Monday, January 25, 2010

Working Widget Technology Custom Wood Inlays

A reader sent me an email a couple weeks ago asking if I had seen a product he saw advertised on the web. He told me about a company that sold small medallion sized wooden inlays that could be customized and used as a signature piece on woodworking projects.

It sounded interesting so I took a look at their site. The name of the company is Working Widget Technology. You can visit their site here. After looking around for a while I emailed the company for a sample.

I received the sample above. The wood choices are cherry, walnut and maple. They could not be more simple to inlay in your project. You use a 1 1/2" Forstner bit and drill to 1/8" depth. Glue in the medallion and finish. I like simple.

The product comes in three styles. Clip Art, Signature and Design Your Own. Each style gives you more or less customization. The Design Your Own lets you send you own artwork for laser etching.

I would say the product looks good. The walnut and Cherry seemed to show the laser etching better for some reason. I would have thought the light maple would have made the laser marks stand out but for some reason they looked lighter.

Now here is the catch. These things are expensive. The Clip Art kit which comes with six medallions and the forstner bit is $39.95. The Signature kit is $44.95 and the Design Your Own is a whopping $49.95. All the kits come with six medallions and the forstner bit. The difference is the amount of customization you can do.

At first I almost talked my self out of even reviewing the product because of the expense. Here is what changed my mind. There are certain projects you build that are special. A fretwork clock with hundreds of inside cuts that takes you weeks to complete. A baby crib for your first child or grand child. A commemorative plaque for a special event in your families life. These are projects that are worthy of a custom signature. I think in that situation I would be happy to use this product. Because of this I give this product a thumbs up.

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Reader Picture Post.

The first eight pictures are from Wes Brooks. These are very nice projects that anyone would be proud to display. Just look at the detail in the train. Thanks Wes for the inspiration.

This beautiful basket was sent my way by The Abman. Looks like Zebra wood, purple heart, oak and maybe maple.
I recently did a tutorial on the product Inlace. It looks like Robert Riggs put the material to great use by adding the inlay material to these wonderful crosses. The turquoise and beautiful hardwood look fantastic together. It sets these crosses apart from the crowd that's for sure. Super work Robert.

Rick also used the Inlace material to inlay these projects with his child's school mascot. I think we will be seeing many more inlay works on scroll saw projects with the addition of Inlace to our toolbox.
The next two pictures are from Pieter. He enjoyed my 3d circle puzzle from last month but wanted to add different characters. Looks like he did a fine job with these sheep dog patterns.

Frank sent me this next picture. It is the dragon plate I designed a while back. Every dragon pattern I make gets a high number of downloads. There is just something about dragons.
David Sylvester sent this business card holder. This is one of my patterns from a couple years back. If you do craft shows make sure you take along some business cards. Don't let potential buyers get away without some way to contact you later. Great job David. The wood looks nice also.
This set of bird plaques comes from Bob Calhoun. Bob always sends me pictures of his work and they never fail to impress. This is the type of work that gets away from the standard fretwork that can be difficult to sell sometimes.
Bill Purcell sent me this set of book ends. Not only is the project very cool it reminds me of my day job. Pushed on one end and pulled on the other. :)