Curved Inlay Banding

Ronnie Young

Active member
Several reproductions that I've made required the bending of inlay banding as seen in the attached photo. I have always found this very difficult. While it is possable to construct a one of a kind curved inlay to fit any curve, bending an existing inlay banding is very difficult. The process I use requires slicing the various layers of banding apart using a scalpel so that they can slide against each other when they are formed into the curve. The problem with this method is that often the small pieces making up the layers of banding come apart, especially if you wet them and heat them to facilitate the bending. I've tried coating the bandings strips with hide glue to hold them together but wetting and heating turns them into a sticky mess. How did the 18th century cabinetmakers perform this task? 


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Well-known member
If the bandings are made with animal glue, as they were in the period, you can stick them in the glue pot water for a bit and then they will slide as the glue loosens and you can bend them. I've done this with banding I made for a card table. There's a certain amount of panic that you have to live with as you do it. Keep a bit of wood handy to force it into the trough you cut for it as you bend it in. When the glue dries again no one will know.-Al

Ronnie Young

Active member
Allen- Most all of the inlay banding I have is pre-1960 and I think it uses hide glue. I'll test it on some cut offs an see how it works. I'll post results tomorrow. Thanks-Ron



I have made several attempts to respond to your inquiry but my reply does not seem to go any where.  I have made curved bandings by using a form or pattern on which the bandings are constructed in the desired shape.  Some of my curved bandings are the same pattern as is shown on your pediment.  Going through the entire process would be too lengthly a post for this forum but I would be glad to talk you through it on the phone.  If you want to make your own curved bandings give me a call at 404-355-5494.

Marion Smith 

Ronnie Young

Active member
Allen- I tried soaking the inlay banding the hot water in my glue pot and after a few minutes it became pliable and I was able to fairly easily get it into the curved groove shown in the attached photo. What a deal! Much better than my old method-Thanks!


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