Intro to String Inlay Design and Technique

June 10 – June 11, 2023
9 am to 5 pm


String inlay has been used as decorative ornamentation in furniture making for hundreds of years. From the rich inlays of Federal style furniture, to the geometric designs of the Art Deco movement, to the more flowing style of contemporary work, string inlay is a great way to add visual punch to a project without breaking the bank or spending years mastering a complicated skill. In this two day workshop, students will learn the basic skills and techniques for creating decorative string inlays to embellish their own woodworking projects. On day one participants will learn how to make inlay stringing from solid wood, and how to accurately layout and cut the channels for the inlay using hand tools and routers. We will also cover the techniques needed to install the stringing and clean it up ready for finish. On day two we will get into more complex curved and overlapping designs as well as some additional inlay embellishments. Throughout the two days, students will have ample class time to work on practicing and honing their skills as they create sample boards for future reference. On day two, students will have the option to work on embellishing a component such as a table top, door, or drawer face, from a project they are currently working on. Open to all levels including beginners.

Skills and Techniques:

Making stringing from solid wood

Using hand tools and routers to cut inlay mortices

Routing using a template

Using hand planes and card scrapers to clean up inlaid surfaces

Card scraper tune-up and sharpening

Router Basics

Inlay design

Materials Fee: $TBD

Special Tools or Equipment:
Please bring:
Safety glasses and hearing protection
Tape measure or folding rule
Pencil (preferably mechanical pencils with lead, or 2mm lead holder)
Combination Square – 4”, 6” and/or 12”
Chisels (¼”, ½”, ¾”)
Marking knife or Olfa type retractable knife
Card scraper
Block Plane

Suggested but not required:
Cutting gauge or marking gauge
Digital calipers
Lie Nielsen or Veritas inlay tools

Other tools might include:
Any other hand tools you prefer or use regularly
Drafting supplies/Sketchbook

Please feel free to contact Owain with any questions or concerns

Instructors COVID preference: Your instructor reserves the right to require safety requirements depending on the state of the pandemic at the time of the workshop.

Workshop Policies

Please be sure to read our policies before you register for a workshop.

Age Requirements

The minimum age to attend a regularly scheduled workshop is 16 years. We have set this age to ensure a safe, productive, and community-building experience for all of our students. There are no exceptions.

Accessibility & Accommodations

If you have questions about accessibility or would like to request reasonable accommodations, please contact our main office at 603-435-7314.

Student Cancellations

Cancellations must be made at least 30 days prior to the start date of a workshop in order to receive a refund.
Registration and material costs will be refunded, minus a non-refundable $25.00 registration fee.
A full refund will be made for any amount paid for overnight housing.

Sanborn Mills Farm Cancellations

Each workshop must have a minimum number of students to be held. If Sanborn Mills Farm finds it necessary to cancel a workshop, we will notify students two weeks prior to the scheduled workshop start date. A full refund will be provided to registered students. Refunds for a workshop purchased as a gift will be made to the purchaser only. Sanborn Mills Farm cannot be held responsible for any refunds for travel expenses or for off-site housing expenses incurred as the result of a cancellation of any kind.

Housing & Meals

Please refer to our housing page for more information.


Each workshop has its own safety procedures. Your instructor will review the specific safety requirements at the start of your workshop and throughout your class. Sanborn Mills Farm is a rural setting. If you are allergic to insect bites, please alert your instructor of your allergy and bring an epipen with you. For draft animal workshops or courses requiring time in the woods, be sure to review tick safety procedures from Tick Free NH. We advise students to wear comfortable clothing, comfortable and secure shoes, and consider your personal needs for a day or extended stay.