Experiments You Can Do at Home - But Probably Shouldn't

Chapter 7
Twisted Shop Class » The Worst Way to Inlay

The Worst Way to Inlay

Make an inlay pattern just the way they used to: with stinky, noxious sulfur. Creating inlaid wood furniture is a painstaking process. Cutting shapes into the front of a drawer isn't the hard part, though; it's crafting pieces of a contrasting wood that fit precisely into those spaces. Since the beginning of furniture making, people have been looking for shortcuts. Today, machine-cut inlays are available, but in the past the preferred shortcut was to fill the patterns with a paste that would harden in place.

One of the less inspired ideas came in the late 1700s, when someone started pouring molten sulfur into his carvings.

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