Laser Marquetry using Kerf Offset Feature

Travis I have been looking more at this inlay technique and can’t quite recall how you did the kerf test in the picture. How were you sure the circle was 20mm - was this the one you joked about your favorite tool being calipers - and I said I can never get a consistent measurement with calipers?

Sure wish I could’ve helped with learning and teacching this topic, but my wife’s care situation takes it’s toll on my ability to devote time away from the house. Hope you found some good people to take over your lead on being able to teach the rest of us.

Calipers are the answer. True that measurement can be inexact but you’re not looking for exact. The goal is to identify the hole closest to 20mm then test fit circles till you find the tightest fit. That circle’s marking tells you the offset to laser cut.

FYI, Thomas Roetker and Peter Tobias have signed up to teach laser marquetry. All is well!

Hi, I’m jumping in here as I haven’t seen any good laser cutting for marquetry forums.

One technique I’ve used for figuring our the kerf is to create a series of small squares, each varying by 0.001 in (or similar). Then you see which box fits in which hole and you have your answer. The typical kerf I’ve seen is 0.005 in, though of course it can vary depending on the exact material (thickiness mostly).

Another trick is to create 2 versions of the shape, flipping over to cut in a mirrorlike reversed orientation. Now you have a cork-n-bottle possibility, with the fit being very good. This will change the kerf allowance as it’s a bit wider.

Finally, I’ll note that some like to leave a bit of space and fill with something to give a bit of a line. Paul Schurch likes to do this and he taught doing this with same glue as you put under the veneer and some colored fill.


Good input, thanks.
We hope to have Paul teach a workshop sometime.
When he’s back from Hawaii with time then we will learn from the master!