Hex Salad Bowl with Wood Inlay – CNC Woodworking


Watch the video build: Hex Inlay Salad Bowl – My Hardest CNC Project

My last hexagonal salad bowl was made with epoxy and cherry wood. I laminated up a bunch of pieces of cherry and machined out the bowl. I got to thinking about how I could more wisely use the wood, and I decided that laying the pieces up at an angle would allow me to start with a hollow shape. The hex shape with somewhat flat sides kind of lends itself nicely to this process. But, that led me to more thinking: If my pieces are somewhat flat, then I could make a deep inlay and have it show up on both sides.

This seemed like a great idea, but it led me down a rabbit hole for how to get good inlays. And by good, I mean really tight inlays without any gaps. It wouldn’t be too hard to make an inlay with a large tolerance and have it easily work, or to fill it in with some wood filler. I wanted it to be *perfect*.

I had to do a lot of tests to figure out how to get things to work right. This involved cracking a lot of sample pieces of wood. I also burned some of my cherry pieces — not enough to start a fire, but enough to leave burn marks while machining. As I went along I broke one of my bits. I also had to re-think the entire process a few times, which led me to want to just give up.

Ultimately, I persisted, and I made three bowls. The first one was a sample bowl, made out of some of the pieces that cracked a bit. I didn’t like how the bottom turned out, so I redesigned how I could make the thing to make the wood grain flow better.

Two turned out fabulous. One will be a gift, and the other is for sale: Hex Inlay Bowl For Sale on Corbin’s Workshop.

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[…] the wood, or to show up after machining away some material. I did a lot of experimentation with my hex inlay bowl to figure out how to get this just […]

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