Inlaying is a term applied to work in which certain figures which have been cut out of one kind of material are filled up with another of a different color. Such work is known as marquetry, and also as Bonle work, and Reisner work, from the names of two famous French artists.
The simplest method of producing inlaid work in wood, is to take two thin boards, of wood or veneers, and glue them together with paper between, so that they may be easily sep-arated again. Then, having drawn the required figures on them, cut along the lines with a very fine, hair-like saw. This process is known as counterpart sawing, and by it the pieces removed from one piece of wood, so exactly correspond with the perforations in the other piece, that when the two colors are separated and interchanged, the one material forms the ground and the other the inlay or pattern. If the saw be fine and the wood very dry when cut, but afterwards slightly damped when glued in its place, the joint is visible only on very close inspection, and then merely as a fine line. After being cut, the boards or veneers are separated (which is easily done by splitting the paper between them), and then glued in their places on the work which they are to ornament.
Suppose an oak panel with a design inlaid with walnut is wanted. Grain the panel wholly in oil. This is not a bad ground for walnut. When the oak is dry, grain the whole of the panel in distemper. Have a paper with the design drawn thereon, the back of which has been rubbed with whiting, place it on the panel, and with a pointed stick trace the design. Then with a brush and quick varnish trace the whole of the design. When the varnish is dry, with a sponge and water remove the distemper, where the varnish has not touched. This, if well executed, pre sents a most beautiful imitation of inlaid wood. Marble.' are executed in a similar manner.