO.
In sharpening a point (of an inlay) by hand, if the fit isn't exact, a gap between the inlay and wood might be seen. Sometimes, if it's in Ebony, you can see where the cuemaker has filled the gap with black epoxy or the like.
01-08-2004, 09:39 AM
BINGO!!!!Fred; go to te head of the class...JER
01-08-2004, 10:16 AM
I think there are 3 types of "INLAYS".
Pantographed ones, CNC'd ones and manually done inlays ( yup, they can be done with knives, chisels and/or dremel).
They don't make the cue stronger imo. The best hitting cues ( and the most stable) imo are the plane ones.
01-08-2004, 10:45 AM
"If you use a CNC(computer controlled) machine, the hole that the inlay fits into & the inlay itself, will fit near perfectly & have no glue line around it. To get this same kind of fit from all other methods, takes a lot of hand sanding & fitting."
I was not trying to criticize or anything. just you said the CNC does a better job and that is not true. The quality of the work depends on the operator. CNC can do things I can't do, at least not in a realistic period of time, but the quality will be the same. A lot of sanding and fitting should not be necessary with a manual machine either, if the work is being done right. That is why I mentioned making my own template. I have bought some before and I can see why someone may have problems. I am not anti-CNC though, I plan on retrofitting my Gorton soon for CNC.
01-08-2004, 01:37 PM
I agree with you Popcorn. I was trying to be general with my explanation, because he didn't seem to have much of a grasp of the process. I agree, the templates that I make myself, are more accurate than those that I have purchased. Although I still do use some of the old ones & they do require some extra work...JER
01-08-2004, 01:41 PM
Back in the late 70's when I was doing mold design there were limits on what we could machine to produce high volume production tools. All that changed with the introduction of CAD/CAM, now almost anything was possible because we could machine the male and female from the same geometry. Much the same as the pocket and profile of inlays can be CNC'd from the same geometry. BTW, prior to CAD/CAM and CNC we used pantographs type machines (DECKEL) to reproduce complex shapes. There were masters made (usually 10X size) that could replicate the same patterns. By making the masters at 10X size the error would be reduced 10X when machined at 1X.
01-08-2004, 03:26 PM
Mold making and the inlay work done on a cue stick, the cue work I would say is pretty Mickey Mouse by comparison.
"because we could machine the male and female from the same geometry".
I am not sure what that means?
01-08-2004, 04:54 PM
And now you are more confused than ever, right?
A lot of what you might think are inlays are really wood that has been glued up and turned on a lathe. This is especially true in points and rings. Here's a pretty good website that shows a cue made with spliced (milled) points and veneers. If you click on "Inside a Raven" it shows the construction phases. This is a pretty good site to look at. He also explains differences between custom and production.
01-08-2004, 06:24 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Popcorn:</font><hr> Mold making and the inlay work done on a cue stick, the cue work I would say is pretty Mickey Mouse by comparison.
"because we could machine the male and female from the same geometry".
I am not sure what that means? <hr /></blockquote>
Molds have "shutoffs", where two opposing pieces of steel come together and must match up in order shutoff the flow of plastic. These shutoffs are simple when they are flat. When they are angled or radiused it becomes difficult to match them to each other. CAD/CAM allowed for irregular shoutoffs to be machined. In the case of an inlay, imagine that the inlay is shaped like the state of Texas. You can machine around the shape (called profiling) and create the inlay. Using the same CAD geometry you can machine inside the shape (called pocketing). Now take the profiled object and just place it inside the pocketed object. Hope you got what I'm trying to say here.
01-08-2004, 06:28 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Paul_Mon:</font><hr> ...imagine that the inlay is shaped like the state of Texas<hr /></blockquote>Can a cue be made with an inlay the shape of Texas?
01-08-2004, 07:58 PM
That would be the same thing with a cue inlay. It is not something that can only be done on CNC. I use the same template to make the inlay, as I use to do the pocket. They fit together perfect. The only problem is, if there are points. With points you have to by hand remove the material so it matches the point, you would have to do this with CNC also. If you are using a 32 or 64 cutter it takes only a few second to do so. Actually, you can make a template of anything you see, a picture in a magazine, a drawing, or what ever. I use a program to scan it and I can manipulate the image however I want. When I am done, I can turn it into a limited use template in 10 or 15 minutes and I am ready to inlay the cue. I did a cue with a set of ivory boxing gloves not long ago. When I first started messing with this stuff I couldn't find any books on the panograph and it was before the Internet, so I just figured out how to do it myself. Of course now with CNC everybody can do anything. I am looking forward to getting my CNC, it will be fun.
01-09-2004, 05:42 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote SPetty:</font><hr> Can a cue be made with an inlay the shape of Texas? <hr /></blockquote>
Sure can. That's the point I was trying to make above. CNC allows irregular shapes (the inlay and the pocket for the inlay) to be machined repeatably and much quicker. Remember that toy called "Etch a Sketch"? You could draw lines horizontally with one wheel and vertically with another wheel. That's somewhat how a convential milling machine works. You have movement in two axises. BTW, I don't know why I picked Texas, never even been there.
Paul Mon~~~~~~~2 degrees F this morning and expected to get colder.
01-09-2004, 01:22 PM
"That's the point I was trying to make above. CNC allows irregular shapes (the inlay and the pocket for the inlay) to be machined repeatably".
And manually doesn't? CNC is faster though, especially when it comes to the indexing and layout. This can be very time consuming manually, That alone makes me want CNC.
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